Regulation latest news

  • August 2015

    IM Rare Earths News in Brief 25 – 31 August

    31 August 2015

    Molycorp seeks court approval for incentive plans; Medallion to produce calcium phosphate by-product through rare earths extraction process.

  • Clariant surfactant increases fracking fluid flowback to 87%

    31 August 2015

    As the oil glut continues into the second half of 2015, companies such as Clariant are working on innovative solutions so that E&P firms, which are opting to delay or cancel projects in the wake of low prices, can get more from existing drilling ventures.

  • LWP fly ash proppant pilot plant delayed

    31 August 2015

    LWP, which is in the process of developing a proppant based on fly ash for use in hydraulic fracturing, is experiencing delays at its pilot plant in Australia owing to an installation error by the kiln manufacturer. The company however anticipates that its pilot plant will be in production by the end of September.

  • AluChem to unveil low-soda alumina plant in September

    31 August 2015

    The US-based company is hoping to hit the ground running next month, as it launches its new line of low and ultra-low soda aluminas focused towards investment casting, ceramics and refractories applications.

  • Ceylon graphite steady against flake drops

    31 August 2015

    Continued market pressure pushes flake graphite prices to new lows while high purity vein graphite remains steady against the downturn.

  • Kenmare’s H1 losses widen due to reduced production and weak market

    28 August 2015

    The Ireland-based mineral sands producer has faced a series of setbacks in H1 2015, including weather-related power outages and industrial action in June. This, along with pricing pressures and an increasingly competitive environment in TiO2 feestocks, has caused the firm to widen its losses for the first half of the year.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 22 – 28 August

    28 August 2015

    Chinese potash imports to slow; Sirius receives planning permissions; Azot warns of risk to 2016 harvest in Ukraine.

  • Sonora lithium project secures Tesla offtake deal

    28 August 2015

    The Mexican site, owned jointly by Rare Earth Minerals and Bacanora, will supply an undisclosed amount of lithium hydroxide to the high-profile electronic vehicles manufacturer.

  • Aluminium slump threatens fluorspar recovery

    28 August 2015

    End market review: Falling aluminium demand in China raises concerns over potential recovery in upstream market; AlF3 faces severe overcapacity.

  • Price Briefing 21 – 27 August

    28 August 2015

    Antimony, fluorspar and iodine continue to sink but lithium and zircon look up.

  • Graphite Price Tracker: August 2015

    27 August 2015

    IM outlines the key flake graphite price trends seen in Q2 2015.

  • Sierra Rutile revenue drops 28.7% in H1 2015; expects better second half

    27 August 2015

    Despite the drop in revenue and sales volumes for rutile in particular, Sierra Rutile anticipates a better second half of 2015 as the company has committed the rest of its rutile production for the remainder of the year. Meanwhile construction at Sierra Rutile’s Gangama dry mine has now commenced, which is expected to increase rutile capacity by 93,000 tonnes.

  • TiO2 industry unlikely to recover until 2017 – Moody’s

    27 August 2015

    TiO2 has yet to bottom out as end-use companies continue to “do more with less”. Q2 results poor across the board.

  • Largo Resources sets two new vanadium production records in Brazil

    27 August 2015

    Largo has attained two new records over consecutive days of 102% and 110% capacity, as it continues to ramp up production at its Brazilian Maracas Menchen mine.

  • Frac sand shipments fall at US Winona port

    27 August 2015

    Volumes of frac sand at Minnesota port have fallen in line with the pullback in North American fracking activity, however the impact on the logistics facility has been softened slightly by increased gypsum throughput for the fertiliser industry.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 21 – 27 August

    27 August 2015

    Kibaran seals Epanko offtake with ThyssenKrupp; DNI signs LOI with Toronto graphite processing facility.

  • New Chinese fertiliser VAT to have limited industry impact

    27 August 2015

    The 13% VAT levy on potash and phosphate fertilisers from 1 September is being introduced by the Chinese government to optimise fertiliser investment in the country and promote sustainable agricultural developments. While demand for potash, of which China is a major importer, is likely to feel the effects of the charge, the impact on nitrogen and phosphate fertilisers is expected to be limited as both are in oversupply in China.

  • Altiplano announces plans to acquire gypsum firm Demetra Minerals

    26 August 2015

    The Canadian exploration company, which also has copper and gold prospects, is aiming to branch out into industrial minerals with a plan to buy gypsum specialist Demetra Minerals.

  • Neometals posts positive PFS for Barrambie titanium project

    26 August 2015

    The explorer, better known for its focus on lithium, is pushing forward to develop its Barrambie titanium project, which is located 80km north of Sandstone in Western Australia, and is prospective for TiO2 minerals, vanadium and iron oxide.

  • Molycorp to mothball Mountain Pass rare earths mine

    26 August 2015

    The embattled US rare earths miner has put its Californian mining and processing facility on care and maintenance and said that how long it takes to reactivate the mine will depend in part on whether the US government decides to lend its support to a restart effort.

  • Bushveld continues focus on vanadium project as pre-tax losses widen

    26 August 2015

    The South Africa-based mineral explorer has followed in the footsteps of many juniors by posting a pre-tax loss for its last financial year and will undertake a corporate restructuring. However, this has not stopped Bushveld from implementing a strategy focused on an accelerating development of its vanadium platform and a push to complete its prefeasibility study by the end of this year.

  • SQM reports H2 profit increase despite revenue drops across the board

    26 August 2015

    The South American lithium, potash and iodine miner saw small drops in revenue in each of its segments, as cost decreases pushed net profit up on 2014. Weather enforced closures of some facilities have not impacted sales, the company said.

  • Antimony prices crumble under weak demand and China turmoil

    26 August 2015

    Trioxide values remain flat in mid-$6,000s range while ingot values slide.

  • Chemours launches US refrigerants with lower impact on global warming

    26 August 2015

    As part of its plan to overcome waning demand in the TiO2 market, Chemours is ramping up production of its Opteon products, which it says have low effects on global warming and will help the industry adhere to stricter regulatory standards.

  • Pink-tailed worm-lizards clear the way for Alkane's Dubbo Zirconia Project

    26 August 2015

    The New South Wales Department of the Environment has given the DZP the go ahead, provided Alkane Resources mitigates the project's impact on the pink-tailed worm-lizard, which was identified at the site in 2001.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 19 – 25 August

    25 August 2015

    Li-ion battery to blame in Dreamliner incident; Albemarle to relocate HQ; start-up raises funds towards one-minute smartphone charge technology.

  • Uralkali considers delisting from LSE as H1 profits rise

    25 August 2015

    The Russian potash miner said it no longer considers its London listing a strategic priority, as it works to deal with market challenges and seeks to reap the benefits of a single Moscow listing. Meanwhile, a weaker rouble boosted the miner’s bottom line amid challenging market conditions.

