Regulation latest news

  • June 2016

    Chinese fused magnesia trades losing value

    30 June 2016

    Exports of fused magnesia from China have suffered a 7% loss in value this year against 2015, as the highs of 2014 trade continue to remain unreachable.

  • Chinese lithium trade data reveals price rise

    30 June 2016

    The rise is in line with the unprecedented increase in the spot price of lithium in China, as the country moves to electrify a significant proportion of its fleet.

  • Brexit: Uncertainty is the "last thing" the shipping industry needs

    30 June 2016

    While companies across the entire spectrum of business segments are awaiting the effects of Brexit with bated breath, the container shipping industry is unlikely to emerge unscathed.

  • South32 agrees deal to extend Gemco's manganese ops

    30 June 2016

    Perth-based metals and mining company South32 has secured an agreement with the Groote Eylandt Traditional Owners and the local authorities to expand its manganese operations in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia.

  • MZI ships record leucoxene cargo to Chemours

    30 June 2016

    Although its offtake partner, Chemours, has reduced TiO2 feedstock volume requirements in 2016, MZI Resources has shipped a record cargo to the US-based company, including a maiden sale of over 8,000 tonnes high titanium dioxide leucoxene.

  • Seven Refractories ups production capacity

    30 June 2016

    Expanded capacity in Slovania adds a new production line for advanced monolithic refractory materials, as the company seeks to improve flexibility in delivery and maximise its ability to respond to short-term inquiries.

  • Panama expansion boosts US mineral port

    30 June 2016

    Florida’s dry bulk port at Manatee is likely to benefit from expanded canal links to Asia. The BDI meanwhile was stronger this week but shipbrokers have expressed concerns over the effect the UK's Brexit vote might have on shipping.

  • China could see an oversupply in downstream lithium markets

    29 June 2016

    Industry participants have warned the Chinese government to regulate its EV promotion by adjusting its target of 5m sales units in 2020, or risk heading into a battery oversupply situation. Lithium carbonate and spodumene producers meanwhile are struggling with their own expansions in order to supply China's growing battery output.

  • India’s new mineral exploration policy receives approval

    29 June 2016

    The overhaul of the country’s metals, mineral and mining sector continues as India’s new mineral exploration policy received approval from the cabinet. The regulation is likely to help reduce delays in securing exploration licences in the hope of encouraging the auctioning of 100 mineral blocks in this financial year.

  • Lithium and TiO2 markets in balance, says Morgan Stanley

    29 June 2016

    In its latest Global Metals Playbook report, Morgan Stanley says that TiO2 feedstock trades have rebalanced, driven by positive developments in Chinese and US property markets, although the outlook for mineral sands prices remains flat. At the more desirable end of the commodity spectrum, lithium is at the forefront of battery demand being driven by EVs.

  • Ramp up on track at Borax Argentina’s Tincalayu plant

    29 June 2016

    The Orocobre subsidiary expects to hit nameplate capacity by September following an upgrade of the borax production facility in Tincalayu.

  • Investors look to reopen Australian magnesite mine

    29 June 2016

    The mine’s ownership has been passed along various operators but has never reached consistent production. Thessally Resources aims to target specialist end markets including environmental, agricultural and animal feed.

  • K+S revenue plunges in Q2 2016

    28 June 2016

    German potash producer K+S has cited lower average prices of potash and magnesium products as the main cause for the drop in its second quarter revenue this year.

  • Arafura cuts production targets for Nolans rare earth project

    28 June 2016

    Australia-based rare earths junior Arafura Resources has made a number of adjustments to its Nolans Bore rare earths project following a review, including a reduction in output and a decrease in capex.

  • Brexit: Future of R&D funding for mining sector uncertain

    28 June 2016

    As confusion continues following the shock decision by the UK public to leave the EU last week, one area likely to be hit hard is research and development, where Brussels has traditionally provided significant levels of financial support. Government bodies have urged calm, however, and indicated nothing is likely to change in the short term.

  • Emerge Energy divests fuels arm to focus on sand

    28 June 2016

    The selling of Emerge Energy’s two fully-owned fuel businesses to Sunoco will allow the company to reduce its debt pile and focus its remaining resources on the core silica sand operation which supplies the US fracking sector.

  • BPC agrees 2016/17 supply contract with India

    28 June 2016

    Belarusian Potash Co. has secured supply rights to India for 2016/17 but the contract price for potash is over 30% lower year-on-year amid weakness in global demand.

  • SQM opens new flank in CORFO arbitration proceedings

    27 June 2016

    The protracted legal battle between South America’s largest lithium producer and the Chilean government has taken a new turn, with the miner planning to initiate a new set of proceedings that would take account of a lengthier timeframe, which it believes will clear it of charges.

