Regulation latest news

  • May 2016

    Neometals ELi process to short-circuit Chinese lithium production

    31 May 2016

    Chris Reed, CEO of ASX-listed lithium mining company Neometals, spoke to delegates at IDC Technology’s 2016 lithium ion (Li-ion) battery conference in Sydney, Australia last week, and stressed the importance of the company’s patented ELi process for world lithium supply chains.

  • Dakota Minerals: Lithium demand could increase ten-fold by 2025

    31 May 2016

    Cameron Perks, IM correspondent and consultant, spoke to Francis Wedin, executive technical director at Australian exploration company Dakota Minerals Ltd on the sidelines of this year’s IDC Technologies Lithium Battery Conference held in Sydney, Australia, about the company's growth expectations for lithium and the reasons it is focusing on spodumene.

  • Lithium 2016: Tianqi aims to become world’s largest lithium producer

    31 May 2016

    After a number of years building its profile and capacity in the lithium market, the Chinese lithium producer hopes its new hydroxide facility, slated to come online in 2018, will put it in pole position in the booming market.

  • Tertiary Minerals optimistic on fluorspar market despite losses

    31 May 2016

    Growth in the fluorspar industry has been held back since H2 2012 owing to limited demand in the downstream market of fluorochemicals, which has narrowed the scope for new capacity in an already oversupplied market. However, despite the odds, Tertiary Minerals remains optimistic regarding a long term rebound as the company develops its fluorspar projects in Sweden and the US.

  • Tata Chemicals reports improvement in Q4 performance

    31 May 2016

    Tata Chemicals reported a 26% rise in EBITDA for the quarter ended 31 March, as sales in its soda ash and salt business drove higher revenues. Fertilisers however remained under pressure.

  • India’s mineral production hindered by weak market

    31 May 2016

    Mineral production figures for March 2016 were marginally down by 0.1% from last year as India missed its mineral exploration target for the fiscal year 2015-2016, with weakness in the global metals and mining markets limiting domestic recovery.

  • Galaxy and General Mining to merge

    31 May 2016

    ASX-listed Galaxy Resources Ltd is to merge with its operating partner for its Mt Cattlin project, General Mining Corp., re-consolidating ownership of the newly operational spodumene venture.

  • Is there a global lithium shortage?

    27 May 2016

    It would be easy to presume there is a shortage in lithium in the world, with global lithium prices doubling over the last 6 months. Cameron Perks, IM correspondent and consultant, investigates at this year’s IDC Technologies Lithium Battery Conference held in Sydney, Australia.

  • Lithium price unimportant to lithium battery market

    27 May 2016

    Whether the price of lithium triples or drops down to zero, the price of Li-ion batteries is unlikely to fluctuate greatly, according to university research. This is an important finding for producers, who are hoping that lithium prices will continue to rise.

  • Acid grade fluorspar price divergence to continue in Q3 2016

    27 May 2016

    Excess capacities continue to plague fluorspar price recovery with low-cost producers pushing offers at new low levels; Chinese producers, however, continue to demand higher prices for their stockpiles causing disparity in the acidspar market.

  • Neometals: Spodumene has a major role to play

    27 May 2016

    IM Correspondent, Cameron Perks, spoke to Chris Reed, managing director of ASX-listed lithium mining company, Neometals, at the IDC Technologies Lithium Battery Conference in North Sydney, Australia this week about the company's expectations for lithium.

  • Graphite continues to feel the pressure of oversupply

    27 May 2016

    Prices remain sluggish with a lack of demand leading to stockpiles mounting both within China and Europe. As a result, the hope of any price upturn remains limited before Q4 2016.

  • Price Briefing 20-26 May 2016

    27 May 2016

    Chinese producers push up TiO2 prices once again; lithium participants disagree on price predictions.

  • Shipping market pessimistic as BDI softens

    27 May 2016

    Brief rises seen in the BDI last week were short-lived, with the index falling back down to 605.

  • Tertiary Minerals’ raises £500,000 to fund its fluorspar projects

    26 May 2016

    UK-based fluorspar explorer, Tertiary Minerals, has raised £500,000 to fund its MB fluorspar project in Nevada, US, and prevent an appeal raised against the company’s Storuman mine permit in Sweden.

  • Weir opens safety relief valve facility in Malaysia

    26 May 2016

    Following rocky 2015 financial results owing to deteriorating conditions in oil and gas in North America, Weir is expanding its presence in Asia with the opening of a new facility in Kuala Lumpar.

