Regulation latest news

  • June 2015

    PPG increases German coatings plant capacity by 35%

    30 June 2015

    The US paint and coatings manufacturer has said that demand for waterborne coatings is growing in Europe driven by the automotive and industrial sectors. To meet the growing market, PPG has invested $5m in the expansion of its German coatings plant.

  • Western Lithium and Lithium Americas merge to become two continent supplier

    30 June 2015

    The two TSX-V-listed exploration companies have joined forces to strategically develop their assets in North and South America, in a deal that provides a stronger balance sheet as well as geographic and product diversification.

  • Imerys divests West Virginia refractories facility

    30 June 2015

    The industrial minerals giant has decided to divest its US-based refractory plant and stop commercial activities relating to the Chinese minerals it was trading which include bauxite, brown fused alumina and alpha star, as the firm concentrates on producing its own refractory materials including mullite and white fused alumina.

  • Flurochemical firms file US complaint against cheap Chinese imports

    30 June 2015

    The American Hydrofluorocarbon Coalition and its members, including Mexichem Fluor Inc. and the Chemours Co., have filed an antidumping duty petition charging that unfairly traded imports of certain HFC blends and components are hurting the US domestic fluorochemicals sector.

  • New York makes fracking ban official over health and environmental concerns

    30 June 2015

    Following years of reviewing the hydraulic fracturing process and its effects on the environment, resources and health, the state of New York has finally banned fracking over health concerns, defending an outright ban as the “only reasonable alternative” less than a month after the EPA published findings saying fracking did not impact groundwater if carried out safely. Now law, the ban is likely to be challenged by industry participants and landowners who may be entitled to compensation, though a major concern is the setting of a precedent for other states.

  • China’s HF inclination to ease fluorspar stagnation

    30 June 2015

    End-market focus: Producers switch operations to AHF from AlF3 to secure better margins; backlogs ease as small scale producers shun operations; domestic fluorspar demand on rise.

  • Orbite Technologies receives Australian patent for alumina processing kit

    30 June 2015

    The Canadian company, which has recently rebranded, is spreading its geographical tentacles as it receives a patent from Australia for its chloride technology which can be used to transform red mud into a high value mineral feedstock by extracting all the valuable constituents, including rare earths and alumina.

  • Perlite Canada incomes rise despite turbulent currencies

    30 June 2015

    Buying vermiculite and perlite in US dollars has reduced the company’s earnings owing to higher purchasing costs, but has been offset by a claim against the company being converted to Canadian dollars, reducing its effect, and contributing to an overall increase in net earnings for Perlite Canada.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 24 – 30 June

    30 June 2015

    REM takes stake in Czech lithium project as Cobre Montana JVs with European Metals; MIT develop new semisolid Li-ion battery.

  • Atlas Copco develops tool for digital evaluation of mine sites

    30 June 2015

    The Swedish technology provider has developed a tool it says will help mining companies assess various work site parameters without having to go through an expensive and arduous trial and error process. According to Atlas Copco, its Loading Optimizer tool will enable companies to fine-tune variables such as loading solutions and ventilation arrangements while assessing their impact on efficiency and productivity.

  • Uralkali Q1 revenue drops 6% as potash demand remains low in key markets

    30 June 2015

    Weak consumption of potash globally and lingering issues with the company’s flooded Solikamsk-2 mine have resulted in lower revenue, production and sales volumes for the Russian miner, despite higher y-o-y potash selling prices.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 22 – 29 June

    29 June 2015

    ERECON final report released; Stans hires additional counsel; Lynas receives positive IEIA report.

  • Omya to build onsite PCC facility for paper maker in Thailand

    29 June 2015

    The Swiss firm is expanding further into Southeast Asia as it agrees to provide an onsite PCC plant to a leading paper specialist in Thailand.

  • Cuadrilla UK fracking licence rejected in "surprise" decision

    29 June 2015

    Although the Lancashire planning officers had recommended fracking activity go ahead at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site, the Lancashire Council has rejected the energy firm's licence on the basis of noise and visual pollution. While the company is now considering an appeal for all of its rejected licences, the government has been called on to review the decision making process, which in this case was dragged out to 15 months.

  • Altech completes BFS three months early for HPA project

    29 June 2015

    The company is making moves to secure the required debt funding and equity to rapidly develop its Malaysian HPA plant after completing its BFS three months ahead of schedule. Subject to successful funding, Altech will see campaign mining commence at its Meckering plant around Q4 2016.

  • Guangxi further consolidates local rare earths industry

    29 June 2015

    Guangxi is effectively Chinalco’s province following the latest round of rare earths reforms. Despite oversupply and low prices, the company appears to be raising production in the region, possibly owing to a favourable heavy rare earths distribution.

  • MOTA 2015: Africa urged to become more self-sufficient in mining investment

    29 June 2015

    One mining expert has called on African governments to invest in their own infrastructure systems in order to develop the country’s mining sector, rather than relying on foreign money.

  • Delaware judge refuses $44m in DIP funding for Molycorp

    29 June 2015

    The US rare earths miner has been dealt another blow in by a Delaware court judge, who ruled that the company does not require $44m in emergency funding. Senior noteholders are concerned that Neo Material Technologies, a profitmaking arm of Molycorp, may be forced to support the company’s wider losses.

  • Negative growth in global graphite production

    29 June 2015

    Production update: Fragile industrial markets have created a hostile demand environment causing prices and production to collapse; nevertheless the industry remains optimistic over emerging applications of high-end grade products

  • Ossen rare earths revenues drop in “challenging” business environment

    29 June 2015

    Weakening Chinese growth and pressure on rare earth products pricing has pushed down revenues for Ossen Innovation, though the company has managed to increase its profits marginally by $500,000 y-o-y.

  • Latin Resources haggles A$7.2m discount on Guadalupito andalusite project

    29 June 2015

    The ASX-listed company has persuaded the vendors of the Peruvian mineral asset to knock A$7.2m off the original sale price in consideration of the tough investment climate, a move which should help Latin Resources to progress with the DFS as it continues to search for a JV partner.

  • China releases second list of qualified graphite production companies

    29 June 2015

    The subsequent group of accredited producers follows an initial list of graphite businesses which passed the necessary industry entrance conditions in 2013. The latest round expands the number of approved suppliers from 15 to 25, but these will face even stricter operating conditions the previous set of qualifiers.

  • Major new cement plant will solidify Ethiopian limestone demand

    29 June 2015

    The Dangote cement plant in Mugher, 80km west of Addis Ababa, will make the construction material cheaper domestically and help boost local demand for limestone, gypsum and clay as the country looks to make up ground on its per capita consumption of cement.

  • AkzoNobel to expand Texas performance coatings research facility

    26 June 2015

    The Dutch coatings manufacturer is looking to expand its coatings performance with a €3m investment in its Houston facility, featuring laboratories for experimental paint making and modern paint application.