  • Rare earths aluminium alloy cable production starts in Northwest China

    27 June 2016

    In a move that could mark a new end market for rare earths, Gansu Xibeizhiguang Cable Co. has begun producing rare earth and high iron aluminium alloy cables in Lanzhou city, China. A company in China has started producing rare earth and high iron aluminium alloy cables, potentially a new end market for rare earths.

  • Brexit: UK ceramics sector wary of repercussions

    27 June 2016

    UK-based ceramic operators listed export tariffs, bureaucracy costs and regulation vacuum as potential hurdles that Brexit may bring about in the long term, and are wary of insufficient governmental interest in fighting their corner when designing new trade deals.

  • Brexit: Mineral companies in 'wait and see' mode after vote

    27 June 2016

    As financial markets are thrown into turmoil by the UK’s decision to quit the EU, participants and observers in the mineral markets believe it is too early to say what impact the move will have on them.

  • Lithium contract prices to spike in 2017: buyers

    27 June 2016

    Annual supply contract negotiations for lithium carbonate and hydroxide in 2017 will begin at the end of August, with agreements expected to be finalised in November. Lithium prices are widely expected to spike year-on-year.

  • Hunger strike stops output at KGLL graphite mine

    27 June 2016

    Mine workers at Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Ltd. have started another hunger strike 1,800 feet underground, disrupting operations and causing concerns over security of supply from the natural graphite mine.

  • Zeolites could offer low-priced LED lightening solutions

    24 June 2016

    Researchers in France and Belgium discovered a way to make low-cost phosphors using zeolites, which could have huge implications for the development of fluorescent and LED lighting.

  • Belaruskali could resume partnership with Uralkali

    24 June 2016

    Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko hinted at the potential to resume cooperation between Belaruskali and Russia-based Uralkali during an assembly meeting. This follows a sour split between the two companies in 2013, which changed the global potash market dynamic.

  • Lynx graphite mine seeks $5.9m for expansion

    24 June 2016

    Zimbabwe’s only source of graphite output, the Lynx mine, is seeking funds to refurbish its existing plant and for further exploration to meet increased demand from domestic markets.

  • Price Briefing 17-23 June 2016

    24 June 2016

    Future of European markets uncertain as UK votes to leave the EU; fluorspar prices experience further drops; chromite market stabilises; oil price holds barite steady.

  • Barite prices bottom out after long decline

    24 June 2016

    Following 18 months of steady price declines, industry participants believe that barite prices have bottomed out, sustained by oil prices of $50/bbl.

  • China keeps up fighting talk against illegal rare earths

    23 June 2016

    The Chinese government last week sent a team of inspectors to southern China to evaluate progress being made to stop unauthorised rare earths mining, as the country continues to battle against a problem which it blames for dragging down rare earths prices.

  • Jiangmen city pushes development of rare earth battery cathodes

    23 June 2016

    The southern Chinese city benefits from having large nearby deposits of heavy rare earths and being part of the Pearl River industrial trading hub, close to Hong Kong. The city’s government is looking to steal a march on growing demand for battery materials by establishing an industrial cluster for producing rare earth additives for lithium-ion technology.

  • New lows set for fluorspar price negotiations

    23 June 2016

    While the industry enters into negotiations for Q3 2016 contracts, discussions for acid grade fluorspar material have hit new lower price levels.

  • Chromite suppliers see price stabilisation

    23 June 2016

    Prices for most chromite grades have bounced back this year, but operators are sceptical that further meaningful increases will take place in the foreseeable future.

  • EU vote: Should I stay or should I go?

    23 June 2016

    Brexit could fast track UK fracking and lift some of the stringent regulations imposed on the industry, while remaining in Europe might help the UK move towards more environmentally-friendly practices.

  • China’s BYD forms lithium carbonate JV

    23 June 2016

    The agreement between electric car maker BYD and salt producer Qinghai Salt Industrial Co. for the production of 30,000 tonnes lithium carbonate is part of BYD’s strategy to secure supply for its Li-ion batteries.

  • Saskatchewan may scrap potash mining royalty review

    23 June 2016

    Saskatchewan, a south-east Canadian province with one of the world’s biggest potash reserves, may delay its mining royalty and tax review due to weak fertiliser demand.

  • India aims to optimise dry bulk ports

    23 June 2016

    Indian government introduces policies to increase dry bulk mineral handling at ports.

  • Competition stiffens in talc spot market

    23 June 2016

    In the talc spot trading market competition is intensifying, putting downwards pressure on prices. Meanwhile, European traders await the outcome of the European Union Referendum, in which a UK split from the continent could have a negative impact.

  • China makes headway in rare earth processing

    23 June 2016

    As environmental regulations become more stringent in the country, research is being carried out into new rare earth processing techniques.