  • AkzoNobel opens €6.5m paints and coatings technology centre in China

    26 May 2016

    The Netherlands-based speciality paints and coatings manufacturer is continuing to invest in research and development for new coatings and paints – which use raw materials such as titanium dioxide, iron oxide and kaolin – focusing on eco-premium waterborne and powder-based products.

  • Stratmin Graphite to conclude Graphmada sale with Bass Metals

    26 May 2016

    UK AIM-listed StratMin Global Resources Plc is to sell its graphite interests in Madagascar, Graphmada, to ASX-listed Bass Metals for A$16.3m in staged cash, equity and royalty considerations.

  • US Silica expands sand reserves

    26 May 2016

    The North American silica sand producer has expanded its available reserves by 30m tonnes ore through the purchase of additional land next to its existing Ottawa production site in the state of Illinois, the company's largest facility, which mines fine grain, nearly pure quartz sandstone.

  • Altech completes kaolin licence sale to Dana

    26 May 2016

    The proceeds from the selling of the exploration licence will be used to fund part of the high purity alumina (HPA) project the company is planning to set up in Malaysia.

  • PRICING NOTICE: Correction to Acidspar 97% FOB China to India price

    26 May 2016

    Price correction for IM's listed fluorspar grade, acidspar, 97% CaF2, FOB, China to India.

  • Chinese rare earths exports on the rise

    25 May 2016

    Exports of Chinese rare earths products have surged in the early months of the new year, boosted by the scrapping of previously-applied export quotas.

  • BASF switches to graphite-enhanced polymeric flame retardants

    25 May 2016

    Global chemicals firm BASF will offer only graphite-enhanced PolyFR in its expandable polystyrene as the company strives to reduce the impact of its raw materials on global climate change - a growing requirement in commercial and residential construction.

  • Chinese TiO2 producers meet to discuss tax on chloride route

    25 May 2016

    The meeting of the rival four TiO2 producers to discuss how chloride route technology should be taxed suggests that they are confident they will be using this in the near future.

  • Graphene NanoChem secures supply to Myanmar’s oilfields

    25 May 2016

    The nanotechnology provider will supply a graphene-based recovery additive to a Myanmar-based oil and gas company, to be used in its drilling operations.

  • China calls for rare earths price increase

    25 May 2016

    The Ganzhou Rare Earth Association increased its rare earths guidance price for this year, although the updated rates remain below December levels.

  • PhosAgro bucks slow market trend with strong Q1

    25 May 2016

    The Russian fertiliser producer recorded revenue and profit growth as sales of phosphate products increased 10% year-on-year, on the back of price competitiveness related to a weak local currency.

  • India’s Orient Refractories posts positive Q1

    25 May 2016

    The monolithic and refractory products manufacturer recorded increased sales and profit margins in the first quarter of the year.

  • Saint Jean Carbon to purchase Canadian Bell graphite mine

    25 May 2016

    Canada-based Saint Jean Carbon has signed an agreement to acquire the past-producing Bell graphite mine in southwestern Quebec. This will add to the company’s existing portfolio of graphite projects in Sri Lanka and Canada as it works on the construction of a production line in North America, which will offer coated spherical graphite to the growing EV market.

  • Bauxite Resources to explore Australian lithium option

    25 May 2016

    The Australian bauxite miner is looking at possibilities to branch out into lithium.

  • China needs to exploit own lithium reserves for EV - BYD

    25 May 2016

    Industry commentators in China last month underlined that more domestic lithium resources are needed to support the vehicle electrification boom.

  • Lithium 2016: This time it’s different?

    25 May 2016

    While hyperbole risks lithium becoming another graphite, rare earths or uranium, with a spike followed quickly by a crash, some factors set this market apart.

  • Lithium 2016: Questions raised over FMC hydroxide ramp up

    25 May 2016

    The doubts relate to FMC’s access to the lithium carbonate volumes necessary for a ramp up of its lithium hydroxide output announced yesterday. The company has insisted it has the necessary resources, however.

  • Chinese titanium dioxide producers announce further price increases

    24 May 2016

    Chinese TiO2 manufacturers pushed their pushed their prices up for the sixth time this year to date following improving conditions in real estate, but the market remains below 2015 levels.

  • Madagascar’s natural graphite industry resists market slump

    24 May 2016

    Imports into India increased by 140% since 2011; US and Germany follow the bandwagon; New projects to lead expansion

  • Jindalee gains license to explore Tasmanian magnesite

    24 May 2016

    Australian exploration miner Jindalee Resources has obtained a license to explore the Arthur River and Lyons River magnesite deposits in Tasmania, estimated to harbour one of the largest local reserves of the ore.

