Regulation latest news

  • June 2014

    Rising production costs hit vermiculite prices

    30 June 2014

    Increases affect South African exfoliated material; Brazilian concentrate prices remain stable

  • Iodine prices weaken further as suppliers struggle to tempt buyers

    30 June 2014

    Chinese buying activity remains quiet; prices predicted to bottom in H2

  • Huntsman completes sale of European commodity surfactants business

    30 June 2014

    The sale to Wilmar International Ltd is part of Huntsman’s refocusing of its surfactants business in Europe, with an aim to transition away from a number of surfactant assets. The company has already begun to reap the benefits as its EBITDA for the first quarter 2014 increased by $109m.

  • FMC delivers on hinted increase for soda ash prices

    30 June 2014

    Company follows Solvay in raising prices but is likely to face negotiation from buyers

  • DuPont revises outlook on poor performance chemicals, agriculture performance

    30 June 2014

    Though the company saw its Q1 operating earnings fall owing to lower prices in performance chemicals, DuPont anticipated a demand resurgence in the second quarter. This now seems less likely as it has now revised its Q2 and full year 2014 guidance.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief: 24-30 June

    30 June 2014

    Great Western Minerals completes NI 43-101 report for Steenampskraal; Northern Minerals to become a potential leading producer of dysprosium; Stans Energy receives approval for submission for Kyzyluraan rare earths project.

  • Mining diversification in Africa to be accompanied by tighter tax rules

    30 June 2014

    Moves to open up Africa’s mining economy are being shadowed by pledges to increase revenues from the sector in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, while international investors in Tanzania call for policy certainty.

  • Italian ceramic industry records strong export growth in 2013, looks to positive 2014

    30 June 2014

    Italy is a leading ceramic manufacturer so its latest survey, which sees strong growth in exports but a fall in domestic demand, is a strong indicator for the industry as a whole.

  • Global trends of mineral pigments in paper

    27 June 2014

    The digital age has seen the demand for coated paper decreasing in established markets while developing regions have shown growth. Ian Wilson and Larry Lai look at trends in paper and coated board, and what this means for mineral pigments like calcium carbonate, talc and kaolin.

  • Bolivia ring fences lithium and potash for state miners

    27 June 2014

    The new mining policy enacted by the Bolivian government aims to develop the country's local resources, but it meets criticism from industries and investors and it risks to impact negatively its potash and lithium mining sector.

  • Fluorspar buying season begins in vain

    27 June 2014

    Enquiries build as producers prepare summer contracts, while excess capacities suppress price rises

  • Political change in India could prove shot in the arm for mineral industry

    27 June 2014

    Economic reform could increase mineral demand; PM Modi to target mining sector corruption

  • Tesla removes EV patents in bid to open up market

    27 June 2014

    Move seeks to overcome barriers to EV adoption; Blink to integrate Tesla into charging network

  • Cosayach director jailed for counterfeiting water rights

    27 June 2014

    The jail sentence against Chile-based iodine producer's manager, Carlos Quispe, for groundwater depletion and environmental damage, shows how critical is water management in the mining sector and poses high risks for mining companies developing projets in emerging economies.

  • SRCR 2014: Waste streams could offer secondary mineral resources

    27 June 2014

    Industry urged to reflect sustainability in design; Urban mines offer ways to retain mineral gain

  • The UK must join the debate on EU mineral policy or risk losing its voice

    27 June 2014

    Significant European mineral potential should be recognised; objectives need to translate into practice the UK to provide a balanced view

  • National Graphene Institute set to open in October

    27 June 2014

    The foundation of the National Graphene Institute in Manchester, UK, will boost active collaboration between industries and universities to find the 'killer application' for graphene while setting standards in graphene production.

  • MagMin 2014: Underinvestment limits opportunities for CCM producers

    27 June 2014

    Range of CCM markets could be expanded; Producers shy of investing in unpatentable outcomes

  • MagMin 2014: Magnesite should not drag Turkey into EU

    27 June 2014

    Euromines reserved over Turkish accession; raw materials prioritised under Horizon 2020 as EU supply from Turkey at risk from Asian demand

  • Heilongjiang: China’s graphite hub in numbers

    27 June 2014

    Downloadable: IM Data outlines the need-to-know facts about Heilongjiang’s graphite market as the province’s consolidation plans threaten to change the face of the global flake graphite industry

  • Price Briefing 20 – 26 June

    27 June 2014

    Weak mineral sands market expected to turn around; Uralkali’s focus on prices good news for potash

  • Sandvik moves Australian manufacturing operations offshore

    27 June 2014

    Sandvik’s move to take its manufacturing facilities offshore highlights yet again the tough economic landscape facing the Australian minerals industry – and how it is affecting all parties.

  • Mining on Top 2014: Water management is critical for mining projects in Africa

    27 June 2014

    The problem of water resources, which has been discussed by global organisations in recent years, is also a growing concern within the mining industry, which seeks water management solutions to increase efficiency in minerals production and reduce environmental impact in Africa.

