Regulation latest news

  • January 2015

    First Nation groups set mining policy and rules in Canada

    31 January 2015

    By developing a strict and clear mining legislation over a vast area in British Columbia, Canada, the First Nation groups aim to set mining procedures for operating exploration companies in an area hosting several industrial minerals projects, including frac sand, graphite, potash and rare earths. This action could push other groups to develop similar rules in other Canadian territories.

  • Poyry to engineer EnPro soda ash plant in Norway

    30 January 2015

    EnPro plans to convert waste product from the Kollsnes LNG plant and use it in soda ash production- both cutting carbon emissions at the plant and meeting what it says is a growing demand for the mineral.

  • IM Agriminerals News In Brief 23-30 January

    30 January 2015

    MagIndustries investigated by Royal Canadian Mounted Police over bribery allegations; Red Moon Potash intersects high-purity salt in new drilling results; Chatham Rock Phosphate says currency valuation changes will increase projected profits.

  • FLSmidth and Halfor Topsoe join forces to bring bag filter technology to market

    30 January 2015

    The two companies have developed and tested the bag filter technology over the last four years, which they say can cut costs of off-gas cleaning owing to the triple filter fabric for a range of industries including mining, cement and glass production.

  • Kenmare shipments and production increase as US recovery continues

    30 January 2015

    Though feedstock shipments into China have been lower than usual, Kenmare’s production has increased as a result of strong demand from the US. The lower oil price should also raise future spending and demand for pigments while plans for chloride route production are China is also likely to boost feedstock sales in the future.

  • Latin Resources presses on with andalusite production

    30 January 2015

    Latin Resources is eyeing distinct markets for its “premium” andalusite, but whether or not it can be used in these target applications will be determined in the first quarter of this year after independent tests reveal grades at Guadalupito.

  • MTI clinch chromite sales agreement, post positive 2014 results

    30 January 2015

    The company's deal with Glencore South Africa and the added revenues from its acquisition of AMCOL last year have positioned MTI for a strong year in 2015, although the declining oil price makes its energy services business more precarious.

  • Solvay announces sale of refrigerant business; Mexichem appeals ITC ruling

    30 January 2015

    Solvay’s sale of its German based refrigerant business is in line with its strategy to focus on value added products, while Mexichem’s appeal to the ITC shows how the fluorochemical industry is threatened by the risk of cheaper products from China.

  • ICL workers committee says bromine negotiations are going nowhere

    30 January 2015

    ICL’s bromine sector has been under a substantial amount of pressure over the past year, with industry problems and wider looming tax burdens affecting investment and profits. It is presently unclear how the worsening industrial relations will affect production.

  • Galaxy granted trading halt ahead of lithium plant sale announcement

    30 January 2015

    Galaxy has called for the pause in trading as it tries to offload its lithium plant to Tianqi in an attempt to secure its finances.

  • Companies seek new lithium opportunities in Chile

    30 January 2015

    The Chilean government and lithium producers want to secure public-private partnerships as they seek to exploit the world’s largest lithium reserves. The move has brought optimism back to Chile’s mining sector.

  • What next for Greece?

    30 January 2015

    It is too early to tell what the impact of Greece’s new government will be on the mining sector. But the new leftist government raises interesting questions about the relationship the country will have with the rest of Europe and time will tell if any of the anti-austerity measures will extend to the extractive sector.

  • US West Coast port bottlenecks delay shipments of perlite and diatomite for EP Minerals

    30 January 2015

    Protracted industrial action by the ILWU is forcing EP Minerals to stockpile its perlite and diatomite output, an ill-timed logistics bottleneck for the company, which has reported that it is receiving record demand for its products.

  • Cost pressures threaten China’s graphite competitiveness

    30 January 2015

    Supply update: Rising environmental and labour costs cause producers to fear for the future

  • Price Briefing 23 – 29 January

    29 January 2015

    Barite prices set to jump on Indian auction process; Goldman maintains morbid outlook for minsands

  • New year adjustments see amorphous graphite prices slide

    29 January 2015

    Graphite price review: Amorphous prices fall 5%; flake graphite market stable

  • Carbo sees 2014 income fall 30% as low oil prices hit proppant sales

    29 January 2015

    Carbo Ceramics saw its ceramic and resin-coated proppant sales plunge owing to the drop in oil prices, particularly in the second half of last year. Frac sand sales drove total volumes up, however, the company expects the current difficult price environment to continue throughout 2015.

  • Acidspar prices hit new lows as fluorspar fire sale begins

    29 January 2015

    Fluorspar price review: Stockpile reductions see Chinese prices hit lowest point since 2010

  • Ashapura post higher income on bentonite, bauxite, sales

    29 January 2015

    The higher income from continuing operations shows that India’s minerals industry is still healthy, in contrast to other companies' results indicating weakness in markets elsewhere.

  • FMC rumoured to be in final talks on soda ash sale

    29 January 2015

    FMC is one of the world’s leading suppliers of soda ash and last year posted good results on the back of positive optimisation and higher sales in this sector. All eyes will be peeled this week to see if the sale of the unit will be adding to the capacity of one of its competitors, or be managed by a private equity firm new to the industry.

  • PotashCorp. Q4 2014 sales rebound from 2013 pricing shock as market recovers

    29 January 2015

    A strong Q4 recovery for 2014 relative to 2013 was inevitable, as potash prices rebounded from deep 2013 lows. PotashCorp. is taking a conservative view of 2015, expecting slightly lower shipments than were seen in the record year of 2014.

  • Malawi moves to amend mining law

    29 January 2015

    The country hosts a variety of industrial minerals and metals, but its existing mining law has been criticised as outdated and opaque. It is hoped that a revised mineral bill will help open up the sector to investors.

  • “Vicious” export battles expected as China accelerates rare earths consolidation

    29 January 2015

    Changes planned by the Chinese state promise to be momentous for the rare earths industry, and an acceleration of consolidation will increase the transparency of the sector — but with alternative tax and licencing controls soon to come in, the question remains as to whether the industry will really change.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 23 – 29 January

    29 January 2015

    Northern Graphite engages offtake advisor as Eagle Graphite begins trading and GrafTech CEO faces calls to resign

  • Albemarle swings to loss for Q4 2014

    29 January 2015

    The US-based speciality chemicals maker continues to see its profits depressed by weaker prices for brominated flame retardants. Albemarle is now looking for growth in the lithium market, following its restructuring after its merger with Rockwood Holdings.

  • Gypsum cargoes boost Georgia port volumes in US

    29 January 2015

    The US’ east coast ports of Savannah and Brunswick saw more dry bulk handling volumes in the last year, thanks to a stronger US economy which has increased demand for construction minerals like gypsum.

  • Moratorium placed on fracking in Scotland

    28 January 2015

    Just days after the UK government rejected calls for a moratorium on fracking, the Scottish government has decided more research and public approval needs to be sought before development can go ahead.

