Regulation latest news

  • December 2014

    Rare earths prices flat into new year as China maintains export tariffs

    31 December 2014

    Government retains 2014 tax regime but is yet to issue statement on quotas

  • Rare earth discovery thought to be biggest in Peru

    31 December 2014

    US-headquartered RioSol say that independent analysis of the deposit north of Cusco suggest the claim could be the largest in the country, but the attractiveness of a new rich source of the minerals in the Americas is likely to be outweighed by low prices and weak demand.

  • Tirupati to open 12,000 tpa Madagascan graphite mine in 2015

    31 December 2014

    Tirupati is targeting large flake concentrations, expecting its Madagascan material to command higher prices. Meanwhile a shift towards safer nuclear with Gen IV PBMRs could offer growth potential for natural graphite.

  • Chinese lithium carbonate demand for EV expected to grow to 13% of total demand in 2017

    31 December 2014

    The lithium market worldwide continues to grow steadily after setbacks earlier this year. The demand for electrical vehicles is encouraging growth now but many producers are hoping to supply for a boom in the market in the next few years.

  • Imerys doubles Carbon Black capacity at Willebroek

    31 December 2014

    Imerys Graphite & Carbon is targeting batteries and polymers, describing its Willebroek expansion as a “significant investment”. The company has also reinforced its commitment to its Lac des Iles mine.

  • Possibility of complete flood at Solikamsk-2 “remains high”

    31 December 2014

    Although efforts to save mine are “ongoing”, Uralkali has said that a complete write-off of the Solikamsk mine is possible, resulting in 35% drop in the company's share price.

  • Oilfield minerals News in Brief

    31 December 2014

    Andhra Pradesh issues global tender for barite mining; Coretrack begins construction of fly ash ceramic proppant plant

  • Strike stalls phosphate mining in Togo

    31 December 2014

    The industrial action could impact SNPT's bottom line and casts a light on the arguably wasted opportunity to effectively exploit Togo's phosphate reserves as the mines continue to only be solely operated by the state-run company.

  • Fluorspar: 2014 Review

    31 December 2014

    A tough year for fluorspar producers sees acidspar prices fall 13% as metspar market stagnates.

  • Huntsman to shut Europe plant; Kerala High Court beach sand mining

    31 December 2014

    Hunstman is slashing 900 jobs as part of $130m cost-cutting drive, with restructuring to be completed by mid-2016. Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court in India has dismissed the state government’s appeal against a decision allowing private companies to mine mineral beach sands in the state, which are rich in titanium, ilmenite and rutile.

  • First Nation groups set mining policy in Canada

    31 December 2014

    First Nations release new code for mining in British Columbia More transparent rules on mines management and reclamation Companies and government called to discuss new projects

  • Mines and Money: Are we at the bottom yet?

    31 December 2014

    Presentations gloomy, but juniors upbeat; Lithium will rule over graphite says analyst

  • News in Brief

    31 December 2014

    Rio Tinto sets out growth plan for minerals Cofermin to create two new companies Australia to cancel alumina export tax to China Bosai Minerals reach wage agreement after strike Microdermis iodine-based antiseptic adopted by US Army in fight against Ebola

  • PhosAgro reports share transactions

    30 December 2014

    Employees and family members of PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading integrated phosphate-based fertiliser producers, have sold nearly 10% of their shares in the company.

  • Silica sand demand to hit 291m tonnes by 2018

    30 December 2014

    According to the latest predictions from The Freedonia Group, silica sand demand is expected to growth driven largely by China's construction sector - which consumes the mineral in glass production - and the continuing growth in fracking in North America, where silica sand is used as a proppant in the extraction of shale oil and gas. However, though some growth will be limited by a focus on glass recycling, concerns have been aired regarding a silica sand shortage as the US logistics network struggled to cope with the rapid increase in demand in 2014.

  • Japan calls for Li-ion battery redesign by Boeing to alleviate public concerns

    30 December 2014

    The Japan civil aviation authority has published a report in which it calls for Boeing to redesign its 787 Li-ion batteries amid the ongoing debate over what caused the fires on airplane manufacturer’s latest model. The authority is, however, putting public opinion ahead of the facts as it concedes the aircraft involved in the January incident was never at risk.

  • Vietnamese kaolin sees boost despite sluggish economy

    30 December 2014

    In a year which has seen companies targeting the construction and pigment markets and failing, it is surprising and heartening to read of a small operation in Vietnam which has managed to turn its fortunes around.

  • Vale completes $52m sale of fertiliser asset to ICL

    30 December 2014

    The sale of Fosbrasil to Israeli fertiliser producer ICL is in keeping with Vale's strategy of divesting non-core assets as the company looks to focus on the development of its Sergipe potash project to make up for the cancellation of Rio Colorado and a nearly depleted Brazilian deposit.

  • Texas looking to batteries as a means of storing energy

    30 December 2014

    Storing energy using batteries is becoming an increasingly popular venture across the US thanks to a fall in battery prices and a demand to be as efficient as possible with energy supplies

  • Magnis Resources signs offtake with Sinosteel for 100,000 tpa graphite

    30 December 2014

    The signing of the second offtake agreement underscores that the buyers believe there will be growth enough in the graphite industry to warrant 180,000 tpa graphite above what it currently uses.

  • Stans enters into MoU for acquisition of Russian iron oxide project

    30 December 2014

    The acquisition of the Rudniy Log iron oxide deposit in Russia is a step away from rare earths by Stans, as the company has been involved in a long-running dispute regarding the ownership of mining rights at its Kutessay II rare earths project in Kyrgyzstan. The company plans to produce higher value refined products through the purchase of existing patents and the Skolkovo initiative to satisfy global demand.

