Magnesia

Latest News

  • Chinese fused magnesia prices rise further amid power cuts

    Friday, 22 October 2021

    The power cuts policy in China’s Liaoning province, the production hub for magnesia, has led to persistently tight supply and higher offer prices for fused magnesia (FM). And more overseas buyers were showing enthusiasm for magnesia from other origins, sources said this week.

  • AT A GLANCE: RHI Magnesita's Q4 price increase driven by energy and logistics costs

    Tuesday, 19 October 2021

    United Kingdom-listed global refractory producer RHI Magnesita announced a "significant" price increase for the fourth quarter of 2021, driven by increased logistics and energy costs, with China’s power shortages likely to add pressure, it said in a third quarter trading update released on Tuesday October 19.

  • FOCUS: China’s fused magnesia prices hit two-year high as energy controls threaten supply

    Thursday, 14 October 2021

    Liaoning province in China has imposed strict power cuts and set up alternating periods of operation among fused magnesia producers in October, which has pushed the prices for fused magnesia to a two-year high and could further tighten the supply if the power cuts policy continues, market sources have told Fastmarkets.

  • Port congestion on China-Europe route seen worsening in near term

    Friday, 08 October 2021

    The congestion at major ports that has affected shipping operations for metals and minerals on the China-to-Europe route is set to worsen in the next three or four months, sources told Fastmarkets during last week’s International Colloquium on Refractories conference in Aachen, Germany.

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Market Brief

Magnesia is the term for magnesium oxide (formula: MgO). Magnesia is produced by mining and processing mainly the hard rock mineral, magnesite, which occurs in two main forms: cryptocrystalline and crystalline.

 

Rarely, magnesia may be produced from other hard rock minerals such as dolomite, brucite, huntite, and serpentinite.

 

Another commercially important source of magnesia is from chemical processing of seawater and magnesia-rich brines, which produces what is sometimes referred to as synthetic magnesia.

 

Grades produced include:

·         Crude magnesite

·         Caustic calcined magnesia (CCM)

·         Dead burned magnesia (DBM)

·         Fused magnesia (FM)

·         Magnesium compounds derived from CCM, eg. magnesium hydroxide, magnesium sulphate.

 

The source of the magnesia determines critical chemical and physical characteristics of the derived magnesia, such as MgO purity (ranges low to high, 85%-99% MgO), ratio of CaO:SiO2, bulk density, and magnesia crystal size.

 

Supply

The world’s total resource of magnesite, the main source of magnesia, is about 13bn tonnes. Six countries host 92% of this, in descending order: China (26%), North Korea (23%), Russia (21%), Slovakia (10%), Australia (7%), and Brazil (5%).

 

World magnesia production (derived from the magnesite) is about 8.5m. tpa, and is dominated by China (49%). Other leading producers include Austria, Brazil, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey.

 

World synthetic  magnesia production (derived from seawater, brines) is about 925,000 tpa, from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Russia, South Korea, and the USA.

 

Leading magnesia producers include:

Grecian Magnesite – Greece

Houying Group – China

Kumas-Kuthaya Magnesite Works Corp. – Turkey

Magnesita Refratarios – Brazil

Magnezit Group – Russia

Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties – USA

Nedmag Industries Mining & Manufacturing – Netherlands

Queensland Magnesia – Australia

SMZ Jelsava – Slovakia

Ube Material Industries – Japan

 

Markets

Each end use requires different specifications of the preferred magnesia form, so there are many different grades of magnesia on the market. Certain magnesite deposits are better suited to produce certain magnesia grades than others.

 

Crude magnesite: agriculture, glass and ceramics.

 

CCM: agriculture; environment; cement; abrasive binder; pulp and paper; fillers; feedstock for DBM, FM, and magnesium compound production.

 

DBM: refractories.

 

FM: refractories; steel coatings; ceramics.