Regulation latest news

  • March 2016

    Low demand puts pressure on fluorspar prices entering Q2

    31 March 2016

    Market uncertainty continues to weigh on both acidspar and metspar prices, which could fall further in the second quarter of this year.

  • Regulatory pressures steer Indian graphite industry into troubled waters

    31 March 2016

    Toughening environmental legislation and regulatory changes have raised graphite production costs in India, causing domestic buyers to turn to low-cost Chinese material.

  • Hastings floatation yields 30% REO

    31 March 2016

    Tests carried out as part of a wider PFS at the Yangibana project in Western Australia could significantly reduce the site’s capital and operating costs.

  • Sierra Rutile confident of pigment price improvement in 2016

    31 March 2016

    The Sierra Leonean rutile miner expects prices for the TiO2 feedstock to pick up from the second half of this year on the back of normalised stock levels, as it pushes ahead with its dry mining ramp up.

  • Molycorp gets court approval for bankruptcy exit

    31 March 2016

    Mountain Pass now faces potential liquidation or sale to a foreign buyer.

  • Elenilto targets African phosphate logistics chain

    31 March 2016

    Fertiliser producer to develop distribution networks to market phosphate fertiliser to farmers

  • Qinghai Lithium makes breakthrough in lithium extraction from brine

    30 March 2016

    The Chinese company, a subsidiary of government-owned Western Mining Group, has begun scaling up production of lithium carbonate from brines extracted from the Taijinaier salt lake in western China, according to the country’s Ministry of Land and Resources.

  • Graphite players join forces to produce anode material for batteries

    30 March 2016

    Six graphite companies have partnered to acquire a spherical graphite mill in the US in order to produce anode material for lithium-ion batteries – a sector likely to drive growth in the graphite space with the increasing use of electric vehicles.

  • Tata Steel closure of UK business latest death knell for refractories

    30 March 2016

    The closure of Tata Steel's UK plants is expected to weigh heavily on industrial minerals markets. At the time of writing it was not clear whether or not the operations would be closed down, sold off or rescued by the UK government. Whatever the outcome, Tata's decision to pull out of its British steel business is a body blow for UK and European refractories producers, which rely on steel consumers.

  • Underground strike disrupts operations at KGLL graphite mine

    30 March 2016

    Sri Lankan miners at Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Ltd. have commenced a hunger strike 1,100 feet underground, causing concerns over regularity of operations and security of supply from the natural graphite mine.

  • Tertiary Minerals’ Storuman project permit challenged

    29 March 2016

    AIM-listed fluorspar exploration company Tertiary Minerals Plc’s exploitation permit for its Storuman project in Sweden has been appealed by the Sami Reindeer Husbandry Community and Urbergsgruppen, a local environmental group, which is likely to delay mining exploration and add additional cost to the company.

  • Molycorp and Oaktree agree settlement with bondholders

    29 March 2016

    Following a prolonged conflict between creditors of the bankrupt US miner, a deal has been reached between Molycorp’s senior lender and its bondholders, which the company hopes will simplify plans to exit bankruptcy as confirmation hearings are carried out in Delaware this week.

  • Fresh US anti-dumping probe to limit cheap Chinese exports

    29 March 2016

    The US Department of Commerce, at the behest of US and Mexican refrigerant gas makers, is likely to introduce an anti-dumping duty on imports of refrigerants, mainly R134a, from China, after domestic suppliers alleged that imports are being traded at unfairly low price levels.

  • SQM and Lithium Americas announce Argentinian JV

    29 March 2016

    SQM’s backing of the Cauchari Olaroz project marks the first explicit supporting of a junior by a senior market player in the lithium business and SQM’s first move into lithium production beyond the Chilean border. Its stamp of approval will be welcomed by Lithium Americas, as juniors jostle to prove the viability of their projects amid a crowded field.

  • Association expects China’s TiO2 production to reach 3.3m tonnes by 2020

    29 March 2016

    At its annual meeting in Dezhou last week, the China TiO2 Association outlined its plans for further consolidation and capacity management in the pigment chemical sector but said it expects output to keep rising under the country’s 13th Five Year Plan.

  • Group DF invest $2.8m in apatite-ilmenite mining project

    29 March 2016

    The project is part of the economic and social development programme in Ukraine's Zhytomyr region. In addition to creating 2,000 jobs, it will enable Group DF to up its apatite and ilmenite production capacity, making it a reliable raw materials supplier in Ukraine.