  • Mineral Deposits Ltd continues mineral sands ramp up in Senegal

    28 January 2015

    The continued ramp up of the Grande Cote mineral sands project has been matched by increasing sales. The company does not expect any significant changes to the currently depressed mineral sands market however, and with production increases planned, the company may find its extra capacity to be ill-timed.

  • Alkane Resources presses on with Dubbo, looks to develop hafnium product

    28 January 2015

    Alkane Resources told IM earlier this month that it is gearing up for an important year and while its Dubbo Project is still at the development phase, it is looking at niche markets for its end products and regulation work is continuing apace

  • Lancashire Council defer decision on Cuadrilla fracking plans to later date

    28 January 2015

    The decision comes as something of an anti-climax after the UK Parliament said it would not impose a moratorium on fracking earlier in the week and suggested that shale gas exploration in the country was getting closer to being a reality.

  • RHI posts good financials for 2014, despite overcapacity burden

    28 January 2015

    The result of a lagging market has taken its toll on RHI, but the financials have not been affected, remaining relatively flat when compared to 2013. However, the company is taking drastic steps to reduce costs and capacity for 2015.

  • Andhra Pradesh government outlines new barite mining plan

    28 January 2015

    The announcement, which comes after months of uncertainty that wiped Indian barite off the international market in the second half of last year, has been hailed as a fair, commercial reform to the sector by APMDC, but criticised as vindictive by private firms which have had their mining leases taken away.

  • Chile to open up lithium reserves

    28 January 2015

    Chile is the world’s largest producer of lithium and holds 57% of the world’s lithium reserves but, aside from a disastrous attempt to open up the market in 2012, it has only allowed one company, SQM, to exploit its assets. Although the Commission has gone on the record in support of opening up the industry, details — such as how the shared ownership scheme would work — remain under wraps.

  • Thailand’s fluorspar exports surge with opening of new plant

    28 January 2015

    Supply update: SC Mining begin production from 50,000 tpa facility; exports up 184% y-o-y

  • Chinese fluorspar offloading cripples global prices

    28 January 2015

    Supply update: Attempts to liquidate stockpiles threatens to push acidspar market to new lows

  • Neometals targets lithium hydroxide market

    28 January 2015

    Formerly Reed Resources, Neometals is relatively unique in its efforts to produce lithium hydroxide directly from its concentrate. It believes this will make it stand out in the growing battery market.

  • Acron apatite concentrate consumption rises 39% y-o-y in 2014

    28 January 2015

    The Russian fertiliser producer has noted that the low relative value of the rouble to the dollar is likely to benefit domestic exporters — a possible indication of a bumper earnings season for a number of Russian miners.

  • Goldman Sachs: Mineral sands prices set to fall

    28 January 2015

    Producers are slashing output in an attempt to prop up prices but low demand and falling operation costs are expected to weigh on the industry, the bank says. This goes against analyst predictions from larger mineral sandals producers who reckoned 2015 would be a "better" pricing year for the industry.

  • Flinders updates market on Woxna graphite operations

    27 January 2015

    The Canadian junior has published relatively little information about production at its Swedish mine to date and the latest statement lacks concrete figures on volumes, but does confirm that Flinders has sold all of the flake graphite it produced last year.

  • Metso sells automation technology to Indonesian energy supplier

    27 January 2015

    The Finnish company, which provides technology products and servicing, is targeting mining and energy markets in emerging economies as demand in developed countries remains scant.

  • UK Parliament rejects calls for fracking halt

    27 January 2015

    MPs overwhelming voted against proposals for a moratorium on fracking but did opt to include amendments to ensure the industry is well regulated, meaning that the industry may still have a future in the UK.

  • Chinese alumina supply tightens as Spring Festival approaches

    27 January 2015

    China's alumina price is expected to stay flat, despite tightening of supply. But after the Spring Festival, some new supply is expected to come online which will put some downwards pressure on alumina prices, but increase demand for bauxite.

  • OFM Middle East ’15: Oilfield industry urges API to accept lower grade barite

    27 January 2015

    Depleting higher grades, disparity in prices between grades and lower oil prices mean that more buyers are using 4.1 SG barite in drilling muds. A push by US producers for API acceptance of 4.0 material is likely to drive blending in the industry, bringing down costs for some producers.

  • Lynas reports operational improvements but warns positive cashflow will not last

    27 January 2015

    Life is not easy for non-Chinese rare earths producers. The Australian miner’s short term outlook is subdued, though the company noted the potential for a medium-term rise in rare earths prices.

  • DuPont full year 2014 results show slide in fluorspar and TiO2

    27 January 2015

    A set of disappointing results for DuPont sees the company setting its 2015 outlooks below analyst projections. This not only highlights the weakness in the fluorochemicals and TiO2 markets, but adds credence to the accusations by Trian Fund management that the company has lost its way.

  • Chile’s former deputy mining minister on trial over lithium bid scandal

    27 January 2015

    The former deputy to the mining minister and his legal counsel are accused of forging documents to help secure a lithium tender for SQM in 2012.

  • Mississippi Lime increases calcium carbonate prices

    27 January 2015

    Hike cements US-wide increase in limestone mineral cost

  • Liberian barite production halted by Ebola

    27 January 2015

    A shut down in production in Liberia means that barite supplier Steinbock is has been unable to ramp up output this year to supply more customers. For now, the company can fulfil obligations using its Chinese resources, but if demand increases there could be a hole in supply.

  • Sika board steps up legal effort to block Saint Gobain takeover

    27 January 2015

    According to Saint Gobain, the latest statement from Sika has no legal grounding in Switzerland, however it is difficult to see how Saint Gobain will be able to work effectively with Sika’s shareholders if the sale goes through.

  • OFM Middle East ’15: Oilfield industry urges API to accept lower grade barite

    27 January 2015

    Depleting higher grades, disparity in prices between grades and lower oil prices mean that more buyers are using 4.1 SG barite in drilling muds. A push by US producers for API acceptance of 4.0 material is likely to drive blending in the industry, bringing down costs for some producers.

  • Stonegate Agricom suspends permitting at Paris Hills phosphate project

    27 January 2015

    Acquiring project finance has been difficult over at least the past year, and Stonegate may struggle to find the additional funds required for further works. The company asserts however, that the project has strong fundamentals — based around the high phosphate grade of its phosphate resource and relatively simple local legislative hurdles.

  • China’s MIIT to hold rare earths industry consolidation meeting

    27 January 2015

    The meeting in Beijing will spell out the plans of the Chinese rare earths majors, a group of companies that together hold the largest proportion of production capacity in the world — setting the tone for 2015 and increasing the transparency of the industry.

  • OFM Middle East '15: Liberian barite production halted by Ebola

    27 January 2015

    A shut down in production in Liberia means that barite supplier Steinbock is has been unable to ramp up output this year to supply more customers. For now, the company can fulfil obligations using its Chinese resources, but if demand increases there could be a hole in supply.

