Regulation latest news

  • April 2014

    US Indiana Limestone’s acquisition approved

    30 April 2014

    Indiana Limestone’s acquisition by the equity firm Wynnchurch Capital follows the bankruptcy of one of the largest limestone producers in North America, which can restart operations at its 10 limestone quarries.

  • Increased Imerys share price approved by shareholders

    30 April 2014

    Following positive Q1 results announced yesterday, shareholder approval means the industrial minerals company can move forward with its growth strategy. To achieve these, the board has implemented a financial incentives scheme for Imerys’ CEO.

  • AkzoNobel develops efficiency reward system for marine coatings

    30 April 2014

    The company has pioneered an initiative to reward ship owners for fuel efficiency when they invest in its award-winning Intersleek anti-fouling coating technology. The move is part of AkzoNobel’s drive for the uptake of clean technologies in the international shipping industry.

  • Iofina completes $5m bond; CEO resigns

    30 April 2014

    After announcing a $1.6m EBITDA loss for FY 2013, Iofina has seen two board members resign after an “organisational review”. However, the company has this week successfully completed a $5m unsecured convertible bond which is expected to strengthen its cash position and potentially increase global iodine supply.

  • Mexichem high profits partially offset by fluorine underperformance

    30 April 2014

    Vertically integrated fluorine and chlorine chemicals producer expects a positive 2014 for its business after recording high profits in its chlorine vinyl business and concluding new contracts with major fluorspar customers.

  • FLSmidth to pay €14.45m for involvement in plastic industrial sack cartel

    30 April 2014

    The initial decision made by the European Commission in 2005 has been upheld as the company faces joint liability with its formerly-owned Trioplast Wittenheim, although the penalty has since been reduced and, according to FLSmidth, will not affect its 2014 guidance.

  • US Silica sees 6% rise in net income as frac sand prices increase

    30 April 2014

    Positive results from the second largest producer of silica sand in the US, serving the booming hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry, will increase investor confidence in both the company and the sector.

  • Galaxy Resources to sell Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant

    30 April 2014

    After months of waiting, Galaxy has today revealed its intention to sell its China-based lithium carbonate plant, bringing it back into the black. The company is now expected to focus on developing its other lithium assets, including Mt Cattlin, James Bay and Sal De Vida.

  • Martin Marietta generates record sales in magnesia arm for Q1

    30 April 2014

    Despite higher energy costs, Martin Marietta’s results show that the market is improving for magnesia on a year-on-year basis. However, the quarter-on-quarter slide illustrates the effect on higher natural gas prices.

  • AMMG move towards bulk sample production

    30 April 2014

    If the Australian high purity alumina (HPA) developer can prove its process in the bulk sample tests it can scale up its pilot plant technology and begin supplying the global market, which is looking for new HPA producers since the bauxite export ban in Indonesia took hold.

  • Lithium Updates for April

    30 April 2014

    Lithco acquires new prospects; Baconora achieves battery-grade lithium; Zone Resources closes finance tranche while RB Energy opens one

  • Paper grade kaolin prices weaken in US

    30 April 2014

    Competition forces producers to offer lower cost coating products

  • Vale Q1 2014 earnings fall more than anticipated

    30 April 2014

    Potash and phosphate revenues saw a decline year-on-year as prices for both minerals stayed low for the quarter. However, demand recovery in Asia is anticipated to boost imports and bring about balance in both minerals.

  • Saint Gobain Q1 results show Europe back in the game

    30 April 2014

    The latest set of results from industrial minerals behemoth Saint Gobain show that industry is starting to pick up in Europe and demand is returning to the market.

  • Holcim and Lafarge to form the world’s largest cement group

    29 April 2014

    By merging their two businesses, the French and Swiss limestone and cement producers will consolidate their limestone and lime businesses across 90 countries worldwide.

  • Lithium prices on the rise from strong Q1 base

    29 April 2014

    LCE values flat against 2013 averages but expected to climb over coming quarters

  • Reed Resources advances lithium, titanium dioxide operations

    29 April 2014

    As a growing battery industry provides a strong end market for lithium, Reed moves its Mt Marion project forward with the successful production of lithium hydroxide at its US-based pilot plant, while its titanium dioxide project is expected to reach pre-feasibility level by December 2014.

  • Outotec operating profit drops 65% as mining capex continues to shrink

    29 April 2014

    Low prices and volatility in the mining industry are keeping capex low, with companies preferring to focus on improving operations and services rather than invest in new projects – a trend which is expected to continue at least in the short-term.

  • Karnataka State Cabinet pledges to continue mining for sands

    29 April 2014

    When mining bans were imposed in sand-rich Tamil Nadu last year it pushed up domestic prices of mineral sands and left downstream companies without a source. It also led to a ‘brain drain’ with experienced miners looking for work elsewhere. The State Cabinet of Karnataka is going against recommendations laid out in the report and continuing to mine in the hope that this will not happen there.

  • European Ceramic Industry Association set out manifesto ahead of 2020

    29 April 2014

    The UK ceramics industry will struggle if the guidelines set out by the EU College of Commissioners are implemented as it essentially throws out state aid clearance which would have offset high energy costs, as set out in the 2014 Budget.

  • Compass Minerals hits record sales volumes in salt and fertilisers

    29 April 2014

    Positive returns from its salt business and a stable demand for fertilisers, together with Compass’ acquisition of plant nutrition products producer, Wolf Trax, will consolidate the company’s profits for the rest of 2014.

  • Imerys results demonstrate growth in refractories, calcium carbonate

    29 April 2014

    Imerys’ latest set of results show the company’s investment in oilfield minerals are starting to pay off, overall good set of results from the world’s leading industrial mineral producer, spells good news for the industry as a whole.

  • Western Lithium demonstration plant to be online by Q4

    29 April 2014

    After receiving a second payment from Orion Mine Finance, Western Lithium is now on track to bring its lithium demonstration plant online in the fourth quarter of this year, potentially adding a new source of lithium carbonate by 2015.