  • EuroChem granted permission to buy Astrakhan Oil

    27 June 2014

    As an important raw component in fertiliser supply, EuroChem hopes to move closer towards self-sufficiency in oil consumption which will enable the company to keep production costs down even if natural gas prices increase.

  • Lanxess supplies iron oxide-based pigments to golf courses

    27 June 2014

    The development of a green pigment which can be mixed with silica sand to give an optically perfect colour in golf courses extends the product portfolio of the German chemicals producer and shows how sport can offer unique opportunities to industrial minerals producers.

  • Rio Tinto and Acron form JV for the development of vast Canadian potash resource

    27 June 2014

    The new JV company was formed for the development of the 329m tonne Albany resource in Saskatchewan. However, according to Western Potash – who is disputing ownership of the project – the newly formed company will need to either back away or take Western Potash over.

  • Dry bulk hit by weak European polymer industry, as well as antimony and bromide demand

    26 June 2014

    If dry bulk logitics firms start to move away from Europe as cargoes cannot be filled with associated products, this could spell higher logistics costs for industrial minerals carriers

  • IM Graphite News in Brief: 19-26 June

    26 June 2014

    MRL begins maiden drill programme, Bora Bora eyes RS Mines acquisition, Alabama to trade on OTCQX market

  • Kenmare rejects Iluka takeover bid

    26 June 2014

    The offer is significant for two reasons, firstly it underscores that despite a difficult trading environment and issues with power, Iluka, the world’s largest mineral sands miner, sees value in Kenmare. It also emphasises Iluka’s determination to continue to expand its own operations, despite a weak TiO2 market

  • Graphite price review: 26th June 2014

    26 June 2014

    Supply issues fail to move flake graphite prices; Chinese pressures mount in amorphous market

  • Fluorspar price review: 26th June 2014

    26 June 2014

    Acidspar market divided as low price supplies take hold

  • India’s acidspar consumption up 44% y-o-y

    25 June 2014

    Soaring temperatures fuel demand uptick; price competition to intensify

  • US legislation to ban fracking waste in New Jersey

    25 June 2014

    The approval of a bill which bans fracking waste water in New Jersey, a state which is free from fracking operations, shows that concern surrounding the environmental and health repercussions of this technology is rising in the US.

  • Administrators close Penrice sodium bicarbonate, lime, plant

    25 June 2014

    The closure of the Osborne plant is of course bad news for Penrice, but it also highlights the tough economic landscape facing Australian miners. This year Galaxy Resources closed its Mt Cattlin spodumene mine and plant, citing high operating costs.

  • Rio Tinto Minerals underscores TiO2, borates, salt, zircon, demand growth from China

    25 June 2014

    In a recent presentation to the market, the mining giant has predicted that TiO2 demand will surpass demand in the next two years, leaving room for additional capacity from junior developers and likely price increases. Demand from China is also expected to drive borates and salt consumption.

  • Mining on Top 2014: Africa mining sector needs diplomacy and transparency to attract investors

    25 June 2014

    By convening on these two key factors for the development of a stable and long-term profitable mining sector, Africa’s government representatives and mining companies seem to agree on a common strategy to boost investors in the mining industry.

  • Worldsteel figures underline India, China, growth

    24 June 2014

    The figures from worldsteel show that India continues to grow its domestic production, a point underscored by companies such as IFGL Refractories which are moving to expand capacity for 2015. But figures also show growth in the EU, US and China – good news for refractories producers and the minerals markets which serve them.

  • Supply instability threatens China’s downstream graphite developments

    24 June 2014

    Investment in value-added industries undermined by lack of reliable resources; cooperation to reduce Heilongjiang exports

  • German paper mill to be first in central Europe with ropeless tail threading

    24 June 2014

    Despite a subdued paper market, Valmet’s order shows that paper companies are still investing in up-to-the-minute technology to produce stronger and better end results.

  • US soda ash slapped with 40% anti-dumping duty in South Africa

    24 June 2014

    The increase in duties for US soda ash producers will make it tougher for them to operate in South Africa, certainly, but as OCI Chemical Corp. explains, it will have a far greater knock-on effect for importers of the mineral, as local producers cannot meet demand.

  • Swire Oilfield Services to expand facilities in Southeast Asia

    24 June 2014

    Swire’s planned investments in Asia Pacific shows how the oilfield services industry is expanding, which spells good news for oilfield minerals markets. It will also help the company consolidate its leadership as cargo carrying units and logistics supplier to the growing mining industry in South East Asia.

  • Bikita Minerals moves to explore for tantalite in Zimbabwe

    24 June 2014

    Zimbabwe holds many industrial minerals, but has a reputation for being very difficult to work in. However, companies like Bikita Minerals are keen to do business on a global level and in a fast growing lithium market. Whether this signifies the country opening up to more investment remains to be seen.

  • China to develop 3D printing industry

    24 June 2014

    The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s plan to build up a 3D printing industry, which could boost demand in the graphite and graphene markets, shows China’s intent to keep up its competitiveness with the technological development in Western economies.

  • Cristal gains approval for $200m mineral sand mine

    23 June 2014

    The help from the state government shows that the area is keen to develop its mining community and the money pledged by the NSW government, which will go towards sealing the Wool Track Road between Ivanhoe and Balranald.