  • Uralkali expects Potash demand to improve in H2 2016

    22 June 2016

    Despite a slower first half of the year, potash demand is forecast to improve for the last six months of 2016, Russian producer Uralkali said in its market update today. However, due to adverse weather conditions affecting planting in Asia, the global consumption is still expected to fall compared with 2015.

  • US court rejects federal fracking rules

    22 June 2016

    The court ruling is a blow to Obama’s plan for a clear regulatory framework for fracking practices in the US as he reaches the end of his second term in office.

  • Xiamen Tungsten hangs onto profit and eyes NdFeB capacity expansion

    22 June 2016

    Robust demand for permanent magnets from the electric vehicle, wind and appliances sectors have helped one of China’s leading vertically integrated rare earths producers to report healthy earnings for the first quarter of this year, despite the persistent gloom hanging over prices for the minerals, while Jiangxi province is looking to take advantage of this trend by tripling its magnetic materials output.

  • Black Rock Mining achieves 99% purity graphite from Tanzanian project

    22 June 2016

    The ASX-listed company, which is developing the Mahenge graphite project in Tanzania, reported samples of 99% purity following tests conducted on large portion of flake graphite sourced from the mine. The company is now progressing spherical graphite test work to assess the materials potential for batteries.

  • Graphite One reports high discharge capacity on C-SPG coin cells

    22 June 2016

    The TSX-V listed graphite exploration company has announced initial performance results on coin cells manufactured using its coated spherical graphite material, sourcing feedstock from its Graphite Creek Deposit.

  • Molten salt technology to cut processing costs

    22 June 2016

    The University of South Australia is partnering with Centrex for the development of molten salt technology, traditionally used in the solar and nuclear sectors, for the extraction and processing of minerals. Starting with potash processing at the Oxley project in Western Australia, the research could have broader implications for cost and environmental impact reductions in mineral refinement.

  • PPG to sell fibre glass operations to Nippon Electric

    22 June 2016

    The US-based paints and coatings manufacturer produces fibre glass at eight facilities worldwide including the US and China, but is planning to sell off its European operations in the Netherlands and the UK. Overall glass sales declined in Q1, while demand for fibre glass specifically grew in the US, offsetting continued weakness in Europe.

  • Mining resumes at ICL UK potash mine following fatal accident

    21 June 2016

    Mining operations at the Boulby potash mine in northeast England, owned by Tel-Aviv-headquartered ICL, have resumed following a fatal accident last Friday. More redundancies are expected in 2017 due to depleting postash reserves at the site.

  • China launches Graphite Industry Development Alliance

    21 June 2016

    China is looking to encourage investment in graphite as, despite becoming the world's leading producer, it still trails other more advanced countries in terms of processing and supply chain development.

  • India cracks down on child labour in mica using digital tracking

    21 June 2016

    Following heavy media coverage of child labour in recent years, India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has decided to use digital tools to track school attendance in the region, warning mica traders to discontinue trading with minors.

  • Rare earth stockpiling failure leaves prices low

    21 June 2016

    Plans to boost prices via the Chinese government's stockpiling initiative have failed, leaving hopes for rare earth price rises pinned on demand increases in new and existing markets.

  • Altech: HPA demand for Li-ion use to surge

    21 June 2016

    The high-purity alumina (HPA) producer forecasts that the expected increase in HPA demand for battery applications further corroborates the economic viability of its Malaysian project.

  • Group DF to increase refractory clay shipments

    21 June 2016

    Ukrainian Nika-Tera sea terminal – owned by Group DF under its LLF Nika-Tera business – plans to increase the handling of refractory clay a the Black Sea port, while maintaining shipping for its mineral fertiliser business.

  • Mexichem to pay for petrochemical blast damages

    21 June 2016

    Local environmental authorities are holding Mexichem responsible for damage caused by an explosion at the company’s Pajaritos petrochemical plant in Veracruz, jointly owned with state oil company Pemex. If the company does not pay for the damage caused it will face criminal charges.

  • Kenmare confident in successful financial strategy

    21 June 2016

    Irish miner Kenmare has reassured its shareholders, lenders and the market that it is well on track to achieving its minimum capital raising target of $275m with new strategic investment and a recapitalised balance sheet. The company has also predicted a growing supply deficiency in mineral sands supply, noting market improvement in ilmenite and a strengthening in mineral sands prices.

  • India partners with Namibia for energy minerals

    20 June 2016

    India has extended its ties with Namibia to fulfil its mineral requirements for civil nuclear purposes. While the details regarding the agreement are vague, the deal is likely to involve the trade of other metallic and non-metallic minerals.