  • “We see an exciting future for fluoropolymers” - Andres Mugica

    30 December 2014

    Andres Mugica, director of leading fluorspar producer Mexichem Fluor, speaks to IM about the challenges facing the fluorspar and fluorochemicals market and discusses how Mexichem Fluor is positioned to deal with these.

  • Tolsa Group confirm US Bentonite acquisition

    29 December 2014

    The acquisition gives the leading Spanish clay producer a definitive foothold in the US market and raises questions over whether it is now eyeing the oilfield minerals space.

  • BMW – “more technological innovation needed for electric vehicle market”

    29 December 2014

    Tesla may be the name that associated with electrical vehicles but there are more established brands competing for room on the future’s roads

  • Chile looks to strengthen unions’ power

    29 December 2014

    Chile’s mining industry is in decline and dragging down the rest of the economy, despite it sitting on one of the world’s biggest lithium, iodine, boron and potash supplies. Mining companies say this isn’t a time for radical labour reform.

  • North Carolina expected to lift fracking moratorium; limited shale gas potential

    29 December 2014

    Fracking has been a huge driver for oilfield minerals such as frac sand, bentonite and barite (barytes). The latest decision by North Carolina is positive as, even though the state has limited shale resource potential, it could set an example to other states considering the same. New York state’s recent outright banning of fracking has also been met with criticism that it is overly cautious.

  • China to raise rare earths tax and complete industry consolidation

    27 December 2014

    Proposal to increase tax on rare earths up to 35%; MIIT approves Minmetals’s consolidation plan

  • Sika shareholders in last ditch attempt to stop Saint Gobain takeover

    24 December 2014

    The removal of the clause would mean that Saint Gobain would not be able to sidestep engaging with shareholders of Sika to complete the acquisition, but would have to ask for their votes. Given the absolute clarity of the shareholders position, if the clause is removed, this could spell trouble for Saint Gobain

  • Lithium-ion batteries looking to store the green revolution, not just drive it

    24 December 2014

    California is following Hawaii’s lead in using lithium-ion phosphate batteries to storage its energy. The Golden State is aiming to install 1.3GW of storage by 2040 and CODA Energy is taking the first steps with this.

  • Valence Industries given green light to start graphite mining

    24 December 2014

    The approvals mean that Uley is back in production after 20 years and is the only flake graphite deposit in production in Australia. The company has said that it will be fulfilling its sales obligations and sending shipments of graphite to Asia Pacific, Europe and North America from January 2015.

  • AMG sell equity in high value graphite assets to Alterna Capital Partners for $38m

    24 December 2014

    AMG have been a company to watch for a while as they hold several interesting smaller projects as well as its bread-and-butter processing and established graphite mines. The new deal sees the company reducing their debt and underlines a commitment to the market from a fund, which in these times, is significant in itself.

  • Jamaica plans Nain port investment

    24 December 2014

    New bauxite plans includes port investment which may spur limestone development

  • Base Resources moves towards World Titanium Resources takeover

    23 December 2014

    Base Resources plans to become an East African-focused mineral sands player with the acquisition of World Titanium. The takeover will expand its resource as well as diversifying its geographical risk profile, which is significant in light of the recent levy disputes Base has faced at its Kenyan Kwale project.

  • Lithium Americas starts up lithium extraction demonstration plant

    23 December 2014

    Lithium Americas will soon be able to demonstrate its extraction technology on a large scale.

  • Mexican juniors highlight lithium potential following scoping study

    23 December 2014

    With supply for lithium mining low in time for peak demand according to market analysts, a potential, low-cost supply from Bacanora could be interesting to investors and fill a perceived supply hole.

  • Positive note from Sirius Minerals in approvals update

    23 December 2014

    Sirius seeks environmental approval before it can start producing its fertiliser to meet global demand. Sirius has already gained local support to mine the polyhalite which it says is the world’s highest grade and largest.

  • Rum Jungle scoping study supports future development for Karinga Lakes potash

    22 December 2014

    The results of the scoping study for potash junior Rum Jungle reveal future potential for its project in Australia’s Northern Territory. The company’s project is significant as it plans to supply the potash market in Australia and New Zealand – which relies almost completely on imports. However, it is not the only junior hoping to win the race to displace potash imports.

  • DuPont spin-off named The Chemours Company, on track for mid-2015

    22 December 2014

    The TiO2 producer’s, The Chemours Company, is set for the middle of next year and is planned to optimise costs and focus strategies in TiO2 and fluorochemicals. The company has also announced the members of its executive team.

  • Agriminerals News In Brief: 12-19 December 2014

    19 December 2014

    The Mosaic Co. completes its acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland Co.; Uralkali shares rise substantially; Pacific Potash in danger of losing Brazilian mineral tenancies.

  • Rare earths prices flat as industry awaits Chinese policy announcements

    19 December 2014

    Higher export levels in 2014 keep market firm despite lull in buying activity

  • Tasman Metals to acquire two chromite projects in Finland

    19 December 2014

    The acquisition of two chromite projects in Finland might enable the Canadian junior, which is developing Norra Karr rare earths project in Sweden, to produce chromite, platinum and vanadium, a move that aims to diversify its mineral portfolio and secure future revenues.

  • Fluorita Exportadora de Mexico to bring fluorspar projects back to production

    19 December 2014

    The revival of fluorspar projects with low arsenic content in Mexico is a positive news for North American and European fluorochemical producers, which welcome source diversification in order to guarantee a more sustainable and reliable future raw material supply.