  • CORFO claims it can prove SQM violated Atacama lease obligations

    26 June 2015

    The Chilean government agency has lashed out at SQM saying it has evidence that the miner has not adhered to the terms of the lease to extract lithium in the Salar de Atacama – a claim which SQM strongly denies, citing its observance of the contract and its willingness to cooperate with arbitration proceedings.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 20 – 26 June

    26 June 2015

    Sirius Minerals faces opposition ahead of permitting; Potash Minerals decides not to appeal potash ruling; Aguia extends Cerro Preto strike length.

  • Canpotex to purchase 700 railcar units

    26 June 2015

    By using an innovative design, Canpotex has increased its rail logistics capacity by 90% without adding new trains. The company has opted to continue purchasing the specialist railcar units from its partner since 1999, National Steel Car.

  • PotashCorp submits takeover proposal to K+S

    26 June 2015

    Consolidation in the potash industry has been widely expected by market players for a while now. PotashCorp’s bid appears to be driven by a desire for market consolidation, rather than to attain extra supply advantage.

  • Soft trading conditions threaten fused magnesia prices

    26 June 2015

    Chinese FM values remain within IM’s published ranges but a 35% decline in monthly export volumes illustrates weakness in the market.

  • Canadian cleantech mineral firms tout for investment in London

    26 June 2015

    Investors have been meeting with the management of Orbite, Argex and Zenyatta in London as the Canada-based producers seek to set themselves apart from the milieu of mining companies with their new technology growth potential.

  • OFM Houston 2015: Minerals hold up in slow oil and gas recovery

    26 June 2015

    Predictions of a recovery point in the oil and gas markets vary between the end of 2015 and some point in 2016. So far, oilfield minerals have been relatively resilient. Although ceramic proppants have been the hardest hit, frac sand has gained market share due to its availability, price, and changing trends in fracking. Barite meanwhile remains essential as a weighting agent and prices are holding steady.

  • Cuadrilla UK fracking application rejected over traffic concerns

    26 June 2015

    The company's Roseacre Wood site fracking application has been rejected following a recommendation by Lancashire planning officers this month. However, the application was refused over traffic concerns rather than safety or health fears pertaining to fracking and the company still has one application pending, which earlier this month was endorsed for approval.

  • Hydrogen fuel source a possibility for MGX magnesite calcining

    25 June 2015

    MGX could see its Driftwood Creek project use hydrogen, a clean burning fuel that produces only water, to calcine the ore to magnesia, potentially reducing the project’s environmental impact.

  • Fluorspar: the new generation

    25 June 2015

    Supply update: Despite a turbulent last year for fluorspar producers, a new wave of suppliers are aiming to enter the market in 2015

  • Molycorp files voluntarily for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, delisting to follow

    25 June 2015

    Once the darling of the rare earths world, Molycorp had little choice but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, following continued losses, low rare earths prices and mounting debts. The company will continue to operate and hopes that a restructuring will put it on a firm and stable footing for future profitability.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 19 – 25 June

    25 June 2015

    Flinders halts operations at Woxna until markets improve; Focus signs offtakes with graphene partner business; Valence commences operational graphite production.

  • SQM hits back at CORFO claims but faces questions over water use

    24 June 2015

    The Chilean miner has issued a statement clarifying the status of arbitration proceedings between the company and state development body CORFO, asserting that neither party has walked away from the negotiating table. Meanwhile, SQM is said to be facing increasing pressure over its water usage for its iodine operations in Tarapaca.

  • Uralkali rumoured to be considering Uralchem merger as a private company

    24 June 2015

    The reported interest in Uralkali merging with Uralchem is just a rumour – for now. Both producers may wish to emulate the strategy of the North American fertiliser majors in becoming integrated complex fertiliser suppliers to add value, though analysts appear unconvinced that a deal is really on the table.

  • Kenmare suspends Moma operations due to unofficial strike

    24 June 2015

    The company is hopeful for a resolution as it temporarily suspends production at its Moma mine in Mozambique. Discussions are currently taking place between union members and Kenmare’s management team.

  • Centrex Metals writes down iron ore to focus on potash

    24 June 2015

    Centrex Metals is shifting its focus following an $A17.4m writedown on its iron ore assets to concentrate on its Oxley potash project, a non-standard, igneous source of potassium fertiliser.

  • IFS 2015: Transitioning from volume to value in fertilisers

    24 June 2015

    Fertilisers have been a bulk game since their most recent round of major technological advancement in the Green Revolution that took place from the 1940s to 1970s. This needs to change – and micronutrients and nanotechnology are paths to add value, not volume, to fertiliser markets, delegates at the IFS Conference 2015, heard.

  • OFM Houston 2015: Oil recovery could begin early next year says Halliburton

    24 June 2015

    The oilfield services company was more optimistic than some other delegates at IM’s Oilfield Minerals conference in Houston, with predictions that rig counts have stopped heading south and a potential rebound in proppant pumped and frac sand demand in early 2016. In the meantime, the company has pointed to re-fracking as a potential source of revenue with fewer associated costs and risks.

  • OFM Houston 2015: Oil and gas industry will take longer than anticipated to recover

    23 June 2015

    According to Baker Hughes, the continuing rig count decline indicates that predictions for an end of 2015 market recovery may be over optimistic. However, with 90% of all wells requiring a weighting agent, the importance of barite in the market cannot be overstated, which is one reason prices have confounded expectations and held steady.

  • IFS 2015: New struvite fertiliser can reduce runoff

    23 June 2015

    Canadian company Ostara has big ideas for closing the usage cycle and reducing eutrophication the phosphate industry. By introducing a wastewater-sourced struvite phosphate fertiliser, which has a low water solubility, one of the most damaging environmental problems associated with fertiliser application could be ameliorated.

  • Chuanshan International gets green light to start diatomite mining in Kenya

    23 June 2015

    The Chinese firm will be able to push ahead with plans to develop its diatomite project as it gains permission from Kenya’s environmental department to being mining in the mid-west region of the country.

  • Rajasthan gears up for e-auctioning of mineral blocks

    23 June 2015

    From new incentive schemes for potential bidders to an increased number of minerals for mining, the Rajasthan state government is paving the way to encourage mining investment through e-auctioning.

  • OCI Enterprises seeks alternative for stake in soda ash operation

    23 June 2015

    The company released a statement saying it was mulling a different strategy for its resources business but said that earlier media reports suggesting the company was involved in a sale process were inaccurate.

  • Victory Nickel temporarily restarts Canadian frac sand plant

    23 June 2015

    The company has made spot sales of frac sand after temporarily resuming operations at its 7P frac sand plant in Alberta, which was closed in April this year in response to slower than anticipated demand for the material.

