Regulation latest news

  • July 2015

    Graphite prices to stagnate throughout Q3 2015

    31 July 2015

    Price Update: Following a weak H1 2015, flake graphite prices are likely to stabilise as industrial activity stalls; traders face tough times as arrears increase.

  • Nemaska’s Whabouchi lithium mine gets federal environmental approval

    31 July 2015

    The Quebecois project has crossed a major hurdle in receiving state authorisation, putting it on track to commence construction of its phase one facility this autumn.

  • Mexican fluorspar prices revised downwards

    31 July 2015

    Price update: Mexican acidspar prices drop as material becomes uncompetitive against high quality Chinese production in fluorochemical consumption.

  • World’s largest glass producer sees drop in sales

    31 July 2015

    Net sales dropped for US-headquartered Owens-Illinois, due to a drop in Brazilian beer shipments. Meanwhile, increases in soda ash costs had to be offset by price increases for glass in South America.

  • Tor net income plummets 170% as alumina and TiO2 sales decline

    31 July 2015

    Lower prices, negative currency translations and lower volumes sold across Tor’s alumina, TiO2 and barium sulphate products all contributed to the company’s Q2 loss. While growth is anticipated in speciality alumina volumes, the pigment industry is expected to continue to be plagued by low prices, demand and sales.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 25 – 31 July

    31 July 2015

    PhosAgro H1 phosphate production rises 12.3% y-o-y; Uralchem first half complex fertiliser production jumps 33% y-o-y; Belarussian ambassador supports Turkmenistan potash sales cooperation; Minbos signs LoI with Angolan port operator.

  • Vesuvius profit dips 6% in declining steel market

    31 July 2015

    The UK-based refractories producer said that its earnings are on course to meet its full year guidance for 2015, but warned that a return to overall growth in the steel market is not expected before 2017. No mention was made of Vesuvius’ failed bid to buy British rival Morgan Advanced Materials, but indications are that market observers have lost interest in the deal.

  • Sheffield’s Thunderbird confirmed as significant zircon deposit

    31 July 2015

    The company has announced updated mineral resource figures for the heavy mineral sands project in Western Australia, tripling measured resource. Measured zircon and ilmenite grades were notably high.

  • Etex to acquire Lafarge’s South African gypsum business

    31 July 2015

    An expanding middle class and more stringent building regulations across southern Africa are the impetus behind Etex’s acquisition. The company hopes that by combining its current operations with the former Lafarge assets, it will be able to offer a full range of construction products to the industry.

  • Showa Denko to dissolve Chinese rare earths subsidiary

    31 July 2015

    Considering the burden of doing business from China to Japan too great, Showa Denko is to consolidate its two Chinese arms into one company – focusing its sales on Chinese markets, which are not subject to the 2012 rare earth export duty.

  • Turkmenistan’s 1.4m tpa Garlyk potash mine produces first tonne of ore

    31 July 2015

    Around 700,000 tpa potash will be added to an already oversupplied international potash market once Garlyk comes fully on-stream, which is projected for early 2017. Turkmenistan is set to see its entire internal potash needs met by half the facility’s output.

  • Durango to purchase BC limestone project

    31 July 2015

    The Canadian diversified resources company has noted excitement over a local LNG project, which it may hope will be viewed in association with the limestone project as a potential source of cement.

  • Price Briefing 24 – 30 July

    31 July 2015

    Bromine bounces back while graphite remains stable; rare earths and TiO2 continue to slide.

  • I-Minerals claims own-brand halloysite trumps commercial variations

    31 July 2015

    The Vancouver-based explorer has said that comparative results from independent tests show its US-produced halloysite products demonstrate a number of advantages over variations of the mineral produced in New Zealand and Turkey.

  • Cut back: How China’s economic turmoil is impacting the garnet industry

    31 July 2015

    The silicate mineral garnet is mainly used in the industrial abrasive and filtration industries, meaning that its consumption is loosely tied to economic activity, although its niche position protects it to some extent from the vagaries of GDP performance. Raymond Ding, managing director of Chinese garnet producer, Wuxi Ding Long, spoke to IM about the effect China’s economic turbulence is having on this niche mineral and its end markets.

  • Hudson Resources seals major anorthosite deal with Owens Corning

    31 July 2015

    After two years of working together and testing Hudson's calcium feldpar material its White Mountain project in Greenland, Owens has concluded the product meets specifications for the production of its high-end fibreglass and signed a 10-year offtake agreement for the mineral.

  • Weir operating profit drops 36% in most severe oil downturn for thirty years

    31 July 2015

    The impact of low oil and gas prices was heavily felt by the technology provider, which saw lower demand for original equipment and aftermarket products. Demand for mineral processing technology also fell as expenditure in the mining industry continued to decline. While some have predicted a recovery in oil and gas by the end of the year, Weir anticipates modest activity improvement at best in 2015.

  • Outotec sales decline 7% in Q2; weak mining processing capex to continue

    30 July 2015

    Low prices, demand and concerns over growth in China mean that investment in processing equipment in the mining industry have remained subdued over the quarter, particularly in Outotec’s mineral processing segment, where high competition also hindered profitability.

  • Madras high court overrules Tamil Nadu ban on beach sand mining

    30 July 2015

    A new committee has been set up to probe into the illicit illegal mining of garnet, ilmenite and rutile in Tamil Nadu, as a Madras court sets aside ban imposed by the Tamil Nadu government, following a plea by petitioners.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 24 – 30 July

    30 July 2015

    GrafTech Q2 loss widens from 2014; Alabama commences PEA; Graphene Lighting to list in Canada.

  • CGrowth Capital values dolomite reserve at $2.7bn

    30 July 2015

    Preliminary valuations on the Washington dolomite site exceed expectations, putting the company on track to commercialise the project. It intends to target the legal cannabis industry, among others.

  • PotashCorp earnings slide to $417m in Q2

    30 July 2015

    Primarily caused by nitrogen market weakness, PotashCorp’s earnings fell slightly y-o-y for the second quarter of 2015. Demand in key markets remains strong however, with the primary cause of local weaknesses being related to forex shifts and low crop prices.

  • Carbo posts $17m loss for Q2 but predicts switch back to ceramic proppants

    30 July 2015

    The North American proppant producer saw its revenues, earnings and sales plummet y-o-y as E&P companies continue to cut costs and the rig count deteriorates further. However, according to Carbo, substitution of ceramic proppants with sand is coming to an end and synthetic proppants are expected to bounce back.

  • Kenyan senate passes highly anticipated mining regulation bill

    30 July 2015

    The upper house of East Africa’s largest economy has passed a bill that will give the state a 10% stake in all new mining projects. Meanwhile, the government also intends to introduce “use it or lose it rules” to deter licensing speculation.

  • Vale bounces back from Q1 loss as forex effects abate

    30 July 2015

    An improvement in the foreign exchange rates and lower iron ore production costs shifted Vale back into profitability for Q2 2015, though the group’s fertiliser incomes remained subdued.

  • Trades from China exhibit diverging trends for acidspar and metspar

    30 July 2015

    Supply Update: Acidspar exports from the world’s largest producer have continued to fall since Q4 2014; resurgence in metspar sales eases stockpiles.