  • Deteriorating market conditions force FLSmidth to cut 2015 earnings guidance

    25 August 2015

    Downward pressure on commodity prices and uncertainty surrounding China's economy are putting pressure on mining operations and companies are remaining cautious over larger orders and greenfield projects. With oversupply of many mineral commodities expected to continue, FLSmidth has lowered its full year EBITA and ROCE guidance.

  • MTI unveils new green tech for Sun Paper in China

    25 August 2015

    The US-based company’s NewYield technology, which converts paper waste into useable filler, has made its debut at Sun Paper Group’s operations in China.

  • Zircon market remains flat but rumours of higher prices paid in China

    25 August 2015

    Sources confirm FOB Australia prices stable within ranges but premium grades are said to be edging up; South African supply may tighten.

  • Fillers and technical ceramics boost Nabaltec H1 growth

    25 August 2015

    The Germany-based speciality alumina producer saw its half-year revenue increase, helped by strong demand for its fillers and a solid technical ceramics division. The group now expects to exceed its EBIT projections for 2015.

  • REACH 2018 could squeeze EU supplies of mineral processing chemicals

    25 August 2015

    New rules requiring European refiners of industrial minerals to register chemicals they use in quantities exceeding 1 tonne could see some substances no longer manufactured or imported into the EU. IM spoke to experts on the issue and discovered how the regulation may lead companies to relocate operations outside the EU to avoid registration.

  • Private equity shows little appetite for speciality minerals

    25 August 2015

    Niche minerals fail to pique interest in finance drought; vanadium, niobium projects only notable PE winners as industrials continue to rely on capital markets.

  • Shifting consumption patterns to drive metspar demand

    25 August 2015

    Metspar market braces against steel slump and double whammy of high quality and low prices.

  • Argentina lithium at greatest meteorological risk

    25 August 2015

    Projects west of Andes more exposed to weather; analysts say disruption concerning for batteries.

  • Business as usual at Kyanite Ming Corp.

    25 August 2015

    Kyanite miner trading quietly since 2012 after bouncing back from liquidation order; business unaffected by family feud.

  • S&B integration staves off decline in Imerys H1 revenue

    25 August 2015

    French group records 11% rise in income but admits seeing “brutal decline” in ceramic proppants.

  • EU trade deal with Vietnam could increase rare earths smuggling

    25 August 2015

    FTA could grease trade for smuggled minerals; south China's heavy rare earths producers may skip controls.

  • Albemarle doubles Q2 profits as Rockwood integration pays off

    25 August 2015

    Lithium credited as profit driver but details on La Negra, Australia plants sketchy; higher bromine prices boost chemicals revenue.

  • FMC Corp. second quarter income falls 15% on forex shifts

    25 August 2015

    Lithium producer’s prices hit by exchange rates and inflationary cost pressures in Argentina; full year net income targeted at $15-20m.

  • UK government tells councils to speed up fracking decisions

    25 August 2015

    UK government pledges support for fracking and says councils need to speed up decision making for E&P.

  • Solvay to buy US rival Cytec for $5.5bn, swings to profit for Q2

    25 August 2015

    Cytec deal will build Belgian company's presence in mining chemicals as sales and currency put company back in the black.

  • MTI sales continue to ride on AMCOL

    25 August 2015

    Bentonite producer driving revenues for speciality minerals companies as refractories hit by steel decline in US and Europe.

  • Expandable graphite touted for use in water pollution treatment

    25 August 2015

    China’s efforts to find new markets for the country’s increasing overcapacity problem have thrown the spotlight onto research by Beijing’s Tsinghua University, which has been working on developing water treatment technology using expandable graphite for the last three decades.

  • China targets chloride-route TiO2

    25 August 2015

    Policies aim to reduce sulphate-route output, but China’s TiO2 capacities still lag behind Western peers.

  • China Graphite Committee stresses need to focus on high value materials

    24 August 2015

    The governing body of China’s graphite industry used its annual meeting in Jixi to outline its plans to curb pollution from the sector while simultaneously ramping up its efforts to shift its position from an exporter of low value ores to a manufacturer of high value engineered graphite products.

  • Chinese metspar producers face domestic price surge

    24 August 2015

    Shipments from Mexico and Mongolia are sweeping the market, as producers in China struggle to process rock metspar required for consumption in the steel industry.

  • Imerys defends takeover of Andalusite Resources against anti-competitive claims

    24 August 2015

    Following the South African Competition Commission’s prohibition of the Imerys Anadulsite Resources merger in April, proceedings have now entered the next phase as Imerys puts together evidence to demonstrate that the transaction will not be detrimental to the andalusite and refractories markets.

  • Kenya Chamber of Mines urges government to speed up airborne survey

    24 August 2015

    Two years ago, Kenya’s Mining Secretary, Najib Balala, made it one of his priorities to implement an airborne survey to determine the number of mineral deposits in the East African country. Yet, Kenya is still waiting for this survey to take place. This has prompted the Kenya Chamber of Mines to call on the government to invest in a survey to help mining sector growth.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 18 – 24 August

    24 August 2015

    Chinese rare earth exports double July 2014 figures; Frontier proposes TSX delisting.

  • Tri-Star clinches full funding for Oman antimony roaster project

    24 August 2015

    The joint venture project seeks to create the first EU-standard antimony roaster outside China. With financing secured, the project can now move forward into a phase of engineering and technical work.

  • Uganda lifts ban on mineral exports

    24 August 2015

    The Ugandan government has reversed a ban on mineral exports, with the exception of iron ore and copper, introduced earlier this year. The Uganda Chamber of Mines, which has lobbied the government to lift the ban, has welcomed the decision, saying that the president had removed a clog in the development of the mining industry that had frustrated the sector for some time.

  • Spitfire acquires Zambian limestone project

    21 August 2015

    The Australian explorer aims to tap into increasing demand for cement in Africa, fuelled by infrastructure development and strong GDP growth on the continent.

  • Weak graphite demand resists Tianjin effect on prices

    21 August 2015

    Price Review: The explosion at the Chinese port last week has had a limited impact on graphite prices, although it raised concern for small-scale miners, as environmental pressures mount.

  • Preferred Sands launches campaign to increase well efficiency in North America

    21 August 2015

    The sand-based proppant supplier has launched a campaign to encourage North American E&P companies to “build better wells” by improving well design pairings with proppants that will lower costs and increase production from fracking operations.

  • The changing face of natural graphite in lithium-ion batteries

    21 August 2015

    Reduction in waste levels and a preference for economical material with high-potential for what is likely to determine the future of natural flake graphite in the batteries market.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 15 – 21 August

    21 August 2015

    Malawi unveils new mineral deposits; Potash West sells German site; Chatham continues fundraising efforts.

