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  • BASF invests $200mln in kaolin business for industrial end-market share 06 March 2018

    A positive outlook in end markets has fueled a significant investment in BASF’s kaolin business, while the company seeks new uses for the mineral within the industrial sectors. Read More

  • Whiter than white? Global talc developments IM March 2018

    China is still the world’s largest producer of talc but its influence after 50 years of dominating high-quality white talc is starting to wane, UK consultant Ian Wilson discovers. Read More

  • Li-ion batteries and the years ahead IM March 2018

    Lithium-ion batteries are set to lead the decarbonization of the world’s economy after a technological revolution in recent years. Martim Facada looks at the evolution of the battery industry and its relationship with the most critical raw materials: lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite. Read More

  • Feeling the rub: Asian abrasives continue to challenge Western suppliers IM March 2018

    Cheap Chinese alumina has been undercutting abrasives prices and output in North America and elsewhere for several years, but recent supply restrictions in China could reverse this trend, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly discovers. Read More

  • On the way up: Industrial minerals in India IM March 2018

    India has recorded economic growth of around 7% per year in the past three years. But while it has significant resources of some of the most widely used industrial minerals, this sector has shown only modest growth, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Sunder Singh discovers. Read More

  • The sun shines bright on high-purity quartz IM March 2018

    With the United States gearing up to create a domestic solar cell industry to rival that in China, Industrial Minerals correspondent Cameron Perks asks what effect this will have on domestic suppliers of high-purity quartz. Read More

  • Feeling the heat: Bauxite and alumina under pressure IM February 2018

    China’s high-profile disruptions to industrial operations have wreaked havoc in the bauxite and alumina supply chains serving refractories end markets, taking prices to new highs. Read More

  • Argex primed to pave the way in low-cost TiO2 processing IM February 2018

    Environmental regulations in China are adding further pressure on sulfate-route pigment producers in favor of chloride-route production. This paves the way for further process innovation and investment, as well as opening up potential new sources for feedstock, IM correspondent Cameron Perks discovers. Read More

  • Junior mining: Banking on bargains IM February 2018

    As the mining sector looks forward to further recovery in 2018, Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly, Correspondent, looks at some of the businesses poised to gain from the expected upswing. Read More

  • Alteo: Serving the speciality markets IM February 2018

    As non-metallurgical alumina markets are facing a combination of tight supply, high demand and rising prices, Industrial Minerals caught up with Gildas Fontaine, marketing, business development and communication director at France-based speciality alumina supplier Alteo, to discuss what is in store for calcined alumina and the future prospects of global speciality markets. Read More

  • The sands of time: TiO2 feedstocks to 2020 IM February 2018

    The balance in the market for titanium dioxide (TiO2) feedstock has been in constant flux throughout history, and 2017 was no exception. Industrial Minerals Correspondent Cameron Perks takes a look at supply, demand, and prices throughout 2017, as well as what we should look out for as we approach 2020. Read More

  • Separation anxiety: Ceramic membranes seek commercial niche IM February 2018

    While porous ceramic membranes for nanofiltration of liquids have been widely adopted, take-up of dense ceramic membranes for gas separation has been relatively slow to follow. IM Correspondent Rose Pengelly looks into this lesser known corner of the technical ceramics industry and discovers some of its most promising applications. Read More

  • Back to black IM October-November 2017

    The graphite industry has gone through a year marked by abrupt changes in supply patterns and market prices - various factors shook up the sector after years of weakness. Demand from refractories and batteries is growing, injecting new hope to the industry, Industrial Minerals deputy editor, Davide Ghilotti writes. Read More

  • 2017: The year of the supply squeeze IM December 2017-January 2018

    If 2016 should be remembered with a shudder, then 2017 will be remembered as the year when it became harder to source minerals. The supply situation changed for many minerals in the markets that Industrial Minerals covers, not least because many producers were simply shut down by strict environmental laws in China, or found it harder to source materials due to demand-side challenges, consultant editor Siobhan Lismore-Scott writes. Read More

  • Microwave treatment offers greener option for graphite processing IM December 2017-January 2018

    Microwave irradiation has recently emerged as a promising method to process high-grade natural graphite from mineral ores in a way that is less environmentally damaging than many conventional beneficiation techniques, Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly discovers. Read More

  • RHI Magnesita: Brick by brick consolidation IM December 2017-January 2018

    The merger between RHI and Magnesita ‘makes sense’ because the refractory industry tends toward consolidation, while raw material shortages in China may lead supply to diversify elsewhere, according to the new company’s chief executive officer, Stefan Borgas. Read More