  • IFS 2015: Recovering phosphate from wastewater is commercially viable

    23 June 2015

    Legislation may be required to encourage development, but commercially feasible methods of phosphate extraction from wastewater streams are now in the late stages of research. As a non-renewable resource, phosphate will need to be recycled sooner rather than later.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 17 – 23 June

    23 June 2015

    Orocobre receives ISO accreditation for Olaroz; Bacanora and Pilbara Minerals raise funds.

  • Altech teams up with kiln supplier for HPA project

    23 June 2015

    The formation of a partnership with a leading supplier of drying and thermal process technologies is the latest news to be announced by Altech, as it moves a step closer to developing its Malaysian HPA project.

  • China may not be in for a green car boom despite surge in Shanghai EV sales

    23 June 2015

    Chinese EV sales doubled last year to 50,000 units, with Shanghai leading the way thanks to government incentives to drive cleaner cars. However, a lack of charging infrastructure and a possible identity problem for brands like Tesla means that the country is not expecting EVs to come close to conventional car sales before the end of the decade.

  • OCI Resources rumoured to be preparing sale of soda ash business

    22 June 2015

    The US chemicals producer which produces soda ash from natural trona ore in Wyoming is reported to be considering the sale of its 51% stake in the $1bn OCI Wyoming operation, which could see it follow FMC Corp. out of the market for producing the glass and detergents mineral.

  • Korab receives second proposal to fund Australian magnesite project

    22 June 2015

    The junior has received a second pitch to fund its magnesite quarry based near the south of Darwin. Korab aims to supply a range of sectors, including the magnesia feedstock market.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 16 – 22 June

    22 June 2015

    Greenland Minerals and Energy successfully runs pilot plant; Northern Minerals acquires John Galt rare earths project; Rare Element submits permitting applications; University of Pennsylvania researchers identify new magnet recycling method.

  • Savannah enters JV with Rio Tinto to develop Mozambique heavy mineral sands

    22 June 2015

    The company’s deal with Rio Tinto amalgamates their Mozambique HMS interests. Savannah will be the operator of the venture and may earn an interest of up to 51% in the combined Mutamba-Jangamo project.

  • StratMin-Tirupati deal a new model for graphite mining

    22 June 2015

    The public-private partnership establishes an unconventional funding situation for the JV, reassuring StratMin investors with the addition of expertise while offering Tirupati its first exposure to capital markets.

  • Israel Chemicals signs 835,000 tonnes potash contract with Indian customers

    22 June 2015

    Indian fertiliser markets are bucking worldwide trends in industrial minerals markets, according to the agrimineral suppliers delivering to the continent. Demand and contract prices are rising in the country, though structural problems such as an inefficient subsidy scheme remain.

  • Iofina: Hanging fire

    22 June 2015

    The US-based iodine chemicals company has decided to focus on maximising efficiency at its existing plants while the iodine market faces potential further downside, but says that this will help it to position itself strategically for expansion when conditions look more encouraging.

  • MZI Keysbrook project two thirds complete; on track for 2016 sales

    19 June 2015

    MZI is one of a number of mineral sands exploration companies hoping to begin production in the next year and while zircon industry participants are hopeful for a price rise in the near future, there is uncertainty in the industry regarding the impact of new supply on business.

  • Fluorspar prices to remain weak for the foreseeable future

    19 June 2015

    Slight fluctuations in acidspar prices are likely to be overlooked as the industry faces supply-side pressure, further intensifying competition

  • Malaysia approves Altech site assessment for HPA plant

    19 June 2015

    The Australian company is pushing ahead with plans to become a large-scale HPA producer as it receives news that its PAT has been approved by Malaysia’s Department of Environment.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 13 – 19 June

    19 June 2015

    PhosAgro commissions new mineral fertiliser terminal, signs drilling and blasting contract; Danakali submits final environmental baseline assessments; Potash West terminates German potash divestment deal; Arianne signs First Nations agreements.

  • MGX Minerals acquires Californian magnesite deposit and plans first wallboard plant

    19 June 2015

    The Canadian company has found a new exploration opportunity by expanding its operations into the US with the acquisition of the Needles magnesite deposit in California. MGX plans to explore the site to enable it to supply magnesium oxide wallboard to nearby areas. However, Driftwood still remains its flagship project.

  • Fluorspar Price Tracker: May 2015

    19 June 2015

    IM outlines the key acidspar price trends seen in Q1 2015.

  • Price Briefing 12 – 18 June

    19 June 2015

    Chemical barite prices sidestep weakness in drilling grades; lithium prices set to rise; TiO2 market expected to weaken in H2.

  • SQM denies reports implying termination of Chile lithium mining lease

    18 June 2015

    The world’s leading lithium producer has denied reports that CORFO has rejected its conciliation proposal, maintaining business at SQM’s Salar de Atacama lithium property in Chile has not been impacted despite the arbitration proceedings.

  • DuPont registration statement for Chemours confirmed by SEDC

    18 June 2015

    DuPont’s TiO2 and chemical business spin off, The Chemours Co. is set to be completed at the start of July, following the new company’s registration statement declared effective by the SEDC. While DuPont has reassured shareholders that the spin off will increase value and has rewarded stockholders with a dividend, the strategy has been heavily criticised by Trian and ISS.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 12 – 18 June

    18 June 2015

    StratMin teams up with Tirupati in Madagascar; ex-Focus CEO moves to Alabama; Krakatoa closes in on Indonesian projects.

  • UK information watchdog orders full fracking report

    18 June 2015

    Following the publication of a heavily edited report on the effects of fracking on the rural economy, the UK Department for Food, Environmental and Rural Affairs has been ordered to reprint the report in full. Though the government has a month to issue the information, environmental activists Greenpeace are pushing for the report to be available ahead of a decision next week by Lancashire council on Cuadrilla's fracking applications in the UK.

  • CRM Innovation Network research indicates that search for critical raw material substitutes is vital

    18 June 2015

    A number of experts at the Substitution means Evolution conference held this week in Brussels have urged substitution of critical raw materials, such as antimony and fluorspar, owing to supply constraints and a higher than previously anticipated increase in demand by 2030.

  • Public consultation opens for Canada Fluorspar’s AGS project

    18 June 2015

    The company is aiming to develop an open pit mine and fluorspar processing plant in the town of St Lawrence, Canada, as it pushes forward with its aim to become a major supplier of the material in Europe and North America.

  • MagIndusties auditor resigns as company battles TSX delisting

    18 June 2015

    MagIndustries has had a troubled start to 2015. The company, which is investigating bribery allegations relating to its activities in the Congo, the site of its potash project, faces delisting if it is unable to find a new auditor before the 30-day deadline for TSX compliance passes.

  • LKAB Minerals unveils Netherlands refractory recycling centre

    18 June 2015

    The Swedish company is looking to appeal to businesses pursuing a green agenda and lower costs by offering them secondary raw materials from its new recycling centre.