  • China Minmetals’ president resigns after low rare earths profits

    29 April 2014

    Changes at the top of one of the world’s largest rare earths producers, one year after its re-organisation, show the present difficulty experienced by Chinese rare earths producers, facing oversupply and low prices.

  • Chinese steel figures reveal “most difficult quarter since millennium”

    29 April 2014

    If China’s steel industry is over-producing but registering losses this spells trouble for refractories producers and those supplying the minerals for refractories.

  • Huntsman Q1 income increases to $62m though TiO2 pigment prices stay low

    29 April 2014

    The company reported positive overall financial results for the first quarter 2014, but revenue for its TiO2 pigment division saw a decline. However, with its aggressive push for increased prices and its soon-to-be-completed Rockwood acquisition, Huntsman expects improvements this year.

  • Uganda moves to amend the mining law

    29 April 2014

    Uganda is the latest of the East African nations to look at its Mining Act, marking a move towards higher taxation rates and royalties for miners.

  • US sanctions imposed on Uralkali chairman

    29 April 2014

    Sergey Chemezov who heads the board of Russian potash miner, Uralkali, is one of several high profile business executives to be penalised by travel and asset controls as a result of the crisis in Ukraine. Russia’s gas industry, a major market for oilfield minerals, has also been targeted by Whitehouse sanctions.

  • Public reporting of industrial minerals resources according to JORC 2012

    28 April 2014

    The current edition of the JORC Code was published in 2012, and after a transition period the 2012 edition came into mandatory operation from 1 December 2013. There are some significant changes for the reporting of industrial mineral resources between JORC 2004 and 2012, which should be addressed by players in the industrial minerals arena.

  • Processing issues keep Vietnam fluorspar at bay in 2014

    28 April 2014

    Plant development issues delay Nui Phao output; Vietnam’s acidspar production postponed awaiting market rebound

  • WTO condemns China’s rare earths export restrictions

    28 April 2014

    EU, US and Japan welcome verdict, however China says quotas needed to conserve resources and lodges appeal within weeks of ruling.

  • Mining in Madagascar: charged for new graphite supply

    28 April 2014

    As graphite exploration company Energizer Resources gears up to deliver a feasibility study for its Molo project in Madagascar, IM travelled 5,600 miles overseas to find out more about the company’s developments in the flake graphite race. Emma Hughes

  • Better times are coming for mining investments

    28 April 2014

    Japan experiencing an economic upturn; Investors expect increasing prices; China to play crucial role in mining development

  • “The future of graphene is now”

    28 April 2014

    Commercial applications on the horizon; Prices could come down as volumes increase

  • Innovation will lead the way for industrial minerals

    28 April 2014

    Rio Tinto Minerals give innovate keynote; Iluka looks to new era in TiO2 markets

  • TiO2 prices dip as rising demand fails to lift pigment feedstock

    28 April 2014

    Values down across most regions but higher volumes indicate firming market

  • Video News: Highlights from IM Congress

    28 April 2014

    IMTV speaks with Rio Tinto, Argex and Zenyatta Ventures at the annual conference event, held this year in Vancouver, Canada

  • Sierra Rutile no longer in takeover talks

    28 April 2014

    Though the company said it received some attractive offers, the interest from other parties did not justify a takeover, as the TiO2 market improves and the company can grow better by itself.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 17 – 28 April

    28 April 2014

    Molycorp to pay a fine for improper waste management; Lynas wins court battle in Malaysia; Stans Energy filed appeal against the ruling in Kyrgyzstan

  • Preferred Technology launches silica dust prevention solution

    28 April 2014

    A ruling from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected in the coming months, which silica industry leaders say could cost jobs and hurt the economy. The new technology from Preferred could be a step in the right direction in helping silica sand producers meet the limits that may be placed on the industry.

  • Civil society calls for review of all mining contracts in Sierra Leone

    28 April 2014

    After paying out $224m in mining incentives during 2012, Sierra Leone’s government has been asked to review contracts in a bid to balance out payments to other key sectors.

  • Frac sand mining moratorium request denied to Wisconsin

    28 April 2014

    Falling energy prices as a result of the shale gas boom in the US has led to an increased demand in silica sand. However, increased opposition to mining sand could dampen the commercial success currently enjoyed by the industry.

  • Leviev Group reiterates interest in Namibia phosphate mining despite moratorium

    28 April 2014

    The moratorium on sea mining remains in place and a permanent ban is subject to a study which is currently being undertaken by the Fisheries Ministry. For LL Namibia Phosphates, a ban would be a complete stop to a project which it has already spent $20m bringing to fruition, potentially.

  • USG Corp. sees its best first quarter since 2007

    28 April 2014

    Company sees a rebound in its gypsum plasterboards business, supported by rising wallboard prices and a strategic joint venture with Australian plasterboards producer Boral Ltd.

  • Sumitomo increases battery separator output for Tesla Model S

    28 April 2014

    As interest in lithium ion batteries continues to make the headlines, news from the company’s downstream suppliers emerges with Sumitomo Chemical revealing expansion plans at its Japan-based battery separator plant.

  • Uralchem 2013 revenue falls 13% in “a difficult year for fertiliser manufacturers”

    25 April 2014

    Declining prices in potash and phosphate continue to hit fertiliser producers, and Uralchem is no exception, with the company predicting lingering lower prices medium-term.

  • Iofina sees record iodine production in 2013; revises 2014 guidance

    25 April 2014

    With five out of six plants now online, Iofina is expected to see its iodine production capacity expand significantly during 2014. However, water refusal issues and reduced brine supply could affect operations next quarter.

  • Weak graphite electrode prices hit manufacturers' profits

    25 April 2014

    CCG optimistic on future electrode and graphene revenues while GrafTech slashes costs

  • Andalusite supply hampered by heavy rainfall in South Africa

    25 April 2014

    The impact of bad weather on the mineral supply shows the weakness of a geographically concentrated source, and pushes the market to seek new suppliers. This brings fresh possibilities for developing producers to access the market.