  • China MLR sets 2025 as mining reform target

    27 January 2015

    The country has made a series of policy announcements over the last five years pertaining to improved resource management, including its national mineral plan which it aims to implement in its entirety within the next decade.

  • Goldman Sachs: Potash price rebound not sustainable

    27 January 2015

    The US bank has forecast that potash prices are to remain weak despite an upturn at end of 2014 - an outlook that will come as a blow to those developing projects, including majors like BHP and Vale, who are both developing major potash projects, have remained tightlipped about future investment in this area.

  • IM Rare Earth News In Brief 20-26 January

    26 January 2015

    Molycorp shares continue to fall; Tasman receives PFS results; IAMGOLD sells niobium mine and associated rare earths deposit for $500m; Hastings and Rare Earth Minerals proceed with PFS.

  • HJ Baker introduces new sulphur-bentonite fertiliser

    26 January 2015

    Bentonite, a mineral most associated with the subdued drilling fluids and oil production industries, could see demand increase in the agriculture sector owing to its inclusion in a next-generation set of fertiliser products.

  • UK MPs call for fracking moratorium

    26 January 2015

    Silica ’frac’ sand consumption is soaring in the US as the fracking industry takes off but in the UK fears over carbon emissions and pollution continue to hold up operations.

  • Antimony trioxide prices tumble in wake of ingot falls

    26 January 2015

    Chinese exports of antimony metal drop 44% y-o-y from January-November

  • Guyana’s bauxite industry under spotlight as ministers take to local press

    26 January 2015

    Guyana is one of the world’s leading sources of calcined refractory-grade bauxite and — despite a reported upturn in exports — the industry is seen to be “stagnating” and “facing serious challenges”. It is certainly true that demand hasn’t picked up as the recession continues to take its toll, but as inventories run lower, there is a chance for Guyana to become more strategically important in 2015.

  • Why Flinders’ Big North deal went south

    26 January 2015

    The collapse of the merger last week came as a surprise to some but was regarded as a grim inevitability by others and serves to remind observers of the pitfalls of bringing a graphite project into production.

  • New capacities to secure India’s graphite supplies

    26 January 2015

    Supply update: Indian supplier attempts to revitalise domestic production while securing options abroad

  • Magnis clinches 180,000 tpa offtakes for Tanzanian graphite

    24 January 2015

    ASX company signs major deal with Chinese firms; Nachu graphite destined for Asian battery market

  • Tolsa Group buys US Bentonite

    24 January 2015

    Acquisition provides foothold in US market; Tolsa could expand new site

  • Saint Gobain-Sika saga rolls on

    24 January 2015

    Top management hold crisis talks over opt clause; raw material suppliers may face harder bargains

  • China axes rare earths export quotas

    24 January 2015

    Country repeals 17-year policy after WTO ruling; export taxes expected to be lifted in H1

  • Andalusite Resources rumoured to be in takeover talks with Imerys

    24 January 2015

    Imerys may be seeking more market control as industry sources speculate that talks are ongoing

  • Schlumberger subsidiary proposes UK barite mine

    24 January 2015

    Application submission expected in spring; UK could be barite self-sufficient for 50 years

  • Climate concerns drive Brazilian vermiculite growth

    24 January 2015

    Vermiculite to plug water shortage; demand rising for mineral growth media

  • Ethiopia suspends exploration licences pending Chinese survey

    24 January 2015

    China study takes precedence in southwest; mines ministry refutes unfair advantage claims

  • Germany increases fluorspar self-sufficiency

    24 January 2015

    Nickelhuette becomes Germany’s third fluorspar producer as operations begin in the Ore Mountains

  • Reformation in Indian mining regulations: a boon or a bane?

    24 January 2015

    Modi government bypasses parliament to rush through ordinance; amended legislation to overhaul archaic domestic mining law

  • MZI begins drilling to potentially expand Keysbrook mineral sands resource

    23 January 2015

    MZI is ploughing forward with the development of its mineral sands project in Western Australia. With construction already underway, the company is now drilling to the west of Keybrook in an attempt to expand the resource and extend the mine life.

  • €9.5bn EU glass industry still robust market for industrial minerals

    23 January 2015

    FEVE says that while glass may be regarded as an “old-fashioned” industry, it continues to attract major investment, offers unique recycling opportunities and is very resilient in terms of supply and demand.

  • Gypsum by-product of Vietnamese phosphate mines to be recycled

    23 January 2015

    Synthetic production methods are an important source of gypsum, which is used in cement and plaster. Vietnam’s economy is growing strongly, an indication that demand for construction minerals will increase.

  • IM Agriminerals News In Brief 16–23 January

    23 January 2015

    Aguia Resources receives positive exploration results; MbAC Fertilizer hires Deutsche Bank to assess viability options; K+S review suggests Zielitz potash plant is regionally significant

  • Mississippi Lime to expand calcium hydroxide production

    23 January 2015

    Mississippi Lime is looking to become the main supplier of low-cost lime and limestone products in US, a market that is slowly recovering from the recent global recession.

  • I-Minerals kicks off feasibility study with the award of contracts

    23 January 2015

    The company is in the process of testing material to determine the parameters of its pilot plant, and has also awarded contracts to engineering companies carry out the feasibility study.

  • Fonon Technologies to take full control of Mabwe Minerals under new agreement

    23 January 2015

    The LOI with Fonon Technologies and the formation of Bulldog Minerals & Metals will help to finance additional technology needed at Mabwe’s Doge mine in Zimbabwe, which the company needs for the production of industrial grade barite.

  • South African President rejects Mineral Resources bill

    23 January 2015

    Jacob Zuma’s decision to refer the bill back to the National Assembly after months of deliberation has frustrated the country’s Chamber of Mines, which secured a revision to the bill last year and is anxious that the new legislation will not be too onerous for domestic miners.

  • Fresh strikes halt Tunisian phosphate production

    23 January 2015

    The North African country is a significant producer of phosphate rock, used to make fertilisers, but output from the country has been seriously affected by repeated strike action by mine workers since the Tunisian revolution in 2011.

  • China to scrap rare earths export taxes in May

    23 January 2015

    China will end its current practice of taxing the exports of rare earths in May, in compliance with a WTO decision handed down in March 2014. There are still a number of ways the Chinese government could attempt to control the market however, including selectivity in licencing and resource tax rates.

  • Mining Indaba: Putting capital to work in Africa

    23 January 2015

    With commodity prices down, mining company budgets under pressure and fresh challenges in Africa, this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, has a lot of ground to cover. Jonathan Moore, managing director of Mining Indaba LLC, spoke to IM about the outlook for Africa’s resources industry.

  • Price Briefing 16 – 22 January

    22 January 2015

    Barite shortage ups price of Moroccan drilling grade; Chinese magnesia prices fall

  • Advanced Electrolyte Technologies becomes subsidiary of Ube Industries

    22 January 2015

    By upping its stake in Advanced Electrolyte Technologies, Ube is increasing its involvement in the lithium battery production as it has its eye on the growing EV, energy storage and portable consumer goods markets.