  • China quality watchdog releases findings of magnesia brick and rare earths inspections

    30 July 2015

    Both magnesia-carbon bricks and rare earth oxides recorded high qualification rates when assessed against national quality standards. The tests are designed to improve the overall value of Chinese output of these products and encourage better manufacturing practices and volume control.

  • Saint Gobain expands gypsum grip in US via acquisition

    30 July 2015

    The French construction conglomerate, which is attempting to purchase Switzerland’s Sika, is also looking to expand in the US, which it is facilitating through the purchase of an Oregon-based gypsum supplier.

  • Lithium discovered in exploding star

    30 July 2015

    The detection of lithium in a stellar explosion brings scientists a step closer to discovering the answer to the “lithium riddle”, a paradox where younger stars tend to hold greater quantities of the element than older ones.

  • Rum Jungle extends Darwin port fertiliser agreement

    30 July 2015

    The company has expanded its agreement with the Port of Darwin, ensuring it will be able to use land and infrastructure at the East Arm Wharf. Rum Jungle is still looking for a joint venture partner however, while the BDI trade index has slipped slightly, after a stronger July.

  • S&B integration staves off 3.9% decline in Imerys like-for-like H1 revenue

    29 July 2015

    The world leading industrial minerals producer recorded an 11% increase in net income for the first half of this year but admitted benefitting from new product lines and markets secured through M&A, which masked a drop in earnings for some of its segments.

  • AkzoNobel to supply coatings and corrosion protection to German power plant

    29 July 2015

    The paints and coatings manufacturer is to partner with Siemens in the expansion of the Lausward power plant in Dusseldorf through the supply of protective coatings, which use industrial minerals such as TiO2 and kaolin to enhance performance.

  • HeidelbergCement to buy rival Italcementi

    29 July 2015

    The merger between two major players in cement comes in the midst of a number of consolidation efforts in the construction industry. The trend is likely to be bad news for raw material producers.

  • US Silica Q2 income drops 65% as oil and gas industry remains tough

    29 July 2015

    Although US Silica said sales volumes seem to be stabilising, the second quarter was a challenging one for frac sand producers as demand for the proppant remained low in line with subdued oil and gas drilling activity. The unclear outlook for the industry has forced US Silica and other producers to cut costs and reduce staff.

  • Huntsman Q2 income falls 75% as y-o-y pigment prices and volumes decline

    29 July 2015

    While Huntsman’s purchase of Rockwood’s TiO2 business boosted revenues in its pigments and additives division, on a comparable basis the market has remained challenging, with lower year-on-year sales volumes and prices for pigments. Expectations that pigment demand will remain low mean that Huntsman is continuing with its restructuring plans to weather the storm.

  • Study reveals borate expands under pressure

    29 July 2015

    A Chinese study has shown that potassium beryllium fluoroborate may be added to the small group of minerals with the NAC property.

  • RioSol calls for JV or sale of Peruvian limestone claim

    29 July 2015

    Despite being close to a number of large infrastructure projects, which require limestone for cement production, RioSol appears unwilling to develop the project alone. With international mining finance markets in a poor state, a large-scale development such as Montana Gael will be difficult to fund.

  • MZI nears three quarters completion mark at Keysbrook minsands project

    29 July 2015

    The company says it is on track to begin commissioning its Keysbrook operation in Western Australia in November 2015 and stressed that the development is economically independent of a rise in zircon prices.

  • K+S asks economy minister for help in rejecting PotashCorp takeover

    29 July 2015

    The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has confirmed that talks have taken place, but little information on their content has been leaked to German media. KfW taking a stake in K+S to prevent a full takeover by PotashCorp is seen as unlikely by industry sources.

  • Gypsum Management Supply to file for $200m IPO

    29 July 2015

    A buoyant market US IPO market could see GMS raise substantial levels of capital, which may allow the company to continue expanding, as appears to have been its strategy since its AEA-ownership.

  • Solvay swings to profit as it prepares to buy US counterpart Cytec for $5.5bn

    29 July 2015

    The Belgian company’s CEO said its proposed acquisition of mining chemicals specialist, Cytec, marks a “major step change” in Solvay’s portfolio upgrade, as it helps to support the firm’s ambition to become a leader in sustainable chemistry. The news comes as the company posts strong sales helped by a favourable exchange rate and positive performance from its soda ash and derivatives segment.

  • High inventories weigh on TiO2 prices

    29 July 2015

    Pigment values look increasingly likely to slip by up to $200/tonne in Q3.

  • DuPont performance chemicals Q2 earnings more than halve in weak TiO2 market

    29 July 2015

    Although the chemical giant recently completed the divestment of its TiO2 business, its latest set of Q2 financial results show that there has been little improvement in the coatings industry, with the performance chemicals segment recording a 55% drop in operating earnings. DuPont’s spin off, The Chemours Co. is now expected to optimise costs and products to drive revenue returns as TiO2 prices stay low.

  • MGX initiates archaeological studies at Driftwood magnesium project

    28 July 2015

    The Canadian explorer has engaged Tipi Mountain to evaluate the impact its project could have on the heritage and environmental character of its site in southeast British Columbia, but anticipates receiving the approvals necessary to commence commercial operations by the end of next year.

  • Solvay launches new fluoroelastomers plant in China

    28 July 2015

    The Belgian industrial minerals giant is continuing its expansion plans in Asia in China’s Jiangsu province, as it beefs up its fluorochemicals arm with a new fluoroelastomers plant worth more than €100m.

  • Erratic Indian rainfall and cost pressures lower Coromandel income

    28 July 2015

    Rupee depreciation, irregular rainfall and cost pressures have lowered the Indian phosphate supplier’s bottom line, but the company claims it is taking adequate measures to counter the market difficulties.

  • Debt-free Alkane presses ahead with product enhancements from its Dubbo zirconia project

    28 July 2015

    The Australia-based company is making steady progress at its rare earths and zirconia project in New South Wales, which is expected to come online in 2017. The firm has also attracted interest in its products from leading global companies and is in a stable financial position to invest in material development.

  • LWP to complete commissioning of fly ash proppant pilot plant by August

    28 July 2015

    The company has completed commissioning of its fine grinding mill and is on track for completing sintering, the final major stage in the commissioning process, by the end of August. LWP, which has already signed a JV for the fast-track of its fly ash proppant production in India, is convinced its product will be adopted by the industry owing the benefits it offers compared to bauxite and kaolin-manufactured proppants.

  • Innophos faces pressure from Chinese competitors

    28 July 2015

    Chinese competitors are pushing down prices in some of Innophos’ key markets and products. The company is looking at job cuts and facility streamlining to improve its margins.

  • Base reports “encouraging” mineral sands sales and production

    28 July 2015

    The Australian miner has been ramping up production of zircon, ilmenite and rutile at its Kenyan Kwale project, resulting in increased sales and lower operational costs. Despite the continuing challenging environment in the TiO2 pigment industry, the company saw some improvements in ilmenite prices, while stability in zircon is expected to continue.

