Regulation latest news

  • March 2015

    Slowing industrial growth dents demand for Chinese refractories

    31 March 2015

    The director of China’s Refractory Association has warned that downstream demand for refractories has reached “peak arc zone”, meaning that consumption is likely to decline from now on.

  • Yellow Rock starts drilling programme to update Australian vanadium pentoxide resource

    31 March 2015

    The company already has an indicated and inferred JORC resources of 125.8m tonnes of V2O5, TiO2 and iron, but drilling will provide samples for metallurgical testing, enabling the company to continue with the development of high grade V2O5 for the growing vanadium redox battery market.

  • Grid power restored at Kenmare Mozambique mine

    31 March 2015

    Hit by flooding earlier this month, which caused damage to the power line between Kenmare’s Moma mine and the city of Nampula, grid power has now been restored to the facility although the company has not provided further details regarding the potential impact on production.

  • Antimony trioxide prices sink to half of 2011 levels

    31 March 2015

    Resumption of mining and smelting activity in China hammers prices as demand remains weak.

  • Strikes at Israel Chemicals could see “anchor customers” lost

    31 March 2015

    ICL is appealing to its workers directly now; continued disruptive strike action at its bromine facilities threatens to prevent the company meeting the requirements of key customers. Stuck between a rock and hard place with looming tax changes and industrial action opposition to tax change-mitigation measures, ICL could further see its facilities sustain permanent damage if an agreement is not made soon.

  • SQM to lose $7m from Q1 2015 income following tax probe

    31 March 2015

    The result of the investigation into SQM's tax status will hit the company hard, costing it $7m in net income from its first quarter 2015 results. At the end of last year, the group's results were propped up by an extra $13m net income from the sale of mining rights to Antofagasta Minerals, but accusations about payments to politicians have dogged the company in recent months and led to the ousting of its CEO.

  • New Western Energy to build zero waste TiO2 recovery pilot plant in US

    31 March 2015

    Recently, TiO2 industry players have emphasised the need for innovation in the market’s recovery. New Western’s pilot plant will use technology developed by Fodere for the extraction of TiO2 as a low cost, zero waste alternative to existing processes.

  • Triton hooks up with AMG for Ancuabe graphite exploration

    31 March 2015

    The initial two-year agreement will see the ASX-listed junior and Germany-based carbon materials producer co-explore the past-producing graphite region in Northern Mozambique. The deal excludes Triton’s flagship Balama North project, however managing director Brad Boyle said that the arrangement could indirectly benefit the operation.

  • Pele Mountain joins with Chinese rare earths processor to advance Eco Ridge

    31 March 2015

    With processing technology fast becoming the most important consideration to rare earths investors, Pele has joined other companies in heading to the Chinese to acquire the critical and technically complex knowledge required for flowsheet design.

  • Tesla CEO tweet keeps market guessing about new product launch

    31 March 2015

    Tesla founder Elon Musk is known for hype generating about his business ventures, and just over a year after announcing plans to build a lithium-ion Gigafactory in Nevada, the CEO has tweeted about a top secret new Tesla product due to be launched at the end of April.

  • FMC Lithium’s logistics disrupted by Argentina rainfall chaos

    31 March 2015

    US-based FMC Corp. said that although deliveries to its Salar del Hombre Muerto brine production facility have been disrupted by 15 times the average rainfall in the region in the last week, lithium supply has not been dented. The news however highlights the vulnerability of South American brine operations to weather events.

  • Galaxy Resources' lithium plant sale finally reaches closing stages

    31 March 2015

    Galaxy is approaching the final hurdles in closing its Jiangsu lithium plant sale to Tianqui Lithium, which may spell the end of leasing agreements struck to give Galaxy some capital in the intervening period.

  • Canpotex agrees to “current competitive levels” pricing contract with China

    30 March 2015

    Canpotex has not disclosed the exact prices used for contracts signed with its Chinese customers, instead indicating that they are set at “competitive levels”. While projected volumes may be up, the signing of contracts after rival supplier Belaruskali could be signalling an end to the oligopolistic supply situation currently seen in potash.

  • DuPont board approves Chemours Co. spin-off structure

    30 March 2015

    DuPont’s spin-off, which incorporates its TiO2, fluoropolymers and fluorochemicals businesses, is on track for mid-2015 following corporate governance structure approval by its board. However, the spin-off may not go far enough for its major shareholder, Trian, which has pushed for a further breakup of the company.

  • China’s MIIT to clarify refractories industry regulations in sector reform

    30 March 2015

    As the country faces the prospect of post-peak steel, cement and glass production conditions, China’s industry ministry has promised that new regulations governing refractories will help it to deal with the challenge of weaker demand and promote the development of a more sophisticated manufacturing sector.

  • Highfield receives $354m capex DFS for Spanish potash project

    30 March 2015

    In a climate of depressed potash prices, margins are increasingly important. Highfield has the potential to bring its Muga potash to production with one of the highest production margins in the industry, which could shield it from the wider financing malaise of higher-cost competitors.

  • Hudson’s PEA values speciality alumina project at $205m

    30 March 2015

    Hudson has published a positive preliminary assessment for its White Mountain project. The study’s valuation of the project at $205m and production estimates of 110,000 tpa position the company well to move towards higher purity products, in particular higher value added speciality alumina for non-metallurgical applications, including refractories and ceramics.

  • JPMC phosphate production rises with operating profits

    30 March 2015

    JPMC has been pursuing a number of expansion projects of late. The extra production and resultant sales volumes made possible by these new production bases should lead to a healthy balance sheet in the future, which will also see the benefit of labour settlement payments ending.

  • Halliburton and Baker Hughes shareholders approve merger

    30 March 2015

    The merger between Halliburton and Baker Hughes, which was announced in November last year, could be concluded before the end of 2015, creating a Houston-based oilfield services giant potentially rivalling market leader Schlumberger. At a time when low oil prices are dampening demand for oilfield services, a joint company could help to buoy product prices for oilfield minerals like barite and bentonite.

  • Arab Potash posts 24% y-o-y fall in 2014 net income

    30 March 2015

    Operating cost increases came at an unfortunate time for APC, which also saw prices fall through much of 2014 as worldwide production expanded. The double-squeeze resulted in a 24% y-o-y fall in profits.

  • Graphene light bulbs to go on sale in UK

    30 March 2015

    Scarcely has Manchester's National Graphene Institute opened its doors and it already has partnerships with 35 companies looking to develop products off the back of its technology. Large scale production will be the challenge as graphene is difficult to mass produce, but affordable light bulbs are an encouraging step towards wider commercial uptake.