  • Kenya mulls mineral analysis laboratory plan to benefit whole of East Africa

    21 August 2015

    Kenya’s senate has recently passed the eagerly awaited mining bill. Following hot on the heels of this news, the country is now planning to build a mining and oil laboratory in its bid to quicken the development of the industry in Kenya and East Africa in its entirety.

  • African Potash denies reports of discounted share issue

    21 August 2015

    The suggestion made by the UK’s Mail Online that a cut-price share issue was in the pipeline has been vehemently denied by the potash explorer, which has mining interests in the Republic of Congo.

  • Price Briefing 14 – 20 August

    21 August 2015

    Flat pricing in fluorspar, graphite and mineral sands persists despite renminbi devaluation and confidence erosion.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 14 – 20 August

    20 August 2015

    Flinders teams up with Chinese high purity graphite expert; Next and Caribou move in on Namibian property.

  • Chinese soda ash: Mission creep

    20 August 2015

    Rising supply and contracting domestic demand for Chinese soda ash is upping the rate of overspill into exports. IM looks at how this trend is threatening the market share of other exporters, including the highly influential North American trade body, ANSAC.

  • Chemours to cut TiO2 production by 150,000 tpa

    20 August 2015

    As part of its five-point plan to stave off further revenue declines and become more competitive, Chemours will shut down its Edge Moor manufacturing site in Delaware in addition to another TiO2 production line, in the hopes that the closures will result in $45m annual net cost reductions without having to rely on a TiO2 market recovery.

  • Hudson announces placement to raise funds for Greenland anorthosite project

    20 August 2015

    The TSX-V-listed company is hoping to boost its finances in order to progress its proposed White Mountain calcium feldspar facility in Greenland, which it is developing to supply the fibreglass market.

  • Harbison Walker workers return to work in Missouri as Ohio dispute continues

    20 August 2015

    A second Harbison Walker plant, this time in Fulton, Missouri, recently saw refractories plant workers told not to turn up for work as part of an industrial dispute. However, management succeeded in finding a resolution to their lock-out, unlike the employees located at the firm’s Oak Hill facility in Ohio, where strike action is ongoing.

  • Queensland to slash mining permit application times by 80%

    20 August 2015

    Mining companies in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland will no longer have to fill in long paper forms in order to submit permitting applications as the government aims to cut red tape, go digital and attract investors into the region.

  • BDI to rise as China restocks minerals

    20 August 2015

    Shipbroker Clarksons expects dry bulk mineral demand to rise as China replenishes inventories, although Goldman Sachs is sticking to its “hard landing” prediction for the world’s second largest economy.

  • Frac sand miner to cover road damage costs in Wisconsin

    19 August 2015

    A major concern for US states considering frac sand operations is noise and road damage from hauling trucks. Bechel Trucking & Excavating has decided to settle to cover the costs of road repair along the route used to transport its sand in Wisconson, US.

  • Kenya Fluorspar cuts production forecast by 19% due to weak demand

    19 August 2015

    Kenya’s sole fluorspar producer has suffered the fate of many mining companies in being forced to cut its output due to a sluggish commodity market. As a consequence, Kenya Fluorspar does not expect a buoyant fourth quarter and said that prices for the mineral remain weak.

  • Malaysia to tighten laws on mining to tackle pollution

    19 August 2015

    The Malaysian government will be making efforts to add more stick than carrot to its mining laws, as it carries out plans to tighten all mining operating licence conditions and enforce stricter controls in order to overcome pollution issues that arise from excavation activities.

  • Sirius Minerals triples offtake agreement with Fortune 500 company

    19 August 2015

    The potash miner has significantly increased a pre-existing deal with a major US agribusiness following extensive trials to prove the value of its polyhalite product. The announcement is good news for the company as it moves to secure financing for its flagship York potash project.

  • IFGL’s Chinese subsidiaries resume operations in Tianjin one week after blast

    19 August 2015

    Activity at India-based IFGL’s China-based companies has restarted at Tianjin port, exactly one week after explosions ripped through the town, killing more than 100 people and disrupting businesses.

  • Train hauling gypsum derails in New Brunswick

    19 August 2015

    Despite recent inspections, faulty tracks have been named as the cause of the haulage accident, which occurred en route to the city’s Atlantic Wallboard plant. It comes as the most recent in a series of derailments in the province since 2010.

  • K+S signs exclusive agreement supply Koch with Legacy potash

    19 August 2015

    K+S, which recently rejected PotashCorp.’s takeover bid on the basis that it undervalued its business and Legacy project in Saskatchewan, has signed an agreement with Koch to supply it with 453,000 tpa potash from the project, with production expected to begin in 2016.

  • UK government to award 27 licence blocks for fracking

    18 August 2015

    The government today followed up its promises to speed up shale oil and gas developments in the UK by announcing the recipients of 27,000km2 worth of licences for the development of energy resources.

  • Indian states to auction 108 mineral blocks by year end

    18 August 2015

    Auction process comes on line as part of the implementation of the Modi government’s overhaul of mining legislation.

  • Avalon launches pilot lithium programme at Separation Rapids

    18 August 2015

    The company is upbeat about the evaluation process, which it hopes will lay the groundwork for entry into the lithium-ion battery, glass and ceramics industries.

  • Outotec to deliver tailings treatment facility to Yara’s Siilinjarvi mine

    18 August 2015

    After recently reporting a sales decline for Q2 2015, the Finnish technology provider will be satisfied with the news that it has taken a substantial order from fellow Finnish firm, Yara, a leading producer of fertiliser and phosphate feed.

  • South African fluorspar struggles as concerns linger over demand growth

    18 August 2015

    Supply Update: Industrial slowdown has led to an 83% y-o-y drop in acidspar exports, while upcoming projects take a back seat; weak demand to continue into Q3 2015.

  • South Africa’s ANC backs plan to separate oil legislation from mining law

    18 August 2015

    A ray of light has been shone on the South African mining industry as its ruling party backs plans to make mining law a separate entity away from oil and gas in order for mining legislation to be passed quickly. The ANC’s backing strengthens the hand of South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister, Ngoako Ramathodi, who spearheaded the plan.

  • Iluka expects better second half to 2015 as H1 profits rise 74%

    18 August 2015

    The Australian mineral sands miner saw improvements in zircon sales for H1 2015 as European demand strengthens, while increases in pigment demand prompted its decision to restart synthetic rutile production, with expectations that volumes sold in H2 will exceed those in the first half of the year.

  • Icelandic investor moves in on Tantalus Rare Earths

    18 August 2015

    Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson lost around $2bn of his estimated $3.5bn personal wealth in the collapse of the Icelandic banking bubble, but is now thought to be looking at mining, and at the African and rare earths sectors in particular via his UK-based private equity group, as his latest investment venture.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 12 – 18 August

    18 August 2015

    All quiet on European Lithium IPO; US navy performs Li-ion experiments; Li-ion demand in China continues to grow.