  • Graphite prices see upward spike

    20 June 2016

    Chinese producers have succeeded in lifting flake graphite prices on the back of growth in domestic refractories production and declining stockpiles. Amorphous could benefit from the government’s Lutang investment project, however overcapacity in the sector means prices are unlikely to make any gains in the short term.

  • Graphite pollution causes crop failure in Shandong

    20 June 2016

    Pollution from graphite operations in China's Longwanzhuang village has caused wheat yields to decrease. Despite action taken by the environmental protection bureau, local residents remain concerned that the situation will persist.

  • Nalco and Midhani partner in lithium-aluminium alloy JV

    20 June 2016

    India’s state-owned Nalco and Midhani are in talks to build a new lithium-aluminium alloy plants in Hyderabad. The alloy is used in battery and aerospace applications and can contain up to 2.34% lithium.

  • Canpotex axes Canadian potash export terminal

    20 June 2016

    As weak demand persists for fertiliser minerals and a number of companies plan to divest agri-assets or reduce capacity, Canpotex has decided to scrap plans for the development of a potash export terminal in Canada, saying it has sufficient terminal capacity through existing logistics networks.

  • Li-ion batteries: The road to recycling

    20 June 2016

    Delegates at this year’s IDC Technologies’ Sydney Lithium Battery Conference heard that global battery recycling numbers are falling short of global targets. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, takes a look at why this is the case, how it can be managed and why battery recycling should be carried out.

  • Investors set sights on Guinea’s bauxite

    20 June 2016

    MENA private investment firms are taking a renewed interest in Guinea, which is estimated to hold about one-third of global bauxite resources, after years of political turmoil.

  • Albemarle sells off Chemetall to BASF

    20 June 2016

    The chemicals and lithium products manufacturer is selling off its surface treatment operation to BASF in a deal worth over $3.0bn as it seeks to focus on the development of its core assets in bromine, lithium and catalysts.

  • Panzhihua: China’s biggest ilmenite resource

    20 June 2016

    The Panzhihua ilmenite deposit in Sichuan province is the largest in China and one of the most significant identified resources of the mineral in the world. Its unique properties offer both prospects and problems for its use in the titanium materials industry and are a focus of intense interest and frustration for Chinese researchers.

  • Nabaltec pins hopes on flame retardants and Asia

    17 June 2016

    The speciality alumina and technical ceramics supplier sees slow pricing conditions persisting in its core ranges for the rest of the year as it keeps its focus on diversification and looks to expand its presence in Asia.

  • Mosaic rumoured to be in talks to buy Vale's fertiliser unit

    17 June 2016

    Mosaic, the world’s top phosphate producer is rumoured to be in talks with Brazilian producer Vale to buy its fertiliser unit.

  • Cathay continues with sustainable iron oxide expansion

    17 June 2016

    In order to meet growing demand for high-quality pigments in applications like personal care, pharmaceuticals and food, Cathay Industries is expanding supply of its iron oxide pigments in China and reducing waste from its production process at the same time.

  • India to pen new policy to boost rare earth exploration

    17 June 2016

    The Government of India has decided to release a new policy framework to encourage private sector investment and exploration of its rare earth deposits via auctioning route.

  • IM23: Recycling refractories to cut costs

    17 June 2016

    The practice of recycling refractories and using them as secondary raw materials in other refractory applications is increasingly drawing interest from industry operators as a way to reduce costs.

  • Price Briefing 10-16 June 2016

    17 June 2016

    Lithium market participants point to price exaggeration; doubts cast over China’s TiO2 price hikes; fluorspar prices steady at low levels; decline in graphite continues.

  • Syrah Resources raises A$194m for Balama graphite project

    16 June 2016

    ASX-listed Syrah Resources has raised the funds required to complete its Balama graphite project in Mozambique despite cost projections which were revised upwards.

  • IM23: Europe attempts to cut dependence on Chinese rare earths

    16 June 2016

    Europe is finding ways to replace rare earths in the end-user chain and looking to develop new mines to reduce its dependence on China , delegates heard during the 23rd Industrial Minerals congress in Prague.

  • Pause in demand sets stage for fluorspar price fall

    16 June 2016

    The seasonal acidspar buying period has stalled, however lower grade fluorspar saw an increase in demand as steel production inches up.

  • IM23: KMK Granit to up glassware feldspar supply

    16 June 2016

    Czech feldspar miner KMK Granit is increasing the volume of feedstocks it supplies to the glass industry, as it seeks to improve returns and achieve more diversification, the company told IM.

  • UltraTech’s limestone mining project faces protest in Gujarat

    16 June 2016

    While Indian cement producers are yet to get used to the regulatory changes proposed under the MMDR 2015 Amendment Act, which restricted the automatic transfer of mining rights, UltraTech Cement faces fresh protests against its limestone mining project from local farmers in Gujarat.