  • Intrepid Potash shifts to loss in Q2

    28 July 2015

    The Colorado-based potash producer is switching its focus to the high-value Trio SOPM product, which will offer it better operating margins than it is making with its current product make-up.

  • US NGO calls for ban on talc in children’s products

    28 July 2015

    The EWG Action Fund has called for the removal of talc-based children’s products after tests revealed asbestos content in a number of toy samples.

  • Canadian Mining obtains new five-year zeolite permit

    28 July 2015

    The Vancouver-based company has received the go-ahead from the British Columbian authorities to continue to mine zeolite from its Bromley Creek site, as it seeks to become the leading supplier of the mineral to the Canadian market.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 22 – 28 July

    28 July 2015

    Orocobre revises forecasts down; Tesla predicts 10 year "tipping point" for EVs; lithium potential demonstrated in Parkinson’s treatment.

  • Compass Minerals Q2 income rises $8.8m

    28 July 2015

    Negative special items in 2014 contributed to the company’s relatively stronger growth, but improved salt pricing and firm demand for SOP benefitted the company substantially more.

  • Rare earths prices weaken further as confidence in Chinese stockpiling wanes

    28 July 2015

    Expectation that SRB will buy up production fades, forcing producers to cut output.

  • Sales drop 10% for Elementis as slow oil market bites

    28 July 2015

    Profits and revenues fell in tandem for the UK-listed speciality chemicals maker, with low oilfield activity knocking 30% of its sales income in this area, while growth in coatings was undermined by weakness in Asia and Europe. Chromium chemicals sales dipped by 5% but operating profit remained flat year-on-year.

  • Gulf Resources sticks to guns on 2015 earnings outlook

    27 July 2015

    The announcement by Asia’s biggest producer of bromine comes amid domestic issues in the Chinese economy and a flattening of prices for the mineral in local markets.

  • MGX prepares for phase two drilling at Driftwood magnesia project

    27 July 2015

    The news that the company is continuing to test thick sections of magnesite at the western zone of its Driftwood Creek property, joins a string of fresh announcements unveiled by the firm this month. It comes as MGX’s CEO tells IM that it has picked its magnesia production plant location and is trying to “close it”.

  • Orient Refractories profits dip 7% in June 2015 quarter

    27 July 2015

    The Austria-controlled monolithics supplier was characteristically tight-lipped about the reasons for the drop in earnings, but the smaller profit figure set against slightly higher revenues and sales showed margin pressures in the context of a domestic steel market struggling to compete with cheap imports.

  • Arab Potash Q2 profits climb by 41%

    27 July 2015

    Higher average prices in the first half of 2015 set Arab Potash on a steady course for the start of the year. The company is currently looking to expand its production capacities.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 21 – 27 July

    27 July 2015

    Inner Mongolia rare earths exports up 36.5% for H1 2015; Peak Resources closes first A$29.5m financing tranche; Commerce encounters highest grade to date at Ashram; Search minerals named defendant in former partner lawsuit.

  • Bromine prices rebound as US market accepts supplier increases

    27 July 2015

    Prices are reported to be up to 40% higher in North America and 10% stronger in Europe, but Chinese values have fallen back to Q4 2014 levels after posting gains earlier this year.

  • Saudi Arabia’s Tasnee reports Q2 loss following cost increase and sales drop

    27 July 2015

    The Saudi TiO2 producer attributed the results to a combination of lower product sales prices and higher costs.

  • Kenmare H1 2015 production hit by power problems

    27 July 2015

    The company’s Moma mineral sands operations in Mozambique have been beset by a number of challenges since the start of this year, including 57 days of weather-related power outages and industrial unrest, which have severely impacted its output volumes.

  • Sika shareholders back board proposals

    27 July 2015

    The results of Friday’s EGM are another setback to the chemical company’s founding family and their efforts to sell out to French construction giant Saint-Gobain.

  • Perlite “volcanic popcorn” set to reduce insulation costs by at least 30%

    27 July 2015

    Research at London’s Brunel University has indicated that using perlite as a “volcanic popcorn” insulation material could reduce building insulation costs by 30%.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 18 – 24 July

    24 July 2015

    Potash West extends resource targets; Uralchem invests R 284m in environmental mitigation in 2014; MagIndustries to be delisted; PhosCan warned of delisting; Indian Potash ruled subject to freedom of information requests.

  • MGX Minerals acquires Longworth silica site

    24 July 2015

    The company has consolidated its ownership of the Longworth claims and is aiming to solidify its position in silica in British Columbia as it prepares for the production of ferro silicon to be used to in the manufacture of magnesium alloy and steel.

  • Graphite prices stabilise at lower end of ranges

    24 July 2015

    Price Update: Global demand shows few signs of recovery; higher prices for medium flakes heard from China.

  • Sika board restricts founders’ voting rights

    24 July 2015

    In the latest chapter of the ongoing stand-off between the shareholders of Sika over a takeover offer from Saint-Gobain , the Sika board has restricted the founders’ voting rights to 5%. Meanwhile, company sales have risen by 5.6% in the first half of 2015.

  • Indian graphite industry: the changing trends

    24 July 2015

    Ambiguity over new mining and environmental regulations and a lack of suitable infrastructure is contributing to a shift in India’s position as a significant player in the graphite market.

  • USG profits rise by 39% as gypsum margins perform

    24 July 2015

    Operational savings were the cause of the North American building materials supplier’s jump in earnings. Sales rose by 2%, however, operational improvements and pricing demonstrably offset this modest increase.

  • US bill threatens Belarussian potash imports in North America

    24 July 2015

    Belarus is condemned internationally for its human rights record and group of US lawmakers wish to push the BPC back onto a list of banned importers. Leading the charge is Steve Pearce, a republican congressman, who represents areas used by Intrepid Potash for fertiliser extraction.

  • Argentinian lithium projects face bigger climatic challenges than Chilean peers

    24 July 2015

    Lithium developers in Argentina are likely to face more disruptive meteorological operating conditions than rival projects in neighbouring Chile, according to analysts, although operators maintain that sophisticated processing methods can mitigate the risk of weather-related interference.

  • Price Briefing 17 – 23 July

    24 July 2015

    Bentonite and fluorspar drop while vermiculite gains and vein graphite remains flat.

  • MDL continues to ramp up Grande Cote production; TiO2 markets remain subdued

    24 July 2015

    MDL, which has a 50% interest in the Grand Cote mineral sands operation in Senegal, continued to ramp up production via its TiZir joint venture. However, while zircon has remained stable, TiO2 markets have failed to show any price improvements, resulting in delayed ilmenite shipments.

  • Goldman Sachs predicts “hard landing” for commodities in China

    23 July 2015

    The Chinese government’s efforts to take the heat out of its unsustainable rate of growth was meant to slow down economic expansion, but analysis by the US investment bank suggests that the policies implemented may have had the unintended consequence of pushing some sectors into decline. Minerals and metals commodities are among those expected to be hardest hit, as China’s GDP success story comes down with a bump.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 17 – 23 July

    23 July 2015

    Valence secures $50m sales agreement; Energizer receives verification of Molo ore’s suitability for graphene inks.

