Regulation latest news

  • December 2015

    Graphite prices stable at weak levels

    31 December 2015

    Price review: No rebound on low-priced offers, despite seasonal supply disturbances.

  • Slow exports drag down Chinese rare earths prices

    31 December 2015

    Weakness blamed on Christmas holidays in purchasing destinations but some expect market to stabilise in January.

  • AirAsia bans Li-ion battery-powered transportation devices on flights

    31 December 2015

    Owing to the fire hazard Li-ion batteries pose, AirAsia has followed other airlines and banned transportation devices such as Segways powered by the technology from its flights.

  • India’s CCI approves Lanxess-Aramco synthetic rubber JV

    30 December 2015

    The green light from the Indian regulator means the German-Saudi deal has surmounted yet another hurdle in the companies’ plan to establish a major new synthetic rubber manufacturing business.

  • India’s CCI approves Lanxess-Aramco synthetic rubber JV

    30 December 2015

    The green light from the Indian regulator means the German-Saudi deal has surmounted yet another hurdle in the companies’ plan to establish a major new synthetic rubber manufacturing business.

  • Oman’s Port of Duqm to start mineral shipments with dolomite in February 2016

    30 December 2015

    The Arabian Sea port on Oman’s central-eastern coast is expected to be a gateway for shipments of locally mined minerals such as dolomite, gypsum and limestone to reach export markets like India.

  • Ganzhou Rare Earth Industry Association raises guidance prices by 8-9%

    30 December 2015

    The association has raised its guidance prices on evidence of lower ore inventories and stronger downstream demand.

  • Molycorp estimates show liquidation would result in unpaid debts

    29 December 2015

    Court documents have revealed that should the former rare earths producer be liquidated, more than 1bn in debt would go unpaid. While its plants to exit chapter 11 bankruptcy have been a point of contention on the basis that they give creditor Oaktree Capital too much power, Molycorp is arguing it would be more favourable for lenders.

  • China’s CITIC signals interest in buying SQM stake

    29 December 2015

    Filings with the Chilean regulator indicate that the Chinese investment group is poised to bid for the indirect stake held in the lithium, iodine and potash miner by holding company Oro Blanco.

  • Madras High Court seeks further probe into VV Minerals beach sand case

    24 December 2015

    The Indian justice administrator has suspended an order in support of miner VV Minerals regarding the payment of central excise duty for mining of beach sand minerals, following a complaint raised by the Commissioner of Central Excise.

  • Dry bulk ships scrapped younger to cut capacity

    24 December 2015

    The age at which vessels are being scrapped is declining as shipowners attempt to rebalance the oversupplied freight market.

  • Construction and automotive support late Seaway surge

    24 December 2015

    The Atlantic-Great Lakes waterway is a trading artery for North America and higher spending on building cars and real estate has increased demand for stone and gypsum shipped through the Seaway, while consumption of potash, salt and aluminium has also been strong this year.

  • Rio Tinto refreshes deal with borate workers union

    24 December 2015

    The new deal will see workers at the miner's Mojave Desert borates mine in the US receive a 2.5% annualised wage hike, in addition to a number of health and employee benefits over the five year extension term.

  • Price Briefing 18 – 24 December

    24 December 2015

    Graphite prices flatten while fluorspar sinks; US TiO2 suppliers announce hikes.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 18 – 24 December

    24 December 2015

    IMX spins off Tanzanian graphite asset; Next and Ashburton release test results; European GRAFOL project unveils graphene mass production tool.

  • China works to eliminate “backward” AlF3 capacity

    23 December 2015

    Low-grade fluorspar products are in oversupply in China, while high-end products are experiencing more robust demand. Do-Fluoride is attempting to shift its business towards the higher value end of the market.

  • Antimony ingot prices rally slightly while trioxide remains weak

    23 December 2015

    Sources dispute feedstock prices but agree chemical values have declined further.

  • Fluorspar market rounds off year with further price erosion

    23 December 2015

    Price review: Margins narrow as price competition continues; pessimism to prevail in the market moving into 2016.

  • Caterpillar to pay $74m to Miller after trade secrets theft

    23 December 2015

    Specialist knowledge concerning coupling units, which attach bucket scoops to excavators and other mining trucks, was obtained by Miller’s largest client, Caterpillar. In a recent lawsuit won by Miller, the company claimed that Caterpillar had misappropriated the company’s expertise after requesting extra information on proprietary products.

  • China’s struggling graphite industry anticipates gloomy new year

    23 December 2015

    Supply update: Export enquiries see a significant decline as graphite trading stutters, while production looks set to stall moving into Q1 2016.

  • Magnesita to embark on major restructuring and float UK subsidiary

    22 December 2015

    The Brazilian refractories manufacturer has had a tough year and its directors have now approved a major overhaul of its corporate structure, including the incorporation of its non-South American operations into a new business, which it plans to float on London’s AIM exchange.

  • Unimin filler customers to pay more from February 2016

    22 December 2015

    US speciality minerals producer to increase prices by 4-8% next year.

  • BASF raises kaolin prices by 5%

    22 December 2015

    Annual price increase comes in below last year’s figure and rivals have yet to state positions.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 16 – 22 December

    22 December 2015

    Rio Tinto mulls Jadar’s lithium potential; Orocobre speculates over reasons for share price jump; Western Lithium secures $5m credit line; LG Chem in one GWh battery deal.

  • Uncooperative miners hamper the “last mile” of rare earth consolidation

    22 December 2015

    A number of small miners who are yet to be consolidated, despite being on an elimination list or signed up to being absorbed by a big six rare earths producers, are engaging in delaying and deferment tactics, slowing reform of the sector in China.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 15 – 21 December

    21 December 2015

    Rare Element testwork reveals positive separation results as company elects to cut staff and delist from TSX; Spectrum suspends Skyfall development permanently owing to metallurgical complexities and low prices; Stans arranges shares for debt agreement with COO.

  • BC earthquake caused by fracking

    21 December 2015

    The BC Oil and Gas Commission in Canada has determined that the August earthquake in Canada was triggered by fracking. Although no damage was reported, the severity of the 4.6 tremor is higher than expected from fracking activity.

  • Dubbo zirconia project granted mining lease

    21 December 2015

    Alkane has taken a step closer to full project approval in New South Wales. Dubbo now requires only an environmental protection licence.

  • Rio intensifies protests over Indian boric acid import restrictions

    21 December 2015

    Rio Tinto has sought to highlight the negative impact of import restrictions on boric acid upon India’s domestic industry as the company attempts to persuade the Indian government to relax its controls on licences needed for the product.

  • SQM shares jump as major shareholder begins to sell stake

    21 December 2015

    Share value in the lithium producer rose almost 9% on Friday following the news that Oro Blanco, one of a number of holding companies through which former chairman Julio Ponce owns a stake in SQM, is looking to sell its shares.

  • Belarus ups potash export duties by 22%

    21 December 2015

    A decline in the value of the Belarussian currency will have reduced Belaruskali’s cost of production, likely offsetting the rise in export duties, which were reinstated only in 2015.

  • Tronox and Huntsman join Chemours in TiO2 price hike

    21 December 2015

    Three of the world’s largest titanium trioxide producers have now increased prices for 2016 after a market rebound failed to materialise.

  • MZI ships first zircon concentrate to China

    21 December 2015

    The company has finally become a supplier of mineral sands following its first zircon sale to China as part of its offtake with Tricoastal. Having completed its MSP commissioning, first leucoxene sales are expected in February next year.

  • Argentina’s Ventus Minerals targets 60,000 tpa fluorspar output

    21 December 2015

    Supply update: Additional capacity of fluorspar mineral reserves paves its way into a congested market; regional consumers to benefit.

  • Graphite 2015: Graphene industry has invisible potential

    21 December 2015

    Confusion and hype still problematic for sector; think realistic rather than sexy, says Haydale.

  • Graphite 2015: Oil price slump hits synthetic graphite

    21 December 2015

    Oil prices sink to $37/bbl in December; additives and electrode demand suffering, but Li-ion and fuel cells beacons of growth.

  • Mines and Money 2015: Financiers urged to have patience with mining investments

    21 December 2015

    Investors told not to run out on good projects; cycle favouring low-cost, low-risk assets.

  • Albemarle sells flame retardants and speciality chemicals businesses to Huber

    21 December 2015

    Albemarle continues to hone focus; Huber expands geographic reach.

  • Nuclear graphite has a “rosy future”

    21 December 2015

    Generation IV reactors offer fresh growth; UK leading nuclear industry development but lessons need to be learned from the past.

  • Mines and Money 2015: Greenland open for mining business

    21 December 2015

    Country currently lags Scandinavia in mineral exploitation, but several companies are expected to fast-track local projects over the next two-to-three years.

  • Iran is a complicated opportunity for mining, business experts warn

    21 December 2015

    JPCOA does not provide immediate opening for international businesses; sanctions may take longer than expected to lift.

  • Middle East ramps up investment in industrial minerals

    21 December 2015

    Gulf states are seeking stakes in mining projects and aiming to bring downstream industry to the Arab region.

  • Canadian Mining brings APL on board to run zeolite mining and distribution

    21 December 2015

    Deal secures expertise and production capacity; company aims to bring Sun Group site online and predicts zeolite growth in animal and plant feeds, filtration.

  • Molycorp fails to secure bidders

    21 December 2015

    Company attempts to exit bankruptcy proceedings, but no bidders keen to buy entire business.

  • Applied Minerals agrees further halloysite distribution partnerships

    21 December 2015

    KODA to sell products in eastern US; adds to agreements across country.

  • KaMin to buy Imerys’ UPHK business

    21 December 2015

    Deal anticipated to close before 2016 as part of recent transaction with BASF.

  • Report finds “no evidence” SQM bribed officials

    21 December 2015

    Law firm reports under-documented payments but highlights lack of accuracy in company’s books.

  • Tesla yet to nail down lithium supply

    21 December 2015

    Minimal lithium from current deals pre-2020; Gigafactory due to come online late 2016.

  • Halliburton-Baker Hughes takeover proposals fail to win over DOJ

    21 December 2015

    Additional divestments not enough to satisfy anticompetitive concerns; companies receive third extension for review period.

  • OPEC refuses to cut oil production in oversupplied market

    21 December 2015

    Oil prices to stay lower for longer leaving oilfield mineral prices subdued.

  • Solvay and partners unveil ecoFluor project to cut emissions in semiconductor industry

    21 December 2015

    Belgian group to work with US and German experts on product that aims to reduce pollution from CVD chambers.

  • Bauxite and alumina: Year in Review 2015

    21 December 2015

    A roundup of the year's main events in the global bauxite and alumina industries.

  • European Commission proposes 75% glass recycling target by 2030

    21 December 2015

    To target waste production, increase recycling and preserve natural resources, the EC has published a number of legislative proposals which will affect industrial mineral-consuming industries such as glass and plastics. Kasia Patel, North American Editor, reports.

  • Chemours increases TiO2 prices by $150/tonne

    18 December 2015

    Company ups cost of Ti-Pure range after reporting severe global price declines.

  • SQM pushes forward Orcoma iodine and nitrate project

    18 December 2015

    An EIS has been submitted to the Chilean authorities for the $230m development, with the miner hoping to begin construction in January 2017.