  • OSHA announces new silica exposure rules

    29 March 2016

    The OSHA’s long period of silence on its new rules regarding acceptable levels of respirable silica dust led many to believe that the regulation would not be implemented. However, the administration has now announced new exposure limits, which will need to be adhered to by 2018.

  • Low purity graphite grades revised down

    24 March 2016

    Price review: Flake graphite prices for low carbon grades were revised down by an average of 19% following the slump seen in demand from major end markets coupled with excessive capacities preventing any industrial rebound.

  • Metspar prices lowered as demand dries up

    24 March 2016

    Limited demand for lower CaF2 products in steel and cement sectors causes prices to fall.

  • Group DF selected as titanium materials supplier for Chinese aerospace company BAOTi

    24 March 2016

    Ukraine-headquartered Group DF is targeting the aerospace sector via its ZTMC business, and the obtaining of various audits and certificates which verify the quality of its titanium sponge has drummed up new business for the company.

  • Price Briefing 18 – 24 March

    24 March 2016

    Graphite and fluorspar prices hindered by low demand and excess supply; TiO2 price improvements a long way away; falling frac sand prices show no sign of recovery.

  • Thomas Swan launches 2D boron nitride product line

    24 March 2016

    The chemicals company is seeking to extend its nanotechnology offering in an area complementary to its current Elicarb graphene range.

  • Israel Railway bromine permit in doubt

    24 March 2016

    Government begins criminal probe after train crash in Dimona endangers residents lives

  • Graphite trades slow down as industrial activity decreases

    23 March 2016

    Market commentary: Following a year of persistent slowdown in demand, Q2 2016 is likely to turn out another weak quarter as flake graphite trades put supply side pressure on prices and traders indicate an availability of excessive material amid stagnating demand.

  • Mongolian fluorspar 2015 trades resist market slump

    23 March 2016

    Fluorspar trade review: Acidspar from Mongolia managed to retain steady growth in sales despite downstream stagnation and relatively higher acidspar prices, while metspar exports fell by 20% y-o-y.

  • MRC refutes local reports of opposition to South African mine

    23 March 2016

    The company’s mineral sands project has been delayed owing to opposition, which MRC says it is attempting to neutralise. However the company maintains that the majority of local people support the project and the benefits it would bring to the community.

  • Former Chilean premier submits statement in SQM payment case

    23 March 2016

    Sebastien Pineca was called upon to give evidence in the ongoing investigation into political payments from the miner to former senator Pablo Longueira. Separately, two directors of the company have resigned.

  • China’s natural graphite supplies to fall in H1 2016

    22 March 2016

    Toughening environmental regulations, falling prices and a stagnant demand pool has meant that many Chinese graphite producers have yet to resume operation,s after closing down during the last quarter of 2015. With production figures likely to fall in H1 2016, supply-side pressure on prices has been alleviated.

  • Weakened NdFeB sales hit Zhongkesanhuan’s 2015 performance

    22 March 2016

    A demand drop-off from the automotive industry has caused orders for the magnet material to fall, putting pressure on the rare earths producer.

  • Unimin idles newest frac sand plant due to loss of orders

    22 March 2016

    Low frac sand prices and volumes are continuing to put pressure on proppant producers as a result of the deep downturn in oil and gas. This has forced suppliers like Unimin to idle capacity, with further consolidation expected in frac sand supply

  • Chinese soda ash industry reports first profit in four years

    22 March 2016

    As a result of capacity cuts and surging exports from the country, the China Soda Ash Association has reported a profit for the industry for the first time in four years. However, the association has also warned that unless it accelerates, the increases in soda ash profits might not continue throughout the year.

  • $80million US spherical graphite plant planned

    22 March 2016

    ASX-listed Metals of Africa has revealed plans to build a spherical graphite plant, with an initial investment of $80m, in the US, in order to supply the needs of domestic consumers working in the downstream graphite space.

  • Dyson to invest £1bn in battery technology

    22 March 2016

    With this major investment over a five-year period, the engineering company, best known for its vacuum cleaners, has signalled its intention to become a serious player in the battery sector.

  • Sierra Rutile releases prefeasibility study

    22 March 2016

    Sierra Rutile's prefeasibility study (PFS) for its Sembehun dry mine, released today, underscores the mineral sands miner's commitment to reducing capital expenditure while securing future supply.

  • Orbite reviews project and costs following delays

    22 March 2016

    The company, which hopes to produce high purity alumina at low costs using its proprietary process, has emphasised the delays are not due to issues with its process and commissioning but due to equipment delays and lack of financing.