  • Andalusite market tightens up IM December 2017-January 2018

    Market patterns in the andalusite trade are likely to change next year because suppliers are fixing shorter contracts while demand is high and output is limited - prices are set to increase. Read More

  • The dragon loosens its hold: magnesia supply developments outside of China IM December 2017-January 2018

    With Chinese magnesia supply dwindling, or ceasing altogether in some markets, consultant Ian Wilson, discusses the supply situation outside of China. Read More

  • Woolly topic: The challenges of analysing artificial fibres IM October-November 2017

    Mineral wools are artificial fibres typically made from spinning or drawing molten minerals and widely used as insulating and building material, in close proximity to humans. Here, three experts* on chemical analysis of mineral wool outline some of the most important considerations when evaluating these products for safe use in everyday applications. Read More

  • The end is nigh: A bleak future for Bolivian antimony IM October-November 2017

    Producers foresee little prospect for continued antimony operations in a country that once was a major player in the industry, as regulations strangle business, writes Myles McCormick, IM Correspondent, from La Paz. Read More

  • Genie in a bottleneck: How a supply squeeze has worked magic for TiO2 IM October-November 2017

    As environmental inspections cut Chinese titanium dioxide output and producers elsewhere in the world fail to pick up the slack, prices for the pigment chemical have staged a surprise turnaround, William Clarke, IM Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Zircon 101: where will new demand come from? IM October-November 2017

    Zircon is important - and some would argue irreplaceable - in markets such as ceramics, which accounts for around 50% of demand. But, as Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, discovers, there are new sources of interest within that same industry - and demand projections vary wildly. Read More

  • A Chinese squeeze? Fluorspar industry governed by uncertainty IM October-November 2017

    China is the largest producer and consumer of fluorspar, but supply has been curtailed due to draconian environmental legislation, which has pushed up prices. Will this give new producers in Vietnam, Canada and Afghanistan a chance to swoop in and further alter the supply mix? IM Consultant Editor, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, reports. Read More

  • Not a Cinderella story: Half a century of Industrial Minerals IM September 2017

    Long dismissed as the Cinderella of the commodities world, industrial minerals were regarded as high bulk, low value for most outside the network which makes up our world. But after 50 years IM is looking forward to a glittering future - and so are those at the top of the industrial minerals tree, interviewed in turn about the changing face of the industry. Read More

  • A rock and a hard place IM September 2017

    Demand for refractory products is evolving, forcing suppliers to upgrade their offers and processes to stay ahead of the game, while Chinese-origin raw materials are appreciating on the back of supply shortages, making productions costlier, Davide Ghilotti, IM Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Global Refractories: Facing the next production revolution IM September 2017

    One of the largest markets for industrial minerals, refractories are essential for producing steel, glass, ceramics, cement and lime and for many other processes requiring high temperatures. But as Richard Flook* explains, despite their crucial role, manufacturers of these products are facing significant challenges from changing global trends. Read More

  • Flame tamers: Brucite, huntite and hydromagnesite IM September 2017

    Magnesium minerals boast several unique properties which make them superlative flame retardants, but as Ian Wilson, Consultant*, explains, despite their wide application many of these minerals are only recovered in a handful of places across the world. Read More

  • Indian refractories sector hopes rising steel tide will lift all boats IM September 2017

    Booming steel production has helped prop up demand for Indian refractories amid lacklustre demand from cement and foundries, but as Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent explains, the country’s relatively healthy market is attracting increased foreign competition. Read More

  • Potash and phosphate: Demanding industries IM July-August 2017

    The need for food is growing in step with a swelling global population and the mineral fertiliser industry is under pressure to ensure that nutrient supply keeps up with consumption, Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Growing gains: Perlite and vermiculite IM July-August 2017

    As two niche mineral sectors that have largely lacked innovation, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, considers whether there could be more in store for vermiculite and perlite than tall buildings and tomatoes. Read More

  • What goes up… IM July-August 2017

    As the dust settles following a price war that has quartered the market value of iodine in recent years, IM reports from Chile on the causes of the roller coaster ride in the market and looks to the future of demand for the mineral. Read More

  • Processing: Going green IM July-August 2017

    Although the number of industrial minerals covered by IM is far reaching and the technology required for their production often varies by sector, the mining industry is seeing increasing calls for corporate social responsibility and greener technology, particularly in light of the growing role renewable energy has to play in the everyday lives of consumers. Read More

  • US exiting Paris Treaty not expected to impact minerals sector IM July-August 2017

    In the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the US will be pulling out of the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty, IM looks at the significance of this move and the possible impact this will have on the industrial minerals market. By Mark Rowe Read More