  • Third Energy given go-ahead to frack for gas in UK

    24 May 2016

    Third Energy receiving the approval to frack for gas is a step forward for the company to start exploring the shale formation in northern England. It means that the company will need to secure a supply of proppants while it investigates the potential gas resources.

  • CORFO requests another arbitration hearing with SQM

    24 May 2016

    The very public, very emotive, spat between state-run CORFO and SQM continues with a latest twist in proceedings. The separate arbitration hearing is, SQM claims, simply a means to correct an omission on the part of CORFO in the original document. However, it provides a chance for the lithium miner to once again underline its disagreement with the original claims.

  • FMC to triple lithium hydroxide output

    24 May 2016

    The US-based lithium manufacturer is increasing its production by 300% in the next three years to meet fast-growing demand for battery products from the automotive industry.

  • NFIL’s shares uplift on tie-up with Honeywell for auto refrigerants

    23 May 2016

    After registering a robust growth of 90% in Q4 earnings for the fiscal year 2015-2016, NSE-listed Navin Fluorine International’s shares gained by 20% on Monday on the back of the company’s partnership with US-based Honeywell, for refrigerant production technology. India’s acid grade fluorspar imports, which accounted for 43% of Chinese exports in Q1 2016, are likely to increase, bringing some relief to the clogged market.

  • EU looks to change respirable silica dust regulation

    23 May 2016

    European authorities are considering changes to existing regulations that set the limits of exposure to silica dust during mining operations, in an effort to further improve health conditions for operators.

  • Chinese first Indonesia-based alumina plant opens

    23 May 2016

    A Chinese-owned alumina production facility has started operations in Indonesia.

  • Real estate revival to boost Chinese calcium carbonate demand

    21 May 2016

    The recovery in China’s real estate and construction markets is expected to drive up consumption of calcium carbonate materials used in plastic fittings, delegates at the China Calcium Carbonate Industry annual meeting heard in May.

  • Russia’s UC Rusal earmarks billions in project to reduce bauxite imports

    21 May 2016

    Rusal seeks to cut costly bauxite imports by capitalising on extensive kaolin resources in Siberia

  • Halliburton and Baker Hughes to scrap merger

    21 May 2016

    Halliburton to pay $3.5bn break-up fee; working with antitrust authorities since 2014; rig count down affecting associated oilfield minerals

  • IDTechEx ‘16: Graphene continues to look to practical uses

    21 May 2016

    Industry players in graphene continue to hone their sights on more immediately practicable uses, but still emphasise what the future of the substance may hold.

  • Revamping the vermiculite industry

    21 May 2016

    Global production slowly declining; Operators seek more profitable applications

  • Gambling at the mining casino

    21 May 2016

    Partial improvement in commodity prices as companies move back from the brink

  • Ceramics Expo 2016: Innovative products and new markets to drive ceramics growth

    21 May 2016

    Innovators will leave other companies behind; developments needed in aerospace applications; refractories to grow outside of steel

  • A rocketing opportunity: technical ceramics and SiC take off in aerospace

    21 May 2016

    Boeing developing a CMC nozzle; NASA using SiC CMC components; minerals in aerospace – a growing opportunity?

  • Mineral health check – what do Q1 results say about the state of the industry?

    21 May 2016

    IM looks at first-quarter performances of the leading industrial mineral companies and what the financials say about the state of the sector.

  • US Congress pushes for imminent overhaul of mine permitting legislation

    21 May 2016

    The passage of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 through the US Senate marks the furthest step taken towards reform of US permitting legislation in recent years.

  • Kentucky refractories tax: The shape of things to come?

    21 May 2016

    A decision earlier this year by the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals that shaped refractories purchased in the state are subject to sales and use tax could have far-reaching implications for manufacturers in industries that rely on high temperature processes, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, discovers.

  • Saint Jean Carbon’s spherical graphite mill project to kick off

    20 May 2016

    The TSX-V-listed carbon science company with graphite interests in Sri Lanka and Canada has inched further along in its plan to offer coated spherical graphite material as Saint Jean Carbon begins construction of a full mill and finishing line to produce 5,000 tpa coated spherical graphite.