  • China plans horizontal expansion in fluorochemical space

    21 March 2016

    China’s Association of Fluorine Silicon Inorganic Material Industry has announced plans to upgrade and expand downstream fluorochemical capacities to offer high-end fluorine chemical polymers, fine chemicals and eco-friendly substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. Acid grade fluorspar (acidspar) markets are expected to benefit from this, as demand from the automobile and refrigerants sectors pick up.

  • Legality of email seizures key to SQM political payments case

    21 March 2016

    Procedural questions relating to the admissibility of email correspondence between former SQM CEO, Patricio Contesse, and former Chilean senator, Pablo Longueira, are set to be central to an investigation into alleged bribery by the lithium, potash and iodine producer. If the evidence is excluded from consideration in the case, it will likely nullify any criminal liability held by both Contesse and Longueira, as well as undermining further cases against other political figures connected with the allegations.

  • Chinese rare earths aluminium alloy cable facility to be built

    21 March 2016

    A facility to develop rare earth and high iron aluminium alloy cables could potentially provide a new end market for rare earths.

  • Acidspar prices slow down approaching Q2 2016

    21 March 2016

    Price Review: Depressed fluorocarbon sales drive market downturn; no Q2 upturn likely.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief 12 – 18 March

    18 March 2016

    Sirius Minerals releases York DFS; Karnalyte Resources secures financing for 625,000 tpa Saskatchewan mine; Uralkali approves $3.9bn credit line.

  • Flake graphite prices into Europe revised down

    18 March 2016

    Price Review: Several European graphite prices have been adjusted to reflect ongoing weakness in the market amid a continuing decline in demand as well as surplus stockpiles.

  • Colorado fracking-quake bill paves the way for increased lawsuits

    18 March 2016

    Although the bill is still making its way through the state House, some opponents have argued that it would encourage lawsuits against oil and gas companies without first demonstrating that operators are responsible for an earthquake.

  • Argentina anticipates boom in lithium investment

    18 March 2016

    Foreign companies vie for stakes in industry;French push Eramet involvement.

  • Experts split over achieving UK low carbon energy mix

    18 March 2016

    Lack of certainty undermines confidence, with experts saying that the UK has lost time on nuclear, solar and wind; EV tech investment is “chicken and egg”.

  • USGS partners with space agencies for satellite data sharing

    18 March 2016

    Project enables US-EU data exchange as satellites are to map environmental conditions with the aim of fostering new discoveries.

  • Metspar faces permanent market shrinkage

    18 March 2016

    Steel sector contraction erodes demand although China remains metspar sector driver; Acidspar’s capacity to take up slack limited.

  • Frac sand producers report losses as oil and gas activity slows

    18 March 2016

    Fairmount posts deeper net loss in Q4 as drilling activity continues to slow sequentially; Hi-Crush reports further slowdown in prices.

  • North Korea sanctions affect rare earths supply to Japan and Russia

    18 March 2016

    Bans in response to weapons testing resulting in the interruption of rare earths supply; Chinese material could benefit from embargoes. In Baotou meanwhile the government receives state backing with the aim of improving tech and mineral value.

  • Pennsylvania fracking case sets precedent for US court battles

    18 March 2016

    A US court’s decision to order Cabot Oil and Gas to pay damages to a Pennsylvania family on the grounds it had contaminated drinking water with methane could prompt legislators to revisit rules on groundwater testing by fracking companies, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor and Kasia Patel, North American Editor, write.

  • China to add 100,000 tpa graphite capacity in Sichuan

    18 March 2016

    Nanjiang Mining Group has commenced construction of a new mine and plant at Pinghe, which it expects to enter production in May 2017.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Metallica pushes on with Guyana abrasive bauxite

    18 March 2016

    Rejected 2007 plan to be resubmitted with ew government “more receptive” to plans; Almatis seizes opportunity with Burnside expansion, which will produce 400,000 tonnes chemical alumina in 2016.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: No light at the end of the refractories tunnel

    18 March 2016

    Weak steel market to drag more on sector, as higher quality products, services are needed. However alumina usage intensity is expected to increase. Nabaltec meanwhile is pushing sales but not production in Asia, as the region is not ready for a speciality alumina plant.

  • PDAC 2016: Juniors trial alternative business models to tempt investors

    18 March 2016

    Rare earths and graphene are still a sore spots for finance. Batteries remains the buzzword for graphite while lithium demand growth could leave market tight.