  • EuroChem sees drop in revenues as prices face downward pressure

    17 August 2015

    Quarterly results published today by the agrochemicals company saw drops in both nitrogen and phosophates sales. But the company remains optimistic, especially regarding its potash production, due to come online in 2017.

  • Metso to close last internal mining equipment factory in US

    17 August 2015

    The Finnish company, which provides technology products and servicing to the mining industry, is the latest firm to be hit by a flagging commodity market as it continues to refocus its mining business model from a supply-based one to a sourcing concept in response to the global downturn.

  • Victory Nickel reports Q2 loss as frac sand demand skids “to full stop”

    17 August 2015

    The company, which closed its silica plant earlier this year due to the slowdown in demand for proppants, said that frac sand sales had come to a standstill. Victory will now need either a cash injection or a market turnaround in order to meet its outstanding of future financial obligations.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 11 – 17 August

    17 August 2015

    Nine in 10 Chinese rare earth producers making losses; successful six months at Batou; US DoE develops new rare earths recycling technology.

  • Guangxi outlines scheme to upgrade calcium carbonate industry

    17 August 2015

    The province of Guangxi in southwest China has some of the richest calcium carbonate-bearing mineral resources in China and the local government wants to reform its disparate, inefficient mining industry to become a consolidated manufacturing centre for high value materials.

  • MGX closes final tranche of private placement for Driftwood magnesia plant

    17 August 2015

    The company’s Driftwood magnesia facility has been given a shot in the arm from the $111,000 financial boost for its project, which will help it to fund plant equipment.

  • Lynas announces debt restructuring

    17 August 2015

    The rare earths company’s agreement with lenders over its ‘significant’ debt levels is a positive step forward for the company, which appears to be coping well despite tough conditions in the rare earths industry.

  • Chinese overhaul to weigh heavy on fluorspar prices

    17 August 2015

    Price Review: Fluorspar prices move towards lower end of existing ranges as overcapacity in China sees low prices reported, with the devaluation of the renminbi adding to industry woes.

  • Consortium to sue Hitachi Metals over “product hopping” rare earth patent monopoly

    17 August 2015

    Patents are vitally important to the US import market, which is inaccessible without prior authorisation. Hitachi Metals has been accused of dominating the space by making small patent modifications to ensure contemporary legal enforceability.

  • Nordic Mining narrows operating loss in Q2

    14 August 2015

    As the company is not yet in production, the losses are associated with the development of Nordic’s Engebo rutile project in Norway. Despite current weak TiO2 prices, Nordic believes that there is a supply deficit for titanium feedstock in Europe, which will be its target market.

  • SQM files $1.6m of tax amendments to cover questionable expenses

    14 August 2015

    The tax amendments filed for review to the Chilean Internal Revenue Service are in addition to $1.2m worth of payments made earlier this year after the company identified $11m in questionable tax expense payments, following the resignation of former CEO, Patricio Contesse, in March.

  • Chinese “Kaolin County” faces environmental inspection

    14 August 2015

    Qingshuihe county in Inner Mongolia has come to the attention of the Chinese Environment Ministry, after serious pollution issues were reported in the region. Failure by the local ceramics and kaolin industry to clean up their operations could see some or all of the county’s 1m tpa kaolin capacity shut down.

  • FMC to delist from Chicago Stock Exchange

    14 August 2015

    The lithium producer said that the move is intended to reduce costs and administrative burdens. It will remain listed on the NYSE.

  • Magnesita’s Q2 sales buoyed by favourable currency effects

    14 August 2015

    The Brazilian refractories producer has managed to boost sales amid lacklustre steel activity. The firm’s refractories and industrial minerals divisions have contributed significantly to its sales increase.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 8 – 14 August

    14 August 2015

    K+S say takeover deal is not off the table; African Potash pays directors in shares; Namibia considers second phosphate mining ban.

  • Argex secures ilmenite supply for low cost TiO2 production

    14 August 2015

    While existing producers are struggling to cut costs wherever possible, Argex plans to start producing 50,000 tpa TiO2 at a lower cost than existing supplies through the use of cheaply sourced ilmenite feedstock using its patented production process without impacting the quality of its end product.

  • Graphite prices gear up for fall in Chinese renminbi

    14 August 2015

    Price Review: While demand sees stability for graphite prices, China’s devaluation of its currency is expected to hit any industrial rebound.

  • Tianjin explosion may affect industrial minerals exports

    14 August 2015

    The blast which has left 50 people dead has disrupted the operations of iron ore exporters and Indian refractories manufacturer, IFGL Refractories, and could also affect trading of rare earths, graphite, metspar, kaolin and bentonite, among other minerals.

  • Price Briefing 6 – 13 August

    14 August 2015

    Bromine prices rise, while proppants and TiO2 evidence Q2 declines; graphite and zircon prices remain flat.

  • Select Sands secures $5m for development of US high purity silica project

    13 August 2015

    While a number of proppant suppliers have reported declining demand for their products, Select Sands plans to begin small scale silica sand production at its Arkansas, US facility in late 2015 to supply a number of industries including the oil and gas, glass and foundry sectors.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 7 – 13 August

    13 August 2015

    Graphite India June quarter profit fall; Zenyatta teams up with Ballard for fuel cell research.

  • UK government to fast-track fracking developments

    13 August 2015

    Following recent announcements by Climate Secretary, Amber Rudd, the UK government has confirmed the details of its plan to fast track shale gas developments, including a 16-week period for application decisions and the prioritisation of appeals.

  • Gujarat Mineral Development reports weak June quarter earnings

    13 August 2015

    The state mining company recorded a disappointing start of the fiscal year 2015-2016, with profits down in the quarter ending 30 June, GMDC’s position as a leading mineral supplier in the Indian chemical and refractory industry has dwindled, as the falling value of Chinese renminbi poses a further threat to its earnings.

  • Outotec purchases Canadian tailings company Kovit

    13 August 2015

    The Finnish technology provider has seen its sales decline in 2015 and is focusing on enhancing its services offering as investment in greenfield projects continues to fall. The purchase of Kovit Engineering will help Outotec to address the challenges of tailings management as the company pursues its strategy as a provider of sustainable solutions.

  • Fanya Exchange investors call for police investigation

    13 August 2015

    As chaos continues at the Fanya Metal Exchange in the Chinese city of Kunming, indium and germanium are at the heart of investor anxiety over the platform’s credibility, with rare earths, antimony, vanadium investors also facing losses.

  • Tests confirm Lithium Australia’s process viable for “forgotten ore”

    13 August 2015

    The recently renamed explorer is confident in its novel method of producing lithium carbonate from hard rock, as a continuous run of tests produces high purity lithium from the company’s Coolgardie project in Western Australia.