  • UK government increases total fracking licences by 50%

    18 December 2015

    The UK government is driving ahead with its plans to ensure UK energy security, placing emphasis on the importance of fracking. It has now offered Cuadrilla additional exploration licences in England, which the company plans to study extensively over the next year.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 12 – 18 December

    18 December 2015

    OCP EBITDA rises; Highfield likely to expand mineral resource estimate; Agrimin updates mineral resource estimate.

  • Price Briefing 11 – 17 December

    18 December 2015

    Fluorspar and graphite prices expected to remain stable to year end but mineral sands likely to post declines.

  • The future of China’s TiO2 industry: Consolidation and clean up

    17 December 2015

    Chinese TiO2 consolidation to continue; chloride route breakthroughs needed and overcapacity must be addressed.

  • HFC phase out one step closer after UN launches pollutant action plan

    17 December 2015

    COP21 agreement targets refrigerants but national ratification is key to success, says IHS.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 11 – 17 December

    17 December 2015

    Sayona strikes visual graphite at East Kimberley; Archer confirms Campoona material suitable for graphene.

  • Molycorp Silmet plant to restart operations in January

    17 December 2015

    The plant’s fire in June saw rare metal production halt, though rare earths separation continued. It is hypothesised that Silmet could be sold off as part of Molycorp’s bankruptcy restructuring.

  • TiO2 prices deteriorate more than expected

    17 December 2015

    The US chemicals company has said it expects EBITDA to fall sequentially as titanium dioxide prices are likely to be around 3% lower on average in Q4 than in the previous quarter. While Chemours has been focusing efforts on its fluoroproducts business, it noted that demand in this sector was also weakening.

  • Fluorspar prices set to erode further in 2016

    17 December 2015

    Price Review: Suppliers gear up for longer-term pricing pressure as contracts settle below 2015 levels.

  • Strandline expects positive HMS drilling results in Q1 2015

    17 December 2015

    Following the company’s acquisition of Jacana’s adjacent resource in Tanzania, drilling was carried out at Strandline’s project immediately. The company said the project revealed “exciting potential” and that it expects assay results at the start of next year to confirm this.

  • IRC shuts Russian ilmenite mine as prices remain unsustainable

    17 December 2015

    The company’s Kuranakh mine has been under review since 2014, and further deterioration in the ilmenite and iron ore markets have forced IRC to take production offline either until the market recovers or a buyer can be found.

  • US Soda ash royalty rates unchanged by spending bill

    17 December 2015

    Despite efforts by politicians to cut the tax on the mineral, there was no reduction made to soda ash royalties in the House’s omnibus spending bill.

  • Albemarle sells flame retardants and speciality chemicals businesses to Huber

    17 December 2015

    The divestment comes as part of a broader move by Albemarle to hone its focus on its core business areas of bromine, lithium, catalysts and surface treatment, while Huber tries to extend its geographic reach in flame retardants.

  • Fitch proffers negative outlook for dry bulk shipping

    17 December 2015

    The ratings agency has issued a pessimistic assessment of the BDI going forward, based on the slowing Chinese economy’s demand for commodities.

  • Graphite prices hold firm as industrial rebound lags

    17 December 2015

    Price Review: Slowing demand fails to spark price increases, despite tightening graphite supplies.

  • Ontario unveils new mineral strategy

    17 December 2015

    Ten point plan replaces 2006 version, aimed at giving TSX-V home turf a life.

  • PPG starts using chloride-route TiO2 produced by Henan Billions

    16 December 2015

    The US paints and coatings supplier has now started using Henan Billions' TiO2, which uses PPG's chloride-route production technology, securing a high quality source of raw materials.

  • Hudson pulled up on PEA deficiencies

    16 December 2015

    The Canada-based exploration company published a PEA in March for its Greenland anorthosite development. However, Hudson has had to amend the document after the BC Securities Commission discovered a number of discrepancies in it.

  • Iluka defers expenditure in downcast mineral sands market

    16 December 2015

    The soft market outlook for mineral sands has led Iluka to delay some capital expenditures into 2016. Among other comments, the company said that highly leveraged producers are engaging in distressed selling practices.

  • Iran is a complicated opportunity for mining, business experts warn

    16 December 2015

    The JPCOA agreement signed in July between Iran and members of the international community hailed a wave of optimism for a number of industrial sectors, including mining, which saw the move as the opening up of a large new market. Sanctions may take longer than expected to be removed, however, and once lifted, there are still likely to be legal and operational challenges to doing business in the Middle Eastern state.

  • Zambia to diversify away from mining

    16 December 2015

    Falling copper prices and a continuing power crunch are forcing the African country to look for economic opportunities in other sectors and place less of a focus on its mining activities.

  • Report finds “no evidence” SQM bribed officials

    16 December 2015

    An inquiry carried out by a US law firm said that while a number of authorised payments were under-documented and the company’s books lacked accuracy, there was no indication that payments caused authorities to act unduly favourably towards the Chilean producer of lithium, potash and iodine.

  • PhosAgro signs five-year sulphur deal with Gazprom

    16 December 2015

    The new deal with Gazprom Sulphur will see the company’s phosphate fertiliser facilities supplied with liquid sulphur until the end of 2020, after a year which has seen the cost of the fertiliser feedstock material rise by over 200% for the company.

  • Halliburton-Baker Hughes takeover proposals fail to win over DOJ

    16 December 2015

    Despite offering to divest additional businesses and extending the review period twice, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division does not believe the proposals offered so far sufficiently address competition concerns.

  • Orbite pushes back commercial production date for HPA plant for second time

    16 December 2015

    The Canadian company planned to bring its HPA facility online by the end of this year. However, commercial output at the Cap-Chat-based plant will take a little longer to start than anticipated, as the construction process has run into delays for the second time this year for the same reason — a dispute with a contractor.

  • Ontario unveils new mineral development strategy

    15 December 2015

    Canada’s most populous province has renewed its mineral development plan to help the sector attract jobs and investment.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 9 – 15 December

    15 December 2015

    International Lithium announces $4m exploration budget with Gangfeng Lithium; Nevada Sunrise purchases Clayton NE property; Lithium Australia produces first lithium hydroxide sample.

  • EIA increases global shale oil and natural gas estimates

    15 December 2015

    Having added resources from Chad, Kazakhstan, Oman and the UAE to its analysis, the EIA has increased its global oil and gas estimates. A number of factors need to be addressed before commercial production takes off, including oil and gas market prices, operating costs and other resources.

  • UK needs to get fracking, says Task Force on Shale Gas

    15 December 2015

    While the economic benefits of fracking in the UK have been widely touted by supporters, an industry funded panel has said the only way to find out how beneficial the industry will be is to start drilling.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 8 – 14 December

    14 December 2015

    No bidders for Molycorp as single entity according to reports; Ossen profits up over 600%; Tantalus signs agreement for the sale of TRE project stake to exit insolvency proceedings.

  • Diatreme increases Cyclone HM estimate by 47%

    14 December 2015

    Following the acquisition of additional mineralisation land rights from Image Resources in March, Diatreme has increased the ore reserve estimate for its Australian Cyclone zircon project as well as extended its mine life. Project go-ahead now rests on EPA assessment, which is currently in progress.

  • MGX to begin bulk-sample programme at Driftwood project shortly

    14 December 2015

    The Canadian explorer is working towards becoming a commercial entity, as it prepares to begin a bulk magnesia sample scheme at its Driftwood site in Canada. The company is pushing ahead with plans to start commercial production in late 2016.

  • Iofina reassures shareholders as share price tumbles

    14 December 2015

    Iodine production levels have been hit by anti-earthquake measures which have curtailed salt water injections by Iofina’s oil and gas producing partners, in turn affecting brine flow for iodine production. Despite this, the company still hopes to reach H2 targets.

  • Neometals enters into exclusive licence for low cost TiO2 production technology

    14 December 2015

    Having secured exclusive rights to the titanium dioxide processing technology, Neometals will now be responsible for developing and commercialising the process, which it says has a competitive edge over existing TIO2 flowsheets.

  • Tertiary Minerals starts drilling at Nevada as FY pre-tax losses widen

    14 December 2015

    The UK-based explorer has followed in the footsteps of many juniors by posting a pre-tax loss for its last financial year. However, this has not stopped the firm from pushing forward with its US-based MB fluorspar development by commencing a phase four drilling programme at the Nevada site.

  • China considers changing magnesia export policy for chemically synthesised material

    11 December 2015

    The China Inorganic Salts Industry Association wants to overhaul the criteria for exporting magnesia from the country, including lowering the MgO content threshold from 98% to 90% to allow chemical producers to reach international markets.

  • ABB launches new system to increase grinding roller duration in mining

    11 December 2015

    HPGR technology is used in a number of mineral sectors such as limestone and in hard rock industries. However rollers are prone to different rates of wear, resulting in a premature replacement – an issue that ABB has sought to address.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 5 – 11 December

    11 December 2015

    BPC signs MoU with Vietnam for supply of potash; Acron pushes Verkhnekamsk project forward with ministerial discussions; Indian fertiliser mischarging allegations grow.

  • Solvay and partners unveil ecoFluor project to reduce emissions in semiconductor industry

    11 December 2015

    As world leaders in Paris wind down talks in an attempt to reach a new global climate agreement, Solvay has embarked on a new green project using alternative fluorine gas mixtures to try and combat greenhouse gas emissions in the semiconductor industry.

  • VanadiumCorp signs MoU with VRB maker

    11 December 2015

    The Vancouver-based company has found a buyer for its vanadium, having signed a new deal with a North American-based VRB producer. The news comes as VanadiumCorp pushes ahead with completing the first phase of the economic study for its Lac Dore vanadium project in Quebec.

  • Graphite 2015: Graphene’s invisible potential

    11 December 2015

    Hype and disappointment have been tough taskmasters for the graphene industry since the material was first isolated 11 years ago, but while the clamour surrounding the sector may have died down, developers are getting close to finding real, if not sensational, applications for the nanocarbon.

  • Price Briefing 4 – 10 December

    11 December 2015

    Gloomy near term outlook for graphite; China’s TiO2 prices fall again.

  • Refractory grade graphite prices going nowhere

    10 December 2015

    Traditional markets will not lead a recovery in graphite prices before the second half of next year and the emergence of battery demand could be too late to prevent a major market slump.

  • TiO2 prices slide further in China

    10 December 2015

    Overcapacity forces producers to accept lower bids for pigment chemical.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 4 – 10 December

    10 December 2015

    Jien Nickel to help develop Luobei graphite mine; StratMin breaks even; Mozambique calls for better power infrastructure to support graphite projects.

  • Saint-Gobain receives antitrust approvals for Sika takeover

    10 December 2015

    Saint-Gobain has been given pre-closing clearance from all the relevant anti-trust authorities regarding its takeover of construction chemicals business, Sika. However, both companies are embroiled in a dispute over voting rights, on which a decision is expected from the Swiss courts and may take years to resolve if appeals are made.

  • HFC phase out comes a step closer after UN launches pollutant action plan

    10 December 2015

    Efforts to phase out hydrofluorocarbons are gaining momentum, with government and industry leaders pledging to take greater action to tackle short-lived climate pollutants at the UN’s COP21 climate change summit in Paris.