  • Peru to become a new supplier of andalusite

    25 April 2014

    As demand for refractory products rebounds, the geographic diversification of andalusite resources will be critical.

  • Carbo Ceramics point to bad weather in Q1 results

    25 April 2014

    Carbo Ceramics is the leading supplier of proppants and its latest results show that, despite the adverse weather conditions, there is still great demand for its products

  • MTI records better than expected growth in Q1 refractories sales

    25 April 2014

    US-based Minerals Technologies Inc. recorded solid earnings for the first quarter of 2013 from its existing PCC and refractories-focused businesses and is now looking to expand into oilfield markets with bentonite products following its $1.7bn takeover of AMCOL.

  • Silicon Valley industrial mineral demand aided by Redwood port expansion

    24 April 2014

    A new wharf in California’s Redwood City will allow larger dry bulk ships to use the deep-water port in South San Francisco Bay, helping to fuel construction and economic growth in the US tech hub.

  • Cold weather affects Elementis' hectorite sales in Q1

    24 April 2014

    Elementis is the world's only hectorite producer — a mineral which has attracted attention due to its use in oilfield applications. However, lagging sales in this market, down 18% year on year, has been attributed to cold weather, which has delayed many North American drilling operations

  • Kenmare Resources deals with power problem, reports minsands production increase

    24 April 2014

    Intermittent power supply at the company’s Mozambique mine has been a thorn in Kenmare’s side and has hindered production and also affected costs. The extra electricity source guarantees output at a given level and also reduces risk for customers

  • Canpotex signs $60m potash deal with Bangladesh

    24 April 2014

    Although prices and volumes for the deal have not yet been revealed, agreement of supply contracts with Asian buyers indicates demand recovery in the region.

  • Trioxide grade antimony prices enter holding pattern in uncertain market

    24 April 2014

    Weak demand keeps prices low but interest in Fanya exchange may be rising

  • PotashCorp. sees Q1 2014 profit fall 39% as fertiliser prices stay low

    24 April 2014

    The latest set of company results for the leading fertiliser producer saw a drop in profit compared with last year, but revenue was better than initially expected. Potash demand towards the end of the quarter began to see a revival, which led the company to increase its full year guidance.

  • Graphite & Graphene News in Brief 18 – 24 April

    24 April 2014

    Ontario Graphite, Cadman Resources change names; global graphene developments accelerate

  • Charged for new graphite supply

    24 April 2014

    As graphite exploration company Energizer Resources gears up to deliver a feasibility study for its Molo project in Madagascar, IM travelled 5,600 miles overseas to find out more about the company’s developments in the flake graphite race.

  • Price Briefing 18 – 24 April

    24 April 2014

    Frac sand supply remains tight while stable outlook confirmed in bromine chemicals

  • MTI launch new line of talc products for polyolefin market

    23 April 2014

    The new product line demonstrates that MTI is keeping its ear to the ground in terms of market trends. Polymers and the automobile market are marked as the fastest areas of growth for talc and, with a regimented Chinese market, MTI is gearing up to be the go-to supplier.

  • Albemarle reiterates stable outlook for bromine prices

    23 April 2014

    Not all company price increases accepted but market is flat overall, says chemicals producer

  • PhosAgro increases fertiliser production by 5% over first quarter 2014

    23 April 2014

    According to phosphate-based fertiliser producer PhosAgro, the effects of Uralkali’s exit on the fertiliser market have now subsided, allowing the company to produce at near 100% capacity.

  • DuPont sees earning slide in TiO2, fluorochemicals, arm – but outlook good

    22 April 2014

    While the slide in earnings in the segment which encompasses the titanium dioxide (TiO2) business is not exactly positive, an increase in volume and positive remarks from the both the CFO and CEO of DuPont mark a change as we go into Q2.

  • PPG posts record results as coatings, glass, business picks up

    22 April 2014

    The positive results from paints and coatings producer PPG show that demand is returning to these end markets, which is good news for the minerals which serve them, such as titanium dioxide, silica sand and iron oxide.

  • Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth sales fall 53% in Q1 2014

    22 April 2014

    Lower profits recorded by the world-biggest rare earths producer were mainly due to a decrease in sales and prices, and partially linked to the WTO’s urging China to lift exports quotas, a policy that could impact Inner Mongolia Baotou’s serious environmental issues.

  • China Minmetals profits fall 94% in first quarter 2014

    22 April 2014

    The fall in profits recorded by the Chinese rare earths producer follows decreasing profits of world-largest producer Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co., clearly indicating a downturn in the Chinese rare earths market, despite an increasing exports in March this year.

  • Halliburton Q1 results show growth in oilfield markets

    22 April 2014

    The results from Halliburton show that demand from the oilfield sector remains strong as drilling activities pick up – good news for minerals such as barite (barytes) and bentonite

  • Belarus ready to resolve Uralkali conflict

    22 April 2014

    The conflict between Belarusian potash producer Belaruskali and Russian producer Uralkali has caused industry uncertainty and low prices since last year. A partnership between both parties could work to restore some stability to the market.

  • UPDATE: Iofina CEO says water refusal "part of the process" in Montana

    22 April 2014

    Although the development of Atlantis is billed as ‘non-core,’ the latest development is a headache for Iofina, which could see its production capacity grow substantially if the Montana project is successful

  • Saudi Arabia to invest in new minerals hub

    17 April 2014

    As the interest in the Middle East’s industrial minerals rises, so too does the requirement for a mining infrastructure. Saudi Arabia’s decision to construct a new minerals hub is the latest in the nation’s logistics developments.

  • GtoG: A Life+ project where the UK plasterboard manufacturers are involved

    17 April 2014

    By taking part in the Gypsum to Gypsum recycling project, major plasterboard companies British Gypsum, Knauf and Siniat will have access to modern technological developments for gypsum recycling and plasterboard waste management in the European gypsum industry to improve management and processing of gypsum waste.