  • Crude steel production continues to slide globally

    20 May 2016

    The latest crude steel figures for April from worldsteel show another y-o-y production decline. Oversupply and fierce price competition in the sector have resulted in another drop in capacity utilisation for the largest refractories end market, while worldsteel's recent downward revision of its steel growth forecast adds to the uncertainty.

  • Price Briefing 13 – 20 May 2016

    20 May 2016

    Spodumene prices set to follow lithium carbonate up; increased steel output boosts metspar prices.

  • Flake graphite prices creep down

    20 May 2016

    Weak European demand stifles price development; higher mesh grades feel the strain.

  • SQM boosted by 30% lithium price rise in Q1

    19 May 2016

    Overall income for Chilean lithium, potash, iodine and nitrates producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) fell by 18% y-o-y, the result of weaker potash and iodine prices. A significant price rise in lithium coupled with increased volumes saw this sector post strong results, however, as demand for the battery mineral continues to rise.

  • Strategic Minerals buys into Aussie rare earths project

    19 May 2016

    The company now owns half of Australian rare earths project CARE, while its flagship magnetite operation in the US saw a decrease in volumes sold and turnover in the first quarter year-on-year.

  • Spodumene prices set to rise as Galaxy brings material to open market

    19 May 2016

    Previously sluggish, the entry of new players into the spodumene market should shift the price of the lithium ore upwards, tracking those of lithium carbonate and hydroxide. Operations at Galaxy Resources’ Mount Cattlin and Reed Industrial Minerals’ Mount Marion will begin shipments later this year, with the former being sold onto the open market.

  • Turning container shipping rates into a commodity would benefit the industry, says Xeneta

    19 May 2016

    Low container rates seen in the industry could lead to market consolidation, leaving power in the hands of a few companies free to push up shipping rates.

  • Steel rebound spurs optimism in met-grade fluorspar market

    18 May 2016

    Market commentary: Growing steel production insulates metallurgical grade fluorspar market; customers turn to Afghanistan, Iran for low-cost supplies

  • MTI to discontinue South African Ruighoek chromite operation

    18 May 2016

    The refractory supplier will wind down its chromite operation in South Africa, as product supply will be handled though partner Glencore in the future as part of the existing agreement between the two companies, IM has learned.

  • FLSmidth to supply Russian port with equipment

    18 May 2016

    Finnish equipment and technology company FLSmidth is to supply Russian marine export terminal owner OTEKO-Portservice LLC with equipment as part of the construction of a new terminal at the port of Taman to increase the handling of fertilisers, sulphur, iron ore and coal from Russia.

  • AMG’s Graphit Kropfmühl to develop nano-material products though Haydale Graphene

    18 May 2016

    German-based graphite producer, Graphit Kropfmühl, is teaming up with AIM-listed Haydale Graphene Industries Plc to research and develop new value-added nano-material products using Haydale's HDPlas functionalisation process while sourcing graphitic feedstock from AMG’s Bogala mine in Sri Lanka.

  • Market speculation over winding down of Atacama Minerals iodine operations

    18 May 2016

    Sources have indicated that Atacama Minerals, the iodine producing subsidiary of RB Energy, may soon downsize its operations ahead of a potential liquidation of its assets. The company denies the suggestions.

  • Solvay teams up with new distributor

    18 May 2016

    The Belgian chemicals supplier has appointed German-headquartered Merck KGaA as distributor of its line of Aquivion perfluorosulfonic (PFSA) acid products.

  • EuroChem profit falls as higher fertiliser volumes offset by low prices

    17 May 2016

    The Russia-based fertiliser producer noted that while demand for phosphate had rebounded in Europe and North America, lower year-on-year prices impacted its earnings. The company is also in the process of developing two potash projects for a total of 8m tpa capacity, noting that potash curtailments had strengthened prices for the mineral.

  • Chemours begins operation of new TiO2 line in Mexico

    17 May 2016

    The commercial start-up of the company’s new Altamira TiO2 line in Mexico is expected to reduce costs at a time when lower y-o-y pigment prices are heavily impacting profit for a number of producers.

  • AkzoNobel completes first phase of Indonesian coatings plant expansion

    17 May 2016

    The Dutch paint and coatings manufacturer has completed phase one of its €2.5m performance coatings plant expansion in Cikarang, Indonesia. According to AkzoNobel, the expansion is necessary to meet growing domestic demand in Indonesia, driven by the petrochemicals and power sectors, for marine and protective coatings products, which use raw materials such as titanium dioxide, kaolin and talc

  • Sirius ups York potash reserve

    17 May 2016

    UK AIM-listed Sirius Minerals Plc has increased the polyhalite reserve of its project in North Yorkshire, UK by 30m tonnes in the wake of the publication of a March feasibility study.