  • China’s graphite consolidation timeline

    19 December 2014

    Supply update: IM Data summarises the developments in China’s flake graphite market in 2014

  • Fluorspar producers prepare for longer-term price pressures

    19 December 2014

    Fluorspar price review: Market stable as producers seek to preserve prices for 2015 contracts

  • Fluorspar: 2014 Review

    19 December 2014

    A tough year for fluorspar producers sees acidspar prices fall 13% as metspar market stagnates

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 12-18 December

    18 December 2014

    Valence announces initial mine life at Uley graphite project; La Loutre Graphite drilling results released; Mason Graphite reports increase in resource.

  • Price Briefing 12 – 18 December

    18 December 2014

    Antimony tumbles again while iodine price rumours generate scepticism

  • Uralkali Q3 net revenue up as market demand stabilises

    18 December 2014

    While Uralkali has posted 3% growth in its net earnings for Q3 2014, the next set of earnings will be more significant, as they will enlighten investors and market observers as to the effects of the current Solikamsk-2 potash mine suspension. The company maintains that the accident will not prevent the full year production target being met.

  • Metspar demand to remain stagnant in 2015

    18 December 2014

    End-market update: Slowing steel production to prohibit demand growth; price recovery unlikely

  • Iodine price decline rumblings not reflected by wider market

    18 December 2014

    Sources say falling production and flat demand do not support sub-$30/kg prices

  • New York latest state to outlaw fracking

    18 December 2014

    The state’s decision to definitively ban the practice is unlikely to curtail the US’s shale petroleum production potential to a significant degree, but the pro-fracking lobby is concerned that opposition movements are gaining momentum.

  • Highfield signs MoU with Spanish port for a minimum of 440,000 tpa potash export capacity

    18 December 2014

    Highfield plans to export its potash to Brazil and Europe — a port authority MoU therefore brings it closer to this goal.

  • Tertiary Minerals reports further positive results from US fluorspar asset

    18 December 2014

    Preliminary positive results from assays on samples from the third phase of the company’s exploration programme at its MB fluorspar project in Nevada gives Tertiary confidence about the possibility to further expand resources and to become a potential leading acidspar supplier in North America.

  • Canadian mining transparency law receives royal assent for spring 2015 implementation

    18 December 2014

    The new act will bring Canada in line with regulations already in force in the US and EU, with the aim of preventing international corruption and increasing transparency for the benefit of investors.

  • ICL increases price of phosphorous-based flame retardants

    18 December 2014

    Price rises to yield more cash for reinvestment as Israeli mineral company restructures

  • Prices hold firm despite tightening graphite supplies

    18 December 2014

    Graphite price review: Seasonal slowdown fails to spark price increases as lull in demand continues

  • Belgium's Antwerp port reopens after strikes

    18 December 2014

    Unions protesting against Belgian austerity measures shut major the major industrial mineral port and threatened raw material supply into Europe.

  • US Department of Labour highlights fracking and drilling hazards

    17 December 2014

    The US’s worker safety agency has long been the authority on the dangers of frac sand mining, linking it to respiratory illness. However, this new report uncovers other dangers which could influence working practice.

  • NioCorp secures agreement with ThyssenKrupp for ferroniobium supply

    17 December 2014

    The offtake agreement with one of the world’s largest steel producers provides the US-based junior with strong economic support for its niobium oxide project in the US and makes it as the largest potential niobium supplier in North America.

  • Kazakhstan to receive $3.8bn in potash investments from China

    17 December 2014

    Firm details remain thin on the ground for the Chinese investment in Kazakh potash, however, the deal’s potential to cut off western agrimineral suppliers from China is already apparent.

  • Zenyatta share price tanks following release of metallurgical processing update

    17 December 2014

    Zenyatta has faced questions in the past regarding the geological credentials of its Albany deposit, which affected its share price at the time. The latest slide in its share price, following what it deems to be “pleasing” metallurgical results, suggests that market scepticism is growing about the project’s future.

  • EP Minerals pitches new BallGame Changer

    17 December 2014

    EP Minerals LLC are hoping that its new calcined clay product can become a feature across American baseball fields, as its promises to keep infields playworthy throughout the game.

  • Court rules false statements were made about K+S saline wastewater management plans

    17 December 2014

    Historic potash extraction in Germany has left many of the rivers in the Werra region imbued with excessive saline discharges. K+S, which recently pledged €400m to mitigate this problem, has received a ruling in its favour by a local court, giving legal backing to the company for claims regarding its competency in improving the quality of the local drainage network.

  • Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earths forms China North Rare Earth Group

    17 December 2014

    The formation of the new consortium through the acquisition of five smaller rare earths separation companies in Inner Mongolia and Gansu provinces by the world-leading producer accords with Beijing’s plans to reform China’s domestic industry in order to tackle illegal mining and retain China’s competitiveness as the largest global producer.

  • Magnis clinches 80,000 tpa offtake with SINOMA for Nachu graphite

    17 December 2014

    The binding deal with the Asian battery market supplier represents 40% of Nachu’s projected annual output and the deposit’s flake distribution means it should secure premium prices for the material, although IM Data believes Magnis’ value estimates are optimistic.

  • VIDEO: Glenister Lamont of Valence Industries

    17 December 2014

    Valence Industries talks at Mines and Money conference in London.

  • Israel Chemicals to double its global phosphate market share with Chinese joint venture

    16 December 2014

    The Israel-based fertiliser and chemicals producer continues to expand its international presence, as the prospect of tax changes at home remain.

  • EuroChem releases new fertiliser aimed at sulphur deficient soils

    16 December 2014

    Sulphur deficiency in soils in the south of Russia is a significant problem, according to EuroChem, which expects that its new product will see strong acceptance by farmers in the region.

  • Rouble crash to further benefit Russian fertiliser producers

    16 December 2014

    The continued devaluation of the Russian rouble against the dollar could result in positive earnings for fertiliser companies which have their production cost base in the country. EBITDA figures have already increased by double digits for Q3, and Q4 results are expected to be strong.