  • The future of China's TiO2 industry: Consolidation and cleanup

    10 December 2015

    Experts at the Deyang Phosphor-Titanium Chemical Green Development Forum in China anticipate that consolidation in titanium dioxide will continue while the country attempts to clean up its sulphate-route production and drive breakthroughs in the chloride-route. However, speakers warned that unless overcapacity is addressed, prices will continue to deteriorate.

  • LKAB trials magnetite filler for plastic contamination detection

    10 December 2015

    The company is working with partners to carry out R&D into the use of magnetite in plastic equipment used in the food processing industry. When used as a filler in plastics, the mineral’s properties enable the detection of plastic parts contaminating food.

  • Mining companies in Zambia should pay more for electricity, says World Bank

    10 December 2015

    The World Bank has recently launched its sixth economic brief on the African country and warns that Zambia faces a power crisis. Zambia’s government has decided to increase the import of expensive emergency power options in 2016. In order for Zambia to weather the storm, the organisation has said that mining companies should help to pay more tariffs for electricity.

  • China reportedly setting up state-owned bad debt fund to aid floundering miners

    10 December 2015

    The country’s mining industry has some of the largest debts in the business and a state-owned fund could help companies struggling with high repayment costs. Lengthening the industry’s correction could draw out the pain being experienced by the extractive industries, however.

  • Altech Chemicals close to finalising German credit cover for HPA project

    10 December 2015

    Unlike many of its contemporaries, the company seems to be bucking the trend of not being able to obtain finance for its project. Altech has received a letter of interest for German export credit cover for its HPA development.

  • Rail project to expand Oman’s Port of Salalah

    10 December 2015

    A plan to replace trucks with trains and increase storage and handling capacity at the port should boost exports of Omani gypsum and limestone.

  • Emerging markets to face further strain, says World Bank

    09 December 2015

    The World Bank has produced a study showing that emerging market growth has been fading steadily since 2010. As these economies slow down the whole mining sector, including industrial minerals, will be impacted.

  • Graphite 2015: Nuclear graphite has a “rosy future”

    09 December 2015

    A new generation of nuclear graphite-requiring reactors could see industry demand for the speciality product grow, though the wait may be long, depending on nuclear energy policies and timeframes for new products

  • Colorado fracking bans brought before high court

    09 December 2015

    The Colorado Oil and Gas Association has challenged fracking bans in Longmont and Fort Collins, saying they are preempted by existing regulation in Colorado. The cases could have implications in other states and industries, addressing the authority of local and state governments.

  • Graphite 2015: Oil price slump hits synthetic graphite market hard

    09 December 2015

    With oil prices sinking to $37/barrel this week, synthetic graphite is among the secondary markets feeling the knock-on effects. The Li-ion battery market, meanwhile, remains the focal point for projected demand growth.

  • Solvay officially completes Cytec takeover

    09 December 2015

    The Belgian company has finalised the acquisition of its US counterpart Cytec, marking a step change in Solvay’s portfolio upgrade. Solvay has now embarked on integration plans as it aims to fully consolidate Cytec within the group as of from 1 January 2016.

  • Graphite 2015: Graphite has priced itself out of the recarburiser market, says Durrans

    09 December 2015

    The UK-based carbon materials business says that both natural and synthetic graphite are uncompetitive for use as recarburisers in the iron and steel industries, however mining companies aiming to monetise fines by selling into this market insist their material will be cost effective.

  • Guyana gives green light to First Bauxite for mining licence extension

    09 December 2015

    The Canada-based company is setting the wheels in motion for its Bonasika ceramic proppant project in Guyana, as it receives news from the Latin American government that it has approved a mining licence extension for the development.

  • Dutch consortium to invest millions into sustainable raw material supply

    08 December 2015

    The Advanced Research Centre Chemical Building Blocks Consortium plans to invest €11m a year into addressing sustainable demand for energy and materials in the future as urbanisation increases and the global population is expected to reach 9bn by 2050.

  • US International Trade Commission upholds ruling on tariffs for Chinese magnesia bricks

    08 December 2015

    The US’ International Trade Commission, based at the government’s Department of Commerce, has published its first five-year review, also known as a sunset review, of a 2010 countervailing duty order on magnesia carbon bricks. The organisation says levies should remain to help protect US trade.

  • Applied Minerals agrees further halloysite distribution partnerships

    08 December 2015

    The company now has distribution agreements that cover the entire US, following a spate of recent announcements. Applied Minerals hopes to target new markets such as coatings, polymer composites and molecular sieves with its range of halloysite grades.

  • Graphite 2015: Graphite miners told to make money out of dust

    08 December 2015

    Extracting value from every fraction of graphite produced is essential to ensure the viability of new mines and make them competitive with China.

  • KaMin to buy Imerys’ UPHK business

    08 December 2015

    The US-based kaolin producer is planning to build its kaolin presence by acquiring Imerys’ ultrafine paper hydrous business.

  • Altech expands kaolin operations in Western Australia

    08 December 2015

    The company is beefing up its kaolin operations in Australia. Altech is hoping that it can provide this material as feedstock for its firm’s proposed Malaysian high purity alumina project.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 2 – 8 December

    08 December 2015

    Orocobre ramp up continues; Saft awarded drone battery contract; Porsche to spend €1bn on EV facilities.

  • OPEC refuses to cut oil production in oversupplied market

    08 December 2015

    The organisation has said a production cut of 5% would not push oil prices up unless non-OPEC countries also participated in capacity reductions, indicating the growing sway of the US oil sector.

  • Double Crown in negotiations with second high grade barite customer

    07 December 2015

    While fracking activity has seen a decline in line with tumbling oil prices, Nevada-headquartered Double Crown has seen growing interest in its 4.2 barite owing to its high grade and a resurgence in re-fracking wells.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 1 – 7 December

    07 December 2015

    Mkango Resources publishes updated prefeasibility study; Tasman Metals Ltd completes beneficiation pilot plant test on rare earths from Swedish project; DOE selects 10 projects to receive funding for recovery of rare earths from coal.

  • Sunrise Resources explores volcanic ash as cheaper Portland cement alternative

    07 December 2015

    Roman concrete is one of the most durable materials invented by humans, but for Sunrise resources, the advantage today lies mostly in the low environmental cost of its utilisation, compared to modern Portland cement.

  • Cytec unveils new alumina trihydrate flocculants

    07 December 2015

    The mining chemicals specialist, which is currently finalising plans to merge with Solvay, has released a range of new speciality chemical products for the alumina industry.

  • Doubts raised over Inner Mongolian graphite find

    07 December 2015

    Sources in China have said that the news has sparked little enthusiasm in Northern China as suspicions mount that the extent and grade of the 128.9m-tonne flake graphite discovery could be exaggerated.

  • Iluka’s Kenmare bid collapses

    07 December 2015

    Kenmare’s largest shareholder has indicated that it will not accept Iluka’s takeover proposal, leading Iluka to decide against making a concrete offer for the Irish mineral sands producer. Kenmare will now look to the market as it attempts to its cut debt at the behest of its lenders.

  • BHP Billiton slows Jansen potash project with 76 job cuts

    07 December 2015

    Jansen would be the largest potash mine in the world if completed, but low potash prices in recent years have seen the high-capex project put on development ice. Work continues, but BHP Billiton’s pace appears to be slowing.

  • Australian Vanadium’s testwork indicates potential for low opex at Gabanintha

    07 December 2015

    The Australian company, which has recently rebranded, has been encouraged by its latest metallurgical results and claims the positive testwork will help to demonstrate the potential for its Gabanintha site to be a high-grade, low-cost vanadium project.

  • Israel Chemicals to establish “very competitive” Namibian phosphate JV

    07 December 2015

    Namibia’s offshore phosphate reserves have garnered substantial interest in the last ten years, with most global resources residing in only one country – Morocco. ICL has established a JV with an expert in Namibian marine mining to push research on the phosphates deposits forward.

  • Local opposition halts quartz mining in Indian village

    07 December 2015

    Villages in Bahmanipali Mouza in the Rengali block are preventing quartz mining from taking place as a stand-off continues between locals and mining contractor Fakir Rohidas. Quartz mining would clear the forest, which residents say is their only source of livelihood.

  • Northern Ireland to use incineration by-product to backfill halite mine

    04 December 2015

    The large caverns created by halite mining in Northern Ireland could be backfilled with an incineration by-product, according to planning documents released by the Irish Salt Mining and Exploration Co.

  • MZI enters into LOI with Chinese TiO2 producer

    04 December 2015

    The company began production at its Keysbrook project in Western Australia, intending to complete first sales of leucoxene and zircon before the end of the year. Pending positive testing results carried out by Jinzhou, MZI anticipates a large scale offtake agreement with the Chinese company.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Call for more MSc courses to bridge production and financial knowledge gaps

    04 December 2015

    An industry professor has called for more postgraduate courses to be run to make sure recent geology graduates gain both financial and technical knowledge.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 28 November – 4 December

    04 December 2015

    PotashCorp CEO refutes further K+S takeover rumours; Liberty Metals & Mining invests in Yara’s Dallol SOP project; Deadline passes for objections to York Potash mine.

  • Oman to get new investor-friendly mining law

    04 December 2015

    The Middle East country is undergoing extensive legislative mining reform to provide an attractive environment for direct foreign investment. Oman is waiting for the relevant ministries to approve its new mining law and is aiming to diversify away from oil.

  • Tertiary Minerals to restart drilling at US fluorspar project next week

    04 December 2015

    The UK-based explorer is pushing forward with its US-based MB fluorspar development by commencing a phase four drilling programme at the Nevada site. Testwork will be carried out during December 2015 and January 2016.

  • Israel’s “punitive” Sheshinski tax changes to take effect on 1 January 2016

    04 December 2015

    The refreshed mining tax regime will not be welcomed by ICL, which has previously described the changes as “the most extreme in the world”.

  • Price Briefing 27 November – 3 December

    04 December 2015

    Antimony and zircon prices fall in China while lithium prices rise in South America.

  • MZI wet concentrator plant exceeds HM capacity ahead of schedule

    03 December 2015

    The Australia-based company entered the mineral sands market last month with first production of leucoxene and zircon concentrate and now hopes to complete its first product sales in December 2015, ahead of its previously anticipated schedule of early 2016.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Funds still available for “good” developments

    03 December 2015

    The global mining industry continues to be squeezed by an oversupply of most commodities and a slowdown in demand from China. However, despite a lacklustre mining market, opportunities still exist for projects that have low potential cash costs and a “good” management team, according to mining investors.

  • Mines and Money ’15: “If we’re here, we’re here to do business”

    03 December 2015

    While numbers are down, the seriousness of intent to do business among conference attendees appears to be up on last year at Mines and Money, owing to the absence of struggling juniors and most sceptical investors.

  • Tesla meets with Chilean government regarding potential Codelco lithium deal

    03 December 2015

    Talks regarding a lithium supply arrangement indicate the state owned copper miner may be looking to diversify its portfolio.

  • Chennai port targets industrial minerals

    03 December 2015

    The East Indian port is sizing up its opportunities to increase shipments of barite, granite, and fertiliser ahead of an anticipated decline in coal imports.