  • EuroChem and Uralkali win Verkhnekamskoe potash bids

    23 June 2014

    Both companies will benefit from the auction as it certainly will grow reserves. However for Eurochem, which has long desired to become a global potash leader, it means getting one step closer to fulfilling that ambition and it also means that other companies cannot develop the region.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief: 17-23 June

    23 June 2014

    REM indicates positive results from its Yangibana project in Australia; Moody’s downgrade Molycorp to Caa2; New Zealand and France to study new rare earths nitrides-based RAMs.

  • Lynas plant faces fresh activist woe

    23 June 2014

    The latest protest has produced yet more unwelcome press for Lynas, which has faced legal battles, activists and even a song against its plant. This latest activity serves as a lesson to other developers to garner good relationships with local communities and casts yet another shadow over Lynas’ project.

  • FMC adjusts earnings outlook lower, despite expected growth in lithium, soda ash

    23 June 2014

    FMC’s updated outlook shows the impact the cold weather had on its agricultural section and how important this is to its overall business; however, in industrial minerals, the outlook is still strong, which bodes well for the soda ash and lithium industry

  • Kenyan miners challenge proposed 2014 Mining Bill through petition

    23 June 2014

    By bringing the Mining Bill to the Kenya’s court, companies which exploit important industrial mineral reserves in the country, could prevent an excessive concentration of state’s power in the mining sector, which would be badly impacted by the present bill.

  • Video news: National Graphene Institute coming soon

    23 June 2014

    IMTV reports from event in Manchester, Scotland and Falmouth in the UK; Tesla removes EV patents

  • US fluorspar: A decade of diversification

    23 June 2014

    Downloadable graph: IM Data examines how the changing role of China has impacted the world’s largest importer of acidspar

  • Lower prices put further pressure on Western fluorspar producers

    20 June 2014

    Margins slip as summer deals settle at lower levels; processing premium down

  • EU delays creation of WTO panel on Russian fertiliser duties

    20 June 2014

    Russia is a major producer of fertilisers and fertiliser minerals, but argues that its international trade in this industry is being unfairly hampered by tariffs that break EU rules.

  • I-Minerals to supply Pre-Mix with 30,000 tpa K-spar and quartz sand

    20 June 2014

    Following a smaller purchase made by Pre-Mix at the end of 2013, the company has now signed a much larger supply agreement, indicating that the K-spar project provided by I-Minerals has performed satisfactorily in all bench testing.

  • Large kyanite deposits discovered in Russia

    20 June 2014

    The discovery of huge reserves of the alumino-silicate mineral, kyanite, in the Murmansk region could offer Russian alumina producers new opportunities to reduce their dependence on bauxite, but controversy exists over the profitability of the ore processing.

  • Port of Rotterdam expands dry bulk capacity

    19 June 2014

    New berths at the Netherlands port, which is also Europe's biggest, will allow more dry bulk to be handled and throws open the door for more mineral cargoes to be shipped into Europe.

  • European Court of Justice upholds FLSmidth fine for plastic industrial sack cartel

    19 June 2014

    Despite both FLSmidth and FLS Plast denying knowledge of the cartel and previous appeals, the court has upheld the €14.45m fine. According to FLSmidth, its 2014 guidance remains unaffected.

  • TDK and Guangdong Rising form joint venture to produce rare earths-based magnets

    19 June 2014

    The joint venture between Japanese TDK and Chinese Guandong Rising follows the recent cooperation letter of intent signed between Chinalco and Liyang Solvay, showing China’s effort to open up to collaborating with global industrial partners in the rare earths market

  • Disruption to Huntsman polyurethanes manufacturing to cost $10m

    19 June 2014

    Although the facility in Texas, US, is now operating at normal rates, it is expected to cost Huntsman $10m in the second quarter. The financial impact could be far reaching as polyurethanes is the company’s biggest division and helped to increase Q1 2014 profits.

  • Price Briefing 13 – 19 June

    19 June 2014

    Antimony settles for summer; Iofina denies slashing iodine prices

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 13 – 19 June 2014

    19 June 2014

    Lamboo signs strategic offtake agreement with Hengda in China; Flinders expects to begin graphite production in July

  • Uralkali sees revenue and sales volumes increase as market picks up

    19 June 2014

    Since the break-up of Uralkali’s joint marketing partnership with Belaruskali, the company has attempted to grow its market share and offset prices by increasing volumes and production. Now that it has once again increased its industry presence, Uralkali intends to focus on pricing.

  • Graphite price review: 19th June 2014

    19 June 2014

    Weak demand sees flake prices stagnate; amorphous graphite stockpile clearance sees prices fall

  • Fluorspar price review: 19th June 2014

    19 June 2014

    Acidspar prices fall in line with low-cost supplies

  • Cristal gets NSW government go ahead for $200m heavy minerals project

    18 June 2014

    As well as receiving approval for its ilmenite, leucoxene, zircon and rutile project, Cristal will also receive financial backing from the New South Wales government. This strengthens Cristal’s position in the region and well positions the company to complete further project approvals.