  • Magnesita's losses worsen in Q1

    16 May 2016

    The refractory manufacturer saw a decrease in sales, profits and net income in the first quarter of the year amid persistent weak conditions in steelmaking, as it seeks to contain costs and limit spending.

  • IFGL Q1 2016 results

    16 May 2016

    India's IFGL Refractories Ltd, the specialised refractories producer, today released its FY2015 results, which demonstrate the impact of the steel slowdown.

  • Nissan announce Li-ion breakthrough

    16 May 2016

    A new analysis method developed by Japanese automaker, Nissan Motor Co. will boost the performance of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and extend the driving range of electric vehicles, the company said.

  • Albemarle considering sale of $3bn business unit

    16 May 2016

    As part of efforts to pay off the $6bn expense involved in its move into the lithium business through its purchase of Rockwood Holdings Inc., US chemicals producer Albemarle is exploring the sale of its Chemetall business unit. The mooted divestment – reported by Bloomberg – would further hone Albemarle’s focus on its lithium business.

  • Ontario Graphite to receive $80,000 in Great Lakes case

    13 May 2016

    The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered that Great Lakes Graphite and two of its employees - former Ontario Graphite staff - pay for the motion filed by Ontario Graphite. While the company is happy with the court's decision, it will seek to recover further expenses from Great Lakes, who meanwhile said that the recent court decisions have not affected its business.

  • Third Energy's fracking planning application recommended for approval

    13 May 2016

    The North Yorkshire County Council has recommended UK-based Third Energy's planning application for the fracking of its KM8 well should be approved as England continues to push for developments in oil and gas.

  • Rare earths stockpiling pushes up prices in China

    13 May 2016

    Chinese domestic prices for almost all rare earth oxide products rose in April, though exports have yet to register a price hike. Opinions on the efficacy of the state-initiated stockpiling process vary, however.

  • Rusal earmarks billions to cut dependence on imported bauxite

    13 May 2016

    The Russian aluminium manufacturer is seeking to exploit domestic resources of kaolin clay to produce alumina, thus reducing its dependence on costly imported bauxite.

  • RHI Q1 2016 results

    13 May 2016

    RHI Q1 results show that the group has moved to optimise its operations. It is buying cheap magnesia on the Chinese market and using its own, higher-quality product for its own steel output. The results also highlight the falling prices in refractory raw materials an the impact of a sluggish steel market.

  • EU funds rare earths mining project to cut imports

    13 May 2016

    An EU-funded project has developed innovative deep-mining strategies that are set to cut Europe’s dependence on the imported rare earth elements (REEs) within four years, while also curbing environmental damage.

  • FTC requests additional information on Sherwin-Williams purchase of Valspar

    12 May 2016

    The US Federal Trade Commission has requested additional information regarding the purchase of paint and coatings manufacturer Valspar Corp. by fellow producer The Sherwin-Williams Co., a transaction which the company's expect to close by Q1 2017.

  • Questions raised over continued lithium price rise

    12 May 2016

    Perspectives on demand-supply balance in the lithium market continue to drive debate as spot and contract prices maintain their upward trajectory.

  • Vesuvius bets on restructuring amid weak performance

    12 May 2016

    Restructuring remains a core focus of Vesuvius’ strategy for the rest of the year as market conditions for both its foundry and steel divisions remain difficult, the company stated in a trade update today.

  • Price Briefing 5-12 May 2016

    12 May 2016

    Battery markets look bullish, while oilfield sector lags.

  • BDI reverses recent gains

    12 May 2016

    Dry bulk shipping rates fall as ship owners warn that market could remain low.

  • Lanxess points to lower raw material selling prices in Q1 2016 results

    11 May 2016

    German speciality producer Lanxess today pointed to lower selling prices for the raw materials it consumes for the production of its chemical products. These include, chromite, iron oxide, TiO2, rare earths and fluorspar.

  • Lithium Australia to shift away from graphite with project sales

    11 May 2016

    Recently rebranded from Cobre Montana NL to reflect its concentration to on lithium, ASX-listed Lithium Australia NL now plans to divest its graphite assets to hone its focus on its namesake mineral.

  • Albemarle Q1 lithium revenue up 19%

    11 May 2016

    Albemarle Corp., the Louisiana, US-based lithium major, has reported a year-on-year (y-o-y) lithium sales increase of 19% as it seeks to position itself to absorb 50% of incremental growth in lithium demand over the coming years.