  • White Mountain receives environmental approval for Chilean rutile project

    23 July 2015

    Three years of work and environmental studies on Cerro Blanco have culminated in government approval for White Mountain’s rutile project. The company now plans to focus on finalising its feasibility study and finding a partner to enable it to fast track project development.

  • Sheffield identifies four new mineral sands deposits at Eneabba

    23 July 2015

    The Australian mineral sands explorer has identified a number of heavy mineral deposits to the east of a historical exploration zone. It says there may be more discoveries to be made in the area.

  • BASF to spin off pigment division into separate entity by 2016

    23 July 2015

    As demand in the paint and pigment markets remains low, resulting in lower consumption of raw materials such as TiO2, kaolin and talc, pigment producers such as BASF are looking to optimise costs and production to offset lower sales.

  • Global acidspar prices in sharp decline

    23 July 2015

    Price update: Attempts to secure market share push acidspar prices to new lows; higher metspar prices reported out of China.

  • Cuadrilla to appeal rejection of UK fracking licences

    23 July 2015

    The company’s application for fracking and monitoring at two sites in Lancashire, UK, was rejected last month by the local council contrary to the recommendations of its planning officers. Cuadrilla now plans to review its traffic routes – the basis of one rejection – and appeal against all of Lancashire Council’s decisions.

  • Tri-Star announces funding plans for Oman antimony roaster

    23 July 2015

    While antimony prices remain low, construction of the joint venture (JV) plant in the Port of Sohar is expected to commence shortly.

  • Molycorp secures $130m DIP bankruptcy funding

    23 July 2015

    In receiving the largest tranche of its planned bankruptcy financing package, Molycorp has staved off its low prices and debt demons for the immediate future.

  • K+S denies receipt of fresh PotashCorp bid, says commitments still not enough

    23 July 2015

    The German potash and salt producer is sceptical of its Canadian rival’s motives, with another letter of assurance brushed aside as words with no binding consequence.

  • Lanxess expects strong Q2 2015, as realignment drive kicks in

    23 July 2015

    The German speciality chemicals company, which produces synthetic iron oxide, is on course to return to sustainable growth and improve its competitiveness by the end of this year, as it reaps the benefits from a realignment plan the group implemented in 2014.

  • Frac sand's share of proppant market grows but prices expected to fall

    23 July 2015

    The latest research from consultancy firm PacWest shows that although frac sand is gaining in terms of North American proppant market share as a cheaper alternative to resin coated products, pricing declines for the mineral are expected to continue, having been particularly pronounced in the last month.

  • LWP enters into JV with Hallmark for fly ash proppant production

    23 July 2015

    The joint venture with existing Indian proppant producer Hallmark will help LWP fast-track the commercialisation of its lightweight fly ash ceramic proppants by using Hallmark's existing facilities. The company will need to demonstrate down hole that its proppants perform as well or better than current bauxite and kaolin-based ceramic proppants.

  • Mixed results for Rotterdam and Antwerp ports

    23 July 2015

    Belgium’s Antwerp port experiences a jump in dry bulk handling while volumes at the Netherlands’ Rotterdam trading hub fell in the first half of this year, painting a conflicting picture of European dry bulk demand.

  • Asian soda ash prices vary on local demand divergence

    22 July 2015

    Prices slip in China in line with weak construction activity but remain firm in India as domestic producers look to up capacity.

  • Indian soda ash industry plans expansion ahead of anti-dumping expiry

    22 July 2015

    With anti-dumping duty on soda ash to expire by mid-2017, Indian producers are gearing up for capacity expansion and cost reduction in order to retain a competitive edge.

  • Mongolia’s fluorspar drop in exports adds to sluggish outlook

    22 July 2015

    Fluorspar trade review: Mongolian exports slip as China’s limited downstream demand pose a challenge for low-cost suppliers

  • Danakali reduces water requirement

    22 July 2015

    A reduction of 60% in Colluli’s water requirement is magnified in its importance by the arid desert surroundings of the project, where water is hard to source.

  • MGX closes first private placement for Driftwood magnesia plant

    22 July 2015

    The company follows hot on the heels of an update on the lease approval process, suggesting that MGX will avoid the financing and permitting delays that often hamper mining projects in Canada.

  • PotashCorp rumoured to have issued second offer to K+S

    22 July 2015

    With industry analysts suggesting PotashCorp’s first bid was more than fair, it appears unlikely that any offer more than 10% above its original bid for K+S. The German company continues to reject PotashCorp’s hostile takeover advances, however.

  • Morgan net profit up 31.2% boosted by refractories

    22 July 2015

    The UK-based company said that its first half income was helped by a strong performance from its thermal ceramics business, which sells refractories among other products, in North America and Europe. As a result, the company says it is well placed to seek new expansion projects.

  • Rolls Royce’s MTU enters into partnership with Li-ion battery producer AKASOL

    22 July 2015

    The partnership is a further step towards the mass uptake of Li-ion technology in the transportation sector, and its use in hybrid technology.

  • Falling demand and increased competition pull down bentonite prices

    22 July 2015

    North American suppliers take a hit from weakness in oilfield and foundry markets.

  • Permitting barriers to mineral development in the US

    22 July 2015

    With its vast natural resources and advanced manufacturing activity, the US should rank among the world’s top mineral producers. Kasia Patel, North American Editor, speaks to Greg Haunschild, principal engineer at ACS Engineering, to find out how permitting in the US is holding back mining.

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

    22 July 2015

    Oil and gas recovery unlikely this year; barite consumption holding up re-fracking to generate sand demand.

  • GIFA 2015: Foundry minerals suppliers face Chinese lion’s den

    22 July 2015

    Companies report fierce price negotiations in Asia; industry mixed on outlook for metal casting; pressure to be greener kick-starts innovation.

  • Politics and technology steer global lithium market

    22 July 2015

    Chilean policy to dictate output from leading supplier; new players will shake up market in next few years; energy storage predicted to be key demand driver.

  • European acidspar market readies itself for F-Gas phase-downs

    22 July 2015

    With the first phase-down in HFC use set for 2016, it remains to be seen if end users will opt for fluorine-based replacements and what impact this will have on acidspar demand, Jessica Roberts, Senior Analyst at Roskill Information Service, discovers.

  • Western Lithium and Lithium Americas merge

    22 July 2015

    The deal between the two companies unites assets in North and South America with a collaboration, which has been on the cards since 2012.

  • No let-up for SQM as CORFO pursues lithium lease case

    22 July 2015

    CORFO claims proof of lease violation by SQM, which has denied the allegations, saying it is still willing to cooperate. Water usage is also under scrutiny at its lithium and iodine sites.

  • Gilsonite lowers well cementing costs

    22 July 2015

    Cementing fluids can reap cost benefits, particularly low density cements needed by frac formations. Gilsonite can also offer improved performance over hollow beads.

  • Latin Resources haggles A$7.2m off Guadalupito andalusite project

    22 July 2015

    Price reduced in view of financing climate with parties agreeing on a new payment plan, doubling NSR. Latin, meanwhile, is still on the lookout for JV partners.