  • Houston County discusses all-out frac sand mining ban

    22 January 2015

    Ahead of its March expiry date, Houston County’s Planning Commission in Minnesota has been discussing an ordinance to replace its current moratorium on frac sand mining. The draft suggests similar terms to the moratorium – leaving existing projects alone but banning future frac sand extraction – however, locals are pushing for a total ban.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 16 – 22 January

    22 January 2015

    Kibaran review confirms 100,000 tpa possible at Epanko; Metals of Africa completes maiden drilling programme; Northern Graphite produces nuclear quality graphite.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 16 –22 January 2015

    22 January 2015

    Airbus says it hasn’t turned its back on Li-ion batteries; Neometals expands lithium exploration in Western Australia; and Phinergy says its air-aluminium batteries can expand electric vehicles range by a thousand miles.

  • Proposed levy on Base Resources’ Kwale minsands ruled illegal

    22 January 2015

    Kenya’s Attorney General has confirmed that the new tax proposed by Kwale County on the ASX-listed Base Resources TiO2 mineral project is unlawful, meaning that the company should be able to proceed with its operations unencumbered by unforeseen royalties.

  • Fluorspar price decline continues

    22 January 2015

    Fluorspar price review: Acidspar prices slide again as price competition escalates

  • Price outlook for graphite remains gloomy

    22 January 2015

    Graphite price review: Upcoming Spring Festival fails to spark market upturn

  • World steel production up 1.2% in 2014

    22 January 2015

    Steel consumption has remained on an upwards trajectory — just. The levels produced are below those expected and there is a marked difference from Asia's rate of growth as well as the CIS levels in 2014.

  • Yangquan, China, announces measures to revitalise refractory industry

    22 January 2015

    The latest meeting, held at local government level, forms part of a wider initiative to revitalise and consolidate China’s refractory industry. For now, no parameters or fines have been set for the 65 companies who were in attendance at the meeting, but it is unlikely that a levy for noncompliance won’t be issued.

  • Flinders Big North deal collapses over due diligence

    22 January 2015

    The planned buyout of Big North by Flinders was received as a savvy deal for both companies and gave Flinders a foothold in the North American graphite market. The termination of the agreement signals that even attractive deals can come with hidden pitfalls.

  • Volume stats show mixed fortunes for European dry bulk ports

    22 January 2015

    Runcorn and Riga saw a rise in soda ash and fertiliser imports last year, while Rotterdam recorded a slight fall in overall dry bulk volumes, suggesting Europe’s raw material demand is still patchy.

  • MIIT releases second list of approved alumina companies

    21 January 2015

    The move to control China’s alumina and aluminium industry was announced in 2013, with the list of affected companies released in January. The latest update shows that the government is serious about asserting control over the industry – of which industrial minerals account for about 5% of total production.

  • Imerys Talc America faces conspiracy lawsuit in cancer claim case

    21 January 2015

    The court case is interesting because it is not centred on whether or not talc caused the plaintiff’s wife’s cancer, but rather on whether Imerys and Johnson & Johnson conspired to defend the use of talc “at all costs,” an allegation which has been denied – by way of a case to have the motion dismissed – by both defendants.

  • Cuadrilla UK fracking application should be refused, says council

    21 January 2015

    Just days after fracking hopeful Cuadrilla was granted permits from The UK Environmental Agency, Lancashire County Council has advised that planning consent be refused for the UK shale gas exploration proposed by the company. However it is important to note that the refusal was on the basis of noise complaints rather than any risk posed by fracking.

  • Ma’aden profit falls despite higher sales in 2014

    21 January 2015

    The Saudi Arabian miner was hit by lower prices for its phosphate products last year, but is continuing to expand this arm of its business as well as diversify into the magnesia market as it pursues earnings growth.

  • Lithium Americas’ demo plant produces six tonnes lithium compounds in one month

    21 January 2015

    Lithium Americas have adopted South Korea-based POSCO’s extraction technology which it says is already exceeding expectations.

  • Indian barite scarcity pushes up Moroccan drilling grade prices

    21 January 2015

    Rapid passage of Indian mining law amendment not expected to increase barite availability

  • Metspar price depression to continue in 2015

    21 January 2015

    Price update: New suppliers to compound steel demand stagnation as consumers explore low-cost alternatives

  • Albemarle to be restructured following Rockwood acquisition

    21 January 2015

    After completing its merger with lithium producer Rockwood Speciality Holdings Inc. last week, speciality chemicals producer Albemarle is now focusing on having a flexible and forward-looking lithium strategy.

  • Baker Hughes and Halliburton to cut 7,000 jobs as oil drilling slows

    20 January 2015

    Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes saw its revenues increase across all sectors, particularly in the Middle East, saying that the market was more resilient than expected towards the end of 2014 despite low oil prices and a drop in rig count. However, going into 2015 the picture looked mixed as the energy giant announced 7,000 redundancies following the oil price drop.

  • National elections delay vein graphite price announcement

    20 January 2015

    Price update: Graphite commission postpones decision on 2015 prices

  • Power shortages could cripple South Africa’s mining sector, miners warn

    20 January 2015

    Problems at the country’s main electricity supplier, Eskom, are already affecting the operations of domestic mining companies and the situation could get worse as demands on the South African grid increase – a situation which could reduce mineral production in the country.

  • Base Resources’ Q4 2014 mineral sands production increases as Kwale ramp-up continues

    20 January 2015

    Base is continuing to increase its production and mineral separation plant recoveries from its Kenyan operations, despite a slowdown ahead of the Chinese New Year. Prices for mineral sands remained relatively stable with room to grow in the zircon market.

  • Chinese magnesia prices drop ahead of Spring Festival

    20 January 2015

    Cheaper fuel and increased competition bring prices down as volumes rise

  • China extends spherical subsidies to coated graphite material

    20 January 2015

    Policy: Value-added graphite subsidies extended as coated spherical production increases

  • Altech finds wet kaolin processing could save costs at Meckering deposit

    20 January 2015

    With the aim of becoming a leading high purity alumina supplier, Altech is hoping that by controlling its own feedstock materials it can keep its prices low in a growing and competitive market. A more cost effective beneficiation process will also help to keep the company's production costs down.

  • Highfield signs MoU with second Spanish port

    20 January 2015

    Highfield now has all the port capacity it requires to export its potash output — the company intends to despatch shipments from its 1m tpa project to Brazil and Europe.

  • The Mosaic Co. forecasts higher revenues on guidance-exceeding volumes and margins

    20 January 2015

    Strong nutrient depletion after record US crop yields proved to hold up Q4 2014 North American fertiliser demand — following worries that the projection of lower planted areas may result in lower consumption. Mosaic has suggested, however, that 2015 demand may be dented by the strong final quarter of 2014.