  • IM23: Doubt cast over Chinese TiO2 price increases

    16 June 2016

    With additional price increases expected from Chinese producers, some delegates at IM23 were sceptical that the recent spate of price announcements are being accepted by pigment customers.

  • IM23: Fertiliser producers seen expanding into warehousing

    16 June 2016

    European fertiliser producers are looking to warehouses and storage to allow for output to remain high and the fast availability of product once prices increase, delegates told IM at the 23rd IM Congress held in Prague.

  • Kenya's Kiambu calls for diatomite mine setup

    16 June 2016

    Kenyan authorities are looking to develop the company's sizable deposits of diatomite – used in a number of applications such as agriculture, filtration and additives – as well as clamping down on illegal practices in the industry.

  • Fire at Magnesita plant contained

    16 June 2016

    The Brazilian-headquartered refractory producer suffered a fire at one of its US facilities last week, but the damage was contained and the site remains fully operational, the company confirmed to IM.

  • US Great Lakes waterway opens early

    16 June 2016

    The Atlantic-Great Lakes waterway sees early kaolin, potash, salt and gypsum activity, with dry bulk shipments up 5% y-o-y.

  • IM23: Refractory sector must innovate

    15 June 2016

    Maximising efficiency and minimising the environmental footprint in refractory applications are notable growing trends in the industry, as companies seek to make the most of available resources and explore better ways to conduct their operations, attendees heard at the 23rd IM Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, today.

  • Fluorspar industry awaits downstream expansion

    15 June 2016

    Ongoing progress pertaining to the phase down of HCFCs under the Montreal Protocol has pushed industrial focus towards the new generation of refrigerants.

  • IM23: Zeolite looks to new markets

    15 June 2016

    Traditionally a relatively static industrial minerals industry, zeolite is searching for alternative applications to fuel growth in demand.

  • IM23: Latest trends shaping China’s markets

    15 June 2016

    As the biggest supplier and consumer of industrial minerals, China was a main focus of discussion at this week’s 23rd IM Congress in Prague, with attendees looking to understand the impact of the latest policies introduced by Beijing on the industrial minerals market.

  • IM23: Iran calls for mineral processing upgrades

    15 June 2016

    Providers of processing technology and equipment manufacturers could find a new market in Iran. The country is seeking better machinery as it opens up to the international market again and strives to achieve better mining results, delegates heard at the 23rd IM Congress in Prague.

  • IM23: Glass at the heart of new technologies

    14 June 2016

    Glass has been a staple in industries worldwide for many years and it remains a key component of innovations in high tech, energy solutions and sustainability, Murray Lines, from Australia-based Stratum Resources, told delegates at the 23rd IM Congress in Prague, Czech Republic.

  • IM23: Swelling middle class to fuel mineral demand

    14 June 2016

    Increased levels of consumption should push mineral usage. Supply security in situations where production is concentrated in particular regions remains a cause for concern, however.

  • IM23: Oil and gas downturn widens minerals shipping opportunities

    14 June 2016

    The downturn in the oil and gas industry has opened up shipping opportunities in industrial minerals used for renewable energy production.

  • LWP to invest in battery technology

    14 June 2016

    Energy technology company, LWP, has ventured into an agreement with VVV Technologies Pty Ltd to commercialise the graphene synthesis patents and aluminium-graphene-oxygen battery technology for battery manufacturers and industry participants.

  • Focus on downstream graphite to transform China's industrial base

    14 June 2016

    China's Council for the Promotion of International trade in Heilongjiang has stressed the need to focus on value-added downstream graphite projects. Development of this sector will help to transform coal cities and upgrade traditional industry in northeast China.

  • IM23: Borates market to remain steady

    14 June 2016

    Key to a number of diverse industries, boron-based products are not expected to see expansive market growth in the near future. A number of areas of potential exist, however.

  • IM23: Czech mineral industry output stabilises

    14 June 2016

    The country is an important producer of kaolin, bentonite, feldspar and silica. While general clay production contracted, the stabilisation of mineral output in the Czech Republic is positive news for the country, which may look at developing and reinstating past-producing graphite.

  • CORRECTION: MTI signs second high-filler technology deal with Latin American paper maker

    13 June 2016

    The US diversified industrials company has signed an additional deal for its high filler technology, this time with a Latin American paper producer. The company has been targeting areas in which PCC is used at lower levels in the papermaking industry compared with North America and Europe.

  • Graphite market splits over traded prices

    13 June 2016

    Specialised graphite grades experience more stability at higher price levels than natural flake graphite as traditional buying markets resist market upturn,

  • New mining policy to rate mines in India

    10 June 2016

    Indian mines are to be assessed on the basis of their performance and compliance under a new mining and exploration policy, which will be finalised and announced next month as the government aims to regulate operations, curb illegal mining and enhance output.