  • Uncertainty prevails over jumbo flake graphite

    22 July 2015

    Large flakes at elevated risk of shortage with only a handful of new near-term suppliers, while dwindling consumption is putting pressure on prices.

  • Minerals to benefit from beefed up EU-Mexico trade pact

    22 July 2015

    Negotiations underway to revamp existing FTA as Mexican bentonite, barite, talc production surge, creating opportunities for European mining tech.

  • Molycorp files for bankruptcy

    22 July 2015

    Debts of $1.7bn push company into insolvency with a subsequent delisting from NYSE expected. However, restructuring could give the company a “new lease of life”.

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

    22 July 2015

    The continent has spent $800m on mining in past two years. SNL calls for pension funds to finance projects, while a lack of pan-African exchange hinders progress.

  • IFS 2015: Transitioning from volume to value in fertilisers

    22 July 2015

    Fertilisers stuck in the past, delegates heard, with East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa highlighted as key markets.

  • AkzoNobel’s Q2 income up 38% despite sluggish coatings demand

    21 July 2015

    Positive business streamlining and favourable currency exchange rates have contributed to AkzoNobel’s y-o-y growth in revenues and income. However, demand for its products has remained subdued, contributing to lower volumes sold for the quarter, which is likely to continue to keep sales down for industrial minerals such as TiO2, talc and kaolin, used in paints and coatings.

  • Turkey’s Ciner Group takes controlling stake in OCI Wyoming soda ash operation

    21 July 2015

    The deal sees the Eti Soda operator claim a 51% interest in the Green River-based soda ash producer as its parent company, OCI Co., focuses more closely on its solar operations in the US. The price tag of the transaction will also set a precedent for the possible sale of the minority position in OCI Wyoming.

  • Baker Hughes reports $188m Q2 loss as North American oil and gas lack recovery

    21 July 2015

    The oilfield services provider has reported a y-o-y 33% decline in total revenue as sales across most of its revenue-generating regions declined. With activity in North America expected to continue at depressed levels, Baker Hughes said it plans to focus on cost cutting, innovative technologies, and growth markets such as Norway, Saudi Arabia and West Africa.

  • ICL puts Israeli investments back on the table

    21 July 2015

    “Crippling” tax burdens on ICL are looking increasingly less likely owing to the narrow majority of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new Israeli government, which has a slimmer majority than the previous coalition. Spurred on by positive factors, ICL is now looking to defrost its frozen investment plans for Israel.

  • Mexichem sees 4% revenue growth but fluorine sales dip

    21 July 2015

    The company’s Q2 results for 2015 have been boosted by the inclusion of two acquisitions — PVC producer Vestolit and HPDE maker Dura-Line. However, Mexichem’s flourine sales have dropped due to soft demand for metallurgical grade fluorspar. Yet, the firm still remains confident for its growth prospects for the second half of this year.

  • CNNC TD to invest over Rmb 200m in rival TiO2 producer

    21 July 2015

    The news of a trading halt by Chinese TiO2 producer CNNC TD means that stocks in all four of the country’s major titanium pigment producers are now suspended, with the likely target of the latest potential deal thought to be Shandong Dawn. The recent wave of M&A in the Chinese TiO2 sector fits snugly into the wider puzzle of consolidation in China’s raw materials industries.

  • Yara International revenues rise on stable outlook

    21 July 2015

    A strong US dollar, low gas prices and weakening crop price certainty have contributed to a strong quarter for the Norwegian fertiliser group, with external factors set to continue to benefit the company’s operating margin into the rest of the year.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 14 – 21 July

    21 July 2015

    Nemaska extends warrants; Cobre Montana changes its name; Dajin signs Argentina lease agreement; Tesla makes battery improvements; study reveals lithium has potential to combat arthritis.

  • Heilongjiang research centre targets high value graphite market

    21 July 2015

    The Harbin Institute of Technology set up its graphite research centre in September 2013 and has already produced electric vehicle battery material and functional coatings for space rockets. Now, it is looking to expand its presence in battery anodes, graphene and flame retardant materials for the growing polymer market.

  • Energy market slowdown forces Halliburton Q2 revenue and income down

    21 July 2015

    Despite its drop in revenue and income, Halliburton emphasised that its revenues outperformed the drop in rig count both globally and in North America. Meanwhile, the company is continuing to cut costs and position itself to take advantage of a turnaround in oil and gas, when it eventually does happen, through divestments and its Baker Hughes acquisition.

  • Boeing issues formal warning on carriage of Li-ion batteries

    20 July 2015

    The defence and aerospace giant’s warning is likely to be a precursor to the introduction of a more comprehensive set of restrictions on the transport of the power source in future.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 14 – 20 July

    20 July 2015

    Molycorp does not anticipate full Mountain Pass closure; TRER signs JV agreement with K-Tech; US Rare Earths steps back from IPO; Peak commences drilling programme at Ngulla; Hastings continues drilling campaign at Yangibana.

  • MGX Minerals on course to obtain mining lease for Driftwood magnesia plant

    20 July 2015

    The company's steady progression through the approvals process for its proposed Driftwood magnesia project in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia could see the company starting to produce 10,000 tpa DBM by Q4 2016.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 11 – 17 June

    17 July 2015

    K+S gains support of regional leader; Acron credit rating improves; Sirius Minerals not subject to public enquiry; Mosaic to expand phosphate mine in Florida; GCT sees CPG phosphate deliveries resume.

  • Lynas’ revenues jump 74% as rare earths production rises

    17 July 2015

    Debottlenecking appears to be working at Lynas’ Mount Weld rare earths mine in Australia and at its LAMP production facility in Malaysia. Substantial barriers to future profitability, including historically low prices and large debts, remain, however.

  • Vein graphite prices resist market slump

    17 July 2015

    Despite the slowdown in demand, Sri Lankan vein graphite producers aim to retain premium pricing for 2015.

  • Price Briefing 10 – 16 July

    17 July 2015

    Acidspar, amorphous graphite and TiO2 make poor start to H2.

  • PPG Q2 sales increases offset by unfavourable currency exchanges

    17 July 2015

    While the coatings and glass producer saw overall sales increase 8% thanks to a growing market share, acquisition-related sales and strong demand in automotive OEM coatings, currency exchange rates pushed net income down.

  • Neometals secures Ganfeng offtake for Mt Marion lithium

    16 July 2015

    Lithium explorer Neometals and Mineral Resources have negotiated a deal whereby Ganfeng will take 100% of the spodumene produced from the Mt Marion mine in Western Australia, as well as taking a 25% shareholding in Reed Industrial Minerals.

  • TiO2 prices face H2 slides

    16 July 2015

    China leads indications of market weakness and paints morose picture for feedstock minerals.

  • Kenya Chamber calls for clearer mining law

    16 July 2015

    Kenya’s new mining bill is currently being debated and is expected to come into effect September. It may still be subject to changes before it is passed into law and the country’s Chamber of Mines has called for the government to provide clear royalty rules before it is unveiled.