  • PDAC 2016: Mining companies will continue to dig into oversupply

    18 March 2016

    Miners have cut costs rather than output as currency and energy buoyed balance sheets. CRU expects mineral prices to fall in 2016 with capacity cuts anticipated in potash and phosphate.

  • SQM hits back at royalty dodging and nuclear export allegations

    18 March 2016

    SQM says it was “given no economic advantage” adding that media reports are untrue. It also denied any link to North Korea.

  • Price Briefing 11 – 17 March

    18 March 2016

    Prices for fluorspar, graphite, rare earths and zircon all remain stable, despite ructions in markets.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 11 – 17

    17 March 2016

    Graphite One advances tests of STAX material for coated spherical graphite production; Graphitecorp announces maiden resource for Mount Dromedary; UK’s NGI dismisses fears of IP theft.

  • Henan Billions sets sights on dominance in Chinese TiO2

    17 March 2016

    Company aims to reach production of 560,000 tpa of the pigment chemical if its merger with Sichuan Lomon goes through. Chlor-alkali producer, Yibin Tianyuan, meanwhile, has also said it will enter the TiO2 market.

  • Weak fluorspar trades limit seasonal market upturn

    17 March 2016

    Market Commentary: Industrial inactivity continues to keep acidspar trades relatively quiet, while metspar anticipates a rebound in demand approaching Q2 2016.

  • More US locations to implement fracking bans

    17 March 2016

    While a bill for state regulation of fracking in Florida did was not passed, counties in the state have been implementing fracking bans due to health and environmental concerns. In California, meanwhile, Carson’s fracking ban has resulted in the threat of a lawsuit from industry supporters.

  • Graphite consolidation raised again in China

    17 March 2016

    Efforts to concentrate Chinese graphite production in the hands of a few large companies have not solved the problem of resource allocation, particularly in Heilongjiang, where large processing companies have struggled to secure raw material.

  • Vietnam bans calcined clay imports

    17 March 2016

    The Southeast Asian country has halted imports of calcined kaolin and bentonite, due to biodiversity concerns.

  • Baotou offers subsidy to upgrade rare earth product technology

    16 March 2016

    The government of Baotou has received the backing of the Chinese State Council to offer financial support to local businesses which have plans to improve their processing technology and increase the value of the materials they produce.

  • Himachal Pradesh government gives go ahead for salt mine restart

    16 March 2016

    The northern Indian state has granted permission for Hindustan Salts to reopen a rock salt operation with an investment of $34m.

  • China’s spherical graphite exports jump as prices soften

    16 March 2016

    Trading of coated spherical graphite has accelerated, while demand for uncoated material was flat to weaker last year than it was in 2014. Prices, meanwhile, remain at the lower end of ranges.

  • Solvay pulls out early from chlorovinyls JV

    16 March 2016

    The Belgian company’s partner Ineos will now take control of INOVYN – Europe’s leading caustic soda producer – as Solvay ends the joint venture two years early.

  • North Korea sanctions affect rare earths supply to Japan and Russia

    16 March 2016

    The UN trade restrictions imposed in response to Pyongyang’s weapons testing programme has interrupted the flow of mineral shipments between the communist state and rare earths importers in a shift that could boost demand for Chinese material.

  • Maalt opens additional frac sand terminal in Texas

    15 March 2016

    Although a number of frac sand suppliers have cut production, those with their own logistics capabilities like Maalt are enhancing their logistics networks to improve efficiency and respond more quickly to customer needs.

  • Climate change is opening up Greenland mining, says FinnAust

    15 March 2016

    Fresh from its purchase of the Pituffik high grade ilmenite project, FinnAust is bullish about the mining potential of the world’s largest island state.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 9 – 15 March

    15 March 2016

    Pilbara and AMG release PFS results; Standard Graphite enters lithium scene.

  • MMDR amendment offers lifeline to India’s ailing mining industry

    15 March 2016

    Revised rules relating to mining leases under the Mining Mineral Development and Regulation Amendment Act 2015 have relaxed controls over mergers and acquisitions, making it easier to conduct deals and hopefully paving the way to clear a backlog of transactions.

  • Turkey’s Teyo to build 1m tpa soda ash plant in Belarus

    15 March 2016

    The Turkish energy producer has agreed with the Belarussian government that it will construct a soda ash facility in Gomel Oblast, which is the location of one of Belarus’ largest glass manufacturers.

  • Mondolez blocks shareholder vote on food grade TiO2

    14 March 2016

    A proposal by non-profit organisation As You Sow requesting a shareholder vote on the risks of using TiO2, which could contain nanoparticles, in Mondolez's food products. The snack manufacturer has denied that any of its products use nanomaterials.