  • CRP “slams” EPA over disputed phosphate mine approval process costs

    03 December 2015

    The New Zealand-headquartered phosphates junior is strongly disputing a number of costs put to it in invoices from the EPA, which include charges for alcohol and other outgoings apparently unrelated to the company’s application process.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 27 November – 3 December

    03 December 2015

    China discovers country’s largest graphite deposit in Inner Mongolia; Alabama releases positive PEA; Graphitecorp and Hazer float on ASX.

  • Chinese domestic zircon prices hit $1,000/tonne

    03 December 2015

    Weakness in ex-works prices yet to drag export values south of ranges, despite soft trading conditions.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Greenland open for mining business

    02 December 2015

    The sparsely populated North Atlantic country currently has no active mines, however its Oil and Mineral Strategy 2014-18 aims to bring between at least three into operation by 2018.

  • Titanium Corp. reduces 2015 net loss as development of tailings recovery process continues

    02 December 2015

    The company is in the process of developing its oil sands tailings recovery process, which will enable it to eliminate some of the challenges associated with tailings ponds and to extract valuable commodities such as ilmenite, leucoxene and zircon.

  • European Commission proposes 75% glass recycling target by 2030

    02 December 2015

    To target waste production, increase recycling and preserve natural resources, the EC has published a number of legislative proposals which will affect industrial mineral-consuming industries such as glass and plastics.

  • Israel’s NPBC takes ICL one step closer to mining Sde Barir phosphates

    02 December 2015

    Failure to secure permission to mine Sde Barir phosphates would have had a significant impact on Israel Chemicals’ phosphate operations, according to a union employee at the company. Fortunately for the company, the NPBC found that the site would produce no greater an effect on public health than a standard infrastructure project.

  • Yellow Rock Resources changes name to Australian Vanadium

    02 December 2015

    The Australia-based company has copper, gold, uranium and vanadium prospects in the country. However, it is making vanadium a priority as it announces plans to rebrand.

  • Applied Minerals agrees Midwest distribution for iron oxide and halloysite

    02 December 2015

    The US-based company has entered into another distribution agreement for its halloysite and iron oxide produced in Utah, this time strengthening its presence in the US Midwest region through a partnership with Brandt Technologies.

  • Molycorp requests data seal in Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan

    02 December 2015

    As the US rare earths producer approaches a creditor vote on its options to exit bankruptcy, it has asked that parts of its plans be kept secret in order to protect financial information from companies that may bid on it.

  • Orbite receives notice of allowance for red mud monetisation patent in Australia

    02 December 2015

    The Canadian company is expanding its intellectual property portfolio in Australia to develop its chloride technology. The innovation can transform red mud and fly ash into a high value mineral feedstock by extracting all the valuable constituents, including rare earths and alumina.

  • Altech signs finance mandate with German bank for HPA project

    02 December 2015

    The Australian company is stepping up its project funding efforts by executing a senior debt financing mandate with German state-owned KfW IPEX-Bank in order to push forward with its Malaysian high purity alumina development, which is due to come online by 2017.

  • SQM railway could take more than 18 months to repair

    02 December 2015

    The Chilean producer of lithium, potash, iodine and nitrates has yet to decide whether to proceed with the reconstruction of its port rail system, following storm damage in August.

  • South American lithium prices rise

    02 December 2015

    Lithium carbonate export values increase following earlier increases in hydroxide prices.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Financiers urged to have patience with mining investments

    01 December 2015

    Piling in when stock prices are up then pulling out when market cap starts to decline is the typical model for investing in mining equity, but this can be detrimental to promising projects subject to the vagaries of the commodity cycle.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Galaxy poised to relaunch in buoyant lithium market

    01 December 2015

    The ASX-listed lithium company has been through the mill as far as debt and operating issues are concerned, but Galaxy’s managing director says that the company is now back on track and ready to re-join the lithium industry at a time when demand and prices are moving in a positive direction.

  • AkzoNobel opens $10m US R&D facility in Ohio

    01 December 2015

    The Dutch paints and coatings manufacturer is focusing on strengthening its position in North America by opening a research centre in Ohio. This follows the company's previous announcement that it was to invest $3m in a Texas research facility.

  • Mining companies urged to innovate in preparation for commodity rebound

    01 December 2015

    China’s economic slowdown is contributing to the commodity downcycle and nobody seems sure when it will end. Yet, new research from Deloitte warns that mining companies will need to find innovative ways of making productivity gains in order to survive the downturn and be ready for the uptick.

  • Battery technology “strategic linchpin” for low carbon economy – Goldman Sachs

    01 December 2015

    As negotiations to combat climate change begin in Paris, a new report by Goldman Sachs lists hybrid and electric vehicles as one of four front runner technologies in the low carbon market. It expects regulatory pressure and economies of scale to spur investment in electric vehicles, increasing both performance and market share.

  • Chemours to slash workforce by 5% as part of cost-cutting measures

    01 December 2015

    The Chemours Co., the recent spin-off of global chemical firm DuPont, has announced plans to cut 400 positions globally in addition to around 200 positions at its Reactive Metals Solutions site in New York State as part of its plan to improve EBITDA and become more competitive as the pigment market remains weak.

  • Danakali completes Danakil project DFS

    01 December 2015

    The Australian junior believes that more positive market fundamentals for SOP, rather than MOP, should see it viewed more favourably by investors than other struggling potash juniors.

  • Lithium News in Brief 25 November – 1 December

    01 December 2015

    Galaxy clears historical debt; LG Chem snares German power plant deal; Lux says market for next-gen, post Li-ion batteries on the rise.

  • Iran to encourage investors to shift attention away from oil to focus on mining

    01 December 2015

    Like other Middle Eastern nations, Iran is attempting to diversify its economy away from oil and gas and focus more on the development of mining activities. An official from the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has said that mining could offer Iran more opportunities than oil.

  • Gulf Resources to invest up to $156m in Sichuan brines and natural gas

    01 December 2015

    The company has found brine concentrations up to seven times higher in Sichuan province's Daying County than in Shandong province, and intends to invest up to $156m in the area's natural gas and bromine and salt production potential.

  • Bushveld Minerals’ half-year loss narrows on lower administrative expenses

    01 December 2015

    The South Africa-based mineral explorer is bucking the trend of many of its junior counterparts by narrowing its pre-tax loss for the six months ended 31 August 2015. The news comes as the company pushes forward with its Mokopane vanadium project in South Africa.

  • November 2015

    Mines and Money ’15: Middle East swelling investment in industrial minerals

    30 November 2015

    The GCC’s historical reliance on hydrocarbons has made the Arab region one of the richest in the world, but with the downturn in oil and gas prices, Middle Eastern countries are looking at industrial minerals investments and at establishing local beneficiation capacity as a way of diversifying their economies.

  • Mines and Money ’15: Cash still available for “good” African mining projects

    30 November 2015

    Mitigating risk and meeting strict investor criteria are essential to securing funding for mining projects anywhere, but particularly in Africa, where there is a perception of increased threat and unpredictability for resource operations.

  • Received wisdom on potash markets is “flawed” – Highfield

    30 November 2015

    Most market observers understand the potash industry to be suffering from severe overcapacity, but this interpretation of the supply and demand structure of the market is seriously flawed – and flawed enough for a low cost competitor to join the club of producers, according to Highfield Resources.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 24 – 30 November

    30 November 2015

    Lynas unaware of any un-announced reasons for share price growth; GMEL sees public pre-hearing white paper approved; Research in Slovenia cuts rare earth requirement in magnets by 16 times.

  • Florida counties oppose state control of fracking

    30 November 2015

    Local authorities have voted against legislation that would give the state authority to legislate and permit fracking in Florida over concerns that the process could damage the environment in the state, which has a very active tourism sector.

  • Academics bemoan lack of clarity on China

    30 November 2015

    Universities lack data on Chinese deposits; Geological origin of Bayan Obo disputed while classifications in southern China uncertain.

  • Biomedical applications promise growth for halloysite

    30 November 2015

    Scientific research to open up new markets with cancer targeting issues being addressed, however additional studies are needed for internal use.

  • Ambiguity over HFC phase out clouds acidspar demand picture

    30 November 2015

    Non-Article 5 countries to lead the phasing out, with China likely to influence consumption trends. Transition to HFOs will also prompt fluorine demand.

  • Magnesita losses increase 48-fold due to write-offs

    30 November 2015

    Project cancellations hit company earnings while weak steel production cuts refractories income. The company predicts that 2016 will be another challenging year.

  • Imerys-Andalusite Resources takeover appeal postponed to February 2016

    30 November 2015

    Suspension gives parties more preparation time. CompComm argues merger is bad for industry, while Imerys denies it wishes to control market.

  • Claytech 2015: UK housebuilding to boost clay demand

    30 November 2015

    Rebound in house prices lifts new home starts with industrial clay consumption set to rise in UK.

  • Grecian Magnesite beefs up CCM processing plant

    30 November 2015

    The Greek magnesia producer is concentrating on enhancing its market position by announcing a CCM capacity development against a background of economic and financial challenges in its home country.

  • Australia mining investment to drop 58% over next three years

    30 November 2015

    The Australian mining industry continues to be squeezed by a global oversupply of most commodities and a slowdown in demand from China. According to an Australia-based industry analyst, these factors are stifling Australian economic growth and will cause thousands of job losses in the next three years.

  • Avalon to delist from NYSE

    30 November 2015

    A struggling share price necessitated the move by the junior explorer, which has lithium and rare earths interests in Canada. The company will continue to trade in on the TSX and over the counter in the US.

  • Industrial minerals producers commit to cut emissions as Paris climate talks commence

    30 November 2015

    The latest round of global discussions on climate change, dubbed COP (Conference of Parties) 21, begins today in Paris. It will finish on 11 December. Environmental campaigners want heads of state to agree on emissions cuts and industrial minerals producers have pledge to go green by improving their operations.

  • K+S to curtail potash production at Werra “for the time being” from December

    30 November 2015

    Low river levels and a delay in the applications process for saline wastewater injection will require K+S to cut back production at several of its potash mines in central Germany from December, the company confirmed.

  • Falling sales and prices drag down China’s antimony trioxide market

    30 November 2015

    Slowing demand from end markets is failing to keep pace with capacity while softening ingot prices are eroding trioxide selling values.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 21 – 27 November

    27 November 2015

    Saudi-Bangladeshi deal to set up 750,000 tpa phosphate plant in Dhaka; ICL cautious on Sheshinski legislation; PhosAgro to reduce phosphate production following delayed raw material deliveries

  • Sparton starts commissioning of Chinese vanadium redox battery

    27 November 2015

    The Canadian explorer has already financed the commissioning of what it describes as the world’s largest VRB project based in China. The battery is powering a large renewable energy project. Step one of the commissioning is now underway.

  • US starts battle to overhaul mine permitting

    27 November 2015

    A bill which passed the US House of Representatives in October aims to expedite start-up of mining operations in the country. As the industry looks to the Senate to follow suit, Myles McCormick, Reporter, spoke to politicians and lobbyists about the issues surrounding the current permitting situation.