  • LSM15: Lithium price fluctuation unlikely to affect battery costs, says Stormcrow

    18 June 2015

    Even if lithium becomes more expensive, the batteries it goes into are not expected to follow suit as the cost of the technology is not beholden to the lithium price.

  • LSM15: Politics and tech to determine lithium market development

    18 June 2015

    Government support coupled with rich domestic resources helped to cement Chile’s position as the world’s leading producer and prospective market entrants have highlighted favourable policies as key to fostering progress in the sector, although the main growth driver will remain demand from new lithium-based technologies.

  • York Potash economic benefits “do not outweigh” harm, says planning committee

    18 June 2015

    A 16% fall Sirius Minerals’ share price indicates that the release of this non-binding report has spooked investors anticipating the York Potash project planning decision, due 30 June. The company maintains, however, that even in the event of its application being declined, it has enough of cash in reserve for an appeal.

  • Chinese TiO2 prices forecast to fall in Q3 2015

    18 June 2015

    Price increases in the first and second quarters of this year look set to peter out in H2 as a decline in demand for coatings, plastics and paper is felt upstream.

  • Philippines port development ahead of schedule

    18 June 2015

    The new dry bulk handling project for silica sand, fertiliser and cement minerals expected to relieve pressure on the port in the Philippines capital, Manila.

  • Preferred Sands' garnet RCS outperforms existing proppants by 90%

    18 June 2015

    While activity in the oil and gas market remains subdued following the highs of 2014, proppant suppliers such as Preferred Sands are attempting to engineer increasingly innovative solutions to help increase conductivity, address operational issues faced by fracking companies and increase rates of return on products.

  • AkzoNobel lands protective coatings contract for German wind farm

    18 June 2015

    With over 55% of global offshore wind capacity currently utilising AkzoNobel's products, the company's reputation as a reliable supplier of protective coatings, which rely on a number of industrial minerals to impart protective properties, has enabled the company to agree a deal to supply the Gode Wind farm off the coast of Germany.

  • GIFA 2015: Foundry suppliers bow to green pressure

    17 June 2015

    Tighter regulation on emissions and pressure to reduce raw material consumption is driving a raft of innovative philosophies and products in the refractories and foundry materials industries, as increased competition threatens to leave the slow responders behind.

  • AkzoNobel-Evonik JV chemicals plant to require 175,000 tpa potash

    17 June 2015

    New environmental regulations have shunned old potassium hydroxide and chlorine production methods, leading towards AkzoNobel and Evonik’s electrolysis plant joint venture.

  • Alumina sector urged to increase collaboration to move industry forward

    17 June 2015

    Australia-based trade body AMIRA says that alumina companies that are facing pressure to cut costs risk missing the opportunities and value of collaborative technology development, which it claims is needed to create a sustainable, productive future.

  • Morgan launches new solar crucible coating

    17 June 2015

    Designed to enhance the properties of fused silica crucibles, Morgan’s new ceramic coating joins a string of new developments announced by the company this month.

  • ASIA AXA Metal to acquire 40% stake in French rare earths trader

    17 June 2015

    Despite a generally gloomy atmosphere in the rare earths sector, AXA Metal Asia appears keen to invest in a company that specialises in trading the specilaity metals group.

  • China’s steel slide deters metspar consumption: Chart

    17 June 2015

    Downloadable graph: As China steel enters ‘peak zone’ domestic consumption for metspar deteriorates while pushing exports towards international markets

  • Mineral resource estimate doubles at Tertiary’s MB fluorspar project

    17 June 2015

    Following the company’s Phase 3 drilling programme, the mineral resource estimate at MB has increased by 125% on 2014 figures. The news means the company can now progress with geophysical testing to target even higher grade fluorspar.

  • Orocobre beset by ramp-up bottlenecks but on-track for 17,500tpa by Q4 2015

    17 June 2015

    Despite some obstacles in the ramp-up phase, Orocobre is on-track for 17,500 tpa lithium production from its Argentinean facility.

  • GIFA 2015: China’s foundry market a “lion’s den” for Western companies

    17 June 2015

    Suppliers from outside China looking to crack the Asian giant’s foundry sector face ruthless negotiation on prices, as higher quality, specialised materials prove to have limited sway in an industry under pressure from weakness in the metals markets.

  • Carbo’s proppant technology succeeds in deepest fracking well to date

    17 June 2015

    As oil and gas prices remain low, E&P operators are looking to maximise their returns. Technology such as Carbo’s high conductivity and scale-inhibiting proppants could help address some issues faced by companies extracting oil and gas.

  • Allana shareholders approve Israel Chemicals takeover

    16 June 2015

    Equity holders in Allana have approved ICL’s buyout offer by a strong, 9:1 margin. ICL has increasingly looked abroad to international investments as business conditions worsen at home.

  • Orbite Aluminae changes name to Orbite Technologies

    16 June 2015

    The company is due to change its name tomorrow, as it gears up for commercial production of its HPA plant in Quebec for the fourth quarter of this year and develops its red mud technology.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 10 – 16 June 2015

    16 June 2015

    More Li-ion battery-powered ferries are on the horizon while a college in Nevada is advertising courses claiming to train students for a job at Tesla Motors.

  • Saft extends Li-ion commercial satellite agreement with Russia

    16 June 2015

    Saft has cemented its role in Russian satellite company JSC ISS' Li-ion battery supply with a further five years nailed onto the agreement. The French battery technology business supplies energy storage, marine, aviation and other sectors.

  • Iofina H1 production to exceed expectations

    16 June 2015

    Despite the closure of its Texas plant, Iofina is on track to surpass its production target for the first half of 2015. Although the company has suffered from weak iodine prices, it is in a position to now discuss offtake agreements.

  • Unimin expands US frac sand network with Jerry Run terminal

    15 June 2015

    Together with CSX Railroad and Process Transload, Unimin Corp.'s Energy Solutions business runs a ten terminal sand network, which the company has recently expanded via improvements at its Jerry Run terminal. Although some companies are scaling back frac sand developments in response to lower drilling activity, Unimin is investing in its delivery network to enable it to respond to anticipated increased demand as the year progresses.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 9 – 15 June

    15 June 2015

    Molycorp’s Silmet plant experiences fire as second debt interest payment deferred; Arafura receives tax rebate; new nanomaterial to challenge rare earth-based magnets.

  • Heilongjiang opens tender for graphite processing project at Liumao mine

    15 June 2015

    The auction of the right to extract and process graphite from one of China’s oldest graphite mines follows two earlier tenders in the province, which is one of the biggest graphite producing regions in the world. The local government hopes that by opening up the industry to market forces, the sector will rapidly mature and increase its profits.

  • CUMI to close bubble zirconia plant and alumina factory in South Africa

    15 June 2015

    The refractories company has decided to shut down two facilities in South Africa and is shifting its equipment to India, as the operations turned out to be less profitable than expected.