  • PhosAgro sees 2013 profit slashed 65% as phosphate prices stay low

    17 April 2014

    The lingering aftermath of Uralkali’s decision to leave BPC and continuing weak phosphate demand from India means that fertiliser prices have remained low, hitting company results despite increasing volumes.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 11 – 17 April

    17 April 2014

    Energizer Resources completes acquisition of Madagascan mine; StratMin begins production; Noram Ventures diversifies into medical marijuana

  • Leading paint company results a relief for TiO2 markets

    17 April 2014

    The latest set of results for AkzoNobel, a leading paint and coatings producer, show that while demand lags in Europe, Asia is starting to pick up — which has seen an increase in volume for its end products. Adverse currency conditions are keenly felt in this set of results also.

  • Price Briefing 11 – 17 April

    17 April 2014

    Railcar availability puts breaks on bentonite while FMC raises price of lithium hydroxide

  • China will appeal against WTO ruling on rare earths exports quotas

    17 April 2014

    China is claiming that its appeal is officially motivated as it says it wants to tackle environmental issues. But it could also be a strategic movement which would enable it to revise the rare earths quotas and plan new policies in line with WTO standards.

  • Work stops at Agrium mine as smoke smelled

    17 April 2014

    The fast turnaround in the checking of the mine by the authorities is in stark contrast to the incident in February when 54 workers were made to stay overnight in the emergency shelter. This demonstrates that lessons have been learned.

  • BHP slows Jansen development and slashes investment

    17 April 2014

    BHP has expressed its confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the potash industry, however its investment cuts for the project and its slow development reveal that entry into the market is still risky.

  • China acidspar prices down once again

    17 April 2014

    Weak demand writes-off previous price gains; little sign of upturn ahead

  • FMC ups lithium hydroxide prices by 10%

    16 April 2014

    US firm looks to combat weakness in LiOH by raising product values globally

  • MIIT reiterates aim to consolidate alumina industry in China

    16 April 2014

    The move to control China’s alumina and aluminium industry was announced last year, with the list of affected companies released in January. Today’s update shows that the government is serious about asserting control over the industry – of which industrial minerals account for about 5% of total production

  • Metso rejects UK rival’s merger proposal

    16 April 2014

    Despite support from Weir’s shareholders and an increase in Metso’s share price following speculation of a deal, the company has decided it can better continue its development by pursuing its existing strategy as a standalone company.

  • Saint-Gobain divests glass packaging business in North America

    16 April 2014

    The sale of glass bottles producer Verallia North America gives the French company new cash to reduce its debts and push investments in the buildings and high-performance materials sectors, including proppants and refractories.

  • Australia’s Mineral Council calls on senate to repeal anti-mining diesel tax

    16 April 2014

    Companies mining in Australia already face considerable cost challenges when compared to other countries in the world due to an unfavourable exchange rate, high labour costs and the rising cost of energy. Central government has been accused in the past of passing laws which work to hinder the minerals industry, rather than develop it.

  • Fluorspar end-market focus: Q2 2014

    16 April 2014

    Downloadable: IM Data analyses recent developments in the aluminium fluoride sector

  • Q2 2014 outlook - Graphite trends

    16 April 2014

    Downloadable: IM Data summarises the trends which defined the graphite market in Q1 2014 and looks ahead to what's in store for the industry entering Q2

  • Graphite end-market focus: Q2 2014

    16 April 2014

    Downloadable: IM Data analyses recent developments in the electric vehicle market

  • Connecticut votes to implement fracking waste moratorium

    16 April 2014

    Hydraulically fracturing (fracking) shale oil and gas is a major end market for silica sand, which has seen significant production growth in the US. If Connecticut votes for a moratorium on fracking, it could result in other states following in its footsteps, therefore resulting in falling demand of silica sand.

  • Heilongjiang, China announces plans to clean up graphite industry

    16 April 2014

    Consolidation nation: World’s leading flake graphite region to crack down on polluting operations in 2014 and consolidate mines by 2015; global supply and price impact expected to be significant

  • Iluka Q1 production and revenues drop as mineral sands volumes stay low

    16 April 2014

    A slow start to 2014 has led to lower revenue and production compared with the previous year, reflecting lower volumes and prices. However some areas such as zircon are showing potential driven by an increased demand from specific regions.

  • Graphite report - China: Consolidation nation

    16 April 2014

    Free download: Special report on the consolidation of China's flake graphite industry

  • Tertiary Minerals files JORC resources for US fluorspar assets

    16 April 2014

    Having completed the JORC report for its largest MB project in Nevada, the UK-based junior company has doubled its fluorspar resources and is now able to programme additional expansion of resources and to speed up the development of a key project in the fluorspar supply to the North American market.

  • Logistics jams limit price rises for oilfield bentonite

    15 April 2014

    Capacity challenges for pulverised Wyoming material could lead to value increases in near term

  • K+S Canada to partner with PCT for building of new potash handling terminal

    15 April 2014

    The German potash producer is progressing with the development of additional capacity from its Legacy project in Saskatchewan to replace depleting deposits in Germany. The terminal will help to expand trade with Asia and ensure high quality handling of potash products.

  • Graphene partnerships boost NanoChem share price by 11%

    15 April 2014

    As activity in the graphene industry ramps up, development companies are seeing signs of positivity as new partnerships increase commercial opportunities for the nanomaterial, lifting company share prices to boot.

  • World’s largest silica mine damaged in cyclone

    15 April 2014

    Companies will need to be more vigilant in implementing precautions against natural disasters in order to avoid extensive physical and financial damage.

  • Rio Tinto production results show strengthening in TiO2 and borates

    15 April 2014

    Rio Tinto’s quarter-on-quarter increase in its TiO2 and borates production, while small, shows that these two important markets are seeing some recovery. As the second largest producer of borates and one of the largest TiO2 feedstock producer, Rio Tinto holds an important position in these sectors.

  • Protest against Rio Tinto’s “unsustainable” ilmenite mining practices in Madagascar

    15 April 2014

    The protests and subsequent questions over Rio Tinto’s relationships with local communities in Madagascar force the spotlight on an issue which has been previously overlooked. It is too early to tell what this means for the local community in Anosy, but it could potentially mean more effort will be made with the groups there.