  • Tug of war over Tamil Nadu beach sand mining continues

    13 August 2015

    Following a year-long battle by the two mining barons, VV Minerals & Transworld Garnet, against the Tamil Nadu state government, the Madras High Court has swept aside 32 earlier judgements, calling them “unsustainable in law", directing the matter back to the authorities. Speaking to Vaikundarajan Subramanian, managing partner of VV Minerals, IM discovers the company’s views on the latest verdict.

  • K+S reports Q2 earnings increase and justifies anti-takeover stance

    13 August 2015

    The German potash, magnesium and salt producer reported higher than expected earnings for H1 2015 and reaffirmed its reasons for spurning a PotashCorp takeover bid.

  • REACH 2018 could squeeze EU supplies of mineral processing chemicals

    13 August 2015

    New rules requiring European refiners of industrial minerals to register chemicals they use in quantities exceeding 1 tonne could see some substances no longer manufactured or imported into the EU and may lead companies to relocate to other countries to avoid the regulatory pressure.

  • Suez Canal doubles shipping capacity

    13 August 2015

    Expansion of the Egyptian waterway allows two-way traffic to pass through the channel and is expected to increase its capacity by 100%, with much of the additional cargo likely to consist of metals and minerals, which can now be transported more quickly and in greater volumes between South Asia and Europe.

  • Huntsman confirms intention to spin off pigments segment soon

    13 August 2015

    Following declining revenues in Q2 2015 on a pro-forma basis, Huntsman has reaffirmed its plan to spin off its pigments and additives division, a strategy which was also recently pursued by DuPont, to enhance shareholder value. TiO2 prices meanwhile are continuing to decline, with no sign of bottoming out.

  • Solaris frac silo system increases sand unloading, efficiency at fracking sites

    12 August 2015

    E&P companies are facing a number of challenges, with the decline in oil and gas prices forcing operators to cut costs and increase efficiencies wherever possible, while the looming stricter OSHA requirements regarding respirable silica also raises the question of dust control. Solaris’ 12-mobile sand silo system professes to address both of these issues by reducing dust and eliminating truck demurrage on site.

  • Opportunities in fracking water treatment remain despite oil price drop

    12 August 2015

    According to a report from Lux Research, although fracking activity – which uses a large amount of water – has declined, the industry still presents ample opportunity for water management companies willing to come up with new solutions. Among the minerals used in water treatment that could benefit from this are alumina, magnesium hydroxide and lime.

  • ICL potash production returns to pre-strike levels as June quarter profits fall 9.3%

    12 August 2015

    Strikes lasting nearly four months at Israel Chemical’s Dead Sea potash and bromine plants may actually end up benefitting the company, owing to productivity improvements and restructuring cost savings, the company has claimed.

  • SQM’s supply chain flexibility tested as weather damage forces railway closure

    12 August 2015

    The closure of part of its rail transport system may strain SQM's ability to meet order deadlines, although an emergency trucking operation is being implemented. The company, which produces lithium, iodine, potash and nitrates, maintains that shipments will not be impacted.

  • No end to proppant demand decline as Fairmount Q2 revenue drops 34%

    12 August 2015

    The company saw its income and revenue decline both y-o-y and sequentially as continued low drilling activity in oil and gas is choking already shrinking proppant demand. While some companies have declared the substitution of more expensive proppants is at an end, Fairmount is still seeing customers make the switch to frac sand.

  • Battery group backs tighter restrictions on Li-ion packaging

    11 August 2015

    The support of the PRBA lobby group for the proposals is likely to hasten the introduction of a comprehensive set of regulations on lithium-ion battery transportation.

  • Huntsman starts clean-up after explosion at German pigment plant

    11 August 2015

    German authorities have finished testing at the Uerdingen facility, declaring it asbestos-free and allowing clean-up to begin. While much of the site is expected to be repaired by mid-August, the full schedule is yet to be determined and it is unclear when the site will be able to begin production again.

  • Boulby potash mine to be restructured without layoffs

    11 August 2015

    Rhetoric has cooled quickly at ICL’s Boulby mine in the northeast of England, where unionised employees were considering strike action only days ago. ICL intends to communicate more with its employees and is driving through a cost-cutting programme at the mine.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 5 – 11 August

    11 August 2015

    Lithium Americas merger moves ahead; MIT “shell and yolk” technology to increase Li-ion capacity; LG Chem and 3M in patent deal.

  • Madras court rules clean slate for Tamil Nadu beach sand mining

    11 August 2015

    The companies at the heart of the beach sand mining case in southern India, VV Mineral Transworld Garnet, will be allowed to resubmit mining proposals once the government has provided them with a list of clarifications regarding their original plans – a move that could pave the way to a resumption of beach mining for rare earths, garnet and mineral sands in Tamil Nadu.

  • South African mining malaise threatens industrial minerals

    11 August 2015

    Speciality minerals appear unaffected thus far by South African mining strife, however universal strike action would affect all raw materials mined in the country and concern is mounting that niche suppliers will be caught up in strikes and political disputes.

  • China’s Rare Earth Plus strategy to tackle industry scaling and product competition

    11 August 2015

    High-tech rare earth utilisation is still, broadly speaking, a Japanese, European and North American game. The Chinese government and the Baotou regional government are hoping that a large investment in the industry will allow the local regions to compete with the high end products in the rest of the world, in addition to providing higher profits and better-skilled jobs.

  • Strong SE Asian ceramics demand keeps zircon prices firm but increases prove elusive

    11 August 2015

    Ceramics manufacturing in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia is holding prices up locally but suppliers are wary of pushing for increases in a fragile market.

  • Private K+S shareholders support rejection of PotashCorp bid

    11 August 2015

    A private poll of shareholders carried out for K+S has indicated that its investors are unified with the management in the rejection of PotashCorp’s recent €41/share proposal to acquire the German salt and potash business.

  • UK government tells councils to speed up fracking decisions

    11 August 2015

    The UK government is ploughing ahead with support fracking developments by warning councils that the current decision making process for exploration is inefficient and decisions on shale gas projects need to be sped up, as it believes exploration is a key part of the UK's future.

  • Brilliant Sands confirms high quality frac sand at Canadian project

    10 August 2015

    The company is pressing ahead with the development of its three Canadian silica sand projects to meet growing demand from Canadian drilling companies looking to source cheaper domestic proppants. The latest analysis on proppants from Brilliant Sands' McClelland Lake site has confirmed high quality sand is able to compete with US products.

  • Weather wreaks havoc in Chile stalling lithium supply

    10 August 2015

    Storms in Chile over the past week led to closures in a number of mining facilities, including SQM’s lithium operations in the north of the country. Full functionality has now been returned to the sites, however, and the weather front that caused the storms appears to have dissipated.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 4 – 10 August

    10 August 2015

    China’s MIIT to increase illegal mining scrutiny while the Ministry of Finance invests Rmb 458m in Ganzhou; Jien Mining receives Australian approval for Northern Minerals investment; US Rare Earths enters processing agreement.