  • PotashCorp. outlines expectations for 2015

    16 December 2014

    Despite Uralkali increasing its output substantially in 2014, the Solikamsk-2 incident and record demand resulted in a tight potash supply situation for much of the year, according to PotashCorp. 2015 has a number of “factors to watch” the company said, with demand likely to depend on key regional influences.

  • Orbite delays commercial production of HPA and racks up higher costs

    16 December 2014

    Following additional evaluation of refractory components for the decomposer and calcinatory at its planned HPA plant in Quebec, Canada, Orbite Aluminae decided to substitute an initial product with new refractory materials, a move that will ensure consistent output, but which will cause delays and increase costs.

  • Dashiqiao refractory companies switch kilns to natural gas as Tangshan establishes quality inspectorate

    16 December 2014

    Replacing kiln fuel oil with natural gas will enable Dashiqiao manufacturers to produce more specification led products in a less polluting process, while a new quality control office in Tangshan will help manage the regional industry’s transition to higher value products.

  • Nabaltec to expand aluminium trihydroxide production at its US JV

    16 December 2014

    The company’s decision to expand production of ATH at its US-based JV with Sherwin Alumina follows continuous growth in demand for precipitated hydroxides and it will enable the company to retain its position as world-leading supplier of aluminium-based flame retardants.

  • LaFarge-Holcim merger plans approved by the European Commission

    16 December 2014

    The approval of the EC was one of the biggest hurdles for the proposed merger of the two construction minerals companies. While divestments are required by the commission, the clearance notification puts the companies on track to create the world’s largest cement company.

  • Hudson proves potential to produce specialty alumina from Greenland anorthosite

    16 December 2014

    The successful results from the laboratory testwork on the company’s White Mountain anorthosite ore, which demonstrated the company’s ability to produce specialty grade alumina, enable Hudson to become a potential low cost supplier to the global fibreglass market, which is steadily growing in Western and developing economies.

  • Graymont acquires stakes in New Zealand-based limestone and lime producers

    16 December 2014

    Through its purchasing of limestone and lime businesses which operate on both of New Zealand’s islands, Graymont has acquired both the country’s largest supplier, and a nationwide network of quarries, plants and distribution facilities.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 8 – 15 December

    15 December 2014

    Texas Rare Earths finds lower cost process for rare earths production at Round Top; Rare Earth Salts obtains funding for its rare earths separation pilot plant in Nebraska; Commerce Resources produces rare earths concentrate from its Ashram project in Quebec.

  • Trioxide grade antimony prices tumble as standard grade drops

    15 December 2014

    Fanya Exchange removes buying support for market and creates uncertainty

  • Iluka Resources taking a chance on China’s pigment potential

    15 December 2014

    World-leading mineral sands miner Iluka Resources today confirmed that it will be targeting both the Chinese sulphate and chloride route titanium dioxide (TiO2) market, days after it announced its intention to diversify its reach away from the US market.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief December 2014

    15 December 2014

    Albermarle offers notes to raise money for Rockwood acquisition; Stria moves to plant design phase.

  • JPMC signs 1.1m tpa phosphate deals with Indian and Serbian distributors

    15 December 2014

    The Jordanian phosphate suppler, having increased its capacity by installing new plants and refurbishing old ones, is seeking presence in new markets. Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Eastern Europe have been specified as countries in which to target increased sales by the company, which seems confident of penetrating the established fertiliser industries in these regions.

  • VIDEO: Mines and Money '14

    15 December 2014

    IM reports from this year's Mines and Money conference in London.

  • Tertiary Minerals advances its fluorspar projects despite moderate funding in 2014

    12 December 2014

    By achieving encouraging preliminary results from the third phase of exploration at its MB project in the US and advancing permits application in Sweden, the junior company is well positioned to become a potential fluorspar supplier in two strategic markets: Europe and the US. New funding remains a challenge for the company in this financial environment.

  • Rig count stable but tipped to fall as oil prices slide

    12 December 2014

    Despite the sustained reduction in oil prices, the number of drilling rigs has remained stable, according to Baker Hughes data. Medium term pricing headwinds make it unlikely that the stability will remain for long however, with the rig count expected to fall in the near future, driven by higher opex unconventional wells. This will affect demand for oilfield minerals such as barite, bentonite and frac sand.

  • Outotec downsizes Finnish workforce

    12 December 2014

    Outotec is flowing the lead of other industrial mineral and technology companies by reducing its staffing in order to maximize its profits.

  • Former Kenyan politician urges diatomite development

    12 December 2014

    Kenya has been extracting diatomite since 1947. The mineral, which has filter and abrasive applications, is ready to be exploited in the Central Province of Kenya, away from the traditional Western Region production centre, according to former local MP, George Nyanja.

  • GRAPHITE ’14: Fighting the good graphite

    12 December 2014

    As 2014 draws to a close, the global graphite industry took advantage of IM’s 4th annual Graphite and Graphene Conference in Berlin to reflect on what has been another tough year for the industry as well as to outline its achievements, which include two new mine openings and a fresh boost of confidence in future demand from the batteries sector.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 5-11 November 2014

    11 December 2014

    Jean Carbon Inc acquires two properties; Western Mining Network halts trading

  • GE Aviation and Turbocoating form JV for silicon carbide composites

    11 December 2014

    The formation of a JV between the Italian surface treatment engineering company and the US aviation firm is a strategic alliance to develop silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic matrix composites, which are key components of the next generation jet engines.

  • IM Agriminerals News In Brief: 1-11 December

    11 December 2014

    Ma’aden investments in phosphate ventures continue; Chatham Rock Phosphate receives R&D grant from New Zealand Crown Agency Callaghan Innovation.