  • Special clays: Gelling new markets IM June 2017

    Hectorite has attracted significant attention in the last few years as a potential source of lithium, while clays like attapulgite and sepiolite have for decades been important sources of speciality material. Ian Wilson, Consultant*, offers a snapshot of the special clays sector. Read More

  • Flash back for frac sand IM June 2017

    Improvements in oil and gas drilling activity in North America have paved the way for recovery in demand for oilfield minerals such as frac sand, barite and bentonite, but as Kasia Patel, IM Correspondent, reports, the rebound has tested suppliers’ ability to respond. Read More

  • A hard sell? Metakaolin in high-performance concrete IM June 2017

    Adding metakaolin to cement can improve the strength, corrosion resistance and appearance of concrete, but as Frank Hart* explains, the construction industry is yet to be fully won over by its performance benefits. Read More

  • Cracking under pressure? Glass markets in Europe IM May 2017

    The global economic downturn and the subsequent lull in construction has taken its toll on the global float glass market. Now however, as Sarah Gibbons and Liz Newmark discover, the industry is looking to a brighter future - despite there still being challenges for producers and the raw material markets which supply them. Read More

  • Ringfenced: Will traditional lithium users be left behind? IM May 2017

    With almost every new and established lithium producer choosing to focus on supplying the lucrative battery market, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, looks at whether traditional industrial lithium consumers in the glass and ceramics industries risk being left behind. Read More

  • The ins and outs of China’s lithium industry IM May 2017

    Chinese lithium demand is ballooning on the back of steep rises in demand from the electric vehicle and battery sectors, but despite having rich domestic lithium reserves, the country continues to rely heavily on imports and is worried about where future supply will come from, Albert Li, IM Correspondent, writes. Read More

  • Is India’s glass industry broken? IM May 2017

    Low per capita glass usage has marked India out as a major potential growth market for glass minerals, but so far this projected expansion has failed to materialise. Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, looks at how geographical concentration and pressure from imports are hampering India’s domestic glass industry. Read More

  • Roll up: Borates - an oligopoly with little room for change IM May 2017

    With the downturn in construction, demand for the group of minerals known as borates has been sluggish over the last few years. However, as glass markets start to pick up and producers look to diversify their products to meet growing demand in new regions such as Asia Pacific, this market looks set for a second wind, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, IM Consultant Editor, finds. Read More

  • Progressing global lithium projects IM May 2017

    After a couple of fallow years when there was insufficient investor interest to take projects forward, last year’s surge in lithium prices and projections for battery demand growth has given a boost to new and dormant lithium developments around the world. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, looks at some of the most advanced operations. Read More

  • Life after steel: Is there more for magnesia? IM April 2017

    The global steel industry may have taken a turn for the better, but refractory magnesia continues to face oversupply. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, looks at why the decline of magnesia’s largest end market is failing to deter new entrants to the sector. Read More

  • A new era for the salt supply chain IM March 2017

    Salt demand is closely linked to predictable factors such as population growth, but also to erratic phenomena like weather patterns, making the outlook for the industry hard to predict. David McNeill*, Senior Analyst at Roskill Information Services, assesses current trends in the global salt market. Read More

  • Storing up potential IM March 2017

    Falling prices of renewable energy, increased interest in energy storage and demand for versatile off-grid applications spell good news for the expanding vanadium battery market, Davide Ghilotti, Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Solid state batteries: The next evolution in Li-ion technology? IM March 2017

    Lithium-ion batteries have been plugged as the enablers of countless next generation electronic devices, but there remain kinks in the technology that engineers are struggling to iron out. Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, spoke to high-tech materials developer Ilika about how solid state designs may provide some of the answers battery users are looking for. Read More

  • Charging forward IM March 2017

    Two months after the production cogs began to churn out battery cells at Tesla’s ‘Gigafactory’, Myles McCormick, Reporter, investigates the arrival of lithium-ion battery megafactories, the hurdles they face and their significance for raw material demand. Read More

  • TiO2 feedstocks turn a corner IM March 2017

    A rebound in titanium dioxide prices and demand has paved the way for positive momentum in the mineral sands sector. Kasia Patel, North American Editor, and Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, look at current industry trends and planned new projects in the sector. Read More

  • Innovation and conservatism in technical ceramics IM February 2017

    Technical ceramics are opening up new possibilities in everything from spaceships to dentistry, but the closed nature of the industry’s raw materials supply chain may be holding the sector back, Davide Ghilotti, Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Junior mining: Back from the brink? IM February 2017

    Half a decade on from the collapse of the global mining boom, a rally in commodity markets last year caught many investors off guard and has created a weak but welcome tailwind for the stalled exploration industry, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

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