  • Lancashire Council recommends approval for Cuadrilla fracking site in the UK

    15 June 2015

    Cuadrilla is set to acquire permission for fracking operations at Preston New Road in Lancashre, UK, should the council vote lean in the direction of planning officer recommendations. The company will require a supply of proppants for the well, if approval is granted.

  • Mintek to establish multi-project southern Africa rare earths processing facility

    15 June 2015

    In establishing a project-shared rare earths processing facility programme in Johannesburg, Mintek hopes to push South Africa forward as a leading rare earths separator by allowing continuous production over many years from multiple short-lived mine sites.

  • Advanced Primary Minerals Corp. acquires mica assets

    15 June 2015

    The Georgia coastal plain's so-called “kaolin belt” has tremendous reserves of mica rich sediments available, ripe for consolidation.

  • Chemical barite prices remain strong despite threat to drilling grades

    15 June 2015

    Price ranges for Chinese material narrow upwards as suppliers resist calls for concessions.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 6 – 12 June

    12 June 2015

    Uralkali secures investment, expands loan facility further; ICL faces pollution claims in Tel Aviv court; Celamin repays funding facilities; EPM Mining set to benefit from Utah tax break.

  • Orbite pushes back commercial production date for HPA plant

    12 June 2015

    Commercial output at the company’s planned HPA facility will take a little longer to start than anticipated, as Orbite’s refractory installation process has run into delays. Orbite still anticipates commencement of commissioning in Q3 2015. The news comes as the firm receives more finance from the Quebec government.

  • Shifting refractories demand to determine flake graphite consumption

    12 June 2015

    The slowdown in steel manufacturing and a shift in consumption patterns will decide whether refractories will continue to remain a growth market for flake graphite.

  • Preferred Sands resin-coated proppants exceed expectations

    12 June 2015

    After real-world testing at a US-based well site, Preferred Sands’ RCS Garnet proppants have been proven to significantly outperform conventional resin-coated proppants and uncoated frac sand.

  • Unimin fined $406,250 over 2012 "nuisance dust" issues

    12 June 2015

    Ontario's governing body has tackled Unimin's dust generation of 2012 as part of a move towards stricter environmental regulation in the province.

  • Chinese government gives Baotou Rmb 1bn to upgrade rare earths industry

    12 June 2015

    As the centre of rare earths production in China’s autonomous Inner Mongolia region, the Chinese government want Baotou to become the world’s biggest manufacturing centre for high value rare earths materials.

  • Select Sands completes PEA on Arkansas frac sand project

    12 June 2015

    With only 40% of the property indicating a 20m tonnes silica sand resource, Select Sands’ Sandtown project could in the future become a key supplier to customers in the oilfield, glass, foundry, building and other end markets.

  • PhosAgro stands behind Andrey Guryev Sr in $1.2bn court case

    12 June 2015

    The Russian fertiliser company has reiterated its backing of Andrey Guryev Sr, the deputy chairperson of PhosAgro. Alexander Gorbachev’s court case is now understood to be a private proceeding, not a public prosecutions office case.

  • Price Briefing 5 – 11 June

    12 June 2015

    Undercutting weakens fluorspar prices; graphite and rare earths continue downward trend; magnesia prices remain stable.

  • Zimbabwe lifts chrome export ban, lowers royalties

    12 June 2015

    The country would like to stimulate mining activity by reversing a decision to ban chrome exports and lowered royalties on the material. Zimbabwe’s government hope that the decision will enable chrome producers to mobilise financial resources to invest in modern technology in smelting, as well as address the plight of small-scale manufacturers.

  • Poor TiO2 market conditions force Argex to reassess budget

    11 June 2015

    Like other pigment manufacturers, Argex – which is hoping to convert low cost ilmenite into high quality TiO2 using its patented production method – is having to look at budget and strategy to cut costs where necessary in order to deal with market conditions and ensure that its project reaches production phase.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 5 – 11 June

    11 June 2015

    Kibaran upgrades Epanko resource to measured and indicated status; Graphite One buys more claims in Alaska.

  • Morgan achieves piezoelectric ceramic breakthrough

    11 June 2015

    The company’s new hard PZT blocks provide excellent sensitivity and permittivity, making them ideal for use in SONAR applications. This achievement has led to a high level of interest from the commercial and defence sector.

  • PPG to purchase IVC Industrial Coatings to strengthen supply to China

    11 June 2015

    Pittsburgh-headquartered PPG plans to purchase the coatings producer later this year, which will strengthen its presence in the Asian market via IVC’s Chinese and Malaysian operations. With growing coating and pigment demand in China, producers are looking to capitalise on the need for additional supply as demand in other regions fails to pick up.

  • Nedmag expands magnesium hydroxide storage capacity

    11 June 2015

    The company is getting ready to ramp up production by investing in four new MDH storage tanks, which it has shipped from Sweden to its manufacturing base in the Netherlands, as it cements its role as a leading supplier of pulp-bleaching products.

  • Pace of US drill rig count decline softens

    11 June 2015

    The worst of the effects of the oil prices on oil exploration and thus industrial mineral demand from drilling activity appears to have passed. With high-cost rigs now removed from the demand equation, the decline in the drill rig count has slowed, a rare positive development in a depressed oilfield minerals market.

  • Largo Resources breaks vanadium production record

    11 June 2015

    With an offtake agreement in place with Glencore, Largo Resources has been able to attract the financing to invest in its production systems. The group expects to exceed its production capacity by Q3 2015.

  • India: A silver lining to fluorspar market woes

    11 June 2015

    Growing seasonal demand and infrastructure developments have fuelled growth in the Indian fluorocarbon sector with the country likely to stand tall against the stagnant fluorspar market for yet another consecutive year.

  • PhosAgro faces “massive sequestration of its assets”, deputy chair accused of misappropriating $1.2bn

    11 June 2015

    Andrey Guryev, the largest shareholder of the Russian fertiliser group, has been accused by his former friend and business partner Alexander Gorbachev of pocketing $1.2bn in shares held in trust when the latter was forced to leave Russia for political reasons. The case is based in Cyprus, the registered office location of the companies involved in the alleged impropriety. Should the case succeed, PhosAgro could see a substantial shift in asset ownership and a big internal shake-up could be on the cards.*

  • Chinese TiO2 companies seek to ride investment wave of Billions-Lomon merger

    11 June 2015

    China’s titanium pigment industry is ripe for consolidation and many hope that the $1.47bn Billions-Lomon deal will lead the way in establishing higher quality product manufacturing and pricing power for Chinese material, although others fear the market will be unduly influenced by the new dominant forces.

  • Malawi considers building dry bulk port at Liwonde

    11 June 2015

    The proposal to build a $150m dry bulk handling facility at the southernmost tip of Lake Malombe could increase industrial mineral mining and trading in the landlocked African country, if it goes ahead, by providing an efficient link with Mozambique’s Nacala port on the East African coast.