  • Metso HP5 cone crusher improves safety and efficiency in aggregates

    30 March 2015

    Finnish technology company Metso has launched a new crusher for the mining and aggregates industries featuring its IC70C automation system, which according to the company improves safety and consistency.

  • GIS to become crucial for stakeholder engagement

    30 March 2015

    Shareholder engagement may be improved through the use of web-based geographical information systems tools to show investors the structure and geography of the projects they are looking to place capital in, according to Pitney Bowes. Meanwhile, a substantial shortfall in mining labour is on the horizon.

  • FLSmidth to supply €30m worth of equipment for OCP phosphate expansion

    30 March 2015

    Morocco-headquartered OCP is looking to enhance its long-term competitive position in the fertiliser market by increasing its phosphate output by 70% to 2020. The equipment order is the latest in a number of investments made by the company in the last year as it prepares for an expected increase in phosphate demand.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 24 – 30 March

    30 March 2015

    Hastings and Commerce improve metallurgical testwork results; Montero refreshes licence for Tanzanian rare earths project; veracity of reports on North Korean rare earths deposit under question.

  • Floods halt Chilean lithium, potash and iodine production

    30 March 2015

    Freak rainfall has caused Chile's SQM, the world's largest producer of lithum, to suspend some of its Atacama desert salar plants as a precautionary measure. Other companies with assets in the region, such as Albermarle, may follow suit if weather conditions continue to hinder operations, while Argentinian lithium projects are also rumoured to have been affected.

  • Chinese refractories output falls for first time in ten years

    30 March 2015

    2014 saw the first drop in China’s refractory production since 2004 as domestic demand from the steel, cement and glass sectors continues to weaken in the wake of slowing GDP growth. Exports jumped last year, meanwhile, as suppliers sought international buyers for surplus production.

  • ICL scoops up potash junior Allana for C$137m

    27 March 2015

    Potash bulls beware: while the acquisition of Allana by ICL for the significant sum of C$137m will result in a brief resurgence of excitement in the potash industry, MOP projects are unlikely to exit the finance doldrums any time soon. While Allana’s management team and Danakil potash project must have been attractive to ICL, the acquisition should be viewed in light of ICL’s movement away from domestic operations, which have been beset by strikes and are staring at seemingly inevitable tax rises.

  • Rio Tinto Minerals shielded from group job cuts

    27 March 2015

    The slashing of personnel numbers across Rio Tinto's operations will save the company millions. Fortunately for industrial minerals, the cost savings look like they may take place in the group's main division in its iron ore interests, rather than affecting its minerals arm.

  • MEPs call for maintenance of industrial mineral duties under TTIP deal

    27 March 2015

    European Parliament committees have come together to discuss duties on US mineral imports in light of the new Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the EU and US. MEPs are likely to argue against the removal of tariffs for fear that US imports could undercut EU production in energy intensive industries.

  • Baker Hughes and Halliburton shut down facilities ahead of merger meeting

    27 March 2015

    Both companies announced that they would be implementing job cuts and facility shut downs as a result of lower activity in the oil and gas market. However, the oilfield service providers are set to meet today to vote on their proposed merger, which would create a business with greater market exposure the scope to be a competitor to industry leader, Schlumberger.

  • Price Briefing 20 – 26 March

    27 March 2015

    Albemarle hikes bromine prices; phosphate rock export values flat for last six months.

  • Albemarle ratchets up bromine prices by 30%

    27 March 2015

    Increases will not affect oilfield clear brine solutions; rise likely driven by struggling flame retardant profitability.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 20 – 26 March

    26 March 2015

    Valence ships first 20 tonnes graphite from Uley; National Graphene Institute opens in UK.

  • Indian graphite prices face downwards pressure

    26 March 2015

    Flake graphite prices from India are likely to be revised down following disrupted operations last year; decision to be made pending research

  • Image to potentially expand Boonanarring following intersection of high grade HM

    26 March 2015

    Australian junior Image Resource has rolled out a drilling programme, the results of which have indicated that the company might be able to expand its Boonanarring mineral sands project, potentially allowing the company to increase its mine life to 10 years.

  • Graphenea graphene cuts alumina ceramic wear in half

    26 March 2015

    The Spanish nanomaterials company studied the effect of adding its standard graphene oxide to alumina-based ceramic materials used in the biomedical industry and found that a small amount of graphene can reduce wear by as much as 50%. It expects the results of the study to find application in commercial products in the near future.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 20 – 26 March

    26 March 2015

    Qantas has become the most recent global airline to ban lithium-ion batteries from its cargo holds; US Li-ion battery developer XALT Energy signs $1bn global exclusive agreement with Hybrid Kinetic Group of China for the supply of its lithium titanate batteries.

  • Sierra Rutile’s 2014 performance hit by Ebola but improvements expected

    26 March 2015

    Sierra Leone-based mineral sands miner Sierra Rutile operates in one of the countries worst hit by the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak so it is unsurprising that its production and revenue was impacted. The situation has also been compounded by low rutile prices. However, with reports of the spread of the virus slowing, the company expects to push up EBITDA and double production by focusing on cost cutting and expansion projects.

  • Qatar expands limestone transport capacity

    26 March 2015

    Qatar Primary Materials Co. has signed a deal with a Belgium-based port firm to develop limestone transport infrastructure as the Middle East country ramps up construction activity in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

  • OCP profits continue to fall as company forecasts rising prices

    25 March 2015

    Despite rising exports, OCP has seen its full year profits fall on lower phosphate rock and phosphoric acid prices. The company projects a stable rise in phosphate rock prices over 2015.

  • Bentonite used as buffer in nuclear waste disposal experiment

    25 March 2015

    After three years of preparation, Nagra has entered the monitoring phase of its FE Experiment for the disposal of high-level waste using bentonite as a buffer. Although the mineral is already used in many European countries for waste disposal, the experiment will allow computer simulations to be compared with real data.

  • Consolidation: What a Sika-Saint-Gobain merger would mean for raw materials

    25 March 2015

    The merger between Sika and Saint Gobain may well be off, but consolidation within the construction materials industry is here to stay, and raw materials suppliers will have to be innovative to keep their prices up as the next merger looms on the horizon.

  • Moroccan phosphate rock prices remain flat

    25 March 2015

    Prices unchanged in last six months but rise 13% year-on-year.

  • MagIndustries to miss financial declaration deadlines

    25 March 2015

    No reasons have been given by MagIndustries for the expected financial statements delay. The company’s headquarters were searched in January 2015 due to allegations of bribery and this development will only serve to further heighten investor concerns.