  • Confusion over graphene prices prompts debate

    15 April 2014

    Claims that the material is already an inexpensive commodity refuted by producers

  • MZI Resources secures additional $64m debt funding for Keysbrook mineral sands

    15 April 2014

    The additional resources together with the $41.5m funding package from Resource Capital Fund mean project construction and development for Keysbrook is now fully funded, and production is on track.

  • Sheffield Resources study shows good financial returns for Australian mineral sands project

    15 April 2014

    Scoping study highlights positive results, which are encouraging for the company hoping to enter production in 2017 and supply 8% and 4% of the global zircon and ilmenite markets respectively. Fellow Australian junior TNG also announced positive drilling results at Mount Peake, which could lead to further increases of the resource.

  • EuroGas ups compensation claim as new information emerges on talc deposit

    15 April 2014

    Reports suggest that the dispute over the Gemerská Poloma talc deposit will be settled in a matter of days, which would finally draw a line under the matter which has dragged for several years. EuroGas has said that it is seeking a settlement – or it will immediately initiate legal action at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ( ICSID ) in Washington DC, US.

  • Iofina begins iodine production at IO#4, IO#5

    14 April 2014

    Global iodine output it expected to increase this year as Iofina completes construction at several plants and regulatory approval is given.

  • Heraeus develops quartz oven

    14 April 2014

    The quartz market could receive a boost through the use of this new method, which the company claims increases capacity and improves quality.

  • Belaruskali plans to increase potash sales to Russia

    14 April 2014

    The company is in talks with other producers to provide Russian agricultural companies with alternative sources of fertiliser minerals since the break-up of BPC last year.

  • Softening stibnite prices add to drag on antimony values

    14 April 2014

    Smelters with access to cheap raw material undercut competitors in struggling market

  • Graphene spin-out to be acquired by Versarien

    14 April 2014

    As graphene edges towards full-scale commercialisation, acquisitions in this industry are picking up. 2-DTech’s acquisition by Versarien is the latest move to increase collaboration in the material science space.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 13 - 20 March

    14 April 2014

  • Momentive Performance Materials to file for bankruptcy

    14 April 2014

    The North American proppant market is led by Momentive, amongst others, therefore any demise in its business could have a knock-on effect on other industry players.

  • WTO decision could lower rare earths prices

    14 April 2014

    The consequence of the WTO’s ruling, urging China to increase its exports in a near-term scenario of oversupply might put pressure on prices, impacting profits and delaying entry into the market by new producers.

  • Western Potash confirms ownership of mineral rights in Rio Tinto potash project

    14 April 2014

    The confirmation that junior Western Potash does indeed own rights within Rio Tinto’s potash project in southern Saskatchewan will no doubt impact the mining giant’s plan to progress the deposit, which it previously categorised as a Tier 1 development.

  • Price Briefing 4 – 10 April

    11 April 2014

    TiO2 prices rise in Ukraine while sellers’ market continues for frac sand

  • Penrice Soda enters voluntary administration

    11 April 2014

    Following difficult trading conditions in the global soda ash market during 2013, culminating in a A$50m annual loss, Penrice Soda Holdings has entered voluntary administration, a move that is expected to cause some concern among its remaining 170 employees.

  • Compass sees salt sales surge in North America

    11 April 2014

    Compass Minerals expects its position as a global salt supplier to be strengthened as North America is hit by a harsh winter. Its recent acquisition of Canadian fertiliser producer Wolf Trax will also give the company access to a diversified crop market, consolidating its position as a major supplier of fertilisers.

  • IM22: Innovation will lead the way for industrial minerals

    11 April 2014

    The keynote speech delivered by Rio Tinto’s CEO Xiaoling Liu at IM’s biannual industry meeting in Vancouver marked a fresh outlook for an industry which has faced significant challenges since the global economic downturn.

  • UK gypsum producers join European recycling project

    11 April 2014

    By taking part in the Gypsum to Gypsum recycling project, major plasterboard companies British Gypsum, Knauf and Siniat will have access to modern technological developments for gypsum recycling and plasterboard waste management in the European gypsum industry to improve management and processing of gypsum waste.

  • Nemaska exceeds market standard with 99.99% lithium hydroxide

    11 April 2014

    With electric vehicle manufacturers looking to increase output in the coming years, the requirement for a low cost, high quality lithium-ion battery cathode material is expected to rise, providing opportunities for companies such as Nemaska Lithium.

  • Uralkali 10% volume increase not enough to stem revenue decline

    11 April 2014

    Although the Russian producer is continuing to ramp up production and increase capacity, volume increases have not yet been able to offset declining potash prices in a challenging market.

  • Rio Tinto “imposing colonial rule” says human rights group

    11 April 2014

    An uprising against the borates and mineral sands producer could set a precedent for other companies following in the multi-national’s footsteps.

  • Fourth North American paper mill to adopt MTI high filler technology

    11 April 2014

    MTI’s Fulfill E-325 allows paper producers to increase PCC levels in production, lowering costs without compromising performance. The company now has 16 commercial agreements, demonstrating the expanding reach of its new technology.

  • Indonesia to dredge Surabaya port

    10 April 2014

    A deeper waterway at Indonesia’s second largest city will allow more imports of dry bulk minerals such as limestone for the country’s rapidly expanding cement industry.

  • Ukrainian TiO2 prices expected to climb in April

    10 April 2014

    Currency devaluation and higher gas costs push up values; Crimea Titan confirms contract changes

  • TiO2 news in brief April 2014

    10 April 2014

    Base ships first rutile, zircon, from Kwale, Firtash says US allegations “absurd”

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 4 – 10 April

    10 April 2014

    StratMin becomes debt-free; Valence reopens Uley mine; Mason increases private placement

  • West Africa Mining Summit: Ghana to implement vertically integrated supply chain

    09 April 2014

    Ghana, which is deemed to be the most stable nation in West Africa, could be opened up to more potential investors if the government decided on a mine to market strategy, delegates in London heard yesterday.