  • African agrimarkets could be bigger than mining, says Gajah

    10 June 2016

    According to Gajah Investment Group, the agrimarket could become more important to the future of Africa than the mining sector. The company is focusing on the development of projects in strategic areas particularly agriculture, oil and gas and infrastructure.

  • Price briefing 3-9 June 2016

    10 June 2016

    Lithium lags, graphite uptick not expected “for at least four years”.

  • Oversupply weakens metspar outlook

    10 June 2016

    A rebound in China’s steel output saw domestic demand increase for metallurgical grade fluorspar. However the industry has been inundated by low-cost suppliers looking to benefit from the seasonal uptick in traditional downstream markets.

  • SQM undertakes to make changes following environmental report

    09 June 2016

    Sociedad Quimica y Minera SA (SQM), the embattled Chilean producer of lithium, potash, iodine and nitrates, has responded to a report published earlier this week by the country's environmental authority, which accused it of flouting regulation at its Pampa Hermosa iodine project, by vowing to implement all changes necessary.

  • Chinese lithium spot market feels the pinch from government clampdown

    09 June 2016

    The spot market for lithium products in China, which has this year soared to unprecedented levels, has recently seen prices drop slightly following a Chinese government investigation into cheating on electric vehicle subsidies. Market participants believe the dip is temporary, however.

  • Rail and port boosts IC Potash Ochoa project

    09 June 2016

    ICP could use Galveston port to export fertiliser mineral to India and north Africa, as the company is planning to target countries with salty soils which could benefit from polyhalite,

  • Heraeus teams up with Songwon to serve electronics market

    08 June 2016

    The German technology group and the polymer manufacturer will cooperate in the production and marketing of high-end specialty chemicals for the global electronics and semiconductor market.

  • Chilean authorities accuse SQM of environmental breach at iodine project

    08 June 2016

    The allegations intensify the standoff between SQM and the Chilean government, with attempts to terminate the company’s lithium lease at the Salar de Atacama still ongoing. But local sources indicated to IM that the cases may be interrelated and part of a larger attempt to drive down SQM share price ahead of a likely sale of its controlling stake.

  • Solvay to develop oil recovery technology as part of Abu Dhabi partnership

    08 June 2016

    The chemicals manufacturer will research chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies that could be applied in oil extraction sites in Abu Dhabi, signalling renewed interest on the part of the Belgian firm to strengthen revenue streams in fossil fuels.

  • Rio Tinto launches new cash tender offers for up to $3bn notes

    08 June 2016

    Rio Tinto is leveraging its strong liquidity position to reduce gross debt following the successful completion of $1.5bn in cash tender offers in April.

  • Vatic acquires majority stake in Thai potash firm

    08 June 2016

    TSX-V-listed Vatic, a junior exploration company looking for new ventures, is to acquire 80% of Thailand’s Saksrithai Development, taking control of its two existing licenses for the exploration of potash deposits.

  • Dolomite, limestone, Odisha mines get green light

    08 June 2016

    A state government committee has recommended the renewal of leases for 16 working mines – including 14 iron ore, 1 limestone and 1 dolomite in Odisha – however the State government is yet to give a final nod to the recommendations.

  • Sirius Minerals reveals new ten-year offtake deal

    08 June 2016

    A new offtake agreement has been announced between the potash junior – which estimates its cost of production at around $27.2/tonne – and Yunnan Dian Huang Peony Industrial Group Co., Ltd . However this agreement replaces a previous one made in 2013 with Yunnan TCT Yong-Zhe Company Ltd. and is based on a confidential, flexible, take-or-pay pricing mechanism which takes its lead from market movements.

  • PPG launches super-fast curing coating system for dry bulk cargo holds

    08 June 2016

    PPG has launched an new coating system for dry bulk cargo vessels which is expected to reduce downtime, improve chemical resistance and extend the life of ships.

  • General Electric buys stake in battery producer Sonnen

    08 June 2016

    The move by GE to invest in what is Europe’s largest rechargeable energy storage unit manufacturer marks a further push by a major energy business into lithium-ion technology, following Total’s recent buyout of battery maker Saft.

  • Fly ash proppant testing validates LWP's technology

    08 June 2016

    Recent tests have validated the effectiveness in terms of cost and performance of LWP’s fly ash-based proppants, LWP has reported, which is important for oil and gas and service companies who are seeking to carry out more cost effective hydraulic fracturing (fracking) against a backdrop of low oil prices and oversupply.

  • Public prosecutor’s office drops K+S water pollution case

    08 June 2016

    German potash and salt producer K+S was previously accused of manipulating documents to enable the company to illegally discharge excess saline wastewater below ground. However, the public prosecutor's office has discontinued its investigation owing to a lack of evidence.