  • Iluka reports slight revenue increases for H1 as zircon sees regional improvements

    16 July 2015

    While much of Iluka’s revenue increases y-o-y were accounted for by its recently restarted synthetic rutile production, zircon demand was rebounding particularly in Europe and India. While shipments of rutile were subdued for the period, the company noted there were indications of a demand recovery for high grade titanium minerals.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 10 – 16 July

    16 July 2015

    Kibaran receives mining licence for Epanko; Western Mining Network snaps up Indonesian graphite explorer.

  • Rio revises down TiO2 guidance further in wake of softening demand

    16 July 2015

    The Anglo-Australian miner has reported a significant drop in titanium dioxide and salt production for H1 2015, alongside a moderate drop in borates production.

  • Largo Resources achieves new vanadium production record

    16 July 2015

    The company’s efforts to ramp up output since production began at its Brazilian Maracas Menchen mine in August 2014 is beginning to bear fruit, as it announces a new daily production record. The news puts the company on track to meet its full phase one capacity of 26 tpd by Q3 2015. Largo is targeting its product at the growing vanadium redox battery and steel markets.

  • Haydale and Versarien sign collaboration deal on graphene projects

    16 July 2015

    Haydale’s collaborative strategy sees it sign a deal for the supply of graphene platelets. The move will allow the firm to cover all elements of the graphene supply chain, from raw material, through to production and functionalization.

  • Construction minerals to benefit from Redwood port dredging and expansion scheme

    16 July 2015

    Project approval for expansion at Redwood port in California will see capacity expand at a port handling bauxite and gypsum and other construction minerals.

  • Fanya rare earths exchange investors demand money back

    16 July 2015

    The Fanya Metal Exhange, a significant Chinese trading post for rare earths, has seen investors protest outside its offices this week. They are demanding their money back for products which they claim have changed, in addition to controls on withdrawal amounts.

  • Brilliant Sands fast tracks Canadian frac sand projects to meet low cost demand

    16 July 2015

    While the oil price decline is hitting US E&P firms and their suppliers, according to Brilliant sands the current market climate is ideal for bringing 2.5m tonne frac sand capacity online as Canadian drilling companies look to source cheaper domestic proppants.

  • Fancamp receives TiO2 concentrates from Pangang for process testing

    16 July 2015

    Under the terms of the agreement with Fancamp and Pangang, the company will use its propriety hydrometallurgical technology on Pangang’s TiO2 concentrate and blast furnance slags for the recovery of TiO2, with results expected in the coming months.

  • Sri Lanka targets zircon flour production with foreign investment

    15 July 2015

    The country’s new government has approved a plan to produce zircon flour as part of a wider domestic plan to focus on value added mineral sands product in an effort to generate higher export revenues.

  • Mineral logistics providers look to other sectors to spur innovation

    15 July 2015

    The minerals industry is used to taking its cues from other business areas when it comes to innovative transport solutions. But although mineral logistics have benefitted from this copy-cat approach, increasing demands from its customers mean that it may soon have to take the lead and come up with its own technologies, Bruce McMichael, IM Logistics Correspondent, writes.

  • Karnalyte dusts off Saskatchewan potash project

    15 July 2015

    Taking a potash project out of a development and financing deep freeze may be a formidable task, especially in the present investment climate, but Karnalyte claims its partnership with an Indian fertiliser company could see it arrange a cash injection on more favourable terms.

  • DIC sells Almatis to Turkish pension fund Oyak

    15 July 2015

    The owners of German speciality alumina producer Almatis and its shareholders have agreed to sell the group to Turkey’s largest pension fund, Oyak. The valuation of the transaction was not disclosed, but rumours put the sale at around $1bn.

  • Ma’aaden Q2 net profit falls by 27%

    15 July 2015

    Rather than phosphates and other industrial minerals lowering the miner’s income, price falls for gold and base metals have weighed heavily on Ma’aden’s net profit.

  • Additional HMS mineralsation could extend Image Resources' mine life

    15 July 2015

    Results from Image Resources' ongoing drilling programme have demonstrated two additional extensions near to its Western Australian Boonanarring mineral sands project, which could potentially extend the life of the project.

  • China’s MIIT seeks industry feedback ahead of refractories plant inspections

    14 July 2015

    The ministry in charge of implementing new industry regulations has asked refractories manufacturers to file compliance reports ahead of government inspections, due to commence in September, which will lead to a definitive list of approved companies.

  • Iofina reports record H1 iodine production for 2015

    14 July 2015

    The US-based company has met its crystalline iodine production target for the first half of the year despite a challenging iodine market, where prices are below historical trends. Iofina now has plans to look for future growth opportunities and look at new sites that fit its model for low cost production.

  • Claim Post signs MoU with local native groups

    14 July 2015

    The frac sand explorer is looking to have a positive relationship with the local indigenous population, which is a crucial part of community engagement for mining in northern Canada.

  • Albemarle to relocate n-butyllithium production outside US

    14 July 2015

    Speciality lithium chemicals will still be produced at the New Johnsonville plant, but Albemarle believes that shifting n-butyllithium production to Germany and Taiwan will allow it to capitalise on cost savings associated with its merger with Rockwood Holdings.

  • Indian salt stockpiles harming producers

    14 July 2015

    Shifting rain patterns which led to increased salt exports to Tamil Nadu have left the state’s industry in oversupply, lowering local prices for the mineral.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 7 – 13 July

    14 July 2015

    Cobre Montana takes exclusive lithium technology option; Bacanora Minerals initiates drilling programme; REM further increases EMH ownership.

  • China’s amorphous graphite industry faces demand side pressure

    14 July 2015

    Slow end market growth and sluggish demand from steel sees amorphous graphite sales slump; exports to Europe drop by a third.

  • Kenya to enact new mining law by September

    14 July 2015

    East Africa’s largest economy is expected to introduce a mining law in September to attract international mining companies to the country and help this sector to grow.

  • Antitrust review period extended for Halliburton-Baker Hughes acquisition

    14 July 2015

    The oilfield companies entered into an agreement for Halliburton to purchase Baker Hughes for $34.6bn in November. However the review period by the Antitrust Division of the US DOJ has been extended to the end of November to allow the organisation to review second requests and for both companies to comply.

  • Doral mineral sands project receives environmentally conditional recommendation

    13 July 2015

    Ilmenite producer Doral Mineral Sands is hoping to develop its 256,000 tpa HMC project in Western Australia, however, with activity requiring the clearing of 89,000 metres squared of Whicher Scarp native forest, final approval by the Minister for Environment will be subject to a number of stringent environmental conditions.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 7 – 13 July

    13 July 2015

    Ucore commissions MRT pilot plant; Tantalus launches claim against investor; Commerce begins second 2015 drilling programme.

  • Waterless fracking application in New York attempts to circumvent fracking ban

    13 July 2015

    The Snyder Farm Group has joined forces with Tioga Energy Partners for two fracking applications in New York’s Southern Tier, despite last month’s fracking ban. As the ban relates only to gas wells requiring more than 300,000 gallons of water, the proposal to use LPG instead of water for fracking places it outside the scope of the ban, the group says.