  • Waxing and waning rare earths

    27 November 2015

    Europium, one of the higher priced heavy rare earths, is unlikely to see a rebound in demand as its main end market, phosphors, loses ground to LED lighting.

  • TZMI 2015: TiO2 industry needs to get balance right

    27 November 2015

    Market facing “COBAL” list of challenges; closer cooperation with value chain needed.

  • Piskanja borates drilling lives up to Erin’s expectations

    27 November 2015

    Erin looking to bring Piskanja resource up to measured status as stricter building rules boost boron demand for borates.

  • India’s APMDC prepares to float new barite tender

    27 November 2015

    Previously awarded contracts for barite mining India were set to expire on 30 November, prompting APMDC to consider new tender terms.

  • M-I SWACO lodges planning application for UK barite mine

    27 November 2015

    The application for a new barite mine in Scotland follows a 1996 planning rejection. The second attempt addresses environmental concerns that scuppered the original proposal.

  • BCGS Symposium: Minds gather in Canada for rare earths research

    27 November 2015

    Metallurgy remains barrier to market entry, but new technology is a big risk game.

  • Imerys: Europe still key for industrial minerals

    27 November 2015

    The world's leading industrial mineral company told delegates at the inaugural MINEX European Mining and Exploration Forum that the continent still has an important role to play in the minerals market.

  • MINEX Europe 2015: Old world, new opportunities

    27 November 2015

    Difficult times generate new initiatives and new opportunities, delegates heard at the inaugural MINEX European Mining and Exploration Forum in Vienna, Austria, in November.

  • European ceramics industry battles slowing demand

    27 November 2015

    Weak Chinese growth concern for suppliers as IKEA boosts otherwise slow European market and consolidation and e-commerce gain pace.

  • Bolt-ons deliver 11% revenue growth for Imerys

    27 November 2015

    Imerys' sales rise masked a like-for-like income decline as proppants revenues plunge but graphite is boosted by Li-ion battery demand.

  • Thunderbird edges slightly closer to take off as Sheffield begins A$7m funding drive

    27 November 2015

    Australian mineral sands explorer Sheffield Resources aims to raise capital through a placement and share purchase plan in order to fund a bankable feasibility study at its Thunderbird mineral sands project, following the release of a pre-feasibility study last month.

  • Africa’s mining sector must create more jobs to drive prosperity

    27 November 2015

    A variety of private sector stakeholders, government officials and members of the public from Africa recently congregated at an oil, gas and mining conference held in Sudan and led by a UN body responsible for dealing with development issues. The organisers called for the mining sector to take action in creating jobs for local people.

  • Government to have final say on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking appeal

    27 November 2015

    Invoking the “recovery” procedure, the UK’s Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will now make a ruling on the company’s unconventional drilling appeal himself.

  • Price Briefing 20 – 26 November

    27 November 2015

    Iodine, magnesia, potash, rare earths and TiO2 prices all down on earlier in the year, as oversupply and weak Chinese consumption erode markets.

  • Obama signs space mining exploration bill into US law

    26 November 2015

    US President Barack Obama has signed into law a new act, called the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, 2015, which aims to facilitate asteroid mining in space. Space houses a myriad of industrial minerals such as olivine and rare earths.

  • Altech to shift proposed kaolin plant from Australia to Malaysia

    26 November 2015

    The Australian company has completed detailed design and optimisation work for its proposed high purity alumina project. After analysing results from its design study, Altech has decided to build its kaolin beneficiation plant in Malaysia instead of Australia.

  • Triton graphite project to use Pemba port

    26 November 2015

    Logistics and power grid infrastructure to aid Mozambique graphite project development

  • Graphite News in Brief 20 – 26 November

    26 November 2015

    Metals of Africa announces mineral resource for Montepuex Central project; IMZ releases PFS results for Chilalo; Focus says tests prove Lac Knife flake graphite is superior to available alternatives.

  • Venezuela’s CSV holds meeting to discuss domestic refractories capacity

    26 November 2015

    The Latin American country is struggling to produce refractories to meet the demand of its domestic steel industry. Sector experts have met to discuss the challenge of boosting refractories production.

  • Limestone mine permitting to be reviewed in India

    26 November 2015

    The new Indian mining laws of 2015 have resulted in a blockage with regards to the transfer of non-auctioned mining rights, at least two limestone-consuming cement companies have found.

  • US mayor ousted following frac sand complaints

    26 November 2015

    Local politics resulted in the mayor of a small Wisconsin town being booted out, after disagreements about openness in dealing with local concerns about frac sand mining.

  • Jordan looks to develop shale and mineral reserves

    26 November 2015

    The Middle Eastern kingdom is a major producer of phosphate and also mines a handful of other minerals for domestic consumption and export. The country is now looking to exploit its shale reserves, which are mostly too shallow for fracking, but low oil prices are threatening the plans.

  • Image exploration at Australian Bidaminna resource demonstrates high leucoxene content

    25 November 2015

    The company is confident in the potential economics of the Bidaminna project in the North Perth Basin owing to the potential of producing high value leucoxene products using large volume dredge mining with a low slime content.

  • US Congress gives green light to new space mining bill

    25 November 2015

    A new bill passed by the US Congress has allowed space mining companies the right to mineral deposits in space — home to a variety of resources including rare earths and olivine.

  • UK Chancellor’s housebuilding pledge to boost gypsum, clay and pigment demand

    25 November 2015

    The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced the “biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s” in his Autumn Statement. If carried through, the pledge is expected to provide a boost for industrial minerals that go into bricks such as fire clay and kaolin and for products such as titanium dioxide that go into pigments to make paints.

  • German newsletter indicates fresh PotashCorp interest in K+S

    25 November 2015

    A revival of interest in K+S is rumoured by a well-known German morning briefing service. Should PotashCorp submit another bid in the spring, it would mark a substantial recovery in the company’s outlook for the German miner, after saying in September that the deal was no longer as lucrative as it might have been given prevailing market conditions.

  • TZMI 2015: China remains key TiO2 market for Iluka

    25 November 2015

    The world’s most populated country remains an important titanium dioxide market for the Australian mineral sands producer, despite a growth in the consumption of domestically produced ilmenite in the country.

  • TZMI 2015: Chinese TiO2 production rate to hold steady as economy slows

    25 November 2015

    Stable levels of TiO2 production are expected in the coming years as China’s rate of GDP growth falls. Industry consolidation looks set to continue, however, and a significant shift to the chloride-route process of making the pigment material is still some way off.

  • Rare earths prices fall back after rally

    25 November 2015

    Lanthanum and europium prices sink while dysprosium and mixed magnet oxides fare better.

  • Solvay commits to 40% CO2 reduction by 2025

    25 November 2015

    The chemicals manufacturer has outlined a number of measures it will carry out to help reduce the effects of climate change ahead of the COP 21 summit to be held in Paris next month.

  • CCM prices from China slip in flat market

    25 November 2015

    Soft refractories demand is reported to be eroding prices for caustic calcined magnesia.

  • SITEI delegates urge Nigerian government to develop mining ports

    24 November 2015

    Nigeria, like a number of countries in the Middle East, is looking at how it can diversify away from oil and unlocking the minerals sector forms part of this plan. The West African country’s mining sector recently teamed up with members of the Nigerian’s government to discuss this issue at the fourth Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) conference.

  • VV Mineral urges government to remove some HMS from India’s MMDR Act

    24 November 2015

    India’s Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act (MMDR), 2015 came into force earlier this year. Heavy mineral sands, such as ilmenite and zircon, are included in this act under the atomic minerals list. Yet, India’s largest producer of these minerals is calling on the Indian government to remove them from the atomic minerals list to encourage foreign direct investment.

  • SQM strenuously denies illegal brine export allegations

    24 November 2015

    The Chilean lithium producer said that all exports go through a rigorous approvals process and is unaware what could have motivated the accusation, made by a group of the company’s employees.

  • Nabaltec posts 3% Q3 revenue increase helped by strong technical ceramics arm

    24 November 2015

    The Germany-based speciality alumina producer saw its third quarter 2015 revenue increase, aided by a strong technical ceramics unit— a segment which produces ceramic materials for the refractories industry.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 18 – 24 November

    24 November 2015

    Bacanora triples Sonora indicated mineral reserve; Ganfeng plans new carbonate plant; Ecuadorian government looks to Bolivia for lithium-ion batteries.

  • China to strengthen rare earth exploration and mining regulations

    24 November 2015

    Extra restrictions are to come into force to further tie down rare earths production to only the big six producers in China.

  • Applied Minerals to partner with HORN for halloysite and iron oxide distribution

    23 November 2015

    Following orders this month for both its Dragnoite halloysite and its Amiron iron oxides, Applied Minerals will now partner with HORN for further distribution of its products in North America.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 17-23 November

    23 November 2015

    Lynas Corp. wants to shift to long-term contract purchases; Geomega reduces director compensation; Pacific Wildcat sees project site destroyed in Mozambique.

  • Uralkali to delist from LSE as revenues edge back

    23 November 2015

    A continued buyback programme has resulted in little free share float on the LSE; thus Uralkali has elected to delist from the exchange. Production edged down, meanwhile, owing to weak market sentiment and the continued effects of the Solikamsk II mine disaster.

  • Iofina hit by cut to brine injections following Oklahoma earthquake

    23 November 2015

    A decision by Oklahoma state authorities to reduce salt water injections by oil and gas producers will reduce Iofina’s capacity to produce iodine. However, the company remains adamant that its H2 2015 targets will be met.

  • China’s TiO2 prices have declined by around $400/tonne since mid-year peaks

    23 November 2015

    Domestic prices sag as export demand dries up and overcapacity weighs on market.

  • Low equity prices “may” offer M&A opportunities for mining industry

    23 November 2015

    The large mining houses have been working hard on cutting costs and boosting productivity, as their shares continue to fall, says consulting group McKinsey. Despite this, the group maintains that there is an alternative reading of the industry’s mid- to long-term prospects, with sparks of M&A interest on the horizon.

  • Saskatchewan looks to overhaul potash taxation

    23 November 2015

    The province’s potash tax regime is regarded as complicated by fertiliser industry insiders, given its convoluted structure of royalties, taxes and rebates. Reform is on the cards, according to Saskatchewan’s finance minister, though sympathy for potash producers suffering from low prices appears to be in short supply.

  • TZMI 2015: Chinese TiO2 capacity to reach 3.2m tonnes in 2015

    23 November 2015

    Rising capacity and slowing overseas demand is threatening to trap all but the largest Chinese TiO2 producers in a cycle of loss, one leading industry body has warned.

  • Madagascar to pass new mining code by start of 2016

    23 November 2015

    The African island nation, which has reserves of graphite, gypsum and ilmenite, is expected to pass its revised mining law in the next few months. It is the latest African country to reform its mining legislation in an effort to create an attractive environment for foreign direct investment.

  • TZMI 2015: Rio predicts bright future for TiO2 despite shutdowns

    23 November 2015

    The mining giant touted the “robust” medium and long term fundamentals of the TiO2 market as it explained how market alignment necessitated taking a number of facilities offline in the short term.

  • Outotec heightened cost cutting could lead to 650 job losses

    20 November 2015

    The company has increased its cost saving targets to €70m, as its previous cost savings programme has been deemed insufficient in the current market outlook. As a result, Outotec plans to restructure its businesses, with two third of cost savings coming from personnel costs.