  • Kenyan High Court rules against Pacific Wildcat on Mrima Hill rare earths permit

    25 March 2015

    The Kenyan High Court has ruled against Toronto-listed Pacific Wildcat and its subsidiary, Cortec, in a long-running dispute over the granting of a mining licence for the Mrima Hill rare earths project under different rules in 2013. The permit was revoked following a government shake-up in 2013, and Pacific Wildcat has announced its intention to continue with the case.

  • Correct lubrication offers mining operators competitive advantage

    25 March 2015

    ExxonMobil recently showcased a range of its synthetic lubrication products, drawing attention to the importance of choosing the right lubrication for machine protection, productivity and manufacturing quality.

  • China’s amorphous graphite supply tightens

    25 March 2015

    Supply Update: Low consumption rates cause drop in production as weak demand fails to absorb excessive supplies, which is likely to keep the market suppressed for H1 2015

  • Unichamp opens large lime plant in Philippines

    24 March 2015

    Rio Tuba Nickel Mining will supply the limestone required by the new facility due to open in on 25 March. The plant could supply up to 45% of the Philippines’ industrial lime demand.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 16 – 24 March

    24 March 2015

    SQM downgraded by Feller; Canpotex experiences major train derailment; Arianne Phosphate improves metallurgical flowsheet; Celamin in trading suspension after resource ownership dispute; Belarus and Montenegro hold potash and trade talks.

  • IM Mineral Sands News in Brief March 2015

    24 March 2015

    DuPont urges shareholders to vote for its director nominations; Testwork at Sheffield’s Thunderbird project shows improved mineral sands recoveries.

  • Fairmount reports record 2014 revenue as proppant sales continue growth

    24 March 2015

    US frac sand supplier Fairmount Santrol saw income and revenue increase last year as demand for its proppant products continued to increase, despite plummeting oil prices. The company expects positive sales to continue and has invested in capacity and logistics expansions.

  • Indonesia considers scrapping bauxite export ban to raise processing funds

    24 March 2015

    Indonesia may look at lifting its mineral export ban in order to provide funds for its domestic processing industry - a year after putting the ban in place to encourage investment in domestic processing. Removing the ban may raise enough funds to kickstart beneficiation in an industry that has been focused traditionally on raw materials.

  • Israel Chemicals mulls nitrate of potash production

    24 March 2015

    Strikes may be hurting Israel Chemicals in its homeland, but that does not mean it is not looking outwards for growth. After raising the possibility of purchasing fellow potash producer, Chile-based SQM, the company is now considering production of the speciality fertiliser saltpetre.

  • China’s qualitative edge in the high-grade acidspar market

    24 March 2015

    China’s dominance in the fluorspar market is not just confined to increased quantities at low cost, but also better qualities with lower impurities. Because of this Chinese higher grade spar material requires less processing when compared to other global supplies, IM Data learnt.

  • BAIC-backed Pride graphite anode plant accelerates construction in Jixi

    24 March 2015

    BAIC Motor Corp. is one of the biggest EV producers in China and its investment in a graphite anode facility in Heilongjiang’s graphite capital is just one of a number of projects underway to increase the production of value-added graphite materials in the region.

  • Can selling exploration rights solve China’s graphite industry problems?

    23 March 2015

    The recent auctions of Heilongjiang’s exploration rights in Jixi have been given a mixed reception by the industry. Proponents of the new system believe that it will help solve the issue of profiteering by powerful companies and promote the development of further processing, while others feel that it is a risky strategy that inflates the price of mineral reserves.

  • World steel output broadly flat in February

    23 March 2015

    Peak steel in China is now being spoken of by many as a past event. Figures by worldsteel and continued projections from mining giant BHP Billiton may serve to lighten the gloomy atmosphere.

  • Belaruskali-China deal hails more fragmented and competitive potash market

    23 March 2015

    The deal between Belarus and China could be the first of many more competitive moves by producers in the potash market. The sector has historically operated with large joint ventures controlling prices, but with the departure of Uralkali from the marketing arrangement with Belaruskali in 2013, the picture is now more fragmented - with implications for price and stability.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 17 – 23 March

    23 March 2015

    Tasman Metals releases NI 43-101 report on Nora Karr rare earths project; Peak Resources attains A$5m funding; cerium-based catalyst could reduce the cost of nylon production.

  • Saint-Gobain loses right to gain controlling stake in Sika

    23 March 2015

    The Zurich court's decision to limit voting rights in Sika to 5% has essentially removed the most attractive part of the takeover deal for its French rival. Previously, Saint-Gobain got a controlling stake in Sika by only acquiring 16.1% of the shares, whereas now that same deal only comes with 5% of the voting rights. All eyes are now on Saint-Gobain to see if it will proceed under the revised circumstances.

  • Bauxite & Alumina 2015: Refractories usage in decline

    23 March 2015

    Delegates at the 21st Bauxite and Alumina conference in Miami this year heard that refractories demand is to drive alumina usage, while sustainable alumina applications are growing. Major challenges in Guinea bauxite are also preventing the country from exporting the mineral.

  • Graphene News Review

    23 March 2015

    Grafoid wins C$8.1m grant to develop one-step graphene process; Graphenea cuts price of graphene products.

  • Vein graphite price revisions await government nod

    20 March 2015

    Despite limited demand, vein graphite prices for 2015 are expected to rise as the new Sri Lankan government targets downstream expansion

  • Yara-backed Quebec phosphate mine given go-ahead

    20 March 2015

    Details on the scale of the recently approved open pit phosphate rock mine are thin on the ground, but with Yara among its serious backers, the project is likely to see its production start as planned in 2019.

  • ICL eyes SQM assets as share price plunges

    20 March 2015

    SQM's falling share price in the wake of the removal of its CEO amid a high profile political scandal has made it an attractive target for a number of businesses in ther fertiliser and speciality mineral sector. The Chilean company's fertiliser division's performance has been strong, and reportedly attracted the attention of ICL.

  • Canada eases tax burden on hard-pressed mining industry

    20 March 2015

    15% tax credit extended to encompass more costs as government acknowledges challenges in sector.

  • SQM ousts CEO after 25 years at the helm

    20 March 2015

    Reign of lithium leader ends after quarter of a century; PotashCorp. directors resign over SQM tax scandal.

  • Increase in Chinese exports weakens vanadium pentoxide prices in 2014

    20 March 2015

    Prices fall in wake of extra Chinese capacity with Metal Bulletin index hovering at $4/lb V2O5. Glencore output drops on maintenance outage.

  • Plunging fluorspar prices weigh heavily on South African miners

    20 March 2015

    High stocks, low demand cause price drops; SA fluorspar sector in flux as investor interest wanes.

  • PDAC 2015: Frac sand demand shielded by rising sand intensity

    20 March 2015

    Frac sand consumption per well growing; proppants producers protected from oil prices.