  • Chinese Do-Fluoride sees 2015 profit surge as EV demand grows

    11 May 2016

    China-based Do-Fluoride reported an 828% increase in net profit as demand for its lithium products skyrocketed with increased uptake of EVs. The company expects to increase capacity over the next year but supply is anticipated to be tight out to 2017 as demand will continue to outstrip production in China.

  • Proppants outlook remains negative as oil discoveries drop

    10 May 2016

    No respite is expected in proppants sales as exploration activity in the oil industry continues to slow down, with discoveries hitting a 60-year low in 2015.

  • FinnAust geological model defines large ilmenite-bearing sediments

    10 May 2016

    AIM-listed FinnAust is developing the Pituffik project in Greenland, a country the firm believes has unrivaled exploration opportunities owing to its pro-mining government. The completion of its photogrammetry and 3D geological model, which revealed ilmenite-rich sediments, paves the way for additional exploration and the granting of additional application rights.

  • EU ceramics sector fears end of Chinese dumping duties

    10 May 2016

    The European ceramics industry fears the scrapping of anti-dumping duties currently applied on Chinese imports into the bloc, if EU authorities were to change the status of the Asian country to that of a standard market economy.

  • Kronos reports net loss as TiO2 profit falls 89% in Q1

    10 May 2016

    North American TiO2 producer Kronos reported a loss for the first quarter of 2016 as a number of factors pulled sales down 13% including lower average product prices, currency fluctuations and product mix. These offset higher volumes and cost cutting initiatives in the form of workforce reductions.

  • Fairmount Santrol reports Q1 loss as proppant volumes and prices fall

    10 May 2016

    Revenue for the frac sand supplier more than halved y-o-y as the oil and gas sector remains challenging for oilfield mineral suppliers. However, on a sequential basis the company increased both revenue and narrowed its net loss as it focused on cost cutting, including another staff reduction of 10%, bringing its total workforce reductions to 40% since 2015. Fairmount believes it is now appropriately staffed to deal with the current difficult market environment.

  • Amorphous graphite prices tick up

    10 May 2016

    While the revision upwards of the Chinese price of amorphous graphite bucks the recent trend downwards, it is likely due to price correcting after being revised lower prior to the Lunar New Year rather than a distinct shift in fundamentals in this market.

  • PPG invests $2m in aerospace coatings expansion

    09 May 2016

    Pittsburgh, US-based paint and coatings company PPG Industries Inc. has expanded its aerospace and military coatings at its Shildon, England facility through a $2m investment in response to increased demand for new coating technologies and custom colour from the aerospace industry.

  • India studies low-cost refractory alternative

    09 May 2016

    Saprolite ore, a byproduct of bauxite production, is being trialled in refractory applications by Indian research institute JNARDDC with the aim of finding low-cost alternatives to ordinary materials.

  • Intrepid Potash idles core production facility amid Q1 losses

    09 May 2016

    The US-based potash producer will discontinue production at one of its core potash manufacturing plants located in New Mexico following a first quarter marked by heavy losses on the back of weaker potash prices and volumes.

  • Iofina 2015 revenue slides despite 73% iodine production increase

    09 May 2016

    Releasing its final results for 2015, UK AIM-listed iodine producer Iofina Plc said its increased production levels made it the second largest producer in the US. Revenue and EBITDA fell significantly, however, due to weak iodine prices.

  • TOR Minerals back in the black after two years of losses

    09 May 2016

    Texas, US-based TOR Minerals International Inc. has reported a profit in Q1 2016 for the first time in almost two years after the company divested its synthetic rutile production facilities, which were unable to produce at a profit consistently. Although the company is still facing difficult market conditions in TiO2, its alumina and sulphate businesses have shown potential for profitable growth.

  • Average US rig count drops again in April

    09 May 2016

    US rig count declined once again in April according to the latest figures released by Baker Hughes. A good indication of oilfield activity and resultant oilfield mineral demand, the declining rig count adds another layer of uncertainty to the market after industry participants hoped that the recent strengthening of oil and gas prices might indicate a market revival.

  • Leading Chinese producers expect a better year for soda ash

    06 May 2016

    China’s biggest soda ash company, Tangshan Sanyou Chemical Industries Co. reported an increase in Q1 performance with higher y-o-y and q-o-q gross profit rates. Fellow producer Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology also announced a 54% increase in net profit, implying that the worst is over in soda ash with the market beginning to recover this year.