  • Vior to partner with Iluka for development of Canadian rutile project

    14 March 2016

    While there is currently weak demand for titanium dioxide and its feedstocks, Vior is confident that there is room in the sector for a North American source of rutile. The company's partnership with existing producer Iluka will accelerate and finance the project in a struggling market.

  • Conflicting reports create confusion over Chinese zircon prices

    14 March 2016

    Reports describe prices moving in different directions but sources say market is stable.

  • SQM rebuffs nuclear lithium allegations

    14 March 2016

    The Chilean lithium producer has dismissed accusation that it exported lithium products for nuclear purposes, including shipments to North Korea, amid claims in the Chilean press that, could impact its lease in the Salar de Atacama.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 8 – 14 March

    14 March 2016

    Molycorp restructuring goes up for vote amid creditor squabbles; China to develop rare earths for civil nuclear uses; Alkane pitches to aerospace sector with hafnium.

  • Pennsylvania families win $4.2m fracking contamination pay-out

    11 March 2016

    A ruling by federal jury has concluded a seven year lawsuit, ordering Cabot Oil & Gas to pay $4.2m to families who allege that their water has been contaminated by methane from the company’s fracking operations. The oil and gas producer meanwhile maintains the case is without merit and that it did not receive a fair trial.

  • IM Agriminerals News in Brief: 5 – 10 March

    11 March 2016

    Union for Canadian PotashCorp mine expresses concerns over company's future; K+S employees accused of water pollution and illegal waste disposal.

  • Henan refractories companies plan expansions

    11 March 2016

    A new refractory brick plant has been given the go-ahead in Gongyi city, while Chinalco has received approval to open a 100,000 tpa bauxite mine in Sanmexia city.

  • SQM denies royalty dodging allegations and comes under nuclear fire

    11 March 2016

    The Chilean industrial mineral producer has hit back at press reports stating that it received favourable treatment under the national mining royalties law, noting that the issue has not been raised once since the legislation was modified in 2010. Separately, the company stands accused of dodging its obligations to have its lithium exports authorised by Chile’s Nuclear Energy Commission.

  • Price Briefing 4 – 10 March

    11 March 2016

    Fluorspar prices to remain weak into Q2; vein graphite prices rolled over for 2016; soda ash and TiO2 prices rise in China.

  • Weir Minerals launches tailings and pipeline research facility in Australia

    11 March 2016

    Weir is one of an increasing number of companies looking for enhanced tailings solutions that are more efficient and sustainable, both to lower costs and to improve environmental impact and energy consumption.

  • Slump in metspar prices to continue into Q2 2016

    10 March 2016

    Stagnation in the steel market and rising supply from in low-cost producers are likely to keep metspar prices down in the coming months.

  • Magnesita DBM sales prop up lacklustre full year results

    10 March 2016

    The Brazilian refractories producer’s earnings figures highlight the importance of its industrial minerals offering in a tough steel market, as well as the favourable currency effect.

  • Fairmount Santrol net loss deepens as oil and gas activity continues to slow

    10 March 2016

    While drilling and completion activity has visibly slowed y-o-y, North American frac sand supplier Fairmount Santrol saw activity and price declines from the third to fourth quarters of 2015, resulting in lower revenues as proppant volumes sold fell further.

  • Refractories slowdown dampens Chinese graphite operations

    10 March 2016

    Weak graphite demand from the refractories sector, which remains the single largest end market for graphite, has prevented many producers from resuming operations following the Chinese New Year as prices remain under pressure.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 4 – 10 March

    10 March 2016

    Northern and Graphite One progress advance spherical graphite coating technology; Canada Carbon releases Miller PEA; Graphenea and Plymouth University reveal new graphene properties.

  • K+S operating profit up 22% in 2015

    10 March 2016

    Strong full year results for the mineral pro, fuelled by an average rise in prices, are not expected to continue into 2016, as a downturn in the potash market continues and a mild winter takes its toll on the company’s salt business.

  • Lynas narrows half year loss and pushes ahead with NdPr ramp up

    10 March 2016

    The Australian rare earths miner managed to boost its earnings through higher production and sales, but a smaller gain in revenues was attributed to the persistent weakness in rare earths prices.

  • Oman signs port deal with Iran

    10 March 2016

    The sultanate’s Port of Salalah has inked an MoU with Iran’s Shahid Rajaee and Chabahar ports in a deal that is expected to boost industrial minerals traded between the two Middle Eastern countries as well as landlocked Central Asian nations.