  • CRP defines maiden JORC resource for deep sea phosphate project

    09 April 2014

    Chatham Rock Phosphate is looking to be among the front runners in pioneering deep sea mining. The company is now waiting for Marine Consent for its project, which it says is more environmentally friendly than the current method of importing phosphate to New Zealand from Morocco.

  • Athabasca records lower incomes from its Canadian aggregates

    09 April 2014

    Canadian aggregate producer, Athabasca, is experiencing large costs for its gravel pits optimisations, but its aggregates business and savings in 2014 should provide the company with liquidity to invest in its frac sand and dolomite new projects.

  • Fierce competition to keep fertiliser mineral prices low

    09 April 2014

    Belarus maintains 0% export duty on potash; phosphate buyers stock up on cheap material

  • Orocobre provides Olaroz lithium update

    09 April 2014

    As Orocobre reaches 85% construction completion at its Olaroz project in Argentina, the battery industry could soon benefit from increased supply of battery-grade lithium carbonate, which could be important in light of anticipated demand for electric vehicle markets.

  • Metso invests €6m in South American service centres

    09 April 2014

    The service centres in Peru and Mexico are in line with the Finnish processing company’s strategy to strengthen its local presence for its global customers.

  • China SRB stockpiling rumours resurface as rare earths prices stall

    09 April 2014

    Industry observers warn that new project viability is at risk as market fails to recover

  • Sri Lanka’s vein graphite producers reconsider pricing strategy

    09 April 2014

    Weak sales could force unprecedented re-evaluation of fixed annual pricing

  • Processing issues keep Vietnam fluorspar at bay in 2014

    09 April 2014

    Plant development issues delay Nui Phao output; Vietnam’s acidspar production postponed awaiting market rebound

  • New facility to deliver 12,000 tonnes frac sand to western Canadian sedimentary basin

    08 April 2014

    As North American frac sand activities ramp up, logistics companies such as Evergreen Transloading continue to forge partnerships with frac sand developers to serve the ever-growing oil and gas industry.

  • NYCO Minerals gets US government support to mine wollastonite

    08 April 2014

    DEC’s proposal to amend wilderness guidelines in Adirondack, will allow NYCO to conduct exploratory drilling to evaluate a potential expansion of its wollastonite production in New York, US.

  • Antimony prices dip as buying activity stalls

    08 April 2014

    Values slide towards production costs, which could result in capacity reduction

  • PotashCorp. CEO appointment met with surprise from industry

    08 April 2014

    The potash industry has struggled since the break-up of BPC last year, so the announcement that Jochen Tilk, a fertiliser industry outsider, will lead one of the world’s largest potash companies, has been met with surprise. The new CEO will need to navigate PotashCorp. through demand uncertainty and lingering low potash prices.

  • Martin Marietta acquires US limestone assets

    08 April 2014

    A better focused partnership with Hunt Midwest Enterprises will allow Martin Marietta to expand its limestone plants and consolidate its position of second largest supplier within the aggregate and concrete business in the US.

  • Perlite Canada records net losses in Q1 2014

    08 April 2014

    Devaluation of Canadian dollar and increase in perlite prices are affecting the best performing company’s business, which might need to change purchase strategies and price structure to counter early year losses.

  • Seller’s market continues for US frac sand

    08 April 2014

    PacWest expects prices to continue rising over the next three years

  • Canpotex matches Uralkali on Indian potash contract price

    07 April 2014

    The deal agreed by the North American trader mirrors the terms of the Uralkali agreement signed three days previously. It emphasises the efforts being made by potash producers to make their offers competitive to India following the chopping of its potash subsidy.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 1 – 7 April 2014

    07 April 2014

    EEC cuts rare earth duties; Quebec government approves Metamec and Toyotsu venture; shares slump for Rare Earths Global

  • Ma’aden enters research partnership with KAUST

    07 April 2014

    The KAUST Industry Collaboration Programme will give Ma’aden access to innovative research and technologies, and help to support the company’s operations in remote areas by addressing key industrial challenges such as sustainability. The partnership could also have direct applications in the development of Ma’aden’s Wa’ad Al Shammal phosphate project, which recently received a $2bn public investment fund.

  • Base Resources and Sierra Rutile report firming minsands markets

    07 April 2014

    Structural improvements within sector continue during Q1 2014, miners say

  • Video News: WTO says rare earths export restrictions “not justifiable”

    07 April 2014

    Allana Potash receives $14.4m from ICL; Panasonic says Tesla investment “risky”; AMCOL/Minerals Technologies merger rumbles on; Fednav to use drones

  • Outotec to partner with Tomra in sensor-based sorting technology

    07 April 2014

    Declining ore grades, high production costs and increasing environmental regulations are creating a demand for innovative processing solutions, such as sensor-based sorting technology, which, according to Outotec, can help to cut costs by reducing energy and water consumption.

  • Abrasives market to hit $40bn by 2017

    07 April 2014

    Increasing energy demand, housing for growing middle classes in regions like Asia, alongside recovering western economies, and the latest in electronic gadgets are increasing demand for abrasives like sand, ceramics and zircon.

  • Chevron undeterred from Ukraine shale despite regional turmoil

    07 April 2014

    Ukraine has the third largest shale play in Europe, but a tense relationship with Russia following its annexation of Crimea, is not helping to make it attractive to foreign investment, which would help Ukraine reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

  • GFL to acquire additional 10% of Mariana lithium project

    07 April 2014

    After signing an agreement in March, Gangfeng Lithium now looks set to increase its share in Mariana to 80%. Meanwhile, Nemaska Lithium moves ahead with its lithium projects.

  • IM22: Rio Tinto expects borates demand to increase in agricultural markets

    04 April 2014

    A growing global population is creating more demand for borates as farmers are required to deliver higher crop yields, meaning that the race is on to expand capacity and bring new projects online to match the growth rates.