  • Kronos profit hit by workforce reductions and lower TiO2 prices

    10 August 2015

    The company reported a net loss of $159.8m as conditions in the titanium dioxide industry continue to decline, with q-o-q prices for the pigment falling by a further 3%. Kronos hopes that its workforce reductions and cost-cutting measures will offset charges accrued as a result in the long term.

  • IFGL profit hit by Chinese steel exports

    10 August 2015

    Chinese activity in the steel market is hurting the Indian firm’s refractories operations in the US and partly contributed to its fall in profit for Q1 of fiscal 2016. Yet, the company is optimistic about its long-term growth and maintains that it will benefit from India’s increased steel output and infrastructure spend.

  • Altech raises $A1.13m towards high purity alumina project

    10 August 2015

    Funds from a share placement deal, mainly with diversified Malaysian company, Melewar, will contribute to the detailed design phase of Altech’s Malaysia-based alumina facility.

  • Gulf Resources Q2 income surges despite falls in bromine and salt revenue

    10 August 2015

    A 10% increase in the price of bromine and robust demand for its chemical products from the medical industry led Gulf to a 90% increase in net income for the second quarter of this year. The NYSE-listed company sought to reassure investors that Gulf would ride out the present turmoil in the Chinese stock market and reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the full year.

  • K+S rebuffs fresh PotashCorp proposal

    10 August 2015

    Still dissatisfied with PotashCorp’s proposal value, K+S has continued to state its lack of confidence in assurances made by the Canadian giant over jobs and continued production in Germany.

  • Chinese TiO2 industry calls for organic consolidation

    10 August 2015

    China’s TiO2 manufacturers are hoping to escape the government-enforced integration of businesses and wipe out of manufacturing capacity seen by their peers in the graphite, rare earths and magnesia industries. Although most agree that consolidation is inevitable, they argue that this process would yield a better outcome if it was allowed to happen naturally.

  • China must target chloride-route TiO2 for industry’s survival, says association

    07 August 2015

    The China TiO2 Association has warned that the country is lagging behind its peers in TiO2 capacity and expertise and has urged the industry to focus on cracking the chloride-route process as a replacement for the sulphate-route method, in order to produce more valuable, efficient products.

  • Price Analysis: The volatility surrounding flake graphite

    07 August 2015

    Entering the second half of what has been the worst year for natural graphite since recession hit the industry in 2008-2009, IM examines the pricing trends that have driven the market downfall and the further movements which may be seen in the near term.

  • India’s GHCL announces major soda ash expansion

    07 August 2015

    The company indicated growth plans worth almost $150m in its soda ash production. It expects 5% growth per annum in the sector over the next three years.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 1 – 7 August

    07 August 2015

    Acron profits rise; Mississippi Phosphates to plead guilty in pollution case; Danakali discovers potash brine above resource.

  • Image Resources receives approval for Murray Zircon stake in minsands project

    07 August 2015

    The agreement between Image Resources and Murray Zircon will speed up the Boonanarring mineral sand project’s development, subject to shareholder approval. In exchange for a 47% stake in Image, Murray Zircon will provide equipment and expertise at the project, enabling production to start sooner.

  • MTI Q2 sales helped by AMCOL acquisition but strong dollar hurts PCC and refractories

    07 August 2015

    The US-based company’s solid financial performance in Q2 2015 was helped by its acquisition of bentonite specialist AMCOL. However, MTI’s CEO, Joseph Muscari, is continuing to keep a close watch on the firm’s refractories segment is as sales carry on dropping due to the negative impacts of foreign exchange rates.

  • Lanka Graphite adds name to Sri Lanka vein graphite line up

    07 August 2015

    Newly ASX-listed LGR will commence exploration of vein graphite deposits in Sri Lanka, following the success of an off-market takeover bid of Viculus and Euro Petroleum.

  • US Lime & Minerals net income slumps by 55%

    07 August 2015

    Bad weather in in H1 2015 has weighed on US Lime and Minerals’ profits, however the company expects demand to return in the second half of the year.

  • Cleveland Potash: if you want to keep your jobs, don’t strike

    07 August 2015

    A leaked letter claiming that the Boulby mine did not make money in 2014 or late 2013 is the impetus behind reported management unease over the potential for industrial action. As an ageing mine, Boulby will see increased costs as the working face moves farther back from the site’s processing facilities.

  • MZI announce 68% increase in global mineral resource

    07 August 2015

    Exploration by the Australian miner has brought the company’s resource levels to 155m tonnes across three sites, including 3m tonnes contained heavy minerals, indicating the potential to extend the project life beyond 30 years. However, the company is set to enter production at a time of pervasive weakness in TiO2 and feedstock markets.

  • Price Briefing 31 July – 6 August

    07 August 2015

    TiO2, fluorspar and salt face downward price pressure while graphite and zircon hold steady.

  • Wisconsin frac sand logistics facility to shut down

    07 August 2015

    Iron Mountain Trap Rock’s Chippewa Sand facility is to be shut down as a result of the termination of contracts with Superior Silica owing to lower sand demand. Although the closure is expected to be temporary, 58 employees will be made redundant.

  • EU free trade deal with Vietnam could increase Chinese rare earths smuggling

    07 August 2015

    Vietnam hosts a number of rich but largely undeveloped mineral resources and a new FTA with Europe is expected to see more resource investment flow into the country. One expert has warned that the deal could also ease the export passage of minerals smuggled from China.

  • Chemours announces transformation plan to combat declining sales

    07 August 2015

    DuPont's new spin-off, Chemours, is planning to focus on ramping-up its Opteon automotive refrigerant, its new Mexican TiO2 production facility and investment in its cyanide business to generate growth without relying on improvements in TiO2 demand.

  • Oil and natural gas drive US economic gains in 2015 first half

    07 August 2015

    Figures from the US Commerce Department for the first half of 2015 have shown that the oil and natural gas industry continues to drive the US economy and bring down the country's deficit. However, according to the API, the biggest threat to industry growth is outdated US trade policy.

  • OCI posts 11% increase in Q2 EBITDA as soda ash production and sales rise

    06 August 2015

    The company’s earnings were boosted by an increase in international prices for soda ash, which offset selling values in its US domestic market. OCI acknowledged rising competition from Chinese producers, though OCI maintained its guidance for a 3-5% increase in international soda ash prices.

  • Lanxess posts strong Q2 results as it prepares to spilt off rubber division

    06 August 2015

    The German speciality chemicals company has raised its full-year earnings’ guidance for the second time, following a solid second quarter. It has reaped the rewards from its 2014 realignment programme and is planning to sell off its rubber arm.

  • Hi Crush income more than halves as frac sand prices plummet

    06 August 2015

    The US frac sand producer has reported a decline in income and revenue as though volumes sold appear to be stabilising with the North American rig count, shrinking proppant demand and price pressure negatively impacted total sales revenue.