  • Experts split over achieving UK low carbon energy mix

    09 March 2016

    Industry observers differ over the most effective way to decarbonise Britain’s energy sector and divisions at the political level have resulted in disjointed strategies and weaker investor confidence.

  • I-Minerals sets out kaolin marketing strategy while Altech terminates mining agreement

    09 March 2016

    Both producers are in the development stage at their respective kaolin projects, but while Altech has said it believes the market for its kaolin-sourced alumina product will support premium sale values, pointing to emerging demand from Asia for HPA to use in LED markets, I-Minerals intends to promote its product at low prices in order to gain market share.

  • India to amend MMDR rules over mining leases

    09 March 2016

    Transferring captive mining rights to new owners directly without the need to auction will now be permitted under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, while leases granted through auctions will be open to amendments.

  • Sichuan Lomon leads new rally in Chinese TiO2 prices

    09 March 2016

    Several Chinese TiO2 suppliers have increased their prices, following a hike by the country’s market leader.

  • PDAC 2016: Working around the rare earths mountain

    09 March 2016

    Rare earths junior GeoMega is working on securing end users and perfecting its rare earths separation technology to ensure that it retains a comfortable cash position once feasibility studies are completed and it begins to move towards production.

  • China’s falling AlF3 exports fail to revive fluorspar industry

    09 March 2016

    Even though lower aluminium fluoride exports from China should ease oversupply in the fluorochemicals market, shipments of acidspar remained at elevated levels, weighing on fluorspar prices.

  • West High Yield seeks funding as magnesia project permitting enters final stage

    08 March 2016

    The Canadian junior is looking to bring a fused magnesia project in British Columbia online, after almost 12 years of trying to secure mine approvals.

  • Vein graphite prices set at premium to flake again for 2016

    08 March 2016

    Despite the slowdown in graphite demand, Sri Lanka’s vein graphite prices have been set high for the year ahead, while orders for the pure natural carbon remain stable.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 2 – 8 March

    08 March 2016

    Galaxy signs 60,000 tonne offtake deal for Mt Cattlin; Nemaska and Western confident on fundraising; Bacanora publishes PFS results; Orocobre ramp up continues.

  • Chinese soda ash prices rise and US exports follow suit

    08 March 2016

    Supply tightness has prompted an increase in domestic soda ash prices in China while US export body, ANSAC, has moved to take advantage of the reduced availability of material in Asia to up its contract values from next month.

  • Sierra Rutile extends Nedbank debt facilities to cover Gangama ramp up

    08 March 2016

    The company has renewed its arrangement with the South African lender to give it more financial flexibility as it works to bring the Gangama dry mining project up to 50,000 tpa capacity and has also received approval for a hedging facility against higher fuel costs.

  • Chinese authorities defend Fanya action

    07 March 2016

    The mayor of Kunming has insisted that the local government took the necessary measures to deal with the fallout from the benighted metals exchange, following protests from investors.

  • Mining legislation puts cement buyouts on hold in India

    07 March 2016

    The provisions of India’s MMDR Act prevent the transfer of mines to a new owner, unless the transaction is conducted via auction, a stipulation that is holding back major acquisitions in the country’s cement industry.

  • Chilean government will not block a foreign takeover of SQM

    07 March 2016

    The country’s environment minister has said that offers from abroad will not be stopped as speculation mounts over the purchase of a stake put up for sale late last year.

  • PDAC 2016: There will be capacity cuts in fertilisers

    07 March 2016

    Difficult conditions in potash and phosphate have already pushed producers out of production at the higher end of the cost curve – a trend likely to continue as serious new supply comes online during the next five years.

  • PDAC 2016: Mining companies will continue to dig into oversupply

    07 March 2016

    Easy financing options and further cost cutting, coupled with Chinese uncertainty, mean that mining companies are unlikely to relinquish market share in 2016. As a result, continued oversupply should keep prices in many markets low.

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 1 – 7 March

    07 March 2016

    Molycorp bankruptcy exit runs into trouble again; Iran makes rare earth oxides; Avalon rebrands to reflect focus on lithium and tin.

  • Why China will remain the world’s top manufacturing destination

    07 March 2016

    Despite its slowing economy, China is in no imminent danger of losing its position as the manufacturing hub of the world. Chinese manufactured products are still appealing to overseas customers because of their cost advantage, while a growing middle class within the country is expected to support domestic efforts to produce more, higher-margin branded items.