  • MTI reports revenue drop as market weakness persists in oil and gas

    06 May 2016

    NYSE-listed Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTI) saw its net income and sales decline as the slowdown in oil and gas hindered sales in its energy segment. Refractory product sales also dipped, however, the company expects a profitable 2016 as talc and some calcium carbonate sales showed an increase.

  • Martin Marietta posts record magnesia sales in Q1

    06 May 2016

    Martin Marietta posted record turnover and net earnings in the first quarter of 2016 on the back of increased revenues in its aggregates and cement businesses, as well as an important contribution from a strong-performing magnesia operation.

  • Double-digit growth expected in silicon carbide

    06 May 2016

    The global silicon carbide market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 15.3% in the six years to 2019, according to latest forecasts.

  • Toyota heralds breakthrough in magnesium battery technology

    06 May 2016

    Researchers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) claim advances in magnesium batteries may lead to their eventual replacement of lithium-ion. This process could take decades, however, if it happens at all.

  • Price Briefing 29 April – 5 May 2016

    06 May 2016

    Fertiliser prices lower, lithium sentiment still bullish

  • Chinese fluorspar demand edges up on supply constraints

    06 May 2016

    Chinese metspar market supported by demand, while acidspar edges up on weather fundamentals.

  • Lithium contract prices unlikely to reach spot levels, insist market participants

    06 May 2016

    As the price of lithium continues to escalate on spot basis, buyers of lithium compounds have warned that should contract prices reach spot levels, it runs the risk of “killing electrification” and cannot be permitted to happen.

  • India to auction bauxite and limestone mines

    06 May 2016

    Two bauxite mines and eight limestone mines are to be put on auction by the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

  • Tronox: Q1 marks the turning point in TiO2 price decline

    05 May 2016

    US titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment producer Tronox has reported a deeper loss both year-on-year (y-o-y) and sequentially. While first quarter TiO2 pigment selling prices also declined from the previous quarter, the company noted March prices at higher levels than in February, and predicts further global price improvements in the second and third quarter of 2016.

  • Tesla to up production five-fold by 2018

    05 May 2016

    Tesla has committed to increase the number of units it produces annually to 500,000 over the next two years, which would further fuel demand for lithium batteries in a tight market, as output forecasts for 2016 are maintained and car orders are growing.

  • SQM targets H1 2017 for Cauchari Olaroz construction

    05 May 2016

    The world’s largest producer of lithium from brines, Sociedad de Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) expects to bring online its joint venture Argentinian lithium project by 2019, with construction slated to begin in early 2017. The project is SQM’s first outside of Chile and comes as investment in Argentina has spiked following the election of centre-right president, Mauricio Macri.

  • Albemarle to cease production of HBCD-based flame retardants

    05 May 2016

    US chemicals producer Albemarle Corp. has announced it will discontinue the manufacture of the bromine-based HBCD line, in order to focus on more sustainable alternatives. The move is part of a strategy by Albemarle to reduce its exposure to brominated flame retardents, demand for which has continued to fall in recent times amid environmental concerns.

  • Kiruna builds dry bulk rail wagon for potash

    05 May 2016

    Kiruna Wagon has begun building railcars to transport fertiliser minerals for Spain’s Iberpotash.

  • Agrium reports 79% drop in earnings for Q1 as fertiliser prices weaken

    05 May 2016

    Canada-headquartered Agrium has reported a drop in net earnings as year-on-year prices for potash, phosphate and nitrogen have fallen dramatically. While the company noted prices have stabilised during the first quarter of 2016 and predicts a stronger second half owing to higher crop prices and acreages planted, potash prices remain under pressure, and Chinese contracts, a strong indicator of demand for the mineral, remain unsigned.

  • Weak fertiliser prices weigh down Mosaic and PotashCorp Q1 results

    04 May 2016

    Fertiliser producers The Mosaic Co. and PotashCorp saw their earnings and sales fall during the first quarter of 2016 on the back of lower sales volumes and production. Although the companies expect an uptick in activity in the second half of 2016, prices for both potash and phosphate have seen significant year-on-year declines.

  • Graphene producer Directa Plus to list on the UK AIM

    04 May 2016

    Italy-based Directa Plus intends to seek admission to the UK’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as the graphene industry continues its push for investment.

  • Danakali applies for mining licence for Eritrean potash

    04 May 2016

    The Australian potash producer has submitted a formal application to the Eritrean authorities to secure mining rights at the Colluli potash project. This could help to kick-start Eritrea's economy and the company is pushing to establish a domestic mining industry.