  • CUMI forms independent European subsidiary for its refractory products

    11 December 2014

    The formation of its subsidiary company, CUMI Europe, will allow the company to be in closer to European customers for the supply of its abrasive, ceramics and refractory products, as well as electrominerals. This makes it a strong potential competitor in the European refractory industry.

  • Prices flat as fluorspar suppliers struggle for sales

    11 December 2014

    Fluorspar price review: Weak demand continues to limit hopes of a price upturn approaching the new year

  • VIDEO: Highfield Resources lodges potash mining concession application

    11 December 2014

    Highfield’s ownership of the Sierra del Perdon mine means that its understanding of how its other mining projects could progress is likely higher than many of its peers. The company hopes to move towards 1m tpa MOP production operation in late 2016 to early 2017. To view the full interview, scroll to the bottom of the page.

  • Graphite prices settle as industry prepares for 2015

    11 December 2014

    Graphite price review: Market stabilises while producers prepare for slow price revival; vein price uncertainty ahead of New Year announcement

  • Price Briefing 5 – 11 December

    11 December 2014

    Barite prices could leap 30% in 2015; chromite braces for another difficult year while graphite flattens

  • MZI settles deferred payment and royalty with Stirling Resources

    11 December 2014

    The settlement on the deferred payment, which was due in 2015, and the termination of the royalty deed means that MZI can now fully focus on development at its Keysbrook mineral sands project, for which production of 96,000 tpa mineral sands is expected in 2015.

  • South Boulder commences process design pilot testing for Colluli potash project

    11 December 2014

    Information garnered from the pilot plant’s operations will be integrated into South Boulder’s definitive feasibility study, for which drilling began in October.

  • India’s Dhamra Port expansion progresses

    11 December 2014

    The news that the east coast dry bulk port has received government land purchase approval for expansion means that it can ship more limestone out of the area. The expansion is expected to be complete in line with a forecast rise in demand for the mineral, which is used as a cement feedstock.

  • First Bauxite sets a new strategy for projects in Guyana

    10 December 2014

    Following the completion of a strategic review for the bankable feasibility study of its Bonasika bauxite project in Guyana, the company decided to shift to market and production diversification, which it believes will lower technological and costs and to make the project globally competitive.

  • Tasnee signs $428m agreement to increase stake in Cristal to 79%

    10 December 2014

    Tasnee purchased 13% of Gulf Investment Corp.’s shares as part of a strategy to maximise the stakes in its subsidiaries. While TiO2 producer Cristal is looking towards vertical integration and increasing its operational capacity, the move is not expected to affect any of its current operations.

  • GRAPHITE '14: No graphene fits all

    10 December 2014

    Standardisation is desirable for the graphene industry, which is as riddled with confusion and misinformation as it is with groundbreaking research activities. But this does not mean that there will be one type of graphene for all applications, according to a panel of industry experts.

  • Sinochem Fertilizer to acquire a further 15% in Chinese potash-dominant Qinghai Salt Lake

    10 December 2014

    China is a key growth market for fertilisers. Domestic producers, with opportunity for significant logistical cost savings, should be well positioned to provide for increased demand. Qinghai Salt Lake is already the dominant force in Chinese potash, something Sinochem Fertilizers likely saw significant value in.

  • GRAPHITE '14: Tirupati Carbon to open 12,000 tpa flake graphite mine in Madagascar within the next year

    10 December 2014

    The privately held Indian company already has operating mines in India but has decided to expand internationally in order to increase its production of large flake graphite to supply its domestic and eventually the international market.

  • Possibility of complete mine flooding “remains high” at Solikamsk-2 as attempted rescue continues

    10 December 2014

    Rescue efforts are in full swing at Uralkali’s Solimamsk-2 mine, which first saw elevated brine inflow levels on 18 November 2015. Uralkali’s share price has continued to slide, with little apparent confidence that the company can save the potash mine, which represents one fifth of its production capacity, and 3% of global production capacity. The fall of the Russian rouble against the dollar will cushion any effects to the company in its EBITDA figures however, and it has the capability to speed up developments at several new potash projects.

  • Lithium juniors will see more benefits than graphite developers from battery manufacturers - Chris Berry

    10 December 2014

    With the backdrop of the many issues covered at this year’s Mines & Money conference, where presentations warned against believing that recovery in the mining sector was imminent, Berry’s comments spell some optimism for lithium juniors, but not so much for those developing graphite assets.

  • China Minmetals completes its rare earths consolidation plan

    09 December 2014

    Following the Chinese government’s approval of its consolidation plan, the Chinese heavy rare earths producer will control over 30 small rare earths firms, including miners, processing and separation plants over six provinces in Southern China. This group will further advance the completion of the country’s plant to consolidate the domestic rare earths industry.

  • Tata Chemicals seeks to revive Kenyan soda ash facility

    09 December 2014

    The world’s second largest soda ash supplier is looking to revive its defunct Kenyan facility by acquiring tax exemptions.

  • China Mineral Processing to upgrade calcined kaolin plant capacity by 40,000 tpa

    09 December 2014

    China Mineral Processing hopes to increase its security of supply in a market currently seeing price rises. The company believes its supply security is being reduced by increased market demand and penetration and plans to counteract this by upgrading its facility by 40,000 tpa calcined kaolin, a two third growth in capacity.

  • GRAPHITE '14: Graphite prices expected to remain broadly stable in 2015

    09 December 2014

    Space in supply chain for additional 30,000 tpa; new suppliers urged to seek sales at less than market price.

  • New Djiboutian ports to export salt and Ethiopian potash

    09 December 2014

    Hoping to capitalise on its strategic geographical location, Djibouti hopes that potash from landlocked Ethiopia may pass through its ports once constructed. The country may be able to earn taxes from this transfer route, while Ethiopian companies could find a cheap route to export for their potash through one of the busiest shipping regions in the world.