  • Rio Tinto 2014 results show impact of slowing TiO2 market

    20 January 2015

    Despite the lagging numbers for 2014 production of TiO2 feedstocks, Rio Tinto has said in the past that it believes demand will outpace supply this year. It remains to be seen if these forecasts are correct – but in borates demand has clearly accelerated over the last year.

  • Seeo’s lithium polymer batteries to be assessed by USABC

    19 January 2015

    Seeo has already received backing from tech-focused venture capital firms like Samsung, now it is getting support from American manufacturers like Ford and GM. The assessment brings the company closer towards commercialisation and breaking into the huge US battery market.

  • German fluorspar production paves the way for self-sufficiency

    19 January 2015

    Supply update: Nickelhuette become Germany’s third fluorspar producer as operations begin in the Ore Mountains

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 13 –19 January 2015

    19 January 2015

    Scientists say salmon sperm is a feasible rare earth extractor; GeoMegA acquire custom reactor for Quebec lab; and China’s rare earth exports rose 23.5% in 2014 before quota scrapping.

  • Groupe Chimique Tunisien in “critical” situation following CPG phosphate strikes

    19 January 2015

    Industrial relations difficulties are not unusual for CPG, however, downstream phosphate consumer and chemicals manufacturer, GCT, may struggle to meet its export contracts as its phosphate stockpiles are depleted.

  • Brazil pulp and paper producer signs contract for new port

    19 January 2015

    The paper and pulp global industry has suffered a downturn in the last few years, but increased production and access to new markets in Brazil hints at a renewal of demand in the region. While news of a new port is not enough to decry a new upwards trend for pulp and paper markets in Brazil, the signs are encouraging.

  • Graphenea cuts price of graphene products

    19 January 2015

    Second year of discounting follows improved yields and higher sales for Spanish company

  • Ube Materials reports fire at magnesia clinker plant

    19 January 2015

    Although the fire was extinguished promptly and there were no injuries, it remains to be seen whether or not it will impact supply in the longer term.

  • Saint Gobain and Sika management crisis talks as takeover options discussed

    16 January 2015

    The latest from the Sika-Saint Gobain saga shows a glimmer of resolution in the distance as it seems that Saint Gobain is going to lengths to underline that it intends to retain Sika’s board and ethos. However, the issue has yet to be fully resolved.

  • Cuadrilla granted UK shale gas exploration permits

    16 January 2015

    The permit for shale gas exploration in Lancashire is, Cuadrilla says, a seal of approval indicating that natural gas exploration can be carried out responsibly. The company is also awaiting a decision at an additional site and, should fracking be allowed to go ahead, increased activity could push up demand for oilfield minerals in a lull as a result of lower oil prices.

  • IM Agriminerals News In Brief 9-16 January 2015

    16 January 2015

    Sennen Potash drilling data suggests continuous potash horizon at Monument; South Boulder raises A$2m in placement; Potash West receives exploration licence for German properties.

  • Schlumberger subsidiary proposes UK barite mine

    16 January 2015

    M-I SWACO, part of Schlumberger, is to submit a planning application for the mining of barite in Scotland. Although a previous submission was rejected almost 20 years ago, the company has since amended its proposal to take on board environmental concerns and, should it go ahead, the project could supply the UK’s barite requirements for the next 50 years, replacing imports from Morocco.

  • WISCO Refractory Materials Co., Ltd sign first Chinese strategic agreement with steel company

    16 January 2015

    The strategic agreement is the first such agreement in China between a refractories company and a steel and iron producer, which may be the start of a more integrated industry pattern. It also shows the effort individual companies are making to implement the government’s plans to reform the refractories industry in China.

  • Zibo refractories companies inspected by Environmental Bureau

    16 January 2015

    The latest round of inspections show that officials mean to work fast on their pledge to clean up the refractories industry in Zibo city, Shandong Province. This policy has already led to the shutdown of 43 companies and it remains to be seen whether more will follow.

  • Chinese refractory demand expected to fall to 24m tpa by 2017 — China Refractory Association

    16 January 2015

    The comments by China’s leading refractory association confirm what has been suspected for a while – that the country’s refractories industry is struggling to maintain traction in a bearish market. Further, it underlines what the possible impact of the government actions to modernise the industry could be. However, the forecast is not one which has been supported by other analysts, which broadly believe Chinese refractory demand will grow

  • MIIT announces new standard conditions for China’s refractories industry

    16 January 2015

    The fresh set of rules shows how far the government is willing to go to rejuvenate the Chinese refractories industry. The new standard conditions could be regarded as disruptive, as they seek to completely change working practices in China. In the long run however, the impetus to build a sustainable and competitive refractories industry is clear.

  • ISACC’s Saudi soda ash plant powers ahead with fuel approval

    15 January 2015

    The renewal of its fuel allocation means that ISACC, which is developing the soda ash and calcium chloride plant for local company InoChem, remains on track to open the facility in 2018 and become a significant MENA supplier.

  • JPMC signs MoU for Indian phosphoric acid factory with 1m tpa phosphate rock requirement

    15 January 2015

    The Jordanian phosphate supplier has made a number of large investment announcements over the past year, and appears keen to establish firm footing in growth markets such as India and Indonesia.

  • Automotive sector drives PPG’s Q4 earnings up 26%

    15 January 2015

    Another positive set of results from coatings manufacturer PPG is encouraging for mineral sands producers, who have been waiting for increased end-market activity to trickle down into positive financial gains.

  • Bacanora drilling results exceed expectations

    15 January 2015

    Bacanora believes that it now has a reliable and diverse array of deposits from which to source its lithium as it seeks to become a major supplier for the future potential electric vehicles market.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 8 – 15 January 2015

    15 January 2015

    Seeo awarded contract to have polymer batteries assessed; Boston Power receives support from host country; and forecast of 20% growth CAGR over the next five years for lithium-ion phosphate batteries.

  • NYCO resumes wollastonite exploration activities in New York State.

    15 January 2015

    After a number of legislative and legal delays to NYCO’s wollastonite project in the north of New York State, the company has finally resumed its exploration activities, following a suspension of around 5 months to the drilling campaign.

  • Uncertainty lingers over agrimineral prices in Q1

    15 January 2015

    Potash and phosphate prices wobble into 2015 while sulphur market looks strong

  • Iluka revenue dips but TiO2 feedstock recovery evident

    15 January 2015

    Although prices, revenues and production slipped y-o-y, the 5% revenue drop for Iluka is a slight improvement on its last set of financial results. The company maintains that demand is improving for all its products and intends to bring its largest synthetic rutile plant back online in 2015, which has been idled for the last few years owing to poor market conditions.