  • The bleak picture of graphite funding

    07 June 2016

    Falling prices and squeezing demand for natural flake graphite are having a stifling effect on the economics around junior projects, with waning investor interest and dwindling end markets putting a big question over future of funding in an challenging environment.

  • First collective net loss for Top 40 mining companies

    07 June 2016

    2015 marked a $27bn net loss for the Top 40 mining companies by market capitalisation according to PwC's latest mining report, with consolidation and cost cutting likely to continue throughout 2016. Notably though, last year also marked the first time a lithium company made it into the Top 40 list as focus shifts away from coal.

  • Graphene Nanochem prepares for upsurge in oilfield activity

    07 June 2016

    The nanomaterials producer has commercialised a number of graphene-based solutions for the oilfield services market and expects to see activity in the sector picking up soon. Its progress illustrates potential avenues of success for graphene, which has so far struggled to find viable end markets, disappointing investors who had been promised a “miracle material”.

  • Reporting industrial minerals: Indicated resources classification

    07 June 2016

    News that trading in ASX-listed Volt Resources shares were halted hours after the company released an announcement pertaining to its Namangale graphite project prefeasibility study in Tanzania sent ripples through the junior mining community earlier this month. But how do listed companies avoid making the same mistake? Andrew Scogings and Ivy Chen outline how to understand the JORC code.

  • Orocobre to reach 3,000 tonnes lithium production this quarter

    07 June 2016

    The newest entrant to the lithium market is continuing its ramp up in Jujuy, Argentina and expects to hit nameplate capacity by September, CEO Richard Seville told media sources.

  • Column flotation improves Aguia’s efficiency in phosphate production

    07 June 2016

    The Australian fertiliser manufacturer has updated its processing methods through column flotation, which has resulted in improved mineral recovery against standard mechanical flotation cells.

  • Norway moves to ban fuel cars by 2025

    06 June 2016

    The move to have a completely electric fleet of private cars, buses and trucks by 2025 in Norway would see an incredible spike in demand for the materials used in electric vehicles, not least in lithium-ion battery components.

  • India’s beach sand miners sceptical about new rules

    06 June 2016

    The new draft of Atomic Mineral Concession Rules 2016 has raised concerns among private miners as they fear that the proposed changes – mainly pertaining to the threshold limit value of monazite and mining concession – are a threat for the survival of the nascent beach sand minerals mining industry.

  • High silica content at MGX’s deposits

    06 June 2016

    The latest assessment of mineral resources at the two Canadian sites in Longworth and Wonah noted the occurrence of high purity silica, prompting the company to consider silicon metal smelting as a target end market.

  • Magnezit to supply refractories to EVRA

    06 June 2016

    The Russian manufacturer is to supply refractory products to EVRAZ for its rolled metal facilities, but cooperation will also include product testing and the development of new linings designs.

  • Chemours refutes bankruptcy predictions

    06 June 2016

    Following a report released by Citron Research, which described Chemours as the most “morally and financially bankrupt company” the firm has reported on the last 15 years in Chemours. Chemours, in turn, has refuted predictions of bankruptcy, pointing to its five-point transformation plan and developments in its fluorochemicals products.

  • Heilongjiang makes graphite industry chain developments

    06 June 2016

    Heilongjiang province, one of the three main graphite bases in China, has now completed the graphite industry chain from ores, graphite fines, graphite products, to graphene and battery.

  • Savannah Resources branches out into lithium

    03 June 2016

    AIM-listed Savannah Resources has applied for Finnish lithium licences to complement its Omani copper project as the company anticipates huge growth in distributed power networks, EVs and energy storage.

  • Zimbabwe’s new mineral bill targets irregular exports

    03 June 2016

    The government of Zimbabwe aims to regulate exploration and trading of minerals from the country by introducing a bill which places control with a committee set up by the bureaucracy. Failure to adhere to the new regulations will result in a fine or imprisonment.

  • Private miners oppose India’s atomic mineral mining draft

    03 June 2016

    Proposed amendments presented by the Ministry of Mines on atomic mineral mining rules in its first draft have raised concerns among private miners, who are opposing the changes on the grounds that the outlined TLVs are unscientific and the termination of private mining leases on this basis will hinder existing beach sand mining operations.

  • Mineral Resources takes key stake in Mt Marion

    03 June 2016

    The operating partner of the Mt Marion spodumene joint venture has exercised an option making it a leading stakeholder in the project. Product shipments from the Western Australian project are expected to ease the tight lithium market, although buyers have indicated this may take time.

  • Indian government to auction 25 mineral blocks by August

    03 June 2016

    The Indian government is planning auction 25 additional mineral blocks, including limestone and bauxite, despite a lack of interest from potential bidders in earlier initiatives.