  • Horizontal rig count dives to five-year low

    20 March 2015

    Horizontal rigs lead overall fall with oil exploration on clear downward trend.

  • PDAC 2015: Battery minerals an oasis in the mining desert

    20 March 2015

    Battery mineral companies happier than most as short term demand sources disputed.

  • Dunkin’ dumps TiO2 from doughnuts

    20 March 2015

    US doughnut chain bows to activist pressure as activist group As You Sow claims chemical can harm health.

  • 4,000 tpa NdFeB magnet facility takes shape in China

    20 March 2015

    A large JV NdFeB magnet factory is expected to enter production in June of this year, according to local Chinese news source. Magnets are expected by much of the rare earths industry to drive demand growth in the near future as the world looks to new technologies.

  • Ceramic challenge: why synthetic proppants have it tough

    20 March 2015

    Ceramic proppants have long faced stiff competition from their cheaper, more readily available silica (frac) sand counterparts. Now, with oil prices tumbling and hydrocarbon extraction costs rising, manufacturers are experiencing some of the toughest market conditions yet, with some forced to close operations until conditions recover.

  • Price Briefing 13 – 19 March

    20 March 2015

    Antimony trioxide prices drop while European graphite skirts under Chinese FOB contracts.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 13 – 19 March

    20 March 2015

    Talga receives $5.5m towards German graphene plant; Triton makes expanded graphite from Balama North ore.

  • PotashCorp. projects C$75-100m fall in earnings from Saskatchewan tax changes

    19 March 2015

    Tax changes announced by the provincial government of Saskatchewan in its budget this week will result in a C$75-100m pre-tax drop in earnings, PotashCorp. has warned. Wider tax changes are being called for from many in the industry, who criticise the current system as inefficient and complex.

  • Belaruskali agrees potash supply deal with China at $315/tonne

    19 March 2015

    After a standoff in negotiations between Chinese importers and global producers of potash, Belarus has tentatively crossed the picket line by striking a deal at $315/tonne. The deal, which is only rumoured at present, may have broken the cartel that was already threatened by Uralkali's termination of its relationship with Belarus in 2013.

  • Lanxess suffers sales losses but realignment programme boosts EBITDA

    19 March 2015

    Lanxess's sales performance has suffered from market conditions in the rubber industry, but its realignment programme is enabling it to grow its EBITDA nonetheless. The first phase of its cost cutting was only the beginning, and the group has two more phases to implement before it believes it can start seeing the results in the rest of its business.

  • PotashCorp. representatives resign from SQM as Chilean company’s shares drop by 30%

    19 March 2015

    All three of PotashCorp.’s representatives on SQM’s board have resigned from SQM, putting momentum behind the share price battering observed throughout Wednesday. Media attention on the Chilean miner’s high-profile scandals has been intense, particularly following the firing of quarter-of-a-century serving CEO, Patricio Contesse.

  • I-Minerals develops halloysite, kaolin, K-spar and quartz products

    19 March 2015

    I-Minerals is getting underway with creating trade products from its Helmer-Bovill property in Idaho.

  • Mongolia secures higher prices for fluorspar in 2015

    19 March 2015

    Despite a difficult year owing to limited demand for fluorspar, some Mongolian suppliers have managed to trade shipments at marginally higher levels in Q1 2015, boosting some optimism amongst producers in the market.

  • Baltic Dry Index expected to rebound in Q2

    19 March 2015

    Shipping association BIMCO predicts an upturn due to increased agricultural exports from Brazil, but falling demand for imported raw materials in China continues to cast a shadow over the market.

  • Budget 2015: North Sea oil and gas sector thrown “lifeline”

    18 March 2015

    New measures to kick-start investment in North Sea oil and gas production have today been announced by the UK Chancellor, throwing a lifeline to those working in the extraction industry as well increasing future demand for oilfield minerals.

  • Budget 2015: UK seeks to build on graphene research

    18 March 2015

    George Osborne's 2015 budget was largely focused on the oil and gas industry with scant mention of any other kind of mining. However, there was renewed emphasis on the UK's "Northern Powerhouse" which includes generous support from graphene research.

  • Rebound in Japan’s graphite imports signals growth

    18 March 2015

    Downloadable graph: Increase in China’s flake graphite exports to Japan support the country’s emergence from recession: port by port.

  • Carbo to cut workforce as oil price fails to recover

    18 March 2015

    After mothballing one plant and managing production at others, Carbo Ceramics has now made the decision to cut its workforce and quarterly dividend in a bid to stave off the impact of tumbling oil prices.

  • SGL Group decreases graphite electrode capacity to counter weak prices

    18 March 2015

    SGL Group has stayed true to its word and is implementing its planned cost savings - over half of which has been focused on its graphite electrode products. The company has increased its cost saving target to €240m in order to keep its balance sheet healthy going forward.

  • Magnesita 2014 results triumph over flat steel production

    17 March 2015

    Magnesita overcame headwinds in the steel market to deliver robust 2014 earnings, half of which came from new growth markets. The company is looking to the stainless steel and mini mills end market in North America for its 2015 growth.

  • SQM board ousts CEO after 25 years at the helm

    17 March 2015

    Patricio Contesse has been pushed out of SQM after a quarter of a century as its leader at an extraordinary general meeting. The company has provided no information on the content of the board meeting, but market speculation is focussing on the board’s perception of SQM’s public image, following a number of high-profile scandals.

  • Molycorp registers further large losses but substantially reduces opex

    17 March 2015

    Whether or not Molycorp can continue to avoid bankruptcy is still under question in light of the company’s latest set of financial results. Another substantial loss, set against significant leveraging is continuing to make for fractious relationships with investors, though certain measures, including opex reduction efforts, now appear to be making a difference.

  • China fluorspar exports indicate downstream expansion

    17 March 2015

    Supply update: Export figures for 2014 show rise in HF/ AlF3 output, while fluorspar production continues to bear the brunt of sluggish demand and mounting stockpiles.

  • Sika shareholders ask for special audit while Burkard family loses right to EGM

    17 March 2015

    A win for Sika as a Zurich court denies the Burkard family an emergency shareholders meeting. The shareholders opposed to the takeover are planning to ask for a special audit on the takeover process.

  • Orbite presses ahead with patents; installs HPA refractory system

    17 March 2015

    Orbite has been active in getting its red mud technology patented, with notices of allowance now received for both Canada and the United States.

  • Antimony trioxide prices dip below $7,000/tonne

    17 March 2015

    Relentless supply pulls chemical prices down further; ingot remains stable.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 9 – 16 March

    16 March 2015

    Rare earths prices continue steady recovery; Commerce Resources updates pilot plant; Search Minerals identifies additional rare earths mineralisation areas in Labrador.