  • Kenmare rebuffs criticisms that it failed to minimise Mozambique mine impact

    09 December 2014

    A report by CPI accuses the mineral sands miner of not meeting obligations regarding infrastructure, schools and housing to minimise the effects of the company’s Moma mine in Mozambique. Speaking to IM, Kenmare hit back saying that it has, and will continue to, make a positive impact on local people.

  • South Boulder completes mass balance modelling for Colluli PFS

    09 December 2014

    The positive findings from South Boulder’s mass balance modelling exercise will be factored into the PFS for Colluli, expected in February 2015. The open pit mine model for the resource, combined with the price premium of sulphate of potash (SOP) means the project has substantial potential.

  • Rum Jungle reaches agreement with Land Council, upgrades phosphate resource

    09 December 2014

    Having a good relationship with local indigenous organisations is an asset to a business operating in Australia’s Northern Territory. By forming this agreement, Rum Jungle has significantly upgraded its resource and is likely to have increased the prospectivity of the project.

  • GRAPHITE '14: Imerys Graphite and Carbon reinforces commitment to Lac des Iles mine

    09 December 2014

    Rumours have abounded over the last few years about the plans the company formally known as Timcal has for the veteran Quebec graphite projects, but Imerys says it has no intention to close the site. or relinquish its dual position in the natural and synthetic graphite industries.

  • African Potash drill holes suggest existence of high grade potash seams

    09 December 2014

    While a resource is a long way from being defined, African Potash has confirmed the receipt of data showing that individual samples of sylvinite recovered from Lac Dinga are of high purities. The likelihood of solution mining being viable means that the project could be completed at a significantly lower cost than would be expected from an open pit or underground mine.

  • VIDEO: Flinders Resources speaks to IM on Woxna graphite mine opening

    09 December 2014

    Flinders reopening of the Woxna graphite mine in Sweden puts it near to its European customers, which it hopes will make the market less dependent on Chinese producers.

  • Imerys Ceramics North America ratchets up kaolin and ball clay prices by 15%

    09 December 2014

    Company restates warning of impact volatile freight rates will have on costs.

  • Saint Gobain signs acquisition deal for Sika; entire Sika management threatens resignation

    08 December 2014

    The purchase of Swiss construction chemical leader and the second largest global producer in sealants Sika is a strategic move for Saint Gobain, which aligns with its strategy to grow in existing markets. However it does not look like this will be an easy acquisition as Sika's management remains resolute in opposition.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 2 – 8 December

    08 December 2014

    Namibia Rare Earths extends permits for Lofdal; Hastings Rare Metals announces positive results from scoping study on Yangibana; Malaysia government identifies seven rare earths deposits.

  • Chromite prices face a difficult year in 2015

    08 December 2014

    Tough market conditions ensue from lower consumption trends, although some believe bullish Indian steel projections could support industry.

  • Savannah identifies higher grades of heavy mineral sands at Mozambique project

    08 December 2014

    Savannah’s higher grades of HMS identified at its Jangamo project is encouraging at a time when many juniors are struggling to get funding. TiZir has also made its first ilmenite shipment after mechanical problems in August.

  • Focus Graphite expects Lac Knife construction by June 2015

    08 December 2014

    Many junior mining companies are struggling to acquire financing as analysts forecast more gloom ahead for the mining sector. However Focus Graphite believes that the spherical graphite it will be producing from its Canada-based Lac Knife Project will give investors a return within three years.

  • Mississippi Phosphates to close 770,000 tpa DAP plant

    08 December 2014

    The loss of an income stream for Mississippi Phosphates Corp. will be unwelcome as the company continues to search for potential asset buyers, though the reduction in its workforce will counterbalance this effect. The company remains unsure as to the future of DAP production at its facilities.

  • Vale outlines potential for threefold growth in Brazilian fertiliser consumption

    05 December 2014

    Vale is bullish about the prospects for Brazilian fertiliser consumption, and suggests it is ideally placed to meet this demand potential, despite numerous junior miners vying for position in Brazil, a major agriminerals consumer.

  • Andhra Pradesh to issue global tender for barite mining following cancellation of licences

    05 December 2014

    After the Indian state failed to award fresh contracts to mine its barite reserves in June, the industry has been in a state of confusion and suspense. The decision to cancel existing licences and conduct an anti-corruption enquiry into their allocation could mark the beginning of greater foreign competition and transparency in the sector, with no new barite mining expected before February 2015.

  • PotashCorp. CEO predicts less industry volatility, hints at investment shake-up

    05 December 2014

    A quieter, less tumultuous market is predicted by the company, which will see its capacity increase by over 60% under current plans. Tilk, who entered PotashCorp. in July, outlined the company’s expansion plans and pointed out how these are some of the largest in the potash industry.

  • CORFO presses on with SQM lawsuit

    05 December 2014

    Ongoing litigation between SQM and Chilean development company CORFO over alleged underpayments by the lithium miner has led CORFO to request the return of the Atacama mining lease. While the figure in dispute is small for a company like SQM and it is unlikely to forfeit the licence, the company cannot make any decisions regarding expansions on Atacama until the issue is resolved.

  • Microdermis iodine-based antiseptic adopted by US Army in fight against Ebola

    05 December 2014

    The company’s iodine-based product, Provodine, together with its unique topical drug delivery system, has been tested by the US Army and shown to kill 99% of the virus. Adoption by the US Army lends backing to the product, and Mircrodermis has ramped up production, anticipating an increase in demand.

  • Reward Minerals encounters drilling difficulties for Karly potash project

    05 December 2014

    The lack of conclusiveness of its Karly drilling programme means that Reward will now have to spend more cash on proving the resource via cased boreholes. The casing should prevent brine dilution and problems with drilling through difficult media, giving more definitive results.