  • Vanguard to acquire limestone concessions in Indonesia

    18 June 2014

    The agreement signed by the US-based company with Indonesian PT Mega Kencana, shows the country’s intention to open up to foreign investors for the exploitation of its mineral resources and the supply of limestone to its growing construction market

  • Antimony prices settle ahead of summer trading lull

    18 June 2014

    China cancels production quota but move is unlikely to increase output in weak market

  • SER to develop commercial graphene with Monash University

    18 June 2014

    By signing up to a further five years of research with Monash University, SER cements a relationship that will strive to advance commercialisation of the nano-carbon.

  • Frac sand roundup for June

    18 June 2014

    Hi-Crush signs proppant supply agreement with LOS; North Dakota frac sand transloading facility opens; Claim Post pays C$350,000 for frac sand acquisition; Winona facility gets the go-ahead; man dies in car accident at US Silica site

  • How the liberation of Tesla Motors’ patents could spark a new EV era

    18 June 2014

    Elon Musk has opened up Tesla’s electric vehicle patents to the world with Nissan and BMW already looking to collaborate with the firm. Here IM Data looks at how the move, which allows anyone to use the company’s secrets in good faith, could be the most important development the electric vehicle industry has experienced to date

  • PotashCorp. cancels staff layoffs due to better granular potash prices

    17 June 2014

    Company reports slight recovery in Vancouver export values as supply and inventories dip

  • Valmet to upgrade Portucel’s pulp mill in Portugal

    17 June 2014

    After the recently received order to rebuild Sodra Cell pulp mill in Sweden, this new order from Portuguese Portucel Soporcel indicates positive demand for the Finnish engineering company, which could help it to return to profit after its losses posted in Q1 this year

  • TNG adds GPP to portfolio of strategic partners for titanium vanadium project

    17 June 2014

    The latest MoU signed with GPP comes on the back of agreements with POSCO and Woojin, and creates a global network of partnerships to underpin the financing, construction, development and operation of Mount Peake. This further confirms the growing confidence in the vanadium market.

  • DuPont forecasts HFOs to be used by 3m vehicles by 2014

    17 June 2014

    As hydrofluorcarbon (HFC)-based refrigerants are facing a ban in Europe and the US, owing to their high global warming potential, the speciality chemicals manufacturer believes the market will turn to hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-based products, which could result in a strong rebound in fluorspar demand

  • Iodine derivatives price cut rumours “incorrect”, says Iofina

    17 June 2014

    The US-based company that produces iodine from waste drilling brines has suffered from operational and management problems in the last year, but denies that it slashed the price of its products in order to generate cash flow.

  • Researchers look to tap rare earths from mine waste

    16 June 2014

    The push to establish new ways of accessing rare earths besides mining have intensified the focus on recycling the minerals from waste streams, including mine tailings and end-of-life consumer products.

  • Solvay’s soda ash price increase prompts calls for contract negotiations

    16 June 2014

    Buyers likely to haggle down costs as doubts remain over strength of market

  • The UK must join the debate on EU mineral policy or risk losing its voice

    16 June 2014

    Europe has significant potential in terms of mineral supply, and the EU has in part recognised this with its integrated strategy for sustainable development. However, the UK needs to ensure it takes an active part in the policy debate to ensure objectives translate into effective practice.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief: 10-16 June

    16 June 2014

    Alkane Resources raise $9.8m for its DZP project; Arafura Resources to build rare earths separation plant in the US; Spectrum Rare Earths sells Arnhem Minerals to Uranium Equities

  • Antonoil begins ceramic proppant production in China

    16 June 2014

    After completing its ceramic proppant production line in April this year, Antonoil has now been producing material for domestic and international customers for more than two months.

  • Northern Minerals recovers high value dysprosium in Australia

    16 June 2014

    Following recent recovery of high quality dysprosium from its hydrometallurgical pilot plant, the Australian company could become a reliable alternative supplier of this critical rare earth element outside China and play a complementary role to Australian rare earths producer Lynas Corp

  • Xproducts makes aggregates and fertilisers from waste

    16 June 2014

    A new, clean and cost-effective process, developed by the German technology, company is capable of making products from municipal and commercial waste which can be used as aggregates in substitution of industrial minerals or as fertilisers

  • UK Tellus project aims to stimulate mineral exploration following success in Ireland

    16 June 2014

    Initiatives such as the Tellus projects in the UK and Ireland cannot be underestimated as the freely available data is helping to stimulate new exploration and sustainable use of natural capital assets in light of increasing critical mineral demand.

  • Graphene Manchester: Finding the killer application

    13 June 2014

    On the road to widespread graphene adoption, many have come up with potential applications for the nano-carbon material, but are any of these the killer application everyone is waiting for?

  • Chinese proppant report sheds light on next shale gale

    13 June 2014

    With the IEA this week underlining China’s dependence on gas, a new report produced by IM Research underlines how China’s unconventional gas market will develop – as well as its proppant markets. The report, available to purchase, is the first and only definitive report on China’s oil and gas proppants market.