  • Prayon pushes up phosphate prices on sagging euro

    16 March 2015

    Belgian producer which is partly owned by OCP said the €100 increase will affect all products from 1 April.

  • Albemarle to refocus flame retardant products and grow catalyst output

    16 March 2015

    Albemarle has taken note of the trends outlined in its fourth quarter results and is adapting its portfolio accordingly. The speciality chemicals producer is discontinuing some of its flame retardant products in order to focus on its best sellers, after its Q4 and full year 2014 report showed sales volumes were down in this area. The company is also increasing its catalyst capacity in the Middle East in anticipation of demand growth in this area.

  • Chinese government ties up heavy rare earths in southern China

    16 March 2015

    The China South Rare Earth Group was officially founded today in Ganzhou in southern China’s Jiangxi province, which is the country’s main source of valuable heavy rare earths. The establishment of the state-owned holding company gives the Chinese government greater control over supply of the strategically important elements.

  • Bromine price pressure knocks down Gulf’s 2014 earnings

    16 March 2015

    The Chinese bromine and salt producer said the lower prices for bromine had contributed to a drop in its full-year earnings and echoed US-based Chemtura in saying that it does not expect any recovery in selling values for the flame retardant chemical in 2015.

  • Graphite prices stand firm despite upward pressure

    13 March 2015

    Chinese producers hold out on prices as market awaits rebound in industrial demand.

  • New law seeks to spread benefits of Mozambique's mining industry

    13 March 2015

    Mozambique's 2014 Mining Law is intended to benefit the people of Mozambique, shifting supply agreements onto local contracts and determining adequate compensation for communities affected by mining. However, some parts of the legislation are vague and companies need to fully understand the process in order to operate effectively in the east African country, according to legal firm Clifford Chance.

  • Kronos’ 2014 $99m profit marks turnaround in full year earnings performance

    13 March 2015

    The North American TiO2 producer has flipped its results from a $102m loss recorded in 2013 but said its income was marred by lower average selling prices and refrained from making a comment on conditions in the wider pigment market.

  • Debt extensions secured by rare earths miner Lynas Corp. as losses increase

    13 March 2015

    Loan extensions will aid Lynas over the coming years as it struggles to achieve profitability in a tough rare earths pricing environment. Rumoured price improvements and the apparent possibility of additional operational efficiencies may further help the company towards earnings growth.

  • Price Briefing 6 – 12 March

    13 March 2015

    Graphite flat while craft beer pushes up soda ash and TiO2 markets anticipate a price lift.

  • US craft beer cheers North American soda ash prices

    13 March 2015

    Rise in popularity of bottled craft brews over canned competitors to boost market.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 6 – 12 March

    12 March 2015

    Magnis on track with Nachu environmental assessment; Great Lakes secures access to micronising facility in Canada

  • Ineos acquires £30m UK shale gas licences

    12 March 2015

    After saying last year that it planned to invest £640m in shale gas exploration in the UK over the next six years, Ineos has purchased £30m worth of shale gas assets from IGas in England and Scotland. Increased activity in the sector may drive demand for proppants, however the company could face public opposition to the development of its projects as the fracking debate in the UK becomes increasingly heated.

  • K+S potash price recovery sustains results

    12 March 2015

    K+S claims that potash price recovery will spill into 2015, despite demand for the product being forecast down. The agrichem producer's cost and operational efficiencies are up to scratch, protecting against any downside.

  • South Boulder CEO outlines DFS opex reduction plans

    12 March 2015

    A quick DFS turnaround is expected by South Boulder’s CEO Paul Donaldson, who sees opex falling over the six months until release for the Colluli SOP resource.

  • Sika sets out disappointment with Swiss Takeover Board decision

    12 March 2015

    Sika argues that the Swiss Takeover Board has failed to give a clear answer on whether the 'opt out' clause should be upheld.

  • Baotou City’s earnings dragged down by rare earths as Chinalco project moves ahead

    12 March 2015

    Weak prices for rare earths have eaten into the revenues of Baoutou’s biggest rare earths producer and made a hole in the region’s GDP, while China’s continuing emphasis on upping its heavy rare earths output has seen Chinalco’s Liutang project in Gunagxi progress unabated.

  • Dunkin’ to remove TiO2 from doughnuts following activist pressure

    12 March 2015

    US baked goods chain Dunkin’ Donuts is to remove TiO2 as a whitening ingredient from its powdered sugar doughnuts after activist group As You Sow campaigned for the move, deeming it unsafe for human consumption. Although the majority of TiO2 production is used in paint, plastic and paper applications, around 1% of output is consumed by the food and pharmaceutical industries.

  • Houston dry bulk terminal open despite collision and chemical spill

    12 March 2015

    Houston Ship Channel remains closed but several facilities still open during a salvage operation to clear up leaked MTBE fluid, an additive used in the petroleum industry, which may have a knock-on effect on the movement of oilfield minerals in the region.

  • Sirius Minerals raises £15m in blitz placement

    11 March 2015

    In a mining finance glut, Sirius Minerals has completed a £15m placement-based fundraising for its UK-based polyhalite potash project, in a possible indication of shareholder interest and support for the project.

  • US steel rebound paves way for Mexican metspar

    11 March 2015

    Metspar exports from Mexico increased 21% y-o-y largely aided by US steel recovery, with modest demand seen from European and Japanese markets

  • Chinese export data suggests dysprosium pricing uptick is overstated

    11 March 2015

    Data detailing the volume and value of rare earths exported from China may indicate that market excitement over dysprosium could, for now, be overenthusiastic. Similar upticks have been seen before, and only a sustained rise in value per unit mass over several months can confirm the magnet-related prices potential of the element.

  • Kenmare mineral sands mine hit by power failure following flood

    11 March 2015

    Power at Kenmare’s Moma mine in Mozambique is currently running off diesel generators as grid power has been disrupted by floods near the facility. Although the company did not specify whether there would be any lasting financial effects, the problems come not long after Kenmare announced its cost cutting and mass redundancy programme to mitigate the falling ilmenite price.

  • Refractories to push graphite growth?

    11 March 2015

    End Market Review: Do current trends in refractories signal towards restricted graphite demand?

  • I-Minerals gets approval for $4.5m loan

    11 March 2015

    Approval has been granted for I-Minerals' loan allowing the company to continue with its feasibility studies at its Bovill Kaolin deposit.

  • Carbo to mothball US ceramic proppant facility as oil prices bite

    11 March 2015

    Carbo Ceramics is to mothball its McIntyre, Georgia, facility until further notice in response to poor market conditions. The low oil price, ceramic proppant oversupply and the increased use of frac sand has slowed industry activity, with low demand expected to continue in the near term.