  • Latin Resources postpones convertible notes repayment

    11 June 2015

    With the cash unavailable to repay the full balance of its convertible note, Latin Resources will be all the more in need of a joint venture partner to help to explore its andalusite project in Peru.

  • MTI releases new leonardite soil conditioner

    10 June 2015

    Soil conditioners have a small market demand to the big potash, phosphate and nitrogen-based macronutrients, but MTI is looking to bring a leonardite-based supply of organic material to Chinese soils. The humic material within leonardite can increase the availability of soil nutrients.

  • Cominco publishes low opex DFS on Hinda phosphate project

    10 June 2015

    Situated in the first quartile of the phosphate production cost curve, should Hinda reach production it could form an important phosphate rock supply source for seaborne customers, who will further process the concentrate to MAP or DAP fertilisers upon receipt.

  • Athabasca reports 683m tonne aggregates resource at Canadian project

    10 June 2015

    Having been hit by the declining oil price in its oil sands customer base, the company is planning to target industries such as building, construction and road stone with aggregates products from the Richardson project in Alberta, Canada.

  • UK fracking could begin in summer 2016

    10 June 2015

    Cuadrilla Resources hopes to gain permission to begin two fracking operations after addressing issues raised by planning officers earlier this year. A green light could see the UK’s first full-scale shale gas exploration project going ahead by next summer.

  • Rare Earth Minerals increases hold on Sonora lithium project

    10 June 2015

    Increasing its stake in Bacanora in small increments, REM is keeping the operator of the Sonora lithium project in Mexico firmly in the public eye at a time when investor interest in the lithium market is growing.

  • Graphene fervour cools in China

    10 June 2015

    Despite official messages of support for the industry, China’s graphene producers are beginning to succumb to the fatigue which has affected proponents of the technology elsewhere in the world, owing to a lack of viable downstream markets for the nanocarbon.

  • Graphite Price Tracker: May 2015

    10 June 2015

    IM outlines the key flake graphite price trends seen in Q1 2015

  • Morgan launches new kaolin-alumina insulating fire brick

    10 June 2015

    The British refractories company is expanding its high-density series brick range with the unveiling of a new product which has higher than standard cold crush strength and is designed for use in ceramics, chemicals and glass manufacturing.

  • Chinese rare earths prices continue post-tariff slide

    10 June 2015

    Chinese industry leaders warn of further pricing volatility if new trading mechanisms are not supported.

  • EPA: Fracking does not lead to widespread water contamination

    09 June 2015

    Although the US Environmental Protection Agency noted a number of potential vulnerabilities in the drinking water lifecycle in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities according to its draft assessment released last week, these were mainly hypothetical and on the whole the report supports the theory that, if carried out properly, fracking does not widely impact drinking water resources.

  • CRU opens third Texas frac sand transloading facility

    09 June 2015

    Although logistics companies and silica sand producers have conceded that current market conditions do not warrant additional capacity for frac sand in the wake of plummeting oil prices, some developments are continuing at a slower or scaled back pace in anticipation of a market turnaround in 2016.

  • I-Minerals announces debt settlement to fund feasibility study

    09 June 2015

    The company is starting to think about raising capital to build its kaolin-halloysite-quartz-potassium feldspar project in Idaho, as it announces that its FS loan agreement is going to plan. I-Minerals predicts that commercial production could start around mid-2017.

  • Stans Energy finds litigation funding partner in Calunius Capital

    09 June 2015

    Litigation funding specialists at Calunius is to join Stans in the battle against the Kyrgyzstan government, whose actions have been declared illegal by both Stans and an international tribunal. The company will aim to recover more than $118m through legal proceedings.

  • Slower buying activity leaves deadburned magnesia prices steady

    09 June 2015

    DBM prices remain stable despite availability of cheap Chinese material on the global market.

  • Danakali appoints Endeavour Financial to evaluate Colluli potash funding options

    09 June 2015

    Financing is the next big step for Danakali. Recognising the difficulty of raising finance with current commodity prices, particularly in Africa for risk-averse investors, the company has looked to a local expert.

  • Nauru President faces phosphate bribery allegations

    09 June 2015

    Baron Waqa’s office has denied that money was transferred between Getax and Nauruan politicians to secure a phosphate supply in 2008, a time of great prices volatility in agriminerals.

  • BASF offloads kaolin paper business onto rival Imerys

    09 June 2015

    As the kaolin market continues to navigate headwinds, producers face two choices: to focus their activities elsewhere, as with BASF, or to make strategic acquisitions that will improve inefficiencies in their production, demonstrated by Imerys.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 2 – 8 June

    08 June 2015

    Arafura reduces opex; Peak meets obligations for BFS funding, Rare Element streamlines Bear Lodge metallurgy.

  • Vector Resources pulls out of business combination with Ontario Graphite

    08 June 2015

    CPC Vector’s agreement with privately held Ontario Graphite was likely to have been aimed at giving the graphite developer a leg-up in its long hunt to secure funds to reopen the Kearney graphite mine, which had been due to restart operations in Q4 2013. The collapse of the deal puts Kearney’s renaissance even further out of reach.

  • Henan Billions seals $1.47bn Lomon merger

    08 June 2015

    The closure of the deal to create the largest TiO2 producer in Asia was announced late last week and the new company’s progress will be watched with interest as analysts anticipate its potential accession through the global ranks as a low-cost, increasingly high quality pigment supplier.

  • China’s rare earths trading mechanisms “outdated” says exchange chief

    08 June 2015

    A shift to the trading mechanisms used in other global commodities like gold and silver via securitisation and trading platforms could give a shot in the arm to the rare earths industry, according to Haiming Wu, leader of the China South Rare Earths Products Exchange Centre.

  • Chinese refractories look to natural gas to meet environmental standards

    08 June 2015

    Investment by local government and major utilities provider Towngas is being aimed at upgrading the efficiency of power generation in the refractories manufacturing centre of Xinmi, Henan province, but the reality is that many will be unable to make the improvements necessary to avoid being shut down.

  • Price undercutting prevents fluorspar recovery

    08 June 2015

    Fluorspar price review: New capacities reach the market with competitive quotations putting downwards pressure on current price levels; industrial redound unlikely amid stagnant demand.

  • DuPont awards dividend on Chemours spin off

    08 June 2015

    DuPont's performance chemicals business is a casualty of low TiO2 prices, but a spin off will raise enough cash to reward loyal shareholders and to enable the company to focus on agricultural and nutritional products.

  • Iofina denied Montana water permit

    05 June 2015

    The US-based iodine producer was hoping the preliminary permit it received in October last year would be upgraded to allow it to develop the Water Depot Project to supply Montana fracking companies with water. The application was denied after an objection was lodged with the Montana DNRC.