  • Tesla Motors removes patents in bid to open up electric vehicle market

    13 June 2014

    This is potentially a gamechanger for the industrial minerals markets. So far IM has measured the impact of Tesla’s Gigafactory on markets. But if the technology is adapted elsewhere and EVs become as commonplace as Elon Musk is pushing, then demand for minerals used in the lithium-ion batteries which power the vehicles – lithium, graphite and cobalt – will surpass all expectations.

  • Clariant expands pigments production in Indonesia

    13 June 2014

    The expansion demonstrates the strong growth in demand in emerging economies for pigments, on the back of a stronger construction market and a growing middle class, which will mean more demand of the minerals that feed into the pigments market and other minerals used in construction.

  • China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology calls for regulations on rare earths recycling

    13 June 2014

    As preliminary statistics show that smuggling is also present in the Chinese rare earths recycling sector, MIIT’s call for action shows Beijing’s commitment to seriously tackling illegal mining problems and promote stability in the domestic market.

  • African nations try to set uniform minerals royalty charges

    13 June 2014

    A proposal from the Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre agency aims to prevent unfair competition for resources and improve returns to local economies, but it could hamper foreign companies to invest in the African industrial minerals sector, which includes potash, rare earths, ilmenite and vermiculite.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 6 – 12 June 2014

    12 June 2014

    African-based Next Graphite, Uranex, Sama Resources, Kibaran Resources and Triton Minerals all provide graphite updates for market

  • Nigeria looks to cut industrial mineral imports

    12 June 2014

    West African country encourages exploration which could decrease barite (barytes) and gypsum imports

  • Price Briefing 6 – 12 June

    12 June 2014

    Mineral-based iodine, lithium and magnesia compounds pin hopes on wavering Chinese economy

  • OCP to acquire 10% of Brazilian fertiliser producer

    12 June 2014

    By signing the agreement with OCP, Fertilizantes Heringer will reinforce its position as a supplier of phosphate-based products in the South American market.

  • Urban mining key to resource sustainability, says Outotec

    12 June 2014

    Mineral processing engineers are constantly looking to improve the efficiency of mineral recovery from primary resources, but Outotec believes the industry is overlooking possibilities to recover value from mineral-rich consumer waste.

  • Miners demonstrate at Solvay’s Okorusu fluorspar mine in Namibia

    12 June 2014

    Demonstrations at the Okorusu fluorspar mine in Namibia could affect Solvay’s fluorspar and phosphates production for the local and international markets.

  • Chile’s Bachelet signs decree to establish National Lithium Commission

    12 June 2014

    The signing of the decree underscores Bachelet’s commitment to opening up Chile’s vast lithium reserves for exploitation. It will be a difficult path to tread – the last attempt to open up the industry faced fierce local opposition from some politicians, but it looks like the country has realised the value of its abundant natural resource, which spells good news for developers such as Li3 Energy.

  • Fluorspar price review: 12th June 2014

    12 June 2014

    Pressure rises on acidspar prices

  • Graphite price review: 12th June 2014

    12 June 2014

    Flake prices level off while pressure remains on amorphous supplies

  • PPG to acquire US architectural paint distributor

    11 June 2014

    The company is working on expanding its US presence through the purchase of Masterwork, which will strengthen its network of PPG-owned stores, a cornerstone of the company’s strategy.

  • Fracking policies debated across Europe

    11 June 2014

    While some European countries consider whether fracking could be included as part of their energy mix, others face the backlash of introducing policies that support the process amidst environmental opposition.

  • Geovic to explore its chromite sand deposits in Papua New Guinea

    11 June 2014

    Following the discovery of elevated foundry-grade chromite content at its sand deposits in Papua New Guinea, the US-based company is likely to conduct explorations rapidly to develop a potentially strategic chromite sand project in Asia-Pacific.

  • Niche work, if you can get it: MDH competes for share in flame retardant markets

    11 June 2014

    Magnesium hydroxide (MDH) is used widely in flame retardant chemicals throughout the world, but is confessedly a niche market for magnesia. However, recent market analysis has shown significant consumption growth and price appreciation for MDH, as a result of the recovering global economy coupled with growing demand for safe consumer products.

  • Switzerland leads new calcined clay cement consortium

    11 June 2014

    Funding from the Swiss government will enable the country to lead an international project to market a new type of cement, which could reduce carbon footprint in the global concrete industry by up to 40% as well as the overall costs of production.

  • Solvay looks to oilfield, medical, markets

    11 June 2014

    Solvay setting up a laboratory and production facility on the Bakken formation shows how serious it is about targeting and retaining a share in a key, growing market. Its confidence in its already-strong polymers market meanwhile, a huge end market for filler minerals such as calcium carbonate, talc and wollastonite, underscores its commitment to a market in which it is already the world leader.

  • Bora Bora Resources signs graphene MoU with Monash University

    10 June 2014

    As interest in the development of graphene intensifies, especially in terms of potential end-market applications, partnerships between graphite developers and research institutes are becoming more frequent.