  • Base Resources’ takeover of World Titanium Resources “unlikely”

    15 January 2015

    Base will not be increasing its takeover offer for WTR, nor will it change any of its conditions, as a deal is looking increasingly unlikely. The company has instead said it will look at other growth opportunities to achieve what it had hoped to gain from WTR – a diversified product and geographical portfolio, as well as a bigger presence in mineral sands.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 9 – 15 January

    15 January 2015

    Valence waits on market to influence Uley schedule; Canada Carbon progresses offtake qualifications; Syrah successfully tests Balama material for anodes

  • Chemical additives producer Elementis restructures Nordic distribution

    15 January 2015

    By choosing an established Nordic distributor, Elementis is strengthening its presence in the region which will allow it to better supply its multifaceted European market.

  • Slow start to 2015 for graphite prices

    15 January 2015

    Graphite price review: Lull in demand limits potential for price improvements

  • Metso Corp. sells automation business to Valmet Corp.

    15 January 2015

    The sale of the PAS system is in line with Metso’s strategy to concentrate on mining and oil and gas markets. The sale adds significant value to Valmet as it means that the company will save on around €270m pa of its own costs and add revenue from external businesses using the service

  • Intercargo issues bauxite dry bulk shipping warning

    15 January 2015

    Shipping association reminds dry bulk operators of the danger of liquefying dry bulk cargoes

  • Acidspar price pressures persist

    15 January 2015

    Fluorspar price review: Weak demand threatens to push prices to new lows

  • Low oil prices to impact fracking: Moodys

    15 January 2015

    Crude prices below $60/bl could mean 30%-40% less spending by US oil and gas sector, which is likely to impact frac sand demand. However, owing to the nature of oil drilling and fracking, demand for proppants may not fall until as late as next year.

  • Uralkali 2014 production rises 21% year-on-year despite Solikamsk issues

    14 January 2015

    The largest world supplier of potash has met its production target of 12m tonnes for 2014. However, meeting the same output level will be more challenging in 2015 if Solikamsk-2, which represents a fifth of the company’s production capacity, proves to be impossible to recover.

  • Court dismisses action against K+S permit as the company works to reseal old mine workings

    14 January 2015

    A revocation of K+S’s discharge permit would have constituted a major setback for the company, which releases a small amount of saline wastewater from its processing activities into local German water courses. Meanwhile, an historic mine requires a repair to a previously halted saline wastewater leak in one of its shafts.

  • Bill Gates lends support to Sika shareholders in Saint Gobain spat

    14 January 2015

    The latest show of support from a group of investors will doubtless be a blow to the Burkard family, which owns the controlling stake in Sika and is pushing for the Saint Gobain takeover. The language of the letter suggests that the international group is willing to actively support the disgruntled shareholders.

  • Ethiopia suspends issuance of exploration licences pending Chinese survey

    14 January 2015

    The East African country has fended off claims that giving China exclusive access to the geology in southwest Ethiopia will give Chinese mining firms an unfair advantage over miners from other countries, arguing that the results of the bilateral survey will boost development in the nation’s resource sector.

  • Alkane gears up for a “big 2015” at Dubbo zirconia project

    14 January 2015

    The Australian company is progressively ticking off requirements to begin mining operations at the zirconia and rare earths in 2017, with multiple revenue streams helping to insulate it from presently weak rare earths prices.

  • Albemarle completes acquisition of lithium specialist Rockwood Holdings

    14 January 2015

    The announcement marks the conclusion of deal between Albemarle Corp. and Rockwood Holdings, which are seeking to expand their speciality chemicals portfolios and work in growing bromine and lithium battery markets.

  • Wisconsin yet to see slowdown in frac sand consumption

    13 January 2015

    Despite the drop in oil prices and numerous warnings from market insiders that frac sand demand will be impacted, the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin – the largest frac sand producing state in the US – has said it is yet to see any impact on demand.

  • Potash West improves economics for Dinner Hill agriminerals project

    13 January 2015

    Potash West is one step closer to its stated aim of displacing the current importation of agriminerals to Australia. The company has reduced its costs and shifted to a two stage, more viable business plan.

  • FLSmidth sells fibre-cement business for $174m

    13 January 2015

    As mining capex continues to be low and is expected to remain so for at least the next year, the Danish processing company has been working on divesting its non-core assets to focus exclusively on cement and mineral processing.

  • Kaolin looks to fish antibiotic market

    13 January 2015

    If the ARS scientists are correct and there is a market for kaolin to be used as an alternative to antibiotics, this could mean a greater demand for kaolin for producers like KaMin, which have recorded a lull in demand due to paper markets falling off.

  • Altech Chemicals looks to Malaysia for HPA plant

    13 January 2015

    Altech are pressing on with their plans to become a large scale HPA producer. The incorporation of a Malaysian subsidiary is expected to make doing business in the country a lot easier

  • OCP purchases 10% stake in Brazilian fertiliser producer and distributor

    13 January 2015

    Through its purchase of Fertilizantes Heringer, OCP is strengthening its hold on a region dominated by fertiliser imports. Acquisitions and junior miner activity have become common in Brazil’s agriminerals industry, highlighting the importance of the market to fertiliser mineral suppliers.

  • Hayward Gordon diversifies processing offering with Sharpe Mixers acquisition

    13 January 2015

    While many processing and technology companies are suffering as a result of low mineral prices which have led to projects being scaled back or cancelled altogether, the acquisition of Sharpe Mixers by Hayward Gordon will help the new company mitigate poor market conditions by enabling it to serve a more diverse range of industries and regions.

  • Antimony prices expected to fall further in 2015

    13 January 2015

    Weak market and withdrawal of Fanya support likely to lead to gradual price erosion

  • Now you see it: Pure Energy aims to make Nevada lithium mine invisible

    13 January 2015

    Having a small environmental footprint has become key for lithium juniors looking to supply the green energy market, as companies become increasingly exacting about the credentials of their supplies.

  • Canpotex signs MoU to supply 1.9m tonnes potash to Sinofert over two years

    13 January 2015

    A substantial MoU with Sinofert shows Canpotex strengthening its presence in the Chinese market and could pave the way for future growth in the region. However Sinofert’s increasing domestic production capacity and the yet to be determined prices under the MoU cast some uncertainty over the deal.

  • Silicon carbide semiconductors market looks to bright future

    13 January 2015

    The global SiC semiconductors market looks set to grow on the back of an uptake in energy storage and EVs, which is good news for SiC producers.

  • Iofina’s iodine production up 90% over 2014

    13 January 2015

    Iofina’s growth comes in spite of the pressure put on its oilfield brine sources by the declining oil prices and its own scheduling problems in mid-2014. It expects to maintain its presence in the US and output growth in 2015, regardless of the wider challenges facing the fossil fuel industry.

  • IM Rare Earth News in Brief: 7-12 January 2015

    12 January 2015

    Speculation over impact of Chinese export changes; Rare Element Resources looking to open demo plant in Wyoming and calls for referendum on mining ban in Greenland.

  • China sees threefold increase in electric vehicle production

    12 January 2015

    A rise in EV production in China is likely to result in rising demand for battery minerals such as lithium and graphite and could signal the start of the swell in uptake hoped for by energy mineral producers.