  • Albemarle doubles Q2 profits as sales rise and Rockwood integration pays off

    06 August 2015

    A 54% sales increase in the wake of Albemarle’s Rockwood takeover has pushed the chemical producer’s earnings up. Its sales in both lithium and bromine both saw significant increases as bromine prices ticked up and lithium demand remained solid.

  • Avalon receives continued listing standards notice from NYSE

    06 August 2015

    As in many other sectors, share prices, financing and earnings are struggling owing to low prices. A number of rare earths companies have received delisting notifications, and Avalon has now joined them.

  • RHI posts solid H1 2015 results but adjusts down second half guidance

    06 August 2015

    A weak euro, strong US dollar and a robust steel division contributed to the Austrian refractories producer’s positive H1 results. However, RHI is worried about overcapacity in the Chinese steel industry and labelled its export strategy aggressive. This is leading to high pressure on steel prices and has driven the firm to adjust its outlook for the second half of 2015.

  • Huntsman shuts down German TiO2 pigment plant following explosion

    06 August 2015

    Access to Huntsman's Uerdingen white pigment factory is being restricted after a nitrogen tank exploded, injuring 15 people. Operations will be shut down while the company investigates the cause of the blast and German authorities determine whether dust in the affected area contains asbestos.

  • China’s fluorspar exports reveal the value of downstream expansion: Chart

    06 August 2015

    Downloadable graph: Increase in HF acid and AlF3 exports substantiates China’s growing downstream focus as acidspar export figures halve since H2 2014.

  • FMC Corp. adjusted net income falls by 15% y-o-y weighed down by forex shifts

    06 August 2015

    Forex headwinds and agricultural commodity prices have pushed down FMC’s earnings, though the company claims its integration process with Cheminova is progressing ahead of schedule and is providing the expected cost savings. In lithium, meanwhile, revenues have declined slightly but incomes have dropped 39%.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 31 July – 6 August

    06 August 2015

    Syrah secures A$166m in funding drive; Kibaran lays out plans for Tanzanian battery graphite facility.

  • Agrium earnings increase on phosphate and nitrogen volumes despite crop price weakness

    06 August 2015

    In line with a number of other agrimineral producers, Agrium has noted substantial negative forex impacts on its business in recent months, in addition to finding Brazil a more challenging market. Higher phosphate and nitrogen sales offset forex effects and unusual weather patterns, however.

  • Tesla share price falls as company cuts delivery projections

    06 August 2015

    The US electric car manufacturer has said that it may not reach its target of 55,000 vehicle deliveries this year, causing a 6% drop in share value. The announcement could dent current high confidence levels in the market for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, as the industry's poster child admits it is facing manufacturing issues.

  • Shinagawa fiscal year profits rise 39% due to strong steel demand in Japan

    06 August 2015

    The Japanese company has dodged the bullet that has hit other refractories producers who rely on the steel market, posting solid fiscal year results. There is strong domestic demand for its products, as the steel sector picks up in Japan, due to the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The firm has also been helped by reconstruction activity following the country’s earthquake of 2011.

  • Shippers positive on dry bulk rates as BDI hits eight month high

    06 August 2015

    Following a recent BDI rally, some ship owners are forecasting higher shipping levels for the rest of 2015 based on high levels of scrapping and a dearth of new ships entering the market – although others point to waning Chinese mineral demand as a lingering concern for dry bulk.

  • Rio Tinto H1 earnings plunge 82% on weak iron ore but cutbacks ease drop in minerals

    06 August 2015

    Punishing returns on iron ore aside, the Anglo-Australian miner recorded a less startling drop of 16% in its minerals business, even though declines were recorded in production and earnings across its TiO2, borates and salt businesses. Flat demand for borates was a high point, amid waning demand and prices for its other minerals.

  • Leakage at fracking sites underestimated by past studies

    06 August 2015

    According to a new paper published by the journal of Energy Science & Engineering, the report published by Texas researchers in 2013 significantly underestimated methane levels at oil and gas extraction sites owing to measuring equipment failures, meaning that methane levels as a result of fracking could be higher than previously thought.

  • Tronox cuts pigment production as low TiO2 prices result in Q2 loss

    05 August 2015

    Weak demand and a drop in y-o-y TiO2 prices have resulted in lower revenue and sales in Tronox's pigment division, forcing the company to cut back on production while prices remain at unsustainable levels.

  • Downwards pricing pressure on fluorspar persists

    05 August 2015

    Price update: Increasing competition among low cost suppliers drops benchmark acidspar prices to new lows in an oversupplied market.

  • Tata Chemicals post 13% drop in profit despite strong sales figures

    05 August 2015

    Results published by the Mumbai-based soda ash producer reveal that net profit fell year-on-year as costs ate into sales gains.

  • Largo sets new vanadium production record

    05 August 2015

    The company has set itself a running theme of breaking records on a monthly basis and has hailed July as being the strongest month of production to date. The news puts the firm on track to meet its goal of becoming a low-cost producer of vanadium to supply the battery and steel markets.

  • CORFO seeks appointment of investigator and US SEC intervention in SQM case

    05 August 2015

    The Chilean state development agency has requested the introduction of an official investigator in the continuing dispute with world’s leading lithium brine producer, as well as the involvement of numerous state bodies, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission. SQM has labelled the application improper, claiming all necessary information has already been provided to CORFO and all regulatory bodies.

  • Union Pacific to beef up Wyoming rail infrastructure with $51.5m investment

    05 August 2015

    The US firm already delivers minerals such as frac sand, limestone and soda ash across a number of states located in the western US. The company hopes this new planned investment, for the rest of this year, will help its customers to get their materials delivered to the relevant locations effectively and efficiently.

  • Proppant prices weigh on Eagle Materials as construction minerals earnings stay flat

    05 August 2015

    While inclement weather has lowered volumes, Eagle saw relatively flat income growth in its construction segments as prices held up. In the frac sand business, meanwhile, revenues were up y-o-y on the company’s CRS Proppants acquisition, but prices have fallen sharply q-o-q.

  • StratMin may consider ASX listing as Madagascan graphite project advances

    05 August 2015

    The AIM-listed company said that it would consider making a move onto the Australian market to take advantage of the local enthusiasm for graphite, but CEO Brett Boynton said that any such decision is contingent upon further progress at its Loharano mine and exploration projects in Madagascar.

  • Argex on its way to commercialising low cost TiO2 production

    05 August 2015

    Argex has hit a number of short term goals and initiated discussions with strategic partners in the TiO2 industry, placing it well on its way to commercialising its environmentally friendly, low-cost TiO2 production process, which is likely to attract attention at a time when pigment prices are failing to increase.