  • Iodine prices slip below $40/kg

    10 June 2014

    Cosayach problems could limit Chilean output expansion and reduce price erosion

  • Grafoid looks to acquire advanced materials group Alcereco

    10 June 2014

    Following a line of strategic partnerships and joint ventures in the graphene space, Grafoid’s agreement in principle with shareholders of Alcereco marks the company’s venture into new markets including aerospace, automotive, electronics and sporting goods.

  • IM Potash News in Brief: 2-10 June 2014

    10 June 2014

    Project updates for juniors Potash West, African Potash and Highfield resources, as well successful financing for Passport Potash’s Arizona, US, project. In some good news for agriminerals, shifting diets from non-meat to livestock-based are expected to push up demand in the next few years due to pressure on global arable land.

  • Talga provides update on Sweden graphite-graphene projects

    10 June 2014

    Following in the footsteps of graphite to graphene companies before it, Talga Resources has this week provided an update on its Europe-based operations as it moves further towards commercial scalability.

  • Vietnam bauxite plant faces fresh controversy after worker death

    10 June 2014

    While the fatality cannot be attributed to the hazardous properties of bauxite red mud waste, the death has stirred up controversy in Vietnam, which is attempting to place itself as an alternative supplier to Indonesia

  • Fracking saved US taxpayers over $1bn in 2012-13

    10 June 2014

    While fracking remains a contentious issue for some, significant energy savings across the US may lead to increased activity in North America’s unconventional oilfields, which could in turn boost the demand for minerals including bentonite, barite, frac sand and other proppant materials.

  • NYCO’s wollastonite expansion project in US faces environmental protests

    10 June 2014

    Environmental and legal concerns about NYCO’s wollastonite mining expansion project from environmentalists in Adirondack Park will need to be addressed by the Adirondack Protection Agency (APA), but any further delay in granting NYCO permissions will be unlikely.

  • Graphite consolidation exposes China’s processing gap

    10 June 2014

    As the Chinese authorities gear up attempts to consolidate the country's flake graphite market, attempts to cultivate downstream industries are exposing a lack of expertise and innovation

  • Video News: Refractories report from MagMin 2014

    09 June 2014

    Also this week: six new minerals added to EU critical materials list; TYCO unveils new system; PhosAgro helicopter crashes in Russia; IM Data launches Tesla report

  • Lithium prices steal past 2013 averages

    09 June 2014

    Values rise on recovering demand from batteries and ceramics; Chinese growth remains a concern

  • Namibia to develop rare earths deposits

    09 June 2014

    While Namibia’s government is striving to increase the amount and profitability of the country’s mining industry, a newly proposed law could in fact lead to reduced activity, warns the Chamber of Mines.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief: 3-9 June

    09 June 2014

    Lynas Corp financial difficulties worry Malaysian politicians; Northern Minerals retain 100% interest in Browns Range project; Rare Element Resources completes initial scoping study

  • US frac sand producer Fairmount considers $1bn IPO

    09 June 2014

    In line with the so-called fracking boom, which has been taking place across North America over the past four years, frac sand producers are increasing their visibility in the marketplace through effort like Fairmount’s proposed $1bn IPO.

  • Base Resources dispute Kenyan rutile, ilmenite, levy

    09 June 2014

    Base Resources intends to fight the intended levy all the way – and no wonder as an additional cost of $50/tonne would dent its reputation as one of the lower-cost titanium dioxide (TiO2) feedstock producers.

  • UK government ready to step up support for domestic mineral development

    06 June 2014

    A parliamentary select committee has flagged the absence of a definitive policy for Britain’s mining sector – an omission the Department for Business is seeking to rectify, in order to support the raw material demands for growing industries such as fertilisers and fracking.

  • Tesla’s Gigafactory: the critical minerals impact

    06 June 2014

    At a time when supply chain security, transparency and responsibility are becoming central concerns for both manufacturers and consumers, IM Data discusses Tesla Motors' plans to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery plant and the impact it could have on demand for critical minerals: graphite, lithium and cobalt.

  • Fluorspar buying season begins in vain

    06 June 2014

    Enquiries build as producers prepare summer contracts; excess capacities suppress price rises

  • BHP has high hopes for energy and fertiliser demand

    06 June 2014

    The company told the media this week in China that it plans to invest in energy and food based on Chinese demand in this sector as the country moves from a construction- to consumption-led economy. However, despite its confidence in the potash market, work on BHP's Jansen project continues at a slower pace as the company waits for the right moment to enter the industry.

  • RB Energy delays first lithium carbonate shipment

    06 June 2014

    By achieving continuous production of lithium carbonate at its Quebec-based project, RB Energy joins only a handful of producing lithium companies – most of which are located in South America.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 6 June

    06 June 2014

    REM increases stake in Sonora project; Pure Energy submits drilling permit; Houston Lake Mining to raise funds for lithium, cesium, tantalum project in Ontario.

  • Soda ash, kaolin, clay companies win IMA-NA safety awards

    06 June 2014

    By working to strict health and safety regulations, IMA-NA member companies help to send “safe and healthy miners home to their families, every shift, every day”. Top winners of the association’s 2013 safety recognition awards include FMC Corp., KaMin and Hickory Clay.