  • Athabasca Minerals tests reveal frac sand for proppants; production to begin 2016

    11 March 2015

    Cost cutting in aggregate production has paid off for Athabasca Minerals, after test results confirm the presence of frac sand for use in proppants at its Firebag Project. This new area for the business is set to commence production of proppants in 2016.

  • China Rare Earth Industry Association calls for reform of production

    11 March 2015

    The China Rare Earth Industry Association has made a number of suggestions for regulation to deal with oversupply and illegal rare earth mining in China. The Association conceded that production quota policy is important but needs to be more attuned to market conditions.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 3–10 March

    10 March 2015

    Allana Potash returns positive PEA results; Highfield secures electricity supply for Spanish potash project; CRP continues to pursue offshore phosphate project development; JDC Phosphate improves new phosphate production process.

  • Asian TiO2 prices expected to follow European uptick

    10 March 2015

    Slight inventory rundowns and tighter supply in Europe to nudge up prices but hobbled by Chinese offers.

  • Lithium News in Brief 26 February – 9 March

    10 March 2015

    Airlines call for worldwide ban on lithium battery shipments; No delays to Tesla's Gigafactory.

  • Histadrut ponders strike on Israeli Election Day over ICL bromine layoffs

    10 March 2015

    Israel Chemicals workers relations problems are fast becoming a political issue in the upcoming legislative election. Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking re-election, is attempting to intervene using the “golden share” owned by the government.

  • Potential for Pinnacle Sands Texas frac sand transloading facility after zone change

    10 March 2015

    Although the transloading facility has been considered since last year, the recent approval by the local Planning Commission to rezone the proposed location could mean the frac sand facility will finally become a reality.

  • Survey ranks Kenya Africa’s worst mining jurisdiction

    10 March 2015

    Kenya is perceived as having unpredictable policies as well as a heightened terror threat, according to the latest report on mining jurisdictions by the Fraser Institute, which damages its reputation as an investment destination.

  • Strandline Resources confirms high grade mineral sands in Tanzania

    10 March 2015

    Having recently confirmed high grade heavy mineral sands resources at various locations around its Tanzania exploration project, testwork at Strandline’s Madimba and Madimba East prospects has confirmed high quality zircon and total heavy minerals. Close to infrastructure, should the project be developed, its location will be ideal for ramp up and exports.

  • Mosaic to accelerate K3 potash mine development with C$1.7bn cash injection

    10 March 2015

    Mosaic’s investment in its new K3 facility in Canada is one of the largest extra funding commitments in recent potash news. Esterhazy is a world-leading producing centre for potash, and this development highlights Mosaic’s commitment to the Saskatchewan region.

  • North American plant to adopt MTI’s high-filler PCC technology

    09 March 2015

    Although precipitated calcium carbonate sales for MTI have been slipping in North America, this is the seventh agreement signed in the continent for its high filler technology. Growth is, however, expected in Asia, where paper manufacturers are still using other filler minerals.

  • Rodinia Lithium nets $408,000 through land asset sales

    09 March 2015

    Rodinia has raised further funds by selling off a portion of its Centenario and Ratones properties. Together with a share swap cancelling $998,583 of debt owed to Aberdeen International in 2014, the company is moving towards a healthier balance sheet.

  • US horizontal drill rig count illustrates the scale of shale slowdown

    09 March 2015

    The latest drill rig count data released by Baker Hughes gives an indication of the scale of the slowdown in shale exploration, which has occurred since the substantial reduction in oil prices which started in mid-2014.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 3 – 9 March

    09 March 2015

    Ucore acquires exclusive rights to rare earths processing technology; Hastings Rare Metals identifies 200 new potential ironstone targets at Yangibana; China continues to investigate illegal mining.

  • StratMin could look to debt markets for graphite expansion financing

    09 March 2015

    Grahite producer StratMin is hoping to leverage its offtake agreement to access debt market financing for expansion at its project in Madagascar, according to director Manoli Yannaghas. The company may equally be able to rely on cashflow by the time that it needs growth funds, most likely 2016.

  • IM Minerals Sands News in Brief: 25 February – 9 March 2015

    09 March 2015

    Mineral Commodities lodges South African mineral sands mining application; MZI posts net loss from operations.

  • Crimea Titan raises TiO2 prices on currency devaluation

    09 March 2015

    Ukrainian producer struggles to keep pigment earnings up in wake of plunging hyrvnia.

  • LG Chem to improve lithium ion battery life with Shenzen Senior Technology

    09 March 2015

    LG Chem has entered a second licence agreement using its patented separator technology. The patented ceramic coating improves the battery life of lithium-ion batteries.

  • Sika shareholders Bill and Melinda Gates move to block Saint-Gobain terms

    09 March 2015

    Sika's most high profile shareholders Bill and Melinda Gates have come forward to block the Saint-Gobain merger under its current terms. The shareholders, which have 3% of Sika's share capital, have requested that Saint-Gobain's offer to the Burkard family is extended to all Sika shareholders. It is unlikely that the construction group has the capital to extend the generous €2.8bn offer to all shareholders, which would hobble the acquisition process.

  • Satimola to reject Kazakhstan Potash Corp. purchase after funding deadlines missed

    06 March 2015

    KPC's purchase of Satimola’s potash resource in Central Asia now seems impossible to process following a strongly worded set of letters by the former Fortescue chairman, Gordon Toll, in which the company was accused of not declaring important financial news that he said should be accessible to shareholders.

  • India’s MMDR 2015 bill receives lower house approval

    06 March 2015

    Despite opposition from state governments, industrial players and other political parties, the Indian government has managed to pass the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, in the lower house of the parliament.

  • Graphite prices await industrial rebound

    06 March 2015

    Flake and amorphous graphite prices steady at new lows, while uncertainty continues in vein and spherical graphite market

  • Twin Pines Minerals awards $14m mineral sands plant contract to Sedgman

    06 March 2015

    Twin Pines is planning to produce heavy mineral sands from tailings at its soon to be developed New Jersey facility in the US by May 2016. The company confirmed to IM that it is financing its own project and development is progressing ahead of schedule.

  • Sika faces setback as Swiss Takeover Board upholds 'opt out'

    06 March 2015

    To the certain disappointment of Sika’s management, the Swiss Takeover Board has ruled that an opt out clause will be upheld regarding Saint Gobain's takeover. In short, this means that Saint Gobain may acquire shares from the Burkard family founders without being forced to make the same offer to the rest of the chemical company's shareholders.

  • Sheffield to receive state assistance for Thunderbird mineral sands project

    06 March 2015

    The Thunderbird mineral sands project in development by Thunderbird is now entitled to approvals assistance from the DMP, indicating the project’s significance to the state. Logistics for the project are also falling into place with the company looking to potentially export its products from the Derby wharf.