  • Price Briefing 28 March – 3 April

    04 April 2014

    Drilling grade bentonite narrows up while zircon prices may have turned a corner for 2014

  • EP Minerals opens new perlite plant in US

    04 April 2014

    By opening a new plant in Nebraska, the company will be able to provide its customers in the Midwest with perlite products for filtration and corn processing, increasing profits and reducing logistics costs in its business.

  • Steel uptick fails to fuel amorphous recovery

    04 April 2014

    Amorphous prices under review; Excess production weighs heavy on Chinese prices

  • China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. leads stock rise

    04 April 2014

    Despite the World Trade Organization’s ruling to force China to remove its cap on rare earths exports, stocks for the minerals have remained strong.

  • “The future of graphene is now”

    04 April 2014

    While graphene faces several obstacles before it finds its “killer application” the potential for this wonder material is undeniable as IM found out at this week’s Graphene Live! 2014 conference in Berlin, Germany.

  • Anadarko settles Tronox case with $5.15bn payout

    04 April 2014

    Although higher than the settlement Anadarko was hoping for, both companies will mutually release claims against each other, and the proceeds will be used to for the clean-up of environmental damages inherited by Tronox. The settlement will allow Tronox to emerge from bankruptcy as a leading producer of TiO2 pigment.

  • Uralkali increases Q1 potash production 40% y-o-y

    04 April 2014

    Since the breakup of BPC, Uralkali has adopted a volumes over prices strategy, and the company is continuing to ramp up output to offset lower potash prices. However, with prices already at a four-year low, additional production will most likely keep prices at low levels.

  • Report: UK shale gas industry attractive to explorers

    04 April 2014

    The extraction of unconventional oil and gas is a key end market for silica (frac) sand, therefore any growth experienced in the sector will have a knock-on effect on proppant production.

  • Solvay expands into Brazil with new acquisition

    04 April 2014

    Solvay’s acquisition of speciality chemicals producer ERCA will not only double its production capacity but also give it access to one of the world’s largest personal care and agrochemicals market. Simultaneously the company is making an attempt to reduce its debt so it is halved by June 2015.

  • AkzoNobel launches fouling risk detection software for shipping industry

    04 April 2014

    Intertrac allows AkzoNobel to draw up accurate fouling risk profiles for ships based on different trade routes. This in turn allows the company to develop new protective coatings, which increases efficiency and reduces costs. TiO2 producer, Huntsman, also keen to increase shipping efficiency, has opened up a logistics service centre in Rotterdam with Den Hartogh Logistics.

  • Samsung speeds up commercialisation of graphene

    04 April 2014

    At the Graphene Live! conference in Berlin this week, many of the delegates said there existed more negatives than positives to the development of graphene, but this discovery by Samsung could provide the cost-effective solution the industry has been waiting for.

  • IM22: Oilfield consumption of bentonite lowers but barite still key

    03 April 2014

    The lagging use of bentonite in oilfield applications could potentially lead to an oversupply situation. More likely, is that it will be consumed in other areas, however, as uses such as cat litter remain important end markets

  • MagIndustries gets potash port boost

    03 April 2014

    An agreement signed with Republic of Congo government paves the way for a new dry bulk port. The deal means the company will be able to double potash production from its project near Pointe Noire, and export the fertiliser mineral from the new port.

  • Canada Fluorspar enters agreement to raise funds for fluorspar project

    03 April 2014

    Such an agreement will provide Canada Fluorspar with additional capital to complete the redevelopment of its fluorspar underground deposit in Newfoundland, which will make the company a strategic supplier of acid spar to North American markets.

  • Agrium warns late spring will hit Q1 profits

    03 April 2014

    Shares for the North American fertiliser producer have declined after it said Q1 profits will be just above breakeven due to a late spring and reduced rail availability, while an unplanned shutdown at its nitrogen facility will reduce production and impact Agrium’s second quarter.

  • Imerys subsidiary announces name change

    03 April 2014

    The company believes changing the name of its subsidiary will increase its global presence and positively impact the market.

  • China’s refractories market shrunk in 2012

    03 April 2014

    A fall in refractories production in China negatively affects the demand for refractory industrial minerals and is a clear indication of the slower growth of the Chinese economy in the past two years. Future demand of refractories will strongly depend on governmental policies for China’s industry, in particular for iron and steel.

  • Ukraine takes ‘revenge’ on Russia by nationalising Odessa oil refinery

    03 April 2014

    Ongoing investigations by Ukrainian authorities into the activities of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych continue to cause tensions between the country and Russia, as well as policy volatility in the region, although puts it in good stead with the US and EU, which recently scrapped duties on imports of industrial minerals from Ukraine.

  • White Mountain Titanium unaffected by Chile earthquake

    03 April 2014

    If falling end-market prices and competition from Asian suppliers were not challenging enough to keep a business afloat, the Chilean explorer has also had to deal with the biggest threat to mining operations: extreme weather. While White Mountain remained unscathed, companies like Glencore Xstrata Plc and lithium producer SQM evacuated workers and suffered from power cuts.

  • Better times are coming for mining investments

    03 April 2014

    Signs of economic expansion worldwide, recovery of equity markets and alternative forms of financing can inject new liquidity in the mining sector and help it to exit the stagnation experienced in the past four years since the global economic crisis.

  • Li-ion market gets boost from energy storage technology and Daimler

    03 April 2014

    The lithium ion (Li-ion) market is expected to increase to at least $2.5bn per year by 2023, which will be achieved through companies like RES investing in research and development for new ways to store energy and vehicle manufacturers looking into electric mobility.

  • Grafoid enters graphene-3D printing materials sector

    03 April 2014

    By joining forces with Altamat to open a new graphene-3D atomisation facility in Canada, Grafoid adds to its growing number of development partners that are helping to move the company towards large-scale graphene commercialisation.