  • Bolivia ring-fences lithium and potash for state run miners

    06 June 2014

    A new law has designated lithium and potash as “strategic assets” that need to be preserved for domestic exploitation, but observers of the situation have told IM that they believe the legislation, which also limits private company involvement in the sector, will materially damage Bolivian mining.

  • Cosayach director jailed for 61 days for water theft

    06 June 2014

    Privately owned Cosayach, one of the biggest iodine producers in the world, has been found guilty of illegally extracting groundwater from Chile’s Tarapaca province, one of the driest places in the world. The company has been ordered to close 38 wells, which is expected to hamper capacity expansion this year.

  • Compass Minerals aims to generate over $500m EBIDTA in 2018

    06 June 2014

    By introducing a series of policies, which include improving operational safety, developing new products and reducing costs, the American salt and fertilisers producer aims to expand its growth margin and become a leader in the North American salt and fertiliser industries.

  • Oman’s Duqm port to launch dry bulk tender

    05 June 2014

    Oman is a fledgling industrial minerals producer and exported only 116,000 tonnes of limestone in 2012. But it is working to increase its market share in the industrial minerals markets and is keen to develop its gypsum, kaolin, and clay deposits.

  • Zircon prices soften slightly but will remain steady in short term

    05 June 2014

    Chinese miners standing firm on offers to preserve already slim margins

  • ExxonMobil greases keep mining equipment running smoothly

    05 June 2014

    Oil and gas company, ExxonMobil has developed the Mobil Dynagear Series specifically for use in open gear sets used in mining operations. As mining equipment is very ear intensive, industrial greases help to reduce downtime and increase productivity, reducing costs for operators.

  • High purity alumina plant study puts AMMG in good opex position

    05 June 2014

    The integrated plant study shows how the company has worked to slash costs and come up with a competitive capex and opex. The company’s lower costs are particularly significant given that comments at this year’s Bauxite and Alumina conference dismissed HPA projects such as this one as not being cost effective, but with a general indication of less than $20/kg the company looks set to be a low-cost producer – providing it secures an offtake partner.

  • Lynas Corp brings in new CEO

    05 June 2014

    The appointment of a new CEO following the departure of Eric Noyrez after just 14 months in the job, highlights the difficult moment for the Australian rare earths producer, with the company hoping to reduce its losses and cuts costs in the future, while meeting its production target in June this year.

  • Magnezit looks to reduce Russia’s import reliance with new refractory castable

    05 June 2014

    Russia is one of the world’s biggest steel producers, but owing to a lack of domestic refractories expertise, the country is reliant on foreign technology imports to support the industry. Magnezit is seeking to challenge this dependency by investing in local refractory R&D.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 30 May – 5 June

    05 June 2014

    Ontario Graphite pulls mining equipment out of Kearney; Canada Carbon achieves 100% C through flotation; Graphite on BNN radar in Focus interview

  • China to lift tariffs and quotas on rare earths exports

    05 June 2014

    The plan to remove quotas and tariffs on rare earths exports suggests China’s intention to comply with the WTO’s ruling in March, despite Beijing’s recent appeal against it, and would be welcomed by many producers and customers within the rare earths market.

  • Price Briefing 30 May – 5 June

    05 June 2014

    PwC blames falling prices for unstainable corporate strategies; phosphate weakness cuts New Zealand fertiliser costs and zircon prices steady towards end of H2

  • Fluorspar price review: 5th June 2014

    05 June 2014

    China acidspar prices slip lower while slow steel recovery buoys metspar

  • Amorphous graphite price review: 5th June 2014

    05 June 2014

    China prices slump as suppliers attempt to ease stockpiles

  • Flake graphite price review: 5th June 2014

    05 June 2014

    Chinese producers succeed in lifting flake prices

  • MagMin2014: Magnesite should not drag Turkey into EU

    04 June 2014

    Located on the border between Europe and Asia, Turkey is a vast store of critical raw materials and its position as an EU outsider could see its mine production destined for China.

  • MTI expands global market presence with additional PCC plant in China

    04 June 2014

    With low usage of PCC in paper production in Asia compared with regions such as North America, MTI continues to target China as an area of opportunity by agreeing to build a PCC satellite plant for Chinese paper producer, Zhejiang Zhengda Paper Group Co. Ltd.

  • Iofina achieves record iodine production in May

    04 June 2014

    Although the iodine market continues to present challenges, Iofina has been able to overcome difficulties by implementing several operational efficiencies and cost-control measures, leading to record production from four of its plants during May.

  • US Gypsum to expand plasterboard facility in Oakfield

    04 June 2014

    With an investment of $19m, the leading US-based gypsum producer aims to expand wallboard production at its paper mill facility in the State of New York, in order to consolidate its leadership in the domestic construction market.

  • I-Minerals issues updated technical economic model and PFS

    04 June 2014

    The updated PFS for the company’s kaolin-halloysite-quartz-potassium feldspar in Idaho has taken into account fundamental changes in the feldspar market, and estimates increased production based on increased market demand.