  • Vale puts Kronau potash project on hold again

    20 November 2015

    Work at the Canadian site has once again been delayed as a result of weak market conditions in agriminerals and difficulty with financing the project.

  • Claytech 2015: UK borehole drillers need to follow “statutory obligations”

    20 November 2015

    The UK is home to a variety of industrial minerals including ball clay, gypsum, potash and limestone. At this year’s Claytech Conference in Stafford, one industry specialist said that many explorers were ignorant of the rules surrounding the drilling of boreholes and urged them to educate themselves about the statutory requirements.

  • TZMI 2015: IHS Automotive offers gloomy outlook for Chinese TiO2

    20 November 2015

    Automotive coatings represent an important consuming industry for titanium dioxide, but overcapacity in China and slowing economic growth is likely to erode demand from the sector in the next few years.

  • TZMI 2015: Henan Billions outlines sales plans to 2018

    20 November 2015

    The leading Chinese TiO2 producer said it expects to sell 350,000 tpa TiO2 in the period 2016-2018 and is working to ramp up its capacity to 500,000 tpa of the chemical, half of which will be chloride-route material.

  • TZMI 2015: TiO2 industry needs to get balance right

    20 November 2015

    Disconnects between market conditions, customer requirements and the performance of TiO2 suppliers are hampering the sector’s ability to deal with soft demand and weak prices, delegates at the meeting in Shanghai heard.

  • Price Briefing 13 – 19 November

    20 November 2015

    India could revise down barite prices in wake of oilfield decline; iodine sinks further in Q3 but SQM remains positive about lithium.

  • Axalta begins construction of coatings research centre in China

    19 November 2015

    A joint investment with the Minhong Group, Axalta hopes to stay at the forefront of coatings research in China and provide support and technology to the growing light vehicle OEM and commercial vehicle markets.

  • Thyssenkrupp to unify branding across subsidiaries

    19 November 2015

    The diverse industrial group, which has interests spanning from steel production to metallurgy and ore crushing and screening equipment, hopes to unify the perception by customers of its various arms under one, unifying brand identity.

  • Claytech 2015: UK housebuilding to boost clay demand

    19 November 2015

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron has recently announced plans to construct new homes for the country's growing population. Expansion in the construction sector and a rebound in house building, which grew 18% last year, will fuel demand for minerals such as fire clay, kaolin and alumino-silicates consumed by the sector.

  • Protestors call on Andhra Pradesh to cancel bauxite government order

    19 November 2015

    Fears over environmental pollution and the mistreatment of aboriginal peoples have led to a frosty attitude of local people with the Andhra Pradesh government over bauxite mining permits.

  • Vesuvius expects 2015 earnings to be at low end of forecasts

    19 November 2015

    The British refractories company said in its trading update for the first 10 months of the year that it continued to face falling demand from steel markets and that a slim recovery in foundry was outweighed by broader tough trading conditions.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 13 – 19 November

    19 November 2015

    Bogala mulls delisting in Sri Lanka; Syrah scoops further sales agreements; Glasgow researchers cut costs of CVD graphene production.

  • Altech receives funding interest from German bank concerning HPA project

    19 November 2015

    The unnamed Germany-based bank’s interest in financing Altech’s HPA project has been made more significant by a federal government insurance programme for export finance, according to the company.

  • UK to close coal power plants in switch to gas by 2025

    18 November 2015

    The move to phase out unabated coal fired plants by 2025 will make the UK one of the first countries to commit to taking coal out of its power generation system, but the government's focus on nuclear and gas rather than wind and solar has been criticised.

  • US soda ash producers scoop $5/s.ton increase for 2016 contract prices

    18 November 2015

    Average rise in deal values less than half list price hikes announced in July as international sales come under pressure.

  • PhosAgro 9M net profit soars by 403%

    18 November 2015

    The internationally weak Russian rouble has again led to a bumper result for PhosAgro, which houses most of its cost base within the Federation. The fertiliser producer noted that its markets were weak, but said that the foreign exchange shifts should to continue offset this.

  • SQM Q3 earnings fall $56m following facility wind down

    18 November 2015

    Write-offs stemming from the cessation of mining operations at the Pedro de Valdivia mine hit the third quarter results of the Chilean lithium, potash and iodine producer. Segmental revenues for lithium were up as demand continued to rise, but sales income for both potash and iodine was down on the back of price decreases.

  • Chemours breaks ground on Chinese HFO production facility

    18 November 2015

    With the spotlight on HFC reduction and a move to low global warming potential solutions for refrigerants, Chemours is confident that demand for its HFO-based products will continue to grow.

  • China's Heilongjiang province to push graphite consolidation

    18 November 2015

    The province has a number of issues pertaining to graphite mining licences and the government is attempting to solve these through holding regular meetings which it also hopes will improve the graphite supply chain.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 11 – 17 November

    17 November 2015

    Galaxy Resources restructures debt; Orocobre signs MoU with Bateman Advanced Technologies; Neometals and Mineral Resources commence DFS on ELi process.

  • MINEX Europe 15: Social licence touchstone for European mining success

    17 November 2015

    Community support for projects is more important than ever and can make or break mine developments in the densely populated, tightly regulated continent.

  • Colorado attempts to ease fracking conflicts as protests ripple across US

    17 November 2015

    New rules proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are proving to be less unifying than anticipated as recent discussions in the state have created further disagreements over fracking regulation.

  • Xiamen Tungsten scoops rare earth magnet project funding

    17 November 2015

    Magnets are understood to be an increasingly important source of demand for rare earth elements. A new raft of investment will add 600 tpa extra capacity to the company’s downstream NdFeB manufacturing base.

  • India’s APMDC prepares to float new barite tender

    17 November 2015

    The contracts awarded in the last auction held in May this year are set to expire on 30 November and APMDC is currently considering the terms of a fresh tender, which is expected to offer rights to mine and sell barite on a FOB India basis for a period of 12 months.

  • Orient Refractories profit dips 9% in September 2015 quarter

    17 November 2015

    The company is the latest Indian refractories supplier to report a drop in its fiscal Q2 2016 earnings as India’s domestic steel market struggles to compete with cheap Chinese imports.

  • BCGS Symposium: Rare earth metallurgy remains extremely complex

    17 November 2015

    Metallurgical challenges in the rare earths sector are some of the toughest in the mining sector, delegates at the BCGS Strategic and Critical Materials event in British Columbia, Canada, heard last week. Despite this, full and proper piloting and a number of new technologies could see new market entrants overcome these obstacles.

  • MINEX Europe 15: Imerys says Europe is still key for industrial minerals

    17 November 2015

    Despite challenging demand conditions and rising production costs, European countries continue to represent important sources and markets for industrial minerals, delegates at the first MINEX European Mining and Exploration Forum in Vienna heard today.

  • Chinese Li-ion industry could reach $2.5 trillion as EV industry grows

    16 November 2015

    EV production is expected to continue to grow in China, driving up the value of the Chinese Li-ion battery industry and creating demand for lithium producers, key material providers and the downstream battery core installation market. However, despite China's growth in this area, the industry is not without its challenges in terms of production and quality.

  • Chemours praises UN decision for 2016 HFC amendment

    16 November 2015

    Titanium dioxide and fluorochemicals producer Chemours has praised the UN's decision to work towards an HFC amendment in 2016. The company itself has launched its low GWP Opteon refrigerants, which it believes can help to eliminate around 300m tonnes CO2 equivalent by 2025.

  • M-I SWACO lodges planning application for UK barite mine

    16 November 2015

    The company’s latest planning application to the local council follows years of environmental studies and public consultation to address the concerns which previously led to the rejects of M-I SWACO’s 1996 application. With the potential for 120,000 tpa barite production, the company hopes to enable to the UK to become self-sufficient in its barite requirements.

  • Momentive to embark on $25m cost reduction initiative as Q3 sales decline

    16 November 2015

    The US silicones and quartz producer’s Q3 2015 sales were impacted by a strong US dollar, destocking by a number of key customers and a sluggish Chinese economy. The news comes as the company announced that it was embarking on a global restructuring programme to address market headwinds.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 10 – 16 November

    16 November 2015

    PFS results for Songwe Hill and Yangibana; Frontier reports increased loss for Q3; Goa among Indian states to be mapped for rare earths reserves.

  • New Kenyan mining law to establish ‘transparent’ legal regime

    16 November 2015

    Kenya is expected to unveil a new mining law in a few months’ time, making it the latest African country to undergo extensive legislative mining reform to provide an attractive environment for direct foreign investment. Legal experts have said the new law will attract foreign investors to the country and help local communities.

  • Nordic Mining narrows y-o-y loss as development of Engebo rutile continues

    16 November 2015

    The company hopes to supply the European titanium dioxide feedstock market, which it says is in significant deficit, and for which Nordic Mining expects demand to grow in the future.

  • Orocobre teams up with Bateman Advanced Technologies on lithium hydroxide plant

    13 November 2015

    The staggered process could lead to the construction of a 15-25,000 tpa lithium hydroxide plant in the second half of 2017 which would make use of BAT’s proprietary conversion process. The agreement is subject to a number of reviews.

  • Orbite slightly widens net loss in Q3

    13 November 2015

    The company has seen a widening of its net loss for the third quarter of this year due to a slight dip in net income. However, Orbite confirmed that it was fully financed for the completion of its HPA facility, due to come online in the next quarter.

  • Magnesita’s Q3 loss increases almost 50-fold due to write-offs

    13 November 2015

    Despite posting an increase in net operating revenues, the Brazilian refractories producer has reported a significant loss for the third quarter of 2015 as a result of exceptional events in the company’s Brazilian, European and Chinese operations.

  • Applied Minerals receives initial halloysite order

    13 November 2015

    Applied Minerals is to supply the chemicals company with halloysite for zeolite molecular sieves, and plans to target high value industries such as the catalyst and adsorbent markets with its Dragonite product.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 7 – 13 November

    13 November 2015

    Uralkali mulls 300,000 tonnes potash target slash for Q4; Yara brings SNC Lavalin on board for Ethiopian potash project; Pakistani government extends fertiliser subsidy to single super phosphate.

  • Price Briefing 6 – 12 November

    13 November 2015

    Weak demand prevails in fluorspar and graphite while lithium prices continue to rise.

  • EuroChem reports revenue decline as weak fertiliser prices overshadow volume growth

    13 November 2015

    While EuroChem's outlook remains optimistic, with hopes that increased demand in phosphate and capacity cuts in potash will help to stabilise prices, the company said it could not rule out further price erosion.

  • BCGS Symposium: Look at limestones for rare earth exploration

    13 November 2015

    Publicly funded academia is still on the hunt for new rare earths deposits from both a scientific interest perspective and in the hope of finding potentially mineable deposits. Those looking for profitably exploitable deposits should look to limestone and marble rocks with strong alkaline igneous activity nearby, delegates attending the Symposium on Strategic and Critical Materials were advised.

  • General Magnesium to go public in January 2016

    12 November 2015

    The Canadian magnesite and talc producer is aiming to raise funds for its Whitney project via a reverse takeover process, following the announcement of deals for magnesite offtake and talc processing which have brought the site closer to operation.