  • Chinese alumina and refractories sectors pushed to increase energy efficiency

    05 June 2015

    Tighter controls on pollution and energy consumption in China’s refractories industry is eliminating capacity but also spurring manufacturers to invest in new, energy efficient technology.

  • What next for RB Energy?

    05 June 2015

    The bankrupted energy company sits on lithium assets that could supply the Tesla Motor Gigafactory once it opens in Nevada.

  • Altech teams up with HCI specialist to develop HPA project

    05 June 2015

    The Australian company is pushing ahead with its strategy to appoint key equipment and plant suppliers to develop its HPA project, as it plans to finish a BFS by the third quarter of this year.

  • Philippine limestone deposit of 600 square metres confirmed

    05 June 2015

    The Agata limestone project in the Philippines is strategically important to operator, TVI Pacific, which is seeking a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

  • Baker Hughes fracking offshoot releases new microseismic service products

    05 June 2015

    New IntelliFrac technology will improve fracture design and mapping for the fracking industry and reduce the cost and increase the efficiency and potential returns from re-fracking operations, according to Baker Hughes.

  • China to conclude magnesia and talc tenders by 22 June

    05 June 2015

    The process of allocating the rights to produce and sell magnesia and talc products in China via a tender follows discussions held by CCCMC last year about the best way to manage output and conserve domestic resources, while protecting the environment and promoting greater efficiency in the sector.

  • Indian mining auction kicks off with enhanced provisions

    05 June 2015

    Nearly 105 mines in mineral-rich states of Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha are set to be auctioned by the end of the year, while the Ministry of Mines makes provision for a ‘composite mining licence’. Further advancement is also likely in the sector as Indian mining department goes digital.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 30 May – 5 June

    05 June 2015

    Potash West upgrades Dinner Hill phosphate resource; Highfield Resources geochemical drilling campaign completed successfully; Advisory firms back Allana Potash over ICL buyout intention; DuSolo signs DANF phosphate supply contract with Brazilian distributor.

  • MGX signs MoU with IFCO for primary kit at Driftwood site

    05 June 2015

    The company is gradually ticking all the boxes and getting all the players in place to help with developments at its proposed Driftwood Creek magnesia facility in British Columbia, as it signs an MoU with Industrial Furnace Company to become a frontrunner constructor to provide equipment for the plant.

  • Victory Nickel tidies up capital structure to repay overdue loan

    05 June 2015

    Victory Nickel has missed the maturity date of its $1m loan due on 31 May 2015 as low oil prices continue to gnaw at its key market, frac sand.

  • London one step closer to Li-ion powered 'Boris Bike' network

    05 June 2015

    London's prospective adoption of Li-ion battery-powered bikes will not affect global demand for Li-ion batteries on its own, but the presence of city bike schemes worldwide suggests there is great scope for expansion.

  • Price Briefing 29 May – 4 June

    05 June 2015

    Antimony and zircon flat while graphite prices dip by nearly a third from Q1 levels.

  • Molycorp bankruptcy looms, but debt haircut “could give a longer lease of life”

    05 June 2015

    Chapter 11 bankruptcy arrangements could be on the cards for Molycorp, the sole US producer of rare earths. However, the company may see its fortunes improve should its highly-leveraged debt structure be reorganised and operational improvements continue.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 29 May – 4 June

    04 June 2015

    Zenyatta publishes PEA to mixed response; Syrah confirms feasibility of Balama.

  • Gulf Fluor: at the forefront of GCC’s fluorochemical growth

    04 June 2015

    End-market update: Commercial production begins at Gulf Fluor’s fluoride complex; GCC to be the target market; regional fluorspar demand to increase.

  • Imerys Talc lawsuit transferred to new judge in ongoing cancer case

    04 June 2015

    The Onder Law firm is encouraging victims to come forward in in no-cost no-obligation cases relating to the use of talc and its alleged link to ovarian cancer. While Imerys is prepared to defend the quality and safety of its talc product, Onder is using past scientific studies to back up its claim that long term talc use could cause adverse health effects.

  • Fairmont announces option payment on Canadian quartz property

    04 June 2015

    The company is getting closer to obtaining full ownership of the Lac Bouchette quartz property, in Quebec, Canada, as it continues to push ahead with other quartzite projects.

  • Sand industry prepares for new silica exposure rule

    04 June 2015

    While it remains unclear whether OSHA’s new PEL proposals will become law, members of the frac sand community have begun to prepare for tighter regulations. The National Industrial Sand Association has met to discuss the new standard while processing companies are making headway with new silicosis prevention measures.

  • Cargill and Morton Salt settle at $11.5m over “pricing conspiracy” lawsuit

    04 June 2015

    No evidence of salt market pricing collusion was found by Ohio’s attorney general, but both Cargill and Morton have elected to settle to avoid expensive legal fees. Local governments in the state will be able to claim payments towards the beginning of winter.

  • Morgan teams up with Loughborough University to swap steel for alumina in flow meters

    04 June 2015

    The UK-based refractories producer’s thermal ceramics business is investigating whether alumina can be used in new generation ultrasonic flow meters employed in water and gas smart meters. Global demand for smart meters is increasing, which may create growth opportunities for the industrial mineral.

  • Refractories recycling has “limited impact” on demand for primary minerals

    04 June 2015

    Pressure to pursue closed loop manufacturing processes to improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions is growing globally and in Europe in particular, however this trend has so far not made any significant impact on demand for virgin raw materials.

  • Pure Energy Minerals grows Nevada properties

    04 June 2015

    By increasing the reach of its Nevada mining opportunities, Pure Energy Minerals is signalling its confidence in the lithium market. The Esmerelda property is strategically located close to its existing Clayton Valley project.

  • Imerys Filtration Minerals repeats 2014 price rises for diatomite and perlite products

    04 June 2015

    Company to increase selling prices by 3-10% in North America and maintain energy surcharge.

  • Dry bulk rates may turn upwards as shipowners pull vessels

    04 June 2015

    Dry bulk ship operator Golden Ocean has predicted that freight rates could rise after soft start to 2015, as ships are taken out of the market and global GDP starts to rise.

  • Eau Claire County hearing held on US Silica Fairchild mine reclamation plan

    03 June 2015

    The Wisconsin County yesterday discussed US Silica’s reclamation plan for the company’s 3m tpa frac sand mine in Fairchild, with a decision expected in the next month. The company plans to plough forward with the mine permitting process despite other proppants producers reining back production, however its timeline hangs in the balance while the market awaits recovery.

  • Antimony prices stable following market rebound

    03 June 2015

    Confidence in government stockpiling boosts industry but capacity rationalisation still on the cards.

  • MGX Minerals announces private placement to help fund Canadian magnesia plant

    03 June 2015

    The company is hoping to boost its finances in order to develop its proposed magnesia facility at the Driftwood Creek site in British Columbia, where it aims to commence commercial production by late 2016.