  • Superior Silica cancels Minnesota frac sand facility

    04 June 2014

    Noise pollution, health and environmental concerns have delayed US frac sand developments in recent years as operations ramp up in line with a growing hydraulic fracturing industry. In this case, worries over truck traffic have led to project cancellation.

  • MagMin2014: Underinvestment limiting opportunities for CCM producers

    04 June 2014

    CCM is a much smaller market, by volume, than either DBM or FM, but its uses are wide ranging and highly specialised. Some experts believe that the CCM market could be expanded with investment into discovering new applications, however, a lack of available funds and industry secrecy are holding back R&D.

  • Iluka and Vale sign agreement to develop titanium project in Brazil

    04 June 2014

    Having recently announced a positive outlook for the mineral sands markets, Iluka has now signed an agreement with Vale for the development of titanium mineral resources, occurring within Vale’s phosphate mining operations in Brazil, which the company believes will be needed to satisfy long term demand in the industry.

  • Lafarge to complete merging operations in Africa

    04 June 2014

    A plan to merge its South African and Nigerian cement business, will allow the French group to consolidate its position as a leading cement supplier in an increasingly competitive African market.

  • MagMin2014: Chinese imitation putting pressure on mineral tech providers

    03 June 2014

    China is a key market for exporters of mineral processing technologies like Germany-based K-UTEC, however, the speed and ease with which Chinese companies are able to copy foreign products and systems once they have been installed, is eating away at foreign companies’ market share.

  • Solvay opens R&I centre for OLED and lithium-ion batteries in Korea

    03 June 2014

    The new R&I centre in Seoul will allow the Belgian chemicals producer to develop rare earths- and lithium-based materials for applications in electronics and energy storage, specifically targeting Asia’s fast growing electric automotive market.

  • Fracking could be made possible on UK private land

    03 June 2014

    While countries like the US have for years drilled for shale gas and oil to add to the global energy mix, the UK has fallen behind as rules and regulations stood in the way. However, the Queen’s speech, due to be delivered tomorrow, could change this by cutting some of that red tape.

  • Valmet to rebuild Sodra Cell pulp mill to increase production

    03 June 2014

    Although Valmet was divested from Metso following market challenges and falling profits, the company has recently been receiving pulp and board contracts globally, showing that demand for its technology and equipment is remaining stable.

  • New 50,000-tonne frac sand facility opens in Wisconsin

    03 June 2014

    As hydraulic fracturing operations begin to ramp up in North America, the call for oilfield minerals such as frac sand is increasing on an almost daily basis. New transload facilities, like Source Energy Services’ Weyerhaeuser operation, are becoming a necessary part of the supply chain.

  • MagMin2014: Refractory vertical integration questioned in light of weak magnesia market

    03 June 2014

    Global refractory producers have invested billions of dollars in developing their own mines as captive sources of magnesite and other raw materials; however, panellists at the MagMin 2014 conference in Budapest were forced to defend these investments when demand for minerals continues to be depressed.

  • Shanghai Future Exchange to include rare earths

    03 June 2014

    By including rare earths futures products, the biggest Chinese commodities market will further stabilise prices worldwide and will become the major trading platform for rare earths products, helping the country regulate its domestic market.

  • Uralchem revenue falls 7% as fertiliser prices and volumes fall

    03 June 2014

    While many fertiliser producers have seen profits shrink amid falling prices, most have remained optimistic in their outlook for 2014. Uralchem expects lower prices and mediocre demand to continue in the fertiliser industry.

  • Borates, magnesite, phosphate added to EU critical materials list

    02 June 2014

    By adding more industrial minerals to its list of critical materials, the EC highlights the importance of securing supply as well as strengthening European competitiveness in critical materials end markets.

  • PhosAgro Apatit’s helicopter crashes in Russia

    02 June 2014

    Operations at the Russian fertiliser producer continue uninterrupted following a helicopter crash in the Murmansk region, which has left only two survivors. Apatit’s CEO and deputy CEO remain unaccounted for.

  • Graphene: how to solve a problem like energy storage

    02 June 2014

    Advances in the electric vehicle industry have thrown lithium-ion batteries into the spotlight, yet drawbacks such as limited lifespan and low capacity have called into question whether wider-scale commercial viability is really possible. Researchers at the University of Manchester believe they have the answer.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief: 28 May – 2 June

    02 June 2014

    Seven new NdFeB projects signed in Inner Mongolia Baotou; REM identified rare earths targets in Greenland; Lynas Corp. issued additional shares placement

  • Canada Fluorspar acquired by Golden Gate Capital

    02 June 2014

    By closing the acquisition from the US-based private equity firm, the Canadian junior company will receive enough funding to continue the development of its fluorspar deposit in Newfoundland, Canada.

  • Tata Chemicals to mothball soda ash plant in Kenya

    02 June 2014

    Rising energy costs and challenging end market conditions have impacted soda ash producers in recent years, leading to the closure of plants and numerous redundancies. However, as the economy picks up, producers remain confident that a demand turnaround for the industry will happen with annual increases of 1.5% expected.