  • Tri-Star and SPMP snare Traxys for supply and offtake of Oman antimony roaster

    04 August 2015

    SPMP’s joint venture antimony project in the Omani Port of Sohar continues to progress, with Traxys brought on board to handle offtake from the project as well as provide feedstock for the roaster.

  • Graphite exports from China slump in H1 2015

    04 August 2015

    Trade Review: Flake graphite exports fall 49% in Q1 2015, although a slight resurgence in Q2 2015 figures brought some relief, with amorphous graphite following the same pattern.

  • Vior discovers two new ilmenite outcrops in Quebec

    04 August 2015

    The junior exploration company has reported a number of positive discoveries at its Foothills titanium property and has secured funding for the next stage of development and testing.

  • Lithium News in Brief 29 July – 4 August

    04 August 2015

    GE sets sights on energy storage market; potential hydrogen- and solar -based alternatives to Li-ion batteries from H2GO Power and Ohio State University; Catalonia introduces Li-ion waste collection vehicles.

  • Yellow Rock commences mineral resource estimate

    04 August 2015

    The Australian company is accelerating its study programme for its Gabanintha vanadium project following the recent publication of drilling results, which it labelled successful.

  • Martin Marietta’s magnesia arm posts low Q2 sales due to weak steel sector

    04 August 2015

    The company’s speciality materials arm, which encompasses its magnesia business, is sensitive to changes in domestic steel capacity. As a consequence, low demand from the steel sector has caused the firm to record a dip in sales.

  • Mosaic net earnings rise 57% owing to improved phosphate margins

    04 August 2015

    Operational and margin improvements were the impetus for Mosaic’s profit growth, though a small rise in sales volumes was realised y-o-y. The company expects to improve its position in Brazil in the second half of the year, despite political and forex-related headwinds.

  • CUMI blames dip in Q1 sales on South African refractory ops relocation

    04 August 2015

    The Indian company, part of the Murugappa Group, recently announced that it was shutting down and relocating its loss-making Thukela Refractories facility, which produced alumina, from South Africa to India. As a result of this move, coupled with a weak Russian rouble, CUMI has reported a drop in first quarter revenue.

  • Iluka’s proposed takeover of Kenmare’s TiO2 assets "in progress"

    04 August 2015

    A flurry of recent disclosures under Irish Takeover Panel rules on the London Stock Exchange indicate dynamic shareholding activity at the two companies, which have confirmed that a proposed offer by Iluka for Kenmare’s mineral sands operations made in April 2015 remains under consideration. Under panel rules, neither company is able to shed light in the status of the deal at present.

  • Disparity over HFC phase down proposals jeopardises progress

    04 August 2015

    End market update: Discussions over updated amended proposals take a back seat as Gulf countries and Pakistan block calls for HFC phase down negotiations.

  • Henan refractories producers face pollution crackdown

    04 August 2015

    Companies in the province, which is the main refractories-producing region in China, have fallen foul of new standards aimed at improving air and water quality, leading to the imposition of strict remediation measures that could see a reduction in Henan’s manufacturing capacity.

  • China introduces its first mandatory standard for lithium-ion batteries

    04 August 2015

    The country’s quality watchdog yesterday activated legislation to ensure that Li-ion batteries produced in China meet certain minimum safety standards, required by international users of the technology. Analysts, however, are dubious about whether the move will cause manufacturers to choose Chinese produced batteries over rival products.

  • Chalco to invest $64.4m in China Rare Earth Holdings

    04 August 2015

    The Chinese aluminium giant’s reasons for the investment remain unclear, but following months of declining prices, the cash injection may represent a more positive near-term outlook from Chalco.

  • Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. re-enters profitability in H1 earnings

    04 August 2015

    Despite an increase in revenue-based taxes, JPMC has managed to slide back into profitability in the first half of the year, marking a turnaround from 2014’s loss figure.

  • Melior halts production mid-ramp up as ilmenite prices plummet

    04 August 2015

    Melior Resources has been increasing production at its ilmenite and apatite Goondicum mine in Australia since April, however the company has opted to mothball production and reduce staff rather than enter into long term low-priced sales contracts.

  • Rio Tinto offers Australian juniors free laser tech for high quality mineral discoveries

    04 August 2015

    According to the Anglo-Australian mining company, exploration spend and drilling at both greenfield and brownfield sites has been declining over the past few years in Australia. To facilitate the discovery of the next major mineral discovery, Rio Tinto is offering laser mineral analysis technology at no cost to junior exploration companies.

  • Private equity shows little appetite for speciality minerals

    03 August 2015

    As an alternative source of finance for mining and exploration companies, private equity investment continues to strongly support mainstream metals. Its interest in speciality industrial minerals remains low, however.

  • Halliburton-Baker Hughes $34.6bn sale progresses with DOJ compliance

    03 August 2015

    Halliburton is working to tick off all the boxes necessary in order to complete the transaction before the end of 2015. The company has now complied with the DOJ’s second request for information and filed its Form CO to the European Commission, although here additional information has also been requested.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 28 July – 3 August

    03 August 2015

    Inner Mongolia export volumes rise as prices slump; MIIT announces new rare earths funding; Ossen Innovation regains compliance with NASDAQ listing requirements.

  • TNG pushes ahead with final funding for Mount Peake project following DFS

    03 August 2015

    Against the backdrop of a challenging commodity market, the company has completed its DFS for the Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron development near Alice Springs in Australia. Managing director Paul Burton said its DFS results exceeded expectations and will enable TNG to move ahead to complete funding and off-take agreements.

  • Lanka Graphite’s Euro Petroleum purchase to have a legal pass through

    03 August 2015

    Legislative proceedings are due to start this week over Lanka Graphite’s off-market takeover bid for Euro Petroleum Ltd, while the company simultaneously intensifies its focus on vein graphite exploration in Sri Lanka.

  • Saskatchewan premier backs PotashCorp's K+S takeover bid

    03 August 2015

    Regional leader Brad Wall has been accused of hypocrisy over supporting PotashCorp’s bid to take over Germany’s K+S, after he made a series of protectionist statements released during BHP Billiton’s attempt to acquire PotashCorp. He maintains, however, that K+S’ smaller size has a material impact on the viability and suitability of a deal.

  • BRM to construct new gypsum soil conditioner plant for Midwest markets

    03 August 2015

    The Winona-based plant will supply gypsum, a source of calcium and sulphur, to farms across the agriculturally intensive Midwest and Plains groups of states.

  • Zircon prices remain flat as miners angle for rises

    03 August 2015

    Stable pricing seen as positive but suppliers would like to see gains to compensate for weakness in TiO2 feedstocks.

  • MRC Q2 sales decline across all mineral sands products

    03 August 2015

    Lower production, slow demand and disputes over the quality of MRC's mineral sands products all contributed to lower sales over the second quarter. While the company was gearing up to sell its ilmenite concentrate, oversupply in the market stalled this move.