  • IM22: Price secrecy major barrier to financing industrial minerals projects

    03 April 2014

    Financing for mineral exploration projects hit an all-time low in 2012/13 after the collapse of the commodity supercycle in 2011. The warning that opaque pricing in industrial minerals markets is one of the chief deterrents to investment will strike a chord with many hoping to raise funds for new projects.

  • IM22: Zircon markets expected to turn a corner says industry body

    03 April 2014

    Price spikes in 2011 and 2012 meant that many ceramics producers began using less zircon in their products. Values subsequently fell back to pre-spike levels and new studies show that there is a need for zircon in other applications, meaning there are opportunities for new projects and that prices could potentially increase.

  • IM22: Lithium-ion battery market to grow but supply of LCE will outpace demand

    03 April 2014

    Swelling demand for lithium to be used in batteries is often held up as an example of why more supply sources are needed. However, a study by IHS shows that even with substantial demand, there is likely to be too much lithium on the market by 2020.

  • Mongolian metspar prices feel strain of Chinese shutdown

    03 April 2014

    Seasonal slowdown in demand limits Mongolian exports despite steel production growth; price review underway

  • IM22: Imerys demure over AMCOL loss but see opportunities in automobiles and tech

    02 April 2014

    All eyes are on Imerys to see if it is looking to expand elsewhere after failing to win a bidding war for bentonite producer, AMCOL, in March. The company hinted that it is now looking to expand through product innovation although Moncino insisted Imerys is still actively pursuing M&A opportunities.

  • IM22: British Columbia exploration investment closing gap on Ontario

    02 April 2014

    The western Canadian province is looking to raise the profile of its geological assets as it vies with Ontario for exploration spending. Its politicians also hope that talks with other provincial governments to create an amalgamated Canadian stock exchange will help boost the country's mining sector at large.

  • Uralkali agrees Indian potash contract at seven-year low price

    02 April 2014

    Russian producer Uralkali has agreed a supply contract with Indian IPL at prices more than $100/tonne lower than last year. As the agreement will no doubt benchmark prices for similar deals, this is bad news for producers expecting a demand revival from India after two years of low potash application rates.

  • GRAPHENE LIVE: Graphene and solar energy applications

    02 April 2014

    As governments around the world look to reduce carbon emissions through a growing use of renewable technologies, research and development begins to focus on new materials, such as graphene, that can be used to produce more efficient solar cells.

  • Argex in financing discussions for Canadian TiO2 production plant

    02 April 2014

    The company hopes to enter the titanium dioxide market with its economically viable project. With around 80% of its potential production already spoken for, it continues to make positive and systematic progress.

  • Outotec to supply Orbite with €10m technology for Canadian HPA plant

    02 April 2014

    Orbite is continuing with the development of its HPA production facility in Quebec. With the support of the Quebec government, the company expects to begin supplying high-end technology markets by Q1 2015.

  • Queen’s Speech to empower fracking companies to bypass trespass law

    02 April 2014

    The release of the UN’s climate change report has pushed the UK government into action to consider hydraulic fracturing as a cleaner energy source than coal. Oil & Gas UK’s project to digitally map areas of exploration on the UK Continental Shelf may be a solution to protests from landowners and campaign groups, if the new trespass law is passed.

  • GRAPHENE LIVE: Graphene-coated steel could prevent corrosion

    02 April 2014

    With companies like Tata Steel offering 30-year guarantees for products, it is of vital importance that materials have longevity. Graphene’s unique properties make it a suitable coating material.

  • China’s manufacturing returns to positive expansion

    02 April 2014

    Positive signs of recovery in the Chinese manufacturing industry hint at the possibility of a rebound of the demand of many industrial minerals, such as fluorspar, graphite, potash and chromite, in an economy which plays a central role in several industrial minerals end markets.

  • Metso rebuts claims it is in merger talks with Weir

    02 April 2014

    Though Metso confirmed it is considering Weir’s merger proposal, it has refuted claims that any talks have taken place. A merger would make sense as both companies operate in mining and oil and gas. However, the deal has been opposed by major Metso shareholder, Solidium, which could be a major obstacle.

  • Polish government takes majority stake in graphene company

    02 April 2014

    Graphene is a wonder material with interest from both the military and civilians alike, boosting its popularity.

  • China opens the first Rare Earth Products Exchange

    01 April 2014

    The opening of a Rare Earths Product Exchange in China can bring significant change to the rare earths market in the future, through a better control of prices fluctuations and fairer trade and will help the domestic market defy completely illegal mining.

  • ICL invests additional $14.4m in Allana Potash

    01 April 2014

    The JV and additional investment from fertiliser producer ICL is a credible endorsement of the Danakhil project and will help Allana to secure additional funding for its advancement. With production expected in 2015, Allana’s work on the project will help to ensure potash fertilisers are commercially available, addressing under application of the mineral in traditional Ethiopian farming.

  • Moody’s Investors: MTI rating outlook stable after AMCOL acquisition

    01 April 2014

    The combined business will have positions in precipitated calcium carbonate and bentonite as well as refractory products for the steel industry, which will improve the companies’ end market diversity, compared to as standalone companies.

  • Tesla’s Gigafactory “very risky” investment; cheaper Li-ion battery developed

    01 April 2014

    IHS analyst said Tesla’s Li-ion facility would not be profitable despite the excitement it created against suppliers. The development of a more cost-effective battery may negatively impact Tesla’s cost-saving measures it had hoped to make with its new Gigafactory.

  • RB Energy reports net losses to invest in Quebec lithium project

    01 April 2014

    RB Energy’s net losses indicate the company’s efforts in pushing investments in the Quebec Lithium project, so that it can enter production in Q3 2014 and supply lithium to the emerging Lithium-ion battery markets in North America.

  • Huntsman to sell textile effects unit

    01 April 2014

    The company could lose its foothold as the fourth biggest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment with the shuttering of this unit. It is also facing difficulties from the European Commission regarding its proposed merger with Rockwood Holdings.

  • Russia tensions may realign Ukraine graphite market

    01 April 2014

    Crimea crisis sees EU lift Ukraine’s flake graphite trade duties