  • PDAC 2015: Battery minerals an oasis in the mining desert

    06 March 2015

    Most commodities are presently operating in a depressed market and financing environment. Lithium and graphite, and now to a lesser extent rare earths, are receiving interest that other minerals are not, owing to excitement in electric vehicles, grid storage solutions and high tech industries. However, even considering the extra attention, times are hard for battery mineral developers.

  • Price Briefing 27 February – 5 March

    05 March 2015

    Antimony gains not expected to last but soda ash prices look positive for 2015.

  • Argex awards 50,000 tpa TiO2 plant to Tecnicas Reunidas

    05 March 2015

    Canadian junior Argex is hoping to make a difference in the TiO2 industry with its new patented production method. The 50,000 tpa TiO2 to be produced is said to be of a high quality at lower costs than chloride route production and more environmentally friendly than traditional pigment production methods.

  • Lithium battery ban on planes inconsequential for market

    05 March 2015

    The effect of banning lithium battery shipments on planes is likely to be zero. Most shipments take place by container on the ground, and lithium production has grown despite various air travel restrictions in the past years, say analysts.

  • AkzoNobel to provide Navig8 with coating for 18 chemical tankers

    05 March 2015

    The selection of its Interline 9001 coating – which enhances cargo resistance and offers near zero resistance for many cargoes transported – by leading shipowner Navigate is expected to pave the way for marine customers to choose AkzoNobel’s coating technology. This is positive news for the company which saw its 2014 revenue fall 2% in a challenging last year.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 27 February – 5 March

    05 March 2015

    GrafTech International Q4 2014 sales revenues fall by 16%; Testing for Northern Graphite Inc.’s flake graphite concentrates confirms the material of suitable quality for all major end markets; First graphene-inclusive mobile phones launched in China.

  • Uralkali increases potash production despite Solikamsk woes

    05 March 2015

    The sinkholes and floods in Uralkali's Solikamsk-2 mine threatened to wreck the company's 2014 results, but instead the Russian producer has generated higher sales and volumes this year than before. The growth in revenues and EBITDA is testament to the strength of the potash market in 2014, but Uralkali is determined to smooth out its operations should 2015 demand be less buoyant.

  • Huntsman to close three US plants in 2015

    05 March 2015

    The US TiO2 pigment producer is ploughing ahead with the streamlining of its newly acquired pigments business from Rockwood. As part of previously announced plans, Huntsman has announced further site closures and workforce reductions. On the flipside, the company is also investing in R&D to secure future growth.

  • PDAC 2015: High purity alumina to hitch a ride on high tech and battery applications

    05 March 2015

    Graphite and lithium are receiving a lot of attention from the high tech world right now, but high purity alumina, used in batteries as ion separators, in LED lights and in sapphire glass for smartphones, could see demand and customer purity requirements rise in unison.

  • Orocobre lithium project brings first customer on board

    05 March 2015

    The Olaroz Lithium project has its first customer ahead of beginning production in the second quarter of 2015. Financing liquidity has enabled the company to get things moving - most famously, the 25% contribution from Toyota, which has a vested interested in ensuring long-term lithium supply to the market.

  • Dry bulk shippers predict tough year

    05 March 2015

    Baltic Dry Index likely to remain low as shipowners forecast soft market in 2015.

  • DuPont rejects Trian push to change director election process

    04 March 2015

    The struggle between DuPont and one of its largest shareholders, Trian, continues with the company’s decision to retain its traditional proxy process for the election of company directors. Trian has also pushed for the breakup of the company, which DuPont has so far resisted. However, a new report from AT Kearney predicts that pressure from activist investors is likely to drive the business streamlining for prominent chemical majors in 2015.

  • Indian producer Gulshan Polyols to build onsite PCC plant for Orient Paper

    04 March 2015

    This is the sixth onsite plant Gulshan has been commissioned to build for the supply of precipitated calcium carbonate to paper companies and with paper consumption in Asia increasing, the market holds huge potential for the PCC producer.

  • Soda ash prices to remain strong following 2014 increases

    04 March 2015

    Steady demand from glass markets and Asian detergent manufacturers to keep prices up this year

  • Frac sand mining permitted in Houston County after vote against ban

    04 March 2015

    With the Minnesota county’s moratorium on frac sand mining set to expire this month, Houston County’s Board has failed to agree on a new ordinance or outright ban, effectively allowing frac sand mining to now go ahead. However, the board members and members of the public in favour of the ban are determined that this will not be the final say on the matter.

  • China announces 2015 rare earths industry policies

    04 March 2015

    The latest round of announcements from the Chinese government makes fresh pledges to reform the country’s rare earths sector, including a revision of production guidance and its approach to tackling illegal mining and environmental issues associated with the sector.

  • South Boulder to bring 850,000 tpa Colluli potash to market

    04 March 2015

    The PFS at South Boulder Mines' Colluli potash project in Eritrea has predicted a yield of up to 850,000 tpa by 2023.

  • Cuadrilla application for seismic and pressure monitoring rejected in Lancashire

    04 March 2015

    The rejection of Cuadrilla’s application for seismic monitoring has left the company “perplexed” as it awaits clarification before taking any further action. It now has to wait for a decision on its other two potential Lancashire fracking sites, which Cuadrilla says it can develop safely and sustainably. Should permission be granted, the projects will push up demand for oilfield minerals like frac sand, barite and bentonite.

  • Profits rise for Chinese TiO2 producers

    04 March 2015

    China’s pigment industry is taking advantage of sector consolidation and low ilmenite prices to ramp up production and increase both domestic and international sales, bringing a new level of competition to the global TiO2 market.

  • AlF3 exports on rise in China: 2012-2014

    04 March 2015

    End market review: Export orders ease overcapacity as producers continue to operate at 60%; domestic fluorspar demand to grow

  • Altech Chemicals signs MoU with Dana Shipping to monetise kaolin deposit

    04 March 2015

    Altech's MoU with Dana Shipping will allow it to make money from its kaolin deposits in Western Australia without affecting its own offtake from the site. The group can plough the finances into its 4,000 tpa high purity alumina (HPA) plant in Malaysia.

  • SQM's earnings fall in low price environment

    04 March 2015

    SQM's results show how low prices have offset a rise in sales volumes in response to higher demand. Even though iodine prices are subdued, the group is working to increase its market share and overcome this hurdle. Meanwhile, current high demand for potassium chloride is not expected to last into 2015.