  • FLSmidth earnings fall into loss as mining capex cuts continue

    12 November 2015

    With market conditions in the mineral mining industry continuing to decline, an increasing amount of miners are announcing capacity shut downs, while downward pressure on commodity prices is forcing producers to cut capex spending.

  • ICL to halt UK potash production as Q3 profit is hit by low prices

    12 November 2015

    The Israeli chemicals company has reported a fall in revenue and profit for Q3 2015, as the industry takes a hit from the current slowdown happening the potash market. ICL has also announced its intention to transform its UK facility from focusing on potash to polyhalite.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 6 – 12 November

    12 November 2015

    Ardiden begins drilling at Manitouwadge; Ashburton acquires controlling stake in Buckingham mine; new deposits discovered in China’s Heilongjiang and Sichuan provinces.

  • Fairmount reports $46m loss in Q3 as frac sand demand deteriorates further

    12 November 2015

    With fracking activity showing no sign of rebounding, demand and prices for frac sand and resin-coated proppants deteriorated further over the quarter. However, Fairmount believes that as supply continues to consolidate the company has managed to retain market share.

  • Morgan’s orders fall due to weak demand from North America and China

    12 November 2015

    The UK-based refractories producer has issued a trading update for Q3 2015 and said that trading conditions since the first half of the year have weakened due to challenging economic conditions in China and North America. However, it also said that its thermal ceramics business has continued to perform well.

  • Lanxess develops new flame retardant polyamide for electrics

    12 November 2015

    With the popularity of halogen-based retardants already on the wane, Lanxess’ new product aims to shift the market further away from mineral reliance, replacing mineral fillings with a glass reinforcement.

  • US Monroe Port starts gypsum recycling

    12 November 2015

    US energy firm DTE Energy and the Port of Monroe agree to process and market gypsum building material from the local power plant, while demand from the agricultural industry has also opened up another avenue of demand for the mineral.

  • K+S Q3 revenue increases as de-icing salt prices strengthen

    12 November 2015

    Despite the current slowdown in the potash market, the company has posted an increase in Q3 2015 revenues helped by a strong performance from its salt business. Its potash division also proved robust despite declining volumes. K+S is now preparing to commission its Canadian potash mine next year which it says will help drive growth.

  • New Zealand minerals sector could benefit from planned EU trade deal

    12 November 2015

    The free trade agreement currently in discussion could benefit a number of mineral producers in New Zealand including Imerys Ceramics' New Zealand division and Dominion Salt, for which Europe has never been a natural market owing to the high percentage of export costs accounted for by freight.

  • World Bank and NEXIM Bank team up to develop Nigeria’s mining sector

    11 November 2015

    Nigeria is the latest African country to declare that it is focusing on its mining sector to encourage investment and create jobs. In order to do this, the West African country’s Export-Import Bank has linked up with the World Bank to revamp Nigeria’s mining sector and diversify its economy away from oil.

  • Oman set to become world’s fourth largest gypsum producer by 2018

    11 November 2015

    With demand for gypsum increasing from India, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries, Oman is filling the production gap left by supply shortages from Thailand, where the mineral has become heavily regulated.

  • Albemarle predicts double digit EBITDA growth in lithium in 2016

    11 November 2015

    The speciality chemicals producer said it expects demand across a number of lithium applications, not just Li-ion batteries, to contribute to the increase.

  • Orbite obtains US fly ash recycling patent

    11 November 2015

    The company, which changed its name from Orbite Aluminae Inc. to Orbite Technologies earlier this year, has been given the green light by US officials to pursue the commercial application of its fly ash processing technology. The innovation transforms fly ash into a high value mineral feedstock by extracting all the valuable constituents, including rare earths and alumina.

  • Cancana and JV partner announce record manganese production for Q3 2015

    11 November 2015

    The Canadian explorer and its JV partner, Ferrometals, have said that their recent manganese output results surpassed their expectations. The news sets the companies, collectively known as the Brazil Manganese Corp., on track to meet their aim of becoming a primary domestic provider of agricultural-grade manganese in Brazil.

  • BASF reorganisation will result in 120 job cuts by end of 2016

    11 November 2015

    The global chemicals manufacturer will create two new business units, paper and water, and oilfield mining solutions, to streamline its portfolio starting on 1 January 2016, which is likely to result in job cuts before the end of the year.

  • MRC gets green light for new prospecting right

    10 November 2015

    The company, which mines garnet, ilmenite, zircon and rutile at its Tormin project in South Africa, will be expanding its HMS operation after obtaining the official documents to do so. It hopes that the long-term plan to extend its development will underpin the economic viability of its resource.

  • Vior confirms additional rutile mineralisation at Canadian Foothills project

    10 November 2015

    The mineral sands exploration company has demonstrated strong rutile mineralisation in and around its project, as well as higher rutile content at its recently discovered Boudreau ilmenite showing.

  • Huber announces ground calcium carbonate price hike

    10 November 2015

    The company said it will increase its calcium carbonate prices by an average of 5-10% from December 2015 as a result of heightened costs.

  • Illegal rare earth mine in Hainan province uncovered

    10 November 2015

    China recently promised a crackdown on illegal rare earths mining, which may already be bearing fruit. Around 100 tonnes rare earths has already been produced at the site discovered in Hainan province, which may have been hidden and protected by local government officials, according to a local paper.

  • Lithium News in Brief 4 – 10 November

    10 November 2015

    Orocobre increases production as debottlenecking continues; Lithium Australia granted trading halt ahead of material acquisition; Pure Energy readies for second drill campaign.

  • EU ministers pledge to take “concrete actions” to help steel sector

    10 November 2015

    Ministers from across Europe have focused on tackling the challenges currently facing the steel industry at recent talks. The underlying pressures driving the difficulties in the sector are global overcapacity and cheap Chinese imports. Refractories producers who have businesses in Europe are likely to welcome the discussions on the topic.

  • Bondholders and unsecured creditors “in revolt” over Molycorp’s bankruptcy exit plans

    10 November 2015

    Molycorp’s unsecured lenders are reportedly unhappy with the company’s plans for leaving bankruptcy, which would involve either a full segmented asset sale or the wiping of much of its debt, both scenarios which the non-senior creditors claim will unduly favour Oaktree Capital.

  • Yellow Rock confirms 25m tonne vanadium resource in Australia

    10 November 2015

    The company’s Gabanintha project is expected to produce up to 10,000 tpa vanadium pentoxide once its processing facility has been commissioned. Following the unveiling of an updated mineral resource, it aims to start preparing to publish its feasibility studies by the start of next year.

  • Chinese lithium hydroxide prices follow carbonate up

    10 November 2015

    Companies in China raise selling values on market confidence and potential supply tightness but prices in other regions remain stable.

  • Cancana secures $2m short-term loan to help with manganese project

    09 November 2015

    At a time when explorers are finding it difficult to raise financing, Cancana has managed to secure funds from its JV partner. It is hoping the money will help advance its manganese exploration programme in Rondonia, northwest Brazil.

  • Israel moves to burden mining companies with Sheshinski II tax proposals

    09 November 2015

    Should the taxes move past the final hurdle in mid-November, Israel Chemicals could see its tax bill rise substantially.

  • Iran ramps up exploration drive

    09 November 2015

    As foreign investment interest picks up steam following the removal of western sanctions on Iran, the country is accelerating its mineral exploration efforts, recently announcing a project to identify natural resources in the province of Kerman.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 3 – 9 November

    09 November 2015

    Chinese rare earths miners produce mostly losses; Tantalus enters preliminary insolvency proceedings; Northern Minerals cuts pay for executive staff and issues redundancy notices.

  • Fairmount proppant technology field trials demonstrate 39% increase in oil production

    09 November 2015

    With oil and gas prices failing to show signs of meaningful recovery, proppant companies such as Fairmount Santrol are continuing to develop new technologies and demonstrate that their products can help to lower costs and improve efficiencies in oil and gas production.

  • Bushveld Minerals subsidiary acquires South African vanadium project for $600,000

    09 November 2015

    The South Africa-based mineral explorer has expanded its vanadium platform by acquiring another vanadium development in the country. The company aims to develop this asset along with its primary Mokopane-based vanadium project in Limpopo.

  • Sierra Leone declared Ebola free in boon for African mining

    09 November 2015

    The West African nation has had a difficult existence for the duration of the Ebola epidemic, but the outbreak has now officially ended in the country, according to the WHO. While the country’s economy has been damaged by the spread of the virus and thousands have died, positive long-term influences, especially in healthcare structure and organisation, may serve to sweeten the painful legacy of the disease.

  • IFGL’s Q2 profit cut in half due to Redcar steel plant closure

    09 November 2015

    The Indian refractories producer lost a lucrative customer last month when SSI’s steel plant based in northern England closed down. This closure has caused a dent in IFGL’s fiscal 2016 Q2 profits.

  • Natural Resource Partners’ industrial minerals Q3 earnings offset by weak oil and gas segments

    09 November 2015

    The Texas, US-based partnership reported encouraging results in its soda ash and aggregates interests. But these were more than offset by the continuing weakness of the markets for coal, oil and gas and a number of consequent impairments by the company in its related segments.

  • Struggling fluorspar suppliers fear further pricing pressure into 2016

    09 November 2015

    As weak demand continues to limit hopes of a market upturn, producers have said that prices could erode further approaching the northern hemisphere winter.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 31 October – 6 November

    06 November 2015

    Uralchem produces 4.4m tonnes fertilisers from January-September 2015; Acron nine month profits rise 37% y-o-y; Compass Minerals Q3 incomes remain flat.

  • Meridian Drilling launches geochemistry arm to improve exploration efficiency

    06 November 2015

    The UK-based drilling company says its onsite testing offers laboratory standard results, reducing the need for conventional sample testing and increasing efficiency.

  • MZI begins production of saleable material at Keysbrook

    06 November 2015

    The mineral sands junior is targeting full production during the current quarter and initial sales by December 2015, following the successful processing of its first batch of heavy mineral concentrate through a Picton-based separation plant.

  • Orbite secures new funds to support HPA project

    06 November 2015

    The company has obtained a financing arrangement to help advance its business plan, as it gets ready to bring its 3 tpd HPA plant into commercial production by the end of the year.

  • Canada Fluorspar gets green light for AGS project

    06 November 2015

    The company has received news that the authorities in St Lawrence, based in Newfoundland, Canada, have approved an environmental preview report on its AGS fluorspar mine following a public consultation review. Canada Fluorspar will now be pushing ahead with plans to start construction work on the project, which is expected to begin by the end of this year.

  • General Magnesium readies for Ontario magnesite-talc production with new deals

    06 November 2015

    A confirmed agreement for magnesite and another expected for talc will allow the company to bring its Whitney Township mine online.

  • Twelve Chinese graphite companies fined for pollution in Jixi

    06 November 2015

    The companies have been issued with penalties of up to $40,000 for environmental infringements following a government probe. Measures have since been taken by the companies to correct the various violations.

  • Supply-demand imbalance could pull graphite prices down further

    06 November 2015

    Prices for fine flakes are experiencing downward pressure but larger mesh material values are holding firm for now.