  • Outotec to deliver alumina calcination plants to EGA

    13 July 2015

    While new equipment orders are few and far between in the current industrial minerals mining environment, Outotec has secured an €80m contract for the delivery of two plants to the United Arab Emirates.

  • Yellow Rock confirms high grade vanadium in Australia

    13 July 2015

    Test work at Yellow Rock’s Gabanintha resource has established the presence of high grade vanadium pentoxide. The company will use the results to complete an updated resource estimate and commence a scoping study. Yellow Rock is seeking to market its V2O5 product for the growing vanadium redox battery sector.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 4 – 10 July

    10 July 2015

    K+S rejection backed by regional minister in Germany; Gujarat fertiliser company to establish phosphoric acid plant; Uralkali potash production down y-o-y.

  • CORFO rejects SQM’s $17m conciliatory offer in Atacama lease dispute

    10 July 2015

    The lithium miner offered to pay the state development agency $17.1m to settle the disagreement over fees owed for mineral extraction rights in the Salar de Atacama, but CORFO declined the cash and is reportedly intent on rescinding the lease, meaning that arbitration proceedings will continue.

  • Sirius outlines post-approval York Potash plans

    10 July 2015

    The UK-based potash junior has the approvals it needs for the controversial polyhalite project – the requirement now is to complete the DFS and work out how to jump its large financing hurdle.

  • FLSmidth to deliver dry sintering alumina line to Pikalevo Soda

    10 July 2015

    Mining technology provider has agreed to deliver a new dry sintering alumina line, worth €60m, to Russian cement and minerals producer Pikalevo Soda. While the company’s outlook for investment in mining equipment is subdued as far ahead as 2016, it is focusing its efforts on technologies that reduce energy consumption, increase production and are more sustainable in the current downturn.

  • Price Briefing 3 – 9 July

    10 July 2015

    Acidspar and graphite prices remain volatile; Tronox bumps up soda ash.

  • Indian paper mill adopts MTI’s high filler PCC technology

    09 July 2015

    Although paper production in developed regions is falling and affecting MTI’s overall sales, the company is strengthening its presence in Asia, where there is still room for growth owing to high paper output and low filler levels.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 3 – 9 July

    09 July 2015

    Valence keeps ramp up pace at Uley; Talga collaborates with Haydale on graphene.

  • China initiates plans to replace HCFCs with natural substitutes

    09 July 2015

    End market update: Stiffening industrial regulations over phasing out HCFCs have inched further ahead in China, as the country clarifies its stance on natural refrigerant technology

  • Tata Chemicals' Kenyan soda ash operations hurt by water pollution

    09 July 2015

    The company’s Magadi soda ash project is being affected by water pollution from soil particles that have fallen into Lake Magadi, lowering the quality of soda ash extracted from the deposit. This has upset its customers and is the latest setback at the facility, which has been trying to get back to business after recovering from a “painful restructuring”.

  • Metallica Minerals to sell Ootann limestone project

    09 July 2015

    Considered a non-core complementary asset to the SCONI scandium project, Metallica has now sold its Ootann limestone assets and permits to an unnamed private bidder.

  • Iran’s mineral trade potential offers bright outlook for bulk

    09 July 2015

    Iranian dry bulk ports could receive huge investment boost if sanctions against the country are lifted and the domestic mining and mineral processing industry steps up.

  • Albemarle steps up lithium carbonate presence in Chile

    09 July 2015

    The chemicals company, which recently took over the US’ largest lithium producer, Rockwood Holdings, said it expects to produce commercial quantities of lithium carbonate from its brine processing site in La Negra this year, before ramping up in 2016 to keep pace with accelerating demand for the energy mineral.

  • CGrowth Capital completes survey for White Pit dolomite and targets cannabis market

    08 July 2015

    The dolomite supplier is pushing ahead with plans to move its discussion with funding sources to the next level, as it receives the first quantification results from geologists on its US-based, North Stevens County reserve. The company is aiming its material at a niche market – for soil enhancement to grow cannabis.

  • Graphite prices experience high volatility

    08 July 2015

    Prices face downward trend in view of limited industrial activity; Chinese producers register further 10% drop in domestic selling values.

  • Tronox to increase soda ash prices from September

    08 July 2015

    Energy surcharge and freight policies to remain in place for Wyoming-sourced material.

  • Korab receives third proposal to fund Australian magnesite project

    08 July 2015

    The junior has received a third pitch to fund its magnesite quarry based near the south of Darwin and is pursuing discussions with the investor. This is a positive signal given that project financing is tight in the mining sector.

  • Montero signs funding agreement with Ovation for phosphate projects

    08 July 2015

    The scale of the funding agreement was not released by Montero, however, Ovation will need to push the company past PFS and BFS to unlock the full benefit from its deal.

  • GCCP Resources to supply calcium carbonate to lime giant Lhoist

    07 July 2015

    The company is teaming up with the leading lime producer to supply it with crushed calcium carbonate in order for Lhoist to develop its mineral-based products.

  • Harbison Walker’s Ohio dispute continues after talks fail

    07 July 2015

    Workers at the company’s Oak Hill facility have been locked out of their jobs since April due to an ongoing dispute with management. This has resulted in the closure of the plant. The site produces clay refractory linings and Harbison Walker is still managing to manufacture its products at other US locations.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 1 – 7 July

    07 July 2015

    REM takes larger stake in European Metals’ Cinovec deposit; Houston Lake sets sights on higher resource at Pak; and Korean researchers develop high-performing porous Li-ion battery.

  • Mkango to dual list on AIM in attempt to raise capital

    07 July 2015

    A weak investment environment and a set of minerals in a post-hype trough have left Mkango finding it difficult to raise capital on the TSX-V. The company hopes to find better fortune on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

  • Altech begins permitting for Meckering kaolin project

    07 July 2015

    The company is advancing approvals for its proposed mining operation and beneficiation facility in Meckering, as it plans to bring the project into fruition by Q4 2016.

  • ICL recommences brominated flame retardant production in Israel

    07 July 2015

    The winding down of FR-1206 production in favour of FR-122P, which has restarted after a long strike, will set Israel Chemicals in line with recent EU legislation changes on brominated compounds.

  • Minerals to benefit from beefed up EU-Mexico trade pact

    07 July 2015

    Negotiations are underway to revamp the existing free trade agreement between Mexico and the European Union in a deal that will replace that signed in 2000, at a time when the EU has expanded significantly and Mexican production of talc, bentonite and kaolin, among other minerals, is surging.

  • MGX Minerals prepares for exploration at Californian magnesite deposit

    07 July 2015

    The company is advancing its industrial minerals portfolio and expanding operations in the US, as it makes preparations to begin phase one of an exploration programme at its White Moon magnesite deposit in California.

  • European acidspar market readies itself for F-Gas phase-downs

    07 July 2015

    With the first phase-down in HFC use set for 2016, it remains to be seen if end users will opt for fluorine-based replacements and what impact this will have on acidspar demand.

  • World's longest frac sand train to begin operations from Texas

    07 July 2015

    Unimin, Union Pacific Railroad and Twin Eagle Sand Logistics have collaborated to deliver the longest rail delivery train on record, which is to begin operations from the Mission Rail Terminal in Texas. Unimin's expanding frac sand delivery network is being rolled out to meet demand for frac sand deliveries, which the company says has not fallen despite lower drilling activity.