  • Mines and Money ’14: Train wreck portfolios – back on track by 2016?

    05 December 2014

    As this year’s convergence of resource developers and financiers draws to a close, the majority opinion was that a recovery in the mining sector is still some years away.

  • US report points to GS Yuasa design as being at fault in Boeing 787 fire

    05 December 2014

    The comprehensive report, released almost two years after the fire, comes after modifications have been made to batteries and more restrictions have been imposed on their transport.

  • Showa Denko ceramics announces merging operations and starts zeolite production

    04 December 2014

    The completion of merging operations by the Japanese refractories and chemicals producer will reinforce its leadership in the supply of refractory ceramics in Asia, while expanding its mineral portfolio with the start of a high-silica zeolite plant in Japan.

  • Office Cherifien des Phosphates Q3 EBITDA up by 13.7%

    04 December 2014

    OCP is expecting y-o-y EBTIDA growth for 2014, following a disappointing set of half year results, as vertical integration measures take effect and the company’s new slurry transport pipeline reduces logistics costs and increases capacity.

  • Coretrack begins construction of fly ash ceramic proppant plant

    04 December 2014

    Although traditionally ceramic proppants are manufactured using bauxite and kaolin, Coretrack says it can lead the market with its fly ash ceramic proppant. As the oil and gas industry continues to drive demand for proppants, producers may need to increasingly turn to ceramic proppants, which work better in higher pressure, deeper wells.

  • CUMI partnership with refractory producer affected by protests in India

    04 December 2014

    Protests from the local population over environmental issues and jobs offers from the refractory industry has damaged the possibility of expansion of the group, as foreign potential partners step back in view of possible instabilities and disturbances.

  • MGX forms strategic alliances for magnesite and silica sand projects in Canada

    04 December 2014

    Following a strategic alliance with two TSX-V listed investors, the Canadian junior strengthens its finances to continue developing its magnesite project and enters a joint venture for a potential high-purity silica project in British Columbia, which is an opportunity to diversify its mineral portfolio.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 27 November - 4 December 2014

    04 December 2014

    Lamboo Resources cancels merger; Stratmin releases test results

  • Mines and Money '14: Junior miners must abandon erroneous obsession with inflated mineral prices

    04 December 2014

    Companies which have based their equity valuations and project economics on unrealistic price projections risk destroying shareholder value and should take conservative, evidenced based approaches to generate wealth - a mantra that is particularly relevant to juniors in the lithium, rare earths and graphite sectors.

  • Solvay sells sulphuric acid supplying Eco Services segment to CCMP Capital Advisors

    04 December 2014

    The Belgian chemicals company has spun off the sulphuric acid refining and producing segment as part of a strategic drive to increase returns on its assets. CCMP will take over a successful unit, which supplies to some of the largest refineries in the US.

  • Fluorspar market holds firm as price pressures persist

    04 December 2014

    Fluorspar price review: Producers struggle to preserve prices for 2015; sales into Europe settled at lower levels

  • Price Briefing 28 November – 4 December

    04 December 2014

    Iodine prices unlikely to crash; sodium nitrate prices increase on projected demand from solar

  • Rio Tinto sets out growth plan for minerals

    04 December 2014

    In its latest investor presentation Rio Tinto has once again pointed to growing urbanisation as being behind growth in TiO2, zircon and borates markets.

  • Jordanian phosphate plant begins commercial production

    04 December 2014

    Already a major phosphate supplier to India, Jordan will be able to increase its exports to the country, as JPMC continues its strategy of expanding its operations abroad. The plant is projected to contribute $325m in revenues to JIFCO.

  • Zircon prices not expected to increase for at least six months

    04 December 2014

    Miners in for a tough first half of 2015, even if consumption recovers

  • Price ranges widen as producers hold firm

    04 December 2014

    Graphite price review: European prices edge higher despite ongoing low-cost Chinese offers

  • ASEAN economic community likely to promote minerals trade

    04 December 2014

    More industrial minerals trade between the South East Asian countries could mean a rise in demand from the region and increased exploration.

  • Port infrastructure could hamper Jamaican limestone export growth

    04 December 2014

    A leading Jamaican policy commentator has outlined the Caribbean island’s scope to grow its high purity limestone exports, but warned that poor existing infrastructure could hold the sector back.

  • Cofermin to branch out to create two companies

    03 December 2014

    The creation of a specialised China resource underscores the importance the Germany-based trading company places on its refractory materials supply and relationships.

  • Analysts and industry sources suggest Solikamsk-2 potash mine will be lost

    03 December 2014

    Uralkali has released few updates on the situation at Solikamsk-2. Local media reports have also been sparse and have undergone corrections by the company’s press office. If the mine is lost, as some sources suggest it likely will be, the world’s largest potash producer could lose 1/5 of its production capacity.

  • AkzoNobel becomes approved supplier of vehicle refinishes for Daimler

    03 December 2014

    The agreement with Daimler will expand the global presence for AkzoNobel's Sikkens brand as the company is responsible for distribution of Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Freightliner among others. The paints and coatings industry is big end market for industrial minerals such as TiO2, calcium carbonate, mica, kaolin and iron oxide.

  • Arkema increases fluorogas prices to create more sustainable value chain

    03 December 2014

    The French fluorochemicals producer believes that an increase in prices for its fluor-gases brand will allow the company to return to a more sustainable supply chain and to regain competitiveness within the new European Commission’s regulations on hydrofluorocarbons.

  • Mines and Money ’14: Potash West plans to displace Australian fertiliser imports

    03 December 2014

    Dandaragan Trough is a large deposit with the potential to supply Australian and South East Asian fertiliser markets for over 60 years, according to Potash West. By scaling up its operations gradually, starting with less complicated phosphate extraction, the company hopes to meet expanding Asian demand.