  • SQM to up potassium nitrate capacity by 500K/tpa

    03 June 2016

    The Chilean producer of lithium, potash, iodine and nitrates said the move would increase its operating flexibility and allow it to maintain high inventory levels, so that it can react quickly to changes in market conditions.

  • Price Briefing 27 May – 2 June 2016

    03 June 2016

    Fluorspar and graphite prices unchanged at low levels; further price rises anticipated from Chinese TiO2 producers.

  • Graphite inactivity limits hopes of price rebound

    02 June 2016

    Price Review: While the prices remain steady industrial inactivity continues to suppress regular trades with global demand showing few signs of recovery

  • Sierra Rutile commissions Gangama dry mine

    02 June 2016

    Following completion of its construction in April, the titanium feedstock project in Sierra Leone has been brought into operation and will enter steady state operation in four months as the company anticipates a rebound in the rutile market over the course of this year.

  • Fluorspar trades normalising at current lows

    02 June 2016

    Market Commentary: With total consumption rate across fluorspar downstream markets creeping down and low-priced offers surging, the race to compete is having a knock-on effect on prices limiting any chances of potential market upturn.

  • Major buyers in the dark about prices of 2017 lithium contracts

    02 June 2016

    Large battery companies are as yet unsure what price range is likely to be implemented on 2017 contracts when negotiations occur in Q4, with prices this year having already reached unprecedented levels. There is some indication that the Chinese spot price may be settling, meanwhile.

  • Dry bulk will recover in 2019: Bimco

    02 June 2016

    Ship owners must take action for dry bulk vessel rates to recover, says shipping association

  • China’s Shaanxi Province to develop local graphite resources

    02 June 2016

    The Provincial Ministry of Land and Resources in Shaanxi, China has announced plans to seek out new, high-quality rare and special minerals, with a focus on graphite to consolidate the province’s current scattered exploration rights.

  • Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals consolidates rare earths supply

    02 June 2016

    Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals Co., a subsidiary of the six largest rare earths producers in China, has announced it will consolidate supply, addressing source materials and its resource reserve situation.

  • Chinese rare earth industry stimulated by favourable policies

    02 June 2016

    New regulations on rare earth mining, smelting and supply are expected to enforce output quotas in China, with national and local governments coming together to tackle illegal production.

  • Race towards battery grade graphite accelerates

    01 June 2016

    Continued stagnation in traditional end-markets of natural graphite has encouraged producers to turn to higher grade spherical graphite, for which demand is expected to surge driven by Li-ion-powered EVs. While China dominates this space, many graphite mining and exploration companies are racing towards securing a position in the market.

  • Rare earth production from Baotou surges in Q1

    01 June 2016

    Stimulated by constant favourable policies this year, production of rare earths from China’s Baotou region increased over the first quarter of 2016.

  • Imagine IM: Graphene is only as valuable as its application

    01 June 2016

    With hundreds of companies seeking to find a large scale commercial application for graphene, Imagine Intelligent Materials expects to see developments in value-added applications with a fast uptake and high but manageable volumes, leading the company to focus on graphene’s electrical conductivity to make smart materials.

  • China forecasts seventh TiO2 price rise this year

    01 June 2016

    A further hike will bring prices up to sustainable levels, where they are likely to stabilise for the remainder of this year as the government rolls out new industry reforms, according to the China Titanium Dioxide Industry Association.

  • Shanshan bearish on 2016 lithium demand figures

    01 June 2016

    The cathode material producer – which has been highly critical of the price and quality of lithium bought from its supplier Tianqi over the past year – has written off demand predictions made by the China Inorganic Salt Industry Association as being “completely unreasonable”, insisting true demand levels in 2016 will be significantly lower than predicted. The industry association has said demand should reach 210,000 tonnes lithium carbonate this year, with prices holding steady or increasing slightly.

  • Positive dynamics are emerging for mineral sands – Iluka

    01 June 2016

    The Australian mineral sands miner headed up a host of producers from all over the world at the Global Titanium Feedstock Conference in Nanjing last week, who believe that the sector is finally emerging from a difficult few years.

  • India to publicise mining data to boost exploration

    01 June 2016

    The Ministry of Mines has agreed to supply digital mining data in conjunction with India's Ministry of Defence to attract potential explorers and investors – an initiative likely to support the country’s new mineral policy which proposes to offer large tracts of land to private and public explorers.

  • Ganfeng increases Mount Marion offtake volumes

    01 June 2016

    Chinese lithium producer Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd has agreed to up the volume of 4-6% grade spodumene from the Mount Marion project to 200,000 tpa on top of previous arrangements to take all 200,000 tonnes of the 6% material produced.