  • Nigeria harbours billions worth of mineral resources

    04 May 2016

    Authorities estimate the West African country could amass almost $25bn per year if it taps into its extensive mineral resources including magnesite, limestone, diatomite, ilmenite, rutile and many others.

  • Tata Group market cap dips y-o-y

    04 May 2016

    As the steel and chemicals producer looks set to sell of its UK steel assets to Liberty House, its performance on the BSE shows that it is still strong elsewhere.

  • Metso enters into €27m service partnership with Tata Chemicals

    03 May 2016

    Finnish technology company Metso has entered into a services partnership agreement with Tata Chemicals (Soda Ash) Partners to help the company meet its efficiency goals and growing market demands.

  • Halliburton’s Q1 loss deepens with oil market downturn

    03 May 2016

    US-based Halliburton, which provides services and oilfield minerals such as barite and bentonite to the oil and gas sector, saw its loss deepen in the first quarter as business becomes unsustainable for many of its end users. The effects of job and cost cutting by E&P companies will be further felt during the course of 2016, leading Halliburton to revaluate its business and take a $2.1bn hit in impairments and severance costs.

  • First Bauxite bets on ceramic proppants despite industry weakness

    03 May 2016

    Some operators remain determined to develop new projects to supply the ceramic proppants market despite the oil and gas rig count has plummeted and prices have dropped.

  • Lynas Corp. ceases sales of heavy rare earths

    03 May 2016

    The rare earths producer is taking its heavy rare earth products off the market as it faces “a very bad year” with NdPr prices below the levels seen this time last year.

  • Turnover slowdown for Solvay in Q1

    03 May 2016

    Solvay’s quarterly performance was affected by lower average pricing conditions as its operations related to oil and gas markets remained weak, while end markets including aerospace and automotive boosted demand for structural composite and polymer materials.

  • Higher prices, lower costs push up FMC Lithium earnings

    03 May 2016

    US-based lithium major, FMC Corp. has reported an 8% increase in revenue contributions from the battery mineral for Q1 2016 compared to the equivalent period last year, a rise it attributes higher selling prices and cost-cutting measures.

  • China accelerates upgrades to provincial calcium carbonate industry

    03 May 2016

    Governments in the provinces of Zhejiang, Henan and Anhui in eastern China have been drawing attention to their achievements in enhancing their local calcium carbonate sectors, as revenues from China’s domestic mineral sector begin to tail off.

  • Chemours net sales and income down for Q1 2016

    03 May 2016

    Lower product prices and unfavourable currency effects more than offset the gains in volumes Delaware, US-based Chemours made over the first quarter. However, with the implementation of its cost-cutting plan, higher uptake of its low global warming potential products and a focus on increased profitability in its Titanium Technologies segment, the company is hopeful of an increase in y-o-y EBITDA for 2016.

  • China accelerates bauxite development as imports increase

    02 May 2016

    Exploration of bauxite reserves has been on the up recently, with the award of an exploration certificate to Shanxi Aluminium, and an increase in bauxite reserves reported by Galuminium Group. With Chinese bauxite accounting for only a fraction of the world’s total, compared with aluminium processing capacity accounting for over 50%, the country is looking inwards to develop high quality bauxite reserves, given its imports are rising.

  • Longmont Colorado fracking ban struck down by Supreme Court

    02 May 2016

    The fracking ban in Colorado's city of Longmont was added to the City Charter in 2012 on the basis that city regulations pertaining to oil and gas drilling activity were not stringent enough. However, the ban was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association at the end of last year and has now been deemed invalid by the Supreme Court.

  • Nemaska to produce 29,000 tonnes lithium concentrate by Q3

    02 May 2016

    TSX-V-listed Nemaska Lithium has purchased a new self-contained dense media separation portable mill which will be used to process a mine-representative bulk sample from its Whabouchi lithium mine in Quebec, Canada.

  • Halliburton and Baker Hughes to scrap merger

    02 May 2016

    Halliburton will pay Baker Hughes a $3.5bn break-up fee as both companies finally walk away from the proposed takeover. While the merger has faced increased scrutiny since it was first announced in November 2014, both companies have offered a number of divestitures and continually reiterated the benefits of a combined business, both for shareholders and the market. However, the US DOJ’s civil antitrust lawsuit launched at the start of April to prevent the transaction – and the hint that other antitrust authorities may be leaning the same way – appear to have been too much to overcome.