  • Tor Minerals sink deeper into loss on weak TiO2 weakness

    04 March 2016

    Lower prices and volumes as well as intense competition from China resulted in lower sales and revenue for Tor's TiO2 division. However, cost-cutting and the realigning of supply in the segment, higher sales of barium sulphate and alumina in Europe and investment in its existing facilities have left the company optimistic about the future.

  • Almatis seizes opportunity with Burnside expansion

    04 March 2016

    The company said that having the ability to respond to the changes in the US chemical grade alumina industry is critical in an uncertain market, with Burnside allowing it to control its entire supply chain.

  • Agriminerals News in Brief 27 February – 4 March

    04 March 2016

    PotashCorp expects demand to rise; Potash West brings FTI Consulting on board to help in search for Dinner Hill partner.

  • Price Briefing 26 February – 3 March

    04 March 2016

    Stability reported in fluorspar, kaolin and silica sand markets; amorphous graphite comes under pressure but lithium to continue rising in 2016.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: No light at the end of the refractories tunnel

    04 March 2016

    Falling steel production continues to hit the refractories industry hard, with no let-up in sight. An increase in the level of alumina consumed in refractory products is likely to prove good news for speciality alumina producers, however, while refractory grade bauxite producers face shrinking volumes.

  • Indian states unwilling to pass on royalty gains for mineral exploration

    04 March 2016

    The mineral-rich provinces of India are reluctant to share revenue earned from mining exploration activities with investors, denting the central government’s plans to incentivise exploration through its National Mineral Policy.

  • Chinese refractories producers’ profits decline in 2015

    04 March 2016

    Four of China’s listed refractories businesses have released earnings results over the last week, showing major profit declines and containing warnings of bad debts, as demand from the country’s steel industry contracts sharply.

  • Sheffield Resources appoints Hatch to deliver BFS

    03 March 2016

    The Australian mineral sands junior, which at the end of last year said it was hoping to raise up to A$7m to fund a BFS for its Thunderbird mineral sands project in WA, has now appointment Hatch to take the study forward.

  • Lower sales volumes deepen 2015 loss for Opta Minerals

    03 March 2016

    The North American company negative earnings for last year, as declining sales volumes in both its steel and magnesium segment and industrial minerals business weighed on revenue. Opta has also been hit by restructuring costs as the company lost out on market share and was forced to implement plant closures, with its success now hinging on an acquisition by Speyside Equity Fund.

  • SQM predicts more lithium supply in 2016, expects to win CORFO dispute

    03 March 2016

    The Chilean miner’s CEO told analysts that new lithium production is set to come online from Orocobre in Argentina and some Chinese producers this year, but believes the market can absorb the additional capacity, while SQM holds on to its Atacama brine leases.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Believe the HPA hype, says Altech

    03 March 2016

    The Australian alumina developer’s CEO maintains that growth in high-tech end markets will spur demand for high purity alumina over the next few years.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 26 February – 3 March

    03 March 2016

    Triton enters administration days after switching project focus; Syrah signs offtake for traditional graphite markets in Asia; Flinders produces spherical graphite from Woxna ore.

  • Low fluorochemical prices put pressure on fluorspar sales

    03 March 2016

    Price Review: Fluorspar suppliers are facing still weaker demand, as prices for hydrofluoric acid and aluminium fluoride continue to fall in a heavily discounted market.

  • Tough steel market hammers Vesuvius profits down 31%

    03 March 2016

    The UK headquartered refractories company said its earnings were in line with guidance as it moves to restructure its business to deal with slowing end markets in steel and foundry, adding that the challenging trading conditions will persist this year.

  • Australia’s Darwin Port to serve Geolsec phosphate project

    03 March 2016

    Geolsec’s operator, Korab Resources, has said that access to the northern Australian logistics hub will make it easier to export its material to Asian buyers.

  • Mining sector not a priority in India’s 2016 budget, says industry

    02 March 2016

    India’s ailing mining sector has received limited attention in the Union Budget for the country’s fiscal year 2016-2017, leaving mineral industry disappointed, although revisions contained in the MMDR 2015 Amendment Act will address some of the industry’s issues.

