Magnesia

Latest News

  • World crude steel output up 5% in January 2021

    Monday, 01 March 2021

    Global crude steel output increased by 4.8% year on year to 162.9 million tonnes in January 2021, the World Steel Association (Worldsteel) said on February 26, marking the third monthly consecutive increase.

  • Weak demand weighs on China’s magnesia market post-holiday

    Wednesday, 24 February 2021

    China’s magnesia market was still recovering after the Lunar New Year holiday, showing soft demand from overseas buyers in the week to Tuesday February 23, putting pressure on previously bullish offer prices.

  • AT A GLANCE: Imerys' markets recover in Q4 2020

    Thursday, 18 February 2021

    Refractories and industrial mineral group Imerys reported a sharp drop in revenues over 2020 before making a modest recovery over its fourth quarter, it said in its earning report.

  • Maersk aims to launch world’s first carbon-neutral vessel in 2023

    Thursday, 18 February 2021

    All future new-build vessels to be owned by shipping operator Maersk will have dual-fuel technology installed, allowing either carbon-neutral operations or the use of standard very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), the company said on Wednesday February 17.

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Features

  • Stricter controls ease magnesia oversupply in China

    Tuesday, 19 January 2021

    Tighter controls on mining activity in China’s Liaoning province and strict environmental regulations have eased the oversupply of magnesia in the country, stirring up an optimistic price outlook for 2021.

  • China’s magnesia hit by fall in global demand

    Monday, 12 October 2020

    Global demand for magnesia has fallen significantly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with most magnesia prices falling to their lowest levels since before the market rally in 2017.

  • Chinese magnesia prices challenge other producing regions

    Wednesday, 09 September 2020

    The European magnesia markets have been very sluggish so far in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic striking while consumers were trying to cut back swollen inventories.

  • INTERVIEW: ‘I believe AK Steel is a diamond in the rough’ - Lourenco Goncalves

    Monday, 08 June 2020

    Battle tested, hard-nosed, and, at times, known to be very blunt, the top executive of the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the US has been called many things in an almost 40-year career spent from one end of the steel supply chain to the other. Fearful is not one of them.

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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.