  • Mines and Money '14: European Lithium targets New Year AIM listing

    03 December 2014

    European Lithium is developing the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria and a London IPO will make it the only UK-listed pure lithium explorer, with access to one of the world's largest lithium consuming markets.

  • Mines and Money ’14: DuSolo outlines upgrade plans

    03 December 2014

    Being the sole supplier of DANF in Brazil, DuSolo believes it has a fertiliser supply advantage owing to the familiarity of the product among local farmers. The company plans to expand its production capacity during unavoidable seasonal downtime in order to meet this apparent demand.

  • Belarus leaves tax off potash exports as prices remain steady

    02 December 2014

    Country continues policy of easing sales which began following breakup with Uralkali

  • Trinity Resources antiblock product approved by Health Canada

    02 December 2014

    The company's product, Altiblock, is manufactured from pyrophyllite and can replace other minerals such as talc and kaolin as an additive in plastic film applications. The approval brings the company one step close to its goal of becoming a mainstream producer.

  • Iodine prices unlikely to crash below $25/kg

    02 December 2014

    Industry insiders predict prices will dip below $30/kg, but not by much

  • Mines and Money '14: Lithium success will be determined by technology

    02 December 2014

    Lithium juniors will have to develop their technology in order to attract investment, energy minerals expert Chris Berry tells IM at Mines and Money, against a backdrop of bearish sentiment and hopeful juniors.

  • Sennen Potash Corp. to increase Monument stake to 70%

    02 December 2014

    Utah, where the Monument project is located, is a well-established mining region close to the US agriculture belt. Sennen will be looking to prove its resource in the near future — initial drilling is appearing to line up with favourable seismic survey results.

  • Indian Kerala High Court rules in favour of beach sand mining by private companies

    02 December 2014

    The decision to allow beach sand mining of rutile and ilmenite by private companies has been one of contention between the state government and the high court. The government’s latest appeal has now been dismissed and it is expected to release a roadmap on how to proceed with the issue shortly. Currently only state-owned companies are permitted to mine and opposition to private mining allegedly stems from the desire to grant public sector companies priority.

  • Mines and Money '14: Industry recovery is years, not months, away

    02 December 2014

    Gun shy investors are still skittish about capital mismanagement and low mineral prices. These need to change demonstrably before confidence can return, leaving a bleak outlook for exploration stage mining companies.

  • Yara to buy 60% stake in Brazilian phosphate miner and supplier

    02 December 2014

    Brazil is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products in the world, and plans to reduce its dependence on fertiliser imports to 28% by 2017. Yara stands to benefit from the market expansion and government plans for domestic production increases through its planned stake in Galvani.

  • Graphite black market preventing price upturn

    02 December 2014

    Price briefing: Illegal transactions thwarting producers’ attempts to exploit seasonal production slowdown

  • UK firm to produce SiC-based transistors for cars

    01 December 2014

    By starting production of silicon carbide (SiC) mosfets for electric and hybrid-electric cars, UK-based semiconductor producer Glenrothes Raytheon is following recent trends in the US and Japan’s electronics markets towards growth in more powerful transistors for high-tech applications.

  • US silicon carbide producer notes "booming" usage in membrane, abrasive, industries

    01 December 2014

    LiqTech International shows a positive trend in the market of silicon-carbide-based membrane technology, which, together with the abrasive industry, shows the versatility of this material in terms of applications.

  • Video News: Rare Earths industry hopes pinned on the automotive market

    01 December 2014

    Forecast expansion in motor magnets and catalysts consumption in cars; US ITC removes antidumping duties on imports of Chinese refrigerants; TiO2 market under pressure due to lack of demand from China’s construction industry.

  • Huntsman to slash workforce by 900 for $130m annual saving

    01 December 2014

    Huntsman, whose recent $4bn acquisition of Rockwood’s pigment division makes it the second largest TiO2 producer globally, is rolling out a restructuring programme to improve the competitiveness of its pigments business. At the same time, the company is considering capacity reduction options, as it believes prices will continue to decline.

  • ISIL disrupts phosphate supplies in Iraq

    01 December 2014

    While ISIL’s disruption to phosphate supplies will primarily affect Iraq, the group’s interference in the industry proves that it has the potential to affect more than just oil supplies.

  • Indian consortium plans to buy 30% stake in Acron subsidiary potash project

    01 December 2014

    Acron has so far declined to comment on the potash deal, but if it were to go ahead, it could strengthen its presence in the Indian market. The country is an important region for fertiliser consumption growth and is already one of the world’s largest agrimineral consumers, despite little domestic production.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 25 November – 1 December

    01 December 2014

    Rare Earth Minerals upgrades its rare earths recovery in Australia; Spectrum Rare Earths improves concentrate grades at Skyfall; India expands its monazite resources

  • Jixi named China’s graphite champion

    01 December 2014

    Policy: Heilongjiang’s leading producer named China’s graphite city; push for downstream investment continues

  • Sirius Minerals’ York Potash project receives support from local MPs

    01 December 2014

    While they have no voting power over the project, the high profile support of a number of local MPs from both main UK parties for the York Potash project will likely please Sirius Minerals. The MPs supported mitigation measures to correct environmental concerns which have been raised as a result of the project falling within the jurisdiction of the North York Moors National Park Authority.

  • Imerys doubles Carbon Black capacity at Willebroek

    01 December 2014

    Continuing its investment in new energy markets, Imerys has doubled the capacity of its carbon black plant in Belgium in order to meet growing demand from battery cell manufacturers, primarily in Asia.

  • Sodium nitrate prices increase on strong demand from solar industry

    01 December 2014

    Suppliers expect to see consumption growth over next three years