  • Victory Nickel stregthens frac sand supply chain

    12 January 2015

    By signing an additional supply contract for frac sand and a contract with an additional transload facility, Victory Nickel is strengthening its supply chain and reducing its exposure to the logistical challenges recently seen in the frac sand industry.

  • Dubai International Capital rumoured to be preparing for Almatis sale

    12 January 2015

    The importance of the sale for Almatis would be the transfer of the business from a company that has had to be light on spending, to one which, if purchasing assets, seems likely to have significant capacity for investment in Almatis’ operations.

  • Mexichem acquires distribution and sales licence for DuPont HFC propellant

    12 January 2015

    The acquisition is in line with Mexichem’s strategy of developing and building on speciality products, as indicated to IM in December.

  • Ebola fears hamper Sierra Rutile 2014 results

    12 January 2015

    Although the company revised down its production guidance for the year, rutile and ilmenite output fell short of full year estimates owing to the logistical issues caused by the Ebola outbreak, which is likely to continue affecting operations. Results were additionally hindered by a difficult mineral sands market as prices remain low, despite cost cutting measures implemented by the company.

  • Sirius signs first feed potash offtake agreement

    12 January 2015

    Sirius is looking outside traditional and well-trodden fertiliser markets in search of new demand sources for its polyhalite product. Recent investment in a French feed phosphate facility suggests that demand in Europe for feed supplements is rising.

  • Turkey miners suffer highest rate of worker fatalities in Europe

    12 January 2015

    The Turkish government’s push to be self-sufficient in terms of energy is leading to many accidents in the coal industry. Industrial mineral production doesn’t suffer the same pressure or high fatality rate.

  • Paint and drilling grade barite prices steady but reduced freight rates expected

    12 January 2015

    Lower shipping costs for oilfield material expected to cut prices ahead of Indian tender

  • Minnesota holds series of public hearings on Sandpiper oil pipeline

    09 January 2015

    The oil pipeline propsed by Enbridge could bring many economic benefits to the state should it go ahead and increase fracking activity in the Bakken oil field, which would be good news for oilfield mineral suppliers facing a slump owing to low oil prices.

  • Indian firm MRPL waves off first international sulphur shipment

    09 January 2015

    At a time of increasing concern at the potential for oversupply in the sulphur industry, particularly because of the increases in China’s sulphur capacity, the MRPL shipment is positive news for the sector and shows that China is still a key customer for the mineral.

  • Drill rig count drops in North America in December 2014

    09 January 2015

    As anticipated, the drill rig count in the US fell in December. The precipitous rise of the US shale industry, in the face of oil price reductions, could be experiencing a reality check.

  • Orbite Alumina close to receiving red mud patent

    09 January 2015

    Orbite Aluminae's technology could be a gamechanger for the bauxite industry as the company claims that it can process and extract valuable by products from red mud waste.

  • Key DuPont shareholder Trian pushes for company breakup

    09 January 2015

    As one of DuPont’s largest shareholders, Trian initially recommended that the TiO2 producer separate into separate companies in September to address its underperformance. Although DuPont has strongly defended its position both in terms of performance and the benefits of keeping the company in one piece, today Trian escalated its campaign for an overhaul with the nomination of four candidates to DuPont’s board of directors.

  • Belarus reinstates potash export duties as Belaruskali achieves record output in 2014

    09 January 2015

    Intended to increase exports of potash following the 2013 BPC split, the resumption of the export duty is not unexpected, with Belaruskali producing record levels of potash. The state may be seeking to increase revenues with the reinstatement, as it suffers from the wider Russian currency difficulties.

  • Lessons from 100 years of mineral data

    09 January 2015

    With the recent publication of data for 2012, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has 100 years of continuous mineral production data - but what do they tell us about worldwide industrial mineral production? Teresa Brown analyses some of these trends and what they say about the industry as a whole.

  • EU antidumping to boost European glass fibre market

    08 January 2015

    European fibreglass producers have welcomed the restrictions on Chinese imports, which they believe undercut prices and undermine European industries, while industrial mineral producers serving this market also stand to benefit from customer diversification.

  • Kyrgyz company to appeal Stans’ shares injunction in Ontario Court

    08 January 2015

    Stans Energy’s ambition to revive a rare earth deposit in Kyrgyzstan has resulted in a two-year legal battle with the Kyrgyz government which is still not over. Stans is looking to redeem its financial interests in the country and searching for projects in less hostile jurisdictions.

  • Chilean 2012 lithium tender to be examined by courts

    08 January 2015

    SQM is in the press for the wrong reasons once again, as local newspapers report on whether or not the company used its political connections to win the national lithium tender in 2012, which was then declared void. This is the latest in a spate of court cases that the leading lithium producer has been embroiled in.

  • Price Briefing 19 December – 8 January

    08 January 2015

    Antimony and frac sand down on weak end market demand; speculation swirls over rare earths

  • Sirius Minerals anticipates four month delay for York Potash decision

    08 January 2015

    Another delay for Sirius Minerals will no doubt be unwelcome to investors, but the company seems positive about its prospects for overcoming any remaining approval difficulties.

  • Iluka-Kenmare takeover discussions ongoing

    08 January 2015

    Although both companies have reiterated that the ongoing negations may or may not result in a takeover offer being made, as the discussions are centering on the valuation of Kenmare rather than production, there has so far been no indication that a deal will not take place.

  • Antimony prices flat into 2015 but no recovery in sight

    08 January 2015

    Prices fell further at end of December, forcing Chinese producers out of the market

  • New Year brings fresh price pressures for fluorspar

    08 January 2015

    Fluorspar price review: New capacities to jeopardise existing producers’ falling margins

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 19 December – 8 January

    08 January 2015

    Eagle Graphite goes public on TSX-V; Focus receives funding interest from Cat Financial; StratMin updates on December production; graphene flying carpets target cancer

  • US Great Lakes limestone shipments fall

    08 January 2015

    Total limestone trade volumes for 2014 fails to recover from early spring freeze

  • Chinese officials swoop on magnesia smuggling ring

    07 January 2015

    China has made it clear that it is working to eradicate poor and illegal practices – such as smuggling – from the country’s magnesia industry. There has been some skepticism towards the establishment of a Special Resource Protection Office, but judging by the latest actions, the government clearly means business.

  • Western Lithium ships first order of drilling additive clay

    07 January 2015

    The US-based producer has been ramping up production of its organic clay product to meet demand from its US distributor, Raw Materials Corp. With the first delivery completed, Western Lithium is looking to grow its position in the oilfield market by supplying the industry with its speciality drilling additive, having already sent samples to prospective customers.

  • Pilbara Minerals to upgrade lithium resource

    07 January 2015

    Western Australia is home to one of the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposits. Improvements to the lithium grade could make the deposits in the area more attractive to the electronics market and help lift the region after the gloom caused by a downturn in iron ore.