  • Vior commences exploration at Canadian rutile project

    03 June 2015

    Despite poor TiO2 market conditions, the Canadian exploration company is confident in the quality and location of its rutile project. Vior’s large working capital and expectation of increased rutile prices make the Foothills deposit in St-Urbain a viable option for development.

  • GMEL registers 108m tonne rare earths reserve estimate

    03 June 2015

    Shifting Kvanefjeld’s rare earths ore from a resource to a reserve classification is another step towards proving the economic viability of GMEL’s Greenland-based deposit. The substantial hurdle of financing remains, but GMEL is hopeful that by working with its Chinese partner, NFC, it will face less of a capital raising challenge than its peers.

  • Yellow Rock targets renewable sector with Australian vanadium project

    03 June 2015

    The company is hoping to expand its relationships with the environmental sector by producing high grade V205 from its Gabanintha project specifically to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yellow Rock has also initiated discussions with solar and electricity specialists SunEdison and Total Energy Australia to form potential collaborative opportunities at Gabanintha.

  • Anti-fracking protesters target UK shale developers

    02 June 2015

    Grassroots action network Reclaim the Power staged a series of small demonstrations to emphasise its disapproval of energy firm and fracking industry strategies, with Cuadrilla and Ineos among those targeted.

  • K+S Potash Canada begins export facility construction in British Columbia

    02 June 2015

    The seaborne market is one of the largest movers of potash to demand sources worldwide. K+S hopes that by exporting the fertiliser mineral from this West Coast facility, it will be able to remain competitive as its German mines slowly see their reserves dwindle.

  • StratMin: An eligible challenger?

    02 June 2015

    With a new CEO at the helm, the AIM-listed Madagascan graphite miner is open to collaboration offers as it seeks to broaden both its operational footprint and shareholder base, with eyes on India and Australia.

  • Arcadia frac sand moratorium remains in place

    02 June 2015

    Arcadia residents have a few more months before the frac sand moratorium is reconsidered, allowing more time to finalise studies into the potential impact of sand mining. Meanwhile, the rest of the state leads in US frac sand supply, according to the latest estimates.

  • Zircon prices flat as recovery expectations mount

    02 June 2015

    Market recovery in minsands still hinges on demand and supply discipline.

  • Lanxess to produce environmentally-friendly red pigments in China

    02 June 2015

    Lanxess is planning to strengthen its global production network by expanding in China, as a response to the growing demand for sustainably-produced iron oxide pigments.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 27 May – 2 June

    02 June 2015

    Li-ion battery technology is finding its way into the skies and under our seas with a solar-powered plane navigating between China and Hawaii, and a lithium battery-powered submarine under development. As demand increases for the battery technology, transportation restrictions by air continue to be hotly debated. The Rechargeable Battery Association has made the argument that passenger plane bans of lithium batteries will make it harder to ship batteries needed urgently in medical devices.

  • Alkane gets go ahead for Dubbo zirconia project in Australia

    02 June 2015

    Permission for the development of the project by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission allows Alkane to move onto the next stage of development for its rare earths and zirconia project, which is expected to bring new mineral supply online in 2017. The company is focused on new waste and water-reducing technology

  • Fracking continues to cause a stir in the US

    02 June 2015

    Health and environmental concerns have this week led Maryland to place a ban on fracking and Virginia to consider stricter industry regulations, while Denton residents were arrested after campaigning against the process.

  • Acron Q1 profits soar by 492% y-o-y as rouble strokes margins

    02 June 2015

    A weak Russian rouble and operational improvements have led to a bumper earnings quarter for Acron. The group is now using its increased free cash flow to pay down its dollar held debt, which ballooned in value in tandem with the rouble’s depreciation last year.

  • Cancana and JV partner begin manganese drilling programme in Brazil

    02 June 2015

    Cancana, a Canadian explorer, and Ferrometals have commenced a four-week drilling programme at their JV BMC manganese project, as they push towards their goal to become the primary domestic provider of agricultural-grade manganese in the Latin American country.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 26 March – 1 June

    01 June 2015

    Molycorp invokes loan interest payment grace period; TRER produces marketable rare earths concentrate; Commerce releases new drilling results.

  • ICL: Costly strike will transform potash and bromine labour relations

    01 June 2015

    Israel Chemicals’ cost cutting programme, combined with the recently agreed terms which have ended a near-four month strike, should bring the company back into an internationally competitive position, according to its management.

  • Rouble depreciation helps PhosAgro grow EBITDA by 186%

    01 June 2015

    The Russian agriminerals producer has benefitted from the weakening rouble and an improved pricing environment for Q1 2015, as it saw strong demand for its fertiliser products from Europe, India, China and Latin America.

  • North American mineral associations voice support for American Mineral Security Act

    01 June 2015

    The IMA-NA and the MSIC have praised the American Mineral Security act introduced in Senate in March, as facilitating the development of minerals and critical materials, particularly at a time when North American supply chains are threatened by Chinese export restrictions.

  • Phosphate production recommences in Tunisia

    01 June 2015

    Once one of the largest producers of phosphate rock in the world, Tunisia’s CPG has suffered ever since the Arab Spring. An end to strikes, which began in February, will improve the company’s situation, but it is still likely to slip further down the production league tables.

  • Sierra Rutile scoping study for Sembehun reveals low risk, efficient project

    01 June 2015

    As the company transitions to a dry mining strategy, Sierra Rutile’s scoping study for Sembehun has confirmed it as a viable option for the company, with the potential add 74,000 tpa rutile production over a 19-year mine life. This and the company’s decision to proceed with its other dry mining project at Gangama reflects the Sierra Rutile’s expectations for improvements in the TiO2 feedstock industry and the need for future additional supply.

  • Uralkali expands loan facility by $100m

    01 June 2015

    An upcoming period of capital intensity appears to have been the driving factor in Uralkali seeking additional financing. Russian companies often have more barriers to raising finance, but the worldwide cost of borrowing is currently low.

  • Oklahoma Governor signs pro-fracking bill

    01 June 2015

    Governors in Texas and Oklahoma have now signed bills that prohibit local bans on fracking and other oil and gas activity. Some local residents continue to oppose the process, which they say could have negative environmental consequences.

  • Sonora lithium project gathers pace with new Bacanora CEO

    01 June 2015

    Bacanora's choice of new CEO coincides with its move into the development phase of the Sonora lithium project. Recently installed Peter Secker, who was formerly at the helm of now extinct Canada Lithium, is looking to turn his experience of hard rock projects into momentum to drive the exploitation of Sonora's large clay resource.

  • Pilbara Minerals courted by offtake partners as financing takes shape

    01 June 2015

    Investor interest in Pilbara Minerals' capital raising show that hard rock lithium has a place alongside brine extraction as a potential source of future lithium supply.