  • Montero partners with Ovation Capital to process phosphate in South Africa

    04 March 2015

    The agreement with the speciality investment firm will help Montero to finance its Duyker project to production and includes funding for a fertiliser plant to beneficiate its phosphate on site.

  • European shortages push up antimony ingot prices but trioxide tanks

    04 March 2015

    Chinese New Year supports metal trading as downstream market continues to weaken

  • PDAC 2015: Battery demand drivers disputed; purity and processing efficiency is key

    04 March 2015

    Although attendees at PDAC disagreed on whether EV or grid storage demand would emerge first to drive battery growth, there was all round agreement that product value will lie in processing technology and increasing purity

  • ICL and workers return to negotiating table

    03 March 2015

    Talks have recommenced with the Israel Chemicals Ltd business and its workers over planned cost cutting layoffs.The strikes affected ICL's full year results prompting the company to announce plans to collaborate with its employees on cost-cutting efforts.

  • PDAC 2015: Rare earths forgotten in a lithium and graphite focused EV and high-tech world

    03 March 2015

    The decline of interest in rare earths in favour of graphite and lithium, despite relatively similar end markets, has been questioned by rare earths companies. It has been suggested that China may wish to take a strategic interest in the emerging technologies that use rare earths to continue its rare earths dominance.

  • PDAC 2015: DuSolo to focus on ramp-up and resource definition to attract investors

    03 March 2015

    Speaking to IM at PDAC 2015, DuSolo said that its project location, which is ideally placed to supply growing Brazilian demand with phosphate fertilisers, is not enough to encourage investment and the capacity ramp-up coupled with a resource definition is needed to propel DuSolo forward.

  • Galaxy Resources' Jiangsu plant sale faces further delays

    03 March 2015

    Galaxy Resources has been forced to extend its share trading suspension yet again, as a lack of clarity pervades on the sale of its Jiangsu plant to China's Tianqi Lithium. The delay may be compensated for by more leasing activity by Galaxy to ensure financial flexibility.

  • FAME initiative looks to create European mining and processing renaissance

    03 March 2015

    The €7.4m initiative will fund research and development into more flexibile, mobile and green technology for the European mining industry, which UK consultants Wardell Armstrong International say, has lost its competitive edge. With rising costs and declining ore grades, an increasing number of companies are likely to look to innovation as a cost cutting strategy.

  • Nabaltec preliminary results show growth in functional fillers segment

    03 March 2015

    Nabaltec's strong performance in functional fillers suggests that increasing its fine hydroxides capacity is an astute move. Some drops in technical ceramics held back earnings, but overall the group is likely to post growth in both revenues and EBITDA when it publishes its 2014 results.

  • China’s natural graphite exports gain by 11% in 2014

    03 March 2015

    Supply Update: Despite environmental closures and domestic consolidation, China’s graphite industry registered growth in 2014 with value-added spherical graphite hitting new production levels

  • FMC's $1.64bn sale of soda ash arm to Tronox clears antitrust

    03 March 2015

    FMC is one step closer to becoming fully focused on lithium, now that the sale of its soda ash business to Tronox has cleared the antitrust review.

  • Vesuvius grows profits by 2% despite slip in revenues after mixed 2014

    03 March 2015

    The UK-headquartered refractories producer pointed to margin improvements thanks to strong performances in Asia as buffering its overall profits. It hinted at the increasing shift towards technology and services as a route to future growth, as volume sales of refractory products look set to continue declining.

  • REM ups Bacanora stake to 15% but chairman declines interest in CEO position

    03 March 2015

    UK-listed speciality mineral investor Rare Earth Minerals Plc has increased its holding in Mexico-focused Bacanora as it pushes for more exposure to the revival of interest in lithium exploration.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 25 February – 2 March

    02 March 2015

    China’s Fanya launches rare earths contracts on Xiamen exchange; Geomega spins off R&D arm

  • Bauxite & Alumina 2015: Refractories usage expected to decline; alumina refractories to buck the trend

    02 March 2015

    Although the general demand for refractories could decline by as much as 3m tpa by 2020 as the Chinese slowdown continues and refractory usage per unit continues to fall, an overhaul of the Chinese refractories industry is likely to drive an increase in alumina usage.

  • PDAC 2015: Rising frac sand demand per well will shield proppants companies from oil price falls

    02 March 2015

    Victory Silica and other proppants suppliers will not suffer as much as the wider industry seems to expect, IM heard at PDAC. The company says that rising consumption on a per well basis, as well as a stronger long term oil price outlook are under-appreciated.

  • PotashCorp. to purchase 9.5% stake in Brazilian Heringer

    02 March 2015

    PotashCorp. is the second major fertiliser producer to invest in Brazilian Fertilizantes Heringer SA this year and the announcement has sent the company’s shares soaring. With Vale recently predicting a threefold growth in fertiliser consumption in Brazil, it appears that a number of companies are looking to take advantage of this growth.

  • Perlite Canada's 2014 sales inch up

    02 March 2015

    Following the increase of its perlite product prices in Q1 2014, Perlite Canada has ended the year with a small increase in its revenues.

  • Bauxite & Alumina 2015: Guinea to encourage bauxite development with mining tender invitation

    02 March 2015

    Guinea was in the spotlight at the 21st Bauxite and Alumina conference in Miami last week as the major challenges preventing the country from exporting any of its vast bauxite resource were brought to light. The Guinean government however is keen to develop the industry, as evidenced by its plans to launch a bauxite mining tender in the near future.

  • Johnson Matthey closes $75m battery acquisition from Clariant

    02 March 2015

    Johnson Matthey is ready to launch an entity focusing entirely on battery materials after making two acquisitions in the sector.

  • Bauxite & Alumina 2015: Reconciling the tug of war between profitability and environmental responsibility

    02 March 2015

    Many companies in the mining industry often struggle to find a balance between sustainability and profitability. Delegates at the MB Bauxite and Alumina conference in Miami heard about recycling and water treatment – two routes that can help reconcile these issues.

  • Sika shareholders swell in opposition to Saint-Gobain takeover

    02 March 2015

    Sika is continuing in its efforts to stamp out Saint Gobain's approach to acquire the company, this time by revealing that more than half its shareholders oppose the acquisition. The Burkard family shareholders and Saint Gobain have not yet responded to this move.

  • PDAC 2015: Boart Longyear moves towards drilling automation technologies

    02 March 2015

    Boart Longyear is focusing on data-led drilling technologies to increase worker productivity and reduce accidents and operational costs, the company explained at this year’s PDAC meeting in Toronto.

  • Imerys closes €525m acquisition of bentonite producer S&B

    02 March 2015

    Imerys' acquisition of Greece's S&B has now drawn a line under its search for a bentonite producer. The group had previously shown an interest in US bentonite producer, AMCOL.