  • Sierra Rutile forecasts modest rutile recovery in mid-2016

    06 November 2015

    On a recent site visit to Sierra Leone, the UK-listed TiO2 feedstock miner told IM that it is expecting flat, followed by steadily rising prices in currently depressed titanium-based chemicals markets, potentially marking a reversal of the continued declines since 2012.

  • Price Briefing 30 October – 5 November

    06 November 2015

    Amorphous graphite and soda ash face future price pressure while lithium and rare earths rise.

  • Weak TiO2 prices pull Chemours into net loss for Q3

    06 November 2015

    In its first quarter of standalone operations, DuPont’s spin-off company Chemours has reported a net loss as the weak TiO2 market continues to weigh heavily on results.

  • Ciner affirms positive outlook as Q3 income grows 26%

    06 November 2015

    OCI Resources, now operating under the new name Ciner Resources since Turkey's Ciner Group finalised its transaction last week, has reported an increase in sales and income as soda ash production and volumes grew in the third quarter. Although the company expects prices to slightly soften towards the end of the year, average soda ash prices are anticipated to remain at higher levels than last year.

  • Agrium earnings edge up to $99m in Q3

    05 November 2015

    The Canadian fertiliser producer saw Q3 profits rise on 2014 levels owing to increased volumes after its Vanscoy potash mine expansion and lower international gas prices, which massaged gross profits in the company’s nitrogen division.

  • Tronox reports Q3 net loss as TiO2 price declines offset higher volumes

    05 November 2015

    While y-o-y volumes in its TiO2 business have seen a slight improvement, pigment prices have continued to fall resulting in a net loss. On a sequential basis, the segment continued to deteriorate as revenue, prices and volumes all experienced a decline.

  • Erin’s Piskanja drill hole results in line with expectations

    05 November 2015

    The explorer said that management were satisfied with the drilling results at its Serbian boron site. The drilling project follows a recent fundraising drive to finance the site’s development.

  • Currency shifts hit Albemarle’s Q3 sales

    05 November 2015

    The chemicals producer’s sales and EBITDA figures were adversely impacted by the strong US dollar. Bromine sales volumes were lower than in the same period in 2014, as price hikes took their toll. Lithium volumes picked up however, as demand for battery-grade product rose, while price rises across the performance chemicals division increased individual sale yields.

  • Nordic Quartz completes HPQ drilling programme in Norway

    05 November 2015

    The company has completed testwork at its Kvinnherad resource, in Norway, after beginning its drilling campaign at the start of September. It is now hoping to send samples off for chemical testing and analysis in order to investigate the variations and purity of the quartz deposit.

  • MGX receives bulk sample permit for Driftwood Creek project

    05 November 2015

    The Canadian explorer is hoping to extract more magnesia from its Driftwood site after receiving permission to extract more of the material from the area. The news comes as the company pushes ahead with developments at the facility in the hope of starting commercial production in late 2016.

  • RHI sees Q3 2015 profit rise by 5.5%

    05 November 2015

    Despite a challenging environment, RHI has posted a rise in Q3 pre-tax profit which has been helped by strong sales in its industrial arm. Although it expects to increase group revenues by more than 3% for 2015, the company is still concerned about marcoeconomic conditions impacting on refractories orders.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 30 October – 5 November

    05 November 2015

    GrafTech and SGL offer bleak outlooks for carbon materials; Triton ups resource at Nicanda Hill; Angstron Materials pledges to boost graphene production to 1,000 tpa.

  • Indian government backs new Rajasthan port

    05 November 2015

    A new inland port at Jalore could increase shipments of raw materials from the mineral rich northwest Indian state.

  • US voters support higher oil production while UK fracking policies face criticism

    04 November 2015

    A survey conducted for the API has revealed that a large proportion of voters in the US would support a candidate who pushed for higher oil and natural gas production ahead of the general election in the country next year. The UK government meanwhile has been lambasted by Greenpeace for its fracking policies in protected areas and national parks.

  • JPMC reports 176% rise in Q3 net profit

    04 November 2015

    The phosphate company has embarked on a strategy of improving its product mix and expanding its operations. This has helped JPMC to increase its Q3 2015 profit. The news follows hot on the heels of its recent announcement by JPMC that it has opened a phosphoric acid plant in Jordan with JV partner Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative.

  • Innophos notes downwards fertiliser price pressure as incomes drop 70%

    04 November 2015

    The US-based phosphate supplier has, alongside a number of other fertiliser producers, acknowledged bearish sentiment in phosphate markets leading up to the end of 2015. Company earnings dropped by 70% y-o-y for Q3 2015.

  • China Northern to raise prices for Pr-Nd as MIIT announces fresh assault on illegal mining

    04 November 2015

    The Ganzhou Rare Earth Association and China Northern have announced some of the first price rises in the rare earths industry since the summer, after a torrid year of near-continuous pricing declines. Meanwhile, the MIIT has announced a renewed focus on eradicating illegal mining capacity.

  • Henan Billions revenues and profit fall in Q3

    04 November 2015

    The Chinese TiO2 producer reported a drop in turnover and profit for the quarter despite significantly higher results for the first nine months of the year compared to 2014. The company now aims to position itself as China’s leading domestic supplier of chloride-route TiO2 as the country pushes for greater self-sufficiency in the market.

  • Chinese lithium prices jumped twice in October

    04 November 2015

    Leading Chinese lithium carbonate supplier Ganfeng Lithium put up its prices for a second time in the space of a month last week, prompting industry peers to follow suit as rising demand for the material from the EV battery industry continues to support the market.

  • Parkinson-Spencer Refractories renews licence agreement with Bucher Emhart Glass

    04 November 2015

    The UK-based refractories producer has worked with the Swiss glass manufacturer for the past 45 years and is now its exclusive partner in this area.

  • Molycorp at crossroads as miner considers restructuring or full asset sale

    04 November 2015

    In an attempt to exit bankruptcy protection measures, Molycorp has put forward a plan proposing two options. The company will either be split up and be sold, or will write-down its debts to creditors, and emerge as a continued single entity.

  • Mosaic earnings slide as potash outlook softens

    04 November 2015

    The US-based fertiliser major’s potash operational capacity now stands at 67%, down from 91% y-o-y, reflecting the softening market conditions for potash. Phosphate markets are stronger, but weak demand in the key growth region of Brazil has added to substantial agrimarket headwinds.

  • Applied Minerals snags $5m iron oxide contract

    04 November 2015

    While the take-or-pay contract with an unnamed customer is on an exclusive basis, it refers only to the use of Applied Minerals' iron oxide in specialised catalyst applications, leaving the company free to sell additional iron oxide to other industries.

  • Grapchina 2015: Study predicts Chinese graphene industry to be worth $149m by 2020

    03 November 2015

    New graphene products ranging from self-heating clothing to graphene batteries were exhibited at the Grapchina in Qingdao last week, with industry participants predicting that the market is likely to evolve over the next 10 years with different applications accounting for the majority of graphene consumed.

  • Weir Group Q3 revenues drop due to weak oil market

    03 November 2015

    The UK company, which supplies technology to the mining, oil and gas markets, saw its revenue and orders dip for the period ended 2 November 2015, as mining companies continue to hold back on spending and oil prices remain low. However, the company expects its full year earnings to be in line with expectations.

  • US Antimony reports record zeolite sales

    03 November 2015

    The Montana-based antimony, zeolite, gold and silver producer posted its highest monthly sales of zeolite and a lower cost of production in its antimony business.

  • Imerys completes acquisition of BASF’s paper hydrous kaolin business

    03 November 2015

    Imerys' acquisition of BASF's PHK business is expected to boost revenues by $60m on a full-year basis, while BASF is focusing on non-paper kaolin applications, which it expects to lead growth in the near future.

  • Grapchina 2015: Qingdao graphite mine establishes new material centre

    03 November 2015

    Nanshu Graphite Co., which operates the 60 year old Nanshu mine near the east coast Chinese city of Qingdao, finished building its graphene plant last year and is set to become of many in a new carbon materials hub planned for the region.

  • CUMI sees Q2 profit surge

    03 November 2015

    The Indian refractory producer’s earnings were helped by strong performances in its abrasives and electrominerals divisions. CUMI’s CEO noted that the weak rouble is making it more expensive for Russian alumina users to import the mineral and they are turning to the company’s electrominerals’ business in Russia.

  • Grapchina 2015: Graphene water treatment scoops top prize at Chinese conference

    03 November 2015

    A collaborative effort between Australia’s University of Adelaide and Beijing’s Quinghua University came up with the graphene-based method of filtering water from contaminating ions, scooping a $3m cash prize at the second annual Grapchina event in Qingdao.

  • Luxfer sues Molycorp subsidiaries over rare earth imports to UK

    03 November 2015

    Luxfer, a manufacturer and supplier of high-performance materials and gas cylinders, claims that its subsidiary’s patent is being infringed by two companies owned by Molycorp, which until recently was one of only two non-Chinese rare earth miners.

  • Arab Potash sees net profits rise by 35% for Q3

    03 November 2015

    The outlook for global potash prices may be weak, but prices in Q3 2015 were still up y-o-y. This, combined with lower operating costs and lower fuel costs, led to Arab Potash’s improved performance.

  • Lithium News in Brief 28 October – 3 November

    03 November 2015

    Pure Energy expands Clayton Valley holdings; Panasonic unfazed by Tesla-LG Chem deal; Cambridge researchers make strides in lithium-air battery development.

  • UK opposition party leader speaks out against fracking

    02 November 2015

    As the UK government attempts to fast-track fracking developments, opponents of the oil and gas extraction process are speaking out against it including UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile, Western Australia is also experiencing anti-fracking protests as a parliamentary enquiry into the process is completed.

  • Unimin launches second frac sand terminal in West Virginia

    02 November 2015

    Proppant supplier Unimin Energy Solutions has opened a second high efficiency unit train capable terminal in the US. Despite recent announcements from leading North American frac sand producers regarding lower sales in the third quarter of the year, Unimin is focusing on customer service and efficiency, which the company says are especially pertinent in the current challenging oil and gas market.

  • Crowdfunding could be “alternative” funding model for juniors

    02 November 2015

    As miners continue to struggle with funds in a tough financing climate, crowdfunding is being seen as a viable alternative to traditional forms of investment, according to industry specialists.

  • Yara to proceed with Galvani on $185m Salitre project

    02 November 2015

    Funds have been locked away to ensure the completion of the Salitre project in Brazil, which was owned by Galvani before Yara purchased the company last year.

  • Japanese scientists develop “unbreakable” glass from alumina

    02 November 2015

    Scientists have created a new containerless processing technique to create a new type of glass made from alumina that could lead to the development of a new generation of windows in buildings and cars.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 27 October – 2 November

    02 November 2015

    Peak begins pilot plant operation; GMEL receives positive results from pilot testing; Researchers identify new phosphors with lower rare earth consumption needs.

  • Orbite receives more patents for waste monetisation technology

    02 November 2015

    The Canadian company is expanding the geographic coverage of its intellectual property portfolio to develop its chloride technology. Its innovation can transform red mud and fly ash into a high value mineral feedstock by extracting all the valuable constituents, including rare earths and alumina.