  • Huntsman pigment business to benefit from lower oil prices

    07 January 2015

    While low oil prices are negatively impacting a range of global markets, Huntsman has sought to allay any concerns that its TiO2 business could also be hit, saying that it could see long term benefits as its raw material costs decline.

  • Nedmag to bring more magnesium brine capacity online

    07 January 2015

    While the decision to being more production online was not market motivated, it does underscore Nedmag’s vision of diversifying its portfolio and having product ready so that it can assure security of supply in the future.

  • Aliphos to construct 520,000 tpa feed phosphate facility in France

    07 January 2015

    The feed phosphate market is small compared to the scale of the fertiliser industry, however, demand in the agricultural feedstock is on the rise according to Aliphos.

  • De-icing salt sales hold up for Compass Minerals despite mild Q4 winter conditions

    07 January 2015

    Salt sales for Compass Minerals have held up because of continued restocking after the strong 2013-2014 winter in North America, despite a mild start to the current season in the region.

  • China may use rare earths resource tax to recoup export tariff losses

    07 January 2015

    The cancellation of export quotas is just the first step in a fresh wave of industry reform, according to analysts, with export taxes next on the list to be axed if China is to comply fully with last year’s WTO ruling. Given the removal of China’s competitive advantage that this entails, it is believed that China will use resource taxes to limit the amount of rare earths on the market.

  • MTI calcium carbonate plant’s output “unaffected by strike”

    07 January 2015

    As the world's leading producer of PCC for the paper industry, a strike could have harmed production levels. However as SMI has established a contingency plan for the duration of the strike, production levels are expected to remain sufficient to meet demand.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief: 16 December 2014- 07 January 2015

    07 January 2015

    Pure Energy testing 99% lithium extraction technology; Lenovo launches lithium-encased laptop lighter than a bottle of water and predicts that electric vehicles will overtake consumer electronics as the main source of lithium demand by 2018.

  • Mexico to promote barite exploration in Zacatecas state

    06 January 2015

    The Mexican government is looking to increase barite exploration in light of new energy laws in the country, which are expected to encourage additional investment in the oil and gas industry, and in turn drive demand for the oilfield mineral.

  • Sika owner to push through Saint Gobain takeover

    06 January 2015

    The acquisition of the Swiss chemicals company by Saint Gobain has been mired in controversy, with shareholders opposed to the takeover from the off. The latest development underlines that the family with the controlling stake is still willing to go through with the sale – meaning that shareholders opposing may be fighting a losing battle.

  • IM Agriminerals News In Brief: 22 December 2014 — 6 January 2015

    06 January 2015

    Agrim sells distribution facilities in Illinois; Highfield Resources receives new drilling results; South Boulder Mines finalises open-cut mine plan; Aguia Resources progresses drilling programme.

  • World Titanium directors reject Base Resources takeover bid

    06 January 2015

    Base is attempting to secure a takeover of mineral sands exploration company WTR, which would diversify its project portfolio in light of recent political issues in Kenya. However, as Base dispatched its bidder’s statement to shareholders today, WTR directors urged its investors not to accept, saying the offer both undervalues the company and represents significant risk for its shareholders.

  • Oil price decline may flatten frac sand prices

    06 January 2015

    Buyers may soon regret committing to premium priced contracts, industry insiders warn

  • Andalusite Resources rumoured to be in takeover talks

    06 January 2015

    The rumours, if proven to be true, mean that Imerys would control even more of the global supply of andalusite. The company accounts for approximately two thirds of global supply, but the acquisition, if it goes through, would leave only 9% of the market uncontrolled by Imerys.

  • Final payment in Holcim-Cemex deal cements European consolidation

    06 January 2015

    Holcim has completed a series of consolidative transactions for its European business arms with Cemex. By focusing on their respective key markets, both companies will hope to increase construction demand and the consumption of construction minerals.

  • Egypt to construct $460m phosphate industrial zone

    06 January 2015

    Egypt hopes to join other Middle Eastern key producers of the fertiliser mineral, which is exported worldwide from the region. It is unclear, for now, what facilities the zone will include.

  • Mada to become largest Middle Eastern gypsum supplier by nearly doubling capacity

    06 January 2015

    In constructing a new plant, Mada will nearly double its capacity, becoming the largest Middle Eastern supplier of gypsum. The hot climate of the intended markets and a resultant preference for cooler concrete buildings means there is strong demand for construction materials like gypsum.

  • IM Rare Earth News in Brief 15 December 2014 – 5 January 2015

    05 January 2015

    Molycorp told to rearrange its closing prices on New York Stock Exchange; Rare Earth Salts gets financial backing for plant from local government

  • MZI receives $37.5m from RCF allowing Keysbrook construction to begin

    05 January 2015

    At a time when many juniors – particularly in minerals sands – are struggling to obtain project financing, the funding received by MZI from Resource Capital Fund means that the company has been able to repay its short term debts and notify all constructors at the Keysbrook mineral sands project in Australia to commence work.

  • First stage of shaft sinking at Uralkali’s Ust-Yayvinsky potash project completed

    05 January 2015

    Ust-Yayvinsky’s first shaft has now reached the salt horizon, a significant milestone for Uralkali’s project. The company may require the mine to open earlier than the projected 2020 mine completion if it loses its Solikamsk-2 mine, which has been in danger of a full flood since late November 2014.

  • Agrium restarts production at Vanscoy potash mine following upgrades

    05 January 2015

    Vanscoy is back online having almost doubled its annual potash capacity. The facility is the company’s sole in-house supply of potash and its lower production volumes during the upgrade resulted in a lacklustre Q3 2014 earnings statement.

  • China lifts export restrictions on rare earths but retains licensing controls

    05 January 2015

    As the world’s largest producer of rare earths, China’s position on exports has been a point of tense controversy in the wake of a WTO case, which ruled in March last year that the trade restrictions were unfair. The scrapping of limits on volumes comes however with tighter internal controls that could still make it difficult for buyers to feel secure in their supply chains.

  • Outotec to supply gas cleaning tech to Votorantim Group in Peru

    05 January 2015

    The gas cleaning technology supplied by Outotec to Votorantim's zinc refinery in Peru will enable to the company to both reduce its gas emissions and produce a higher quality sulphuric acid by-product.

  • Samsung invests in lithium batteries that promise increased capacity

    05 January 2015

    Technology giant Samsung is continuing to grow its stake in global Li-ion battery manufacturing as demand for the technology increases across the consumer electronics and energy sectors, which is an encouraging sign for mineral companies pegging their futures on the growth of the lithium battery industry.

  • Canada bans lithium batteries as cargo on passenger planes

    05 January 2015

    The grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners fleet in 2013 was down to the failure of Li-ion batteries. The fires Li-ion batteries caused on Japanese and UK runways have spread global fears about their safety.

  • Graphite: 2014 price review

    05 January 2015

    Chinese environmental closures fail to mask oversupply difficulties