  • Rohit Surfactants to launch soda ash plant in Gujarat in 2016

    06 July 2015

    The company is planning to compete with its Indian rival Nirma and open a soda ash plant in Gujarat to increase its presence in the growing detergents market.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 29 June – 6 July

    06 July 2015

    China Rare Earth chairman faces lawsuit; Northern Minerals extends decision deadline for potential offtake partner; CMI identifies new rare earths recycling method.

  • Western Potash to receive C$80 from Chinese investors

    06 July 2015

    The capital injection will be used to produce a pilot plant for Western Potash’s Milestone project in Saskatchewan, potentially placing the company ahead of its peers in the race to develop the next potash property.

  • Sierra Rutile boosts Q2 rutile output, reduces costs

    06 July 2015

    The company is confident that full-year targets will be met, as it posts strong Q2 rutile production figures. Sierra Rutile has also concluded its major maintenance programmes on mining units for the year and its operating costs continue to fall.

  • ACC suspends limestone production at Jharkhand quarry

    06 July 2015

    A material effect on cement production is not expected by the company, which is sourcing limestone clinker from other sources.

  • Tata Chemicals ponders divesting fertilisers segment

    06 July 2015

    Mergers, sales and acquisitions are looking more likely across the fertiliser industry. The rumoured intentions of divestment sit oddly with a number of companies reporting positive consumption trends and pricing developments.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 27 June – 3 July

    03 July 2015

    PhosAgro merges businesses; BPC signs Indian contract; Arianne Phosphate reduces production costs; EMP Mining Ventures rebrands to Crystal Peak Minerals.

  • Kenmare restarts Moma operations after strikes end

    03 July 2015

    The company’s workers have returned to work after embarking on industrial action in response to cost-cutting measures, including retrenchment, implemented by Kenmare. Operations have resumed at the plant and exports of mineral sands restarted last weekend.

  • Molycorp attains $22m emergency funding

    03 July 2015

    The approval is a step in the right direction for Molycorp after funding was refused last week. While $22m is half the originally proposed $44m disallowed during the first set of bankruptcy court proceedings, it will allow the company to operate regular schedules and purchase goods as normal.

  • PotashCorp calls for cross-company meeting, says K+S concerns can be addressed

    03 July 2015

    Rebuffed by K+S, PotashCorp is now seeking to woo the German potash and salt producer by allaying its fears and calling for a meeting of both companies’ management teams.

  • Will China’s consolidation impact graphite supply?

    03 July 2015

    Increasing environmental concerns have put many graphite factories under scrutiny with operations at major producing provinces hampered by industrial turmoil. IM analyses to what extent this is likely to impact supply from the world’s biggest producer.

  • Indian barite exporters fear losing markets

    03 July 2015

    Revising down of bid prices by APMDC did little to provoke demand for Indian barite material as consumers manage to secure supplies from elsewhere.

  • Price Briefing 26 June – 2 July

    03 July 2015

    Indian barite producers lose market share; bromine looks up while TiO2 causes confusion.

  • UK government publishes fracking impact report in full

    02 July 2015

    DEFRA has now published, as requested by the ICO last month, an unedited version of a report looking at the impacts of shale gas extraction on the rural economy. The report notes that it does not contain any new research but is a review of existing literature, much of which does not directly relate to the UK.

  • Diatreme completes zircon project de-risking with public environmental review

    02 July 2015

    Having completed the final stage of de-risking for its Western Australian Cyclone project, Diatreme hopes to receive final project approvals by December. The progress at the project will, the company hopes, enable it to secure the financing necessary to take it through to production.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 26 June – 2 July

    02 July 2015

    Flinders clarifies Woxna production status; StratMin shifts all of its sub-94% C inventory.

  • Orbite partners with Canadian research council on HPA benchmarking in Li-ion batteries

    02 July 2015

    The company is seeking to address supply issues in high-end markets by linking up with Canada’s research council to develop its high purity alumina for use in lithium-ion battery separators.

  • PPG completes purchase of US microwave-absorbent coatings manufacturer

    02 July 2015

    The acquisition of Cuming Microwave Corp. and its Pennsylvania subsidiary will enable PPG to broaden its range of coatings to the aerospace industry by manufacturing speciality coatings and materials that absorb microwaves and radio waves.

  • K+S rejects PotashCorp takeover bid

    02 July 2015

    The Germany-based potash producer has multiple points of refusal for PotashCorp’s bid for all shares. Among them was a “disregard” of the value of the greenfield Legacy mine and a lack of protection for German workers.

  • Solvay officially launches HDS plant in Poland for green tyre production

    02 July 2015

    The company says that its new highly dispersible silica plant in Poland will be used to meet the growing needs of the green tyre industry.

  • Cobre Montana sets sights on world’s largest lithium inventory

    02 July 2015

    The ASX-listed company is shortly to change its name to Lithium Australia as it intensifies its focus on lithium operations in Western Australia and the Czech Republic, aided by its proprietary energy self-sufficient method for producing lithium carbonate.

  • Quebec plans $1.2bn port investment

    02 July 2015

    The province’s government has invested $1.2bn in port infrastructure to improve dry bulk logistics at Montreal. Industrial complexes, logistics hubs and intermodal sites will be built under the plans.

  • Rising bromine prices felt downstream

    01 July 2015

    Cost of elemental bromine has fluctuated 10% in Asia this year, putting margin pressure on flame retardant manufacturers.

  • Natural Resources Forum: The switch to growth

    01 July 2015

    A research report by EY has concluded that companies need to focus on a return to industry growth, which will come about sooner than previously thought owing to operational improvements, capital efficiency and high opex miners dropping out of the cost curve. The firm believes that if mining companies do not start to refocus on growth, a supply crunch could emerge.

  • Mongolia opens door for foreign investment in mining sector

    01 July 2015

    Mongolia’s incumbent Prime Minister has made his first visit to London to court foreign capital for new projects and appeal for investment to develop Mongolia’s mining industry and commercialise strategic deposits.

  • Base Resources completes operational tests for Kwale mineral sands ramp-up

    01 July 2015

    The ASX-listed miner has been ramping up production since the start of 2015 and has now completed all of the required physical and economic assessments at its Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya, from which it is looking to produce significant quantities of rutile, ilmenite and zircon.

  • DuPont completes spin off as Chemours begins NYSE trading

    01 July 2015

    The Chemours Co., comprising DuPont’s TiO2 and fluorochemicals businesses, is now trading on the NYSE. The company hopes the separation will enable Chemours to optimise its underperforming TiO2 segment, while allowing DuPont to focus on agriculture and nutrition.

  • York Potash approved as Sirius triumphs in close-run vote

    01 July 2015

    The result may have been tight – 8 to 7 – but Sirius has its permit for the York Potash project. While the result is open to legal challenge for six weeks, the decision is a big step for the company towards constructing its £1.7bn project. The long strides will need to continue however, if Sirius is to raise the substantial capital cost for the project.