  • MRC launches mineral sands exploration off South African coast

    02 March 2016

    The company is looking to expand its Tormin operations in South Africa with additional offshore and beach exploration. Today's announcement follows MRC's 2015 financial statement released yesterday, in which the company noted that it did not make any ilmenite sales as the difficult market environment has prevented it from finding a suitable offtake partner for its products.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Metallica pushes on with Guyana abrasive grade bauxite plans

    02 March 2016

    The US-based trader hopes to bring back online a calcining kiln, idled since 1999, and enter the China-dominated non-met bauxite market.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Higher quality refractories may be a bright spot for alumina

    02 March 2016

    In an industry facing weak fundamentals and limited growth prospects, moves to increase alumina content in refractories by some manufacturers may offer some respite to alumina producers, according to French manufacturer, Alteo.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Alumina refinery cuts hit North American caustic soda demand – IHS

    02 March 2016

    As a raw material used in the Bayer process to extract alumina from bauxite, softness in the aluminium market is being felt back up the supply chain in the caustic soda industry.

  • Chinese TiO2 producers announce third price increase of 2016

    02 March 2016

    The latest hikes have been implemented on the back of lower inventories in China and the expectation of new government policies that will limit domestic TiO2 capacity. Major Chinese pigment producers have reported varying results for 2015, but industry observers expect to see stronger local market conditions this year.

  • Higher lithium prices fail to lift SQM earnings after iodine and potash slip

    02 March 2016

    The Chilean miner said the average price of the lithium it sold last year climbed by 10%, but hinted that although this trend is likely continue in 2016, the arrival of new supply will alleviate some of the market tightness observed in 2015. Prices across its potash and iodine divisions fell, meanwhile, and these markets are expected to remain under pressure this year.

  • MRC increases 2015 mineral sands sales and profit

    01 March 2016

    While production failed to meet targets as a result of industrial action and other issues faced by MRC, the South African mineral sands manager managed to increase revenue and profit from sales. It will now need to seek an offtake partner for its ilmenite product, none of which was sold in 2015 as a result of the difficult market.

  • PPG to divest interest in automotive glass business

    01 March 2016

    While the company is moving away from automotive glass with the sale of its stake in Pittsburgh Glass Works, PPG is streamlining its remaining glass business and will focus on the development of fibre and flat glass products to the residential and non-residential sectors.

  • Allied and Hagenburger shake hands on refractory and foundry product partnership

    01 March 2016

    The US and German businesses have signed a deal that will allow Allied to increase its presence in Europe while Hagenburger will benefit from being able to offer complementary technologies to its existing range of refractories and foundry products.

  • Chinese market splits over soda ash prices

    01 March 2016

    Reports indicate end of Q1 hike in store, but industry observers and the glass sector the market retreated after early year rallies and is likely to remain stable.

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 24 February – 1 March

    01 March 2016

    Bacanora releases interim report on Sonora progress; Altura signs MoU with Chinese battery and EV maker; Bloomberg predicts EVs will account for 35% of new vehicle sales by 2040.

  • Bauxite and Alumina 2016: Nabaltec cautiously looks East

    01 March 2016

    The speciality alumina and hydrates producer is moving to increase its presence in Asian markets but said it does not intend to start production there any time soon.

  • China’s amorphous graphite prices face further headwinds

    01 March 2016

    Lower trading volumes and limited demand have pulled down amorphous graphite prices, as cheaper blended material and tax evasion create confusion in the market.

  • Imerys diatomite plant fined for polluting Californian waterway

    01 March 2016

    The French company’s Lompoc mine and processing facility, which formerly belonged to World Minerals and is one of the world’s largest sources of diatomite, has been ordered to pay $350,000 in civil penalties, implement environmental rectification measures and submit to regular inspections after it allowed diatomaceous earth slurry to leak into Miguelito Creek in Santa Barbara.

  • New Zealand looks to boost mineral exploration with new data pack

    01 March 2016

    The government-run NZP&M has released its latest collection of datasets, which include information gathered from recent aeromagnetic surveys, geophysical studies and permitting history for potential investors in the south Pacific nation’s mining industry.

  • South Korea records increase in hydrofluoric acid trading volumes in 2015

    01 March 2016

    Despite weak fluorochemical demand, South Korea’s hydrofluoric acid exports increased by two-thirds year-on-year in 2015, registering the highest sales in over a decade.

  • India’s 2016 budget evokes mixed response from mining sector

    01 March 2016

    While the government has relaxed duties and taxes on some minerals, such as iron ore, the heavy mineral sands industry was disappointed by the news that export duties would remain in force and that little is going to be done to combat dumping of cheaper Chinese pigment materials.

  • Hoganas Bjuf to open 30,000 tpa monolithics plant

    01 March 2016

    The new factory, to be opened in September 2016, will double the Swedish company's capacity, enabling the company to produce next generation monolithic products.