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Market commentary & articles

Magnesia market outlook: Krakow crackerjack

MagForum 2017 analyses latest issues and spotlights potential newcomers and markets

Key takeaways

China: supply impact issues to beset 2017-18; controversial trade reforms proposed

New supply sources and capacities: Saudi Arabia (DBM+CCM), Australia, Canada

Refractories: steady growth in steel […]

Fluorine market outlook: “Interesting times…a lot of uncertainty”

IMFORMED interviews Peter Huxtable & Alison Saxby
Plus Fluorine Forum 2017 Programme Update

“It’s a very interesting time. There is an awful lot happening, and a lot of uncertainty”.

So says Peter Huxtable, consultant and specialist in fluorspar […]

Oilfield Minerals Outlook: Houston hoedown hits home

Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum 2017 Review

This year there was definitely something to smile about, and we are not just referring those intrepid delegates braving the “bucking bronco” at the Monday reception (more on that […]

Magnesia maelstrom in China

Industry heads to MagForum 2017 Kraków for answers and latest outlook

Accounting for about 70% of world magnesite production and just over 60% of world magnesia production, China has a strong influence over the global magnesia market.

But […]

Ceramic proppant outlook: trying to build a market on sand

The phrase “building on sand” has an unfortunate ring of reality to those ceramic proppant suppliers striving to attain some purchase on the wave of recovery currently sweeping the North American hydraulic fracturing market today.

Proppant […]

Frac Sand Frenzy Part 2 ?

As the year’s First Quarter reports start to roll in it is already clear that 2017 is going to turn out to be a marker in the recovery of the proppants industry of North America.

Frac […]

Barite miners in Nigeria receive government boost; call for import ban to be reinstated

Nigeria’s barite sector is hoping to enter a new era of development that will enable it to compete more favourably with the dominant and superior quality barite imports.

The Nigerian government recently launched its Economic Recovery […]

Mineral logistic challenges & innovations: getting on top of it all

The importance of logistics in transporting industrial minerals from mine to market came under the spotlight last week at IMFORMED’s Mineral Logistics Forum 2017, 10-11 April 2017, held at The College Hotel, Amsterdam.

This is the […]

Oilfield minerals market: Year of recovery

The oilfield minerals industry is emerging from the doldrums of 2015/16 with renewed vigour and expectations of rising demand during the next two years at least.

Increased E&P spending and drilling activity in the USA has […]

Waste deep in opportunities

Mineral Recycling Forum 2017 Review

Rotterdam was again the setting for IMFORMED’s second Mineral Recycling Forum last week, 7-8 March 2017, bringing together leading players in the fast evolving secondary raw materials sector.

A real buzz was […]

Mineral Logistics Forum: 2020 vision for Port of Amsterdam

Shipping Outlook | Kaolin from Brazil | New Silk Way | Mineral Inspection |  Fertiliser Minerals

By 2020 the largest sea lock in the world will open in IJmuiden, increasing the Port of Amsterdam’s total transhipment […]

Imerys appeal dismissed: Andalusite Resources merger prohibition stands

And the winner is…the Competition Tribunal of South Africa, plus consumers of andalusite for refractories: no mixed up envelopes in this drama.

The Appeal Court in South Africa today ruled in favour of the Competition Tribunal […]

Li-ion battery recycling: no worries for raw material suppliers…yet

The emergence of secondary raw materials becoming a more mainstream source of recycled industrial minerals is to increase in significance in the overall supply chain from mine to market.

However, the diversification of end use markets […]

Mineral Recycling Forum 2017: Programme Update

Additional speakers: Harsco | Befesa | Hosokawa Alpine | STET
There is just a month to go until IMFORMED’s upcoming Mineral Recycling Forum 2017, 7-8 March 2017, Rotterdam.

Much interest is already gathering for our second Mineral […]

Oilfield minerals outlook for the Middle East: Dubai Review

Key takeaways from Dubai:

Market recovery on the way

Saudi rig activity up

Mineral demand increase expected

Gas supply challenge a driver

Stricter environmental specs. on barite

Aramco pushing for SG4.2 barite, Na-treated bentonite, local suppliers

Broychim to open new 240,000 tpa […]

Update: Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum Dubai 2017

Additional speakers | Sponsor news
With just over a week to IMFORMED’s inaugural Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum Dubai 2017, 15-17 January, at the Habtoor Grand Resort Dubai, we are delighted to announce some updates to […]

Best wishes for the New Year

As IMFORMED nears its second anniversary, Mike and Ismene would like to thank all our customers, sponsors, friends, and families for their unstinting support during the year.

May we take this opportunity to wish all of […]

Fluorine Forum 2017

SUPER EARLY BIRD RATES
FIELD TRIP TO MEXICHEM
CALL FOR PAPERS

In response to customer demand, IMFORMED is delighted to announce its inaugural Fluorine Forum 2017, 30 October – 1 November 2017, in San Luis Potosí, followed by a […]

Oilfield minerals demand in the Middle East: Destination Dubai

The Middle East remains a powerhouse of oil and gas production and thus a major market for oilfield minerals used in drilling fluids, stimulation and cementing applications.

The region is a major importer of key oilfield […]

Graphite Supply Chain 2016 Newport Beach 13-15 November 2016

FINAL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED

REGISTER NOW!
SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2016
DAY ONE: WELCOME
16:00 Registration Island Hotel, Newport Beach
18:00 Welcome Drinks Reception & Networking
sponsored by Bass Metals Ltd   
MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2016
DAY TWO: CONFERENCE
07:30 Registration | Networking Breakfast | Exhibition […]

RHI & Magnesita: how they stack up

One could argue that last week’s announcement of the proposed merger of two of the world’s largest magnesia and refractory groups – RHI AG’s takeover of Magnesita Refratários SA to form RHI Magnesita – was […]

Announcing Forums for 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS
EARLY BIRD RATES AVAILABLE
Oilfield | Recycling | Logistics | Magnesia
Networking and Knowledge for the Industrial Minerals Business
IMFORMED is delighted to announce its Forum programme for 2017.
Following the success of its 2016 Forum series, […]

IBAR pursues refractory grade magnesia exports with Cofermin

IBAR Nordeste Ltda of Brazil has announced the appointment of M!nerals by Cofermin as its exclusive sales agent for dead burned magnesia in Europe and other selected areas.

IBAR Nordeste produces dead burned magnesia (DBM) and […]

Imerys merger with Andalusite Resources prohibited

And then there were…still three producers of andalusite!

The long-awaited decision by South African authorities has appeared to have finally quashed Imerys’ hopes of amalgamating one of the world’s two independent producers of the refractory mineral […]

Will the graphite industry take off?

Supply and demand trends revealed by Simon Moores, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
The use of graphite in lithium-ion batteries has been a huge topic of discussion over the last few years.

Naturally, this has ramped up interest in the […]

Refractory mineral sources: where are they?

Announcing IMFORMED’s Refractory Raw Material World Sources Map®
Primary world sources and production capacity of key refractory raw materials

As we know, the physical and chemical properties of industrial minerals make good their application in a wide variety […]

Graphite Supply Chain 2016

Early Bird Registration Closing Today

Register Now!
Confirmed speakers
The graphite supply chain: the rising criticality of niche minerals versus commodities
Mike O’Driscoll, Director, IMFORMED, UK
Graphite: An independent supply/demand forecast for 2017 onwards
Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, […]

Bill McCracken: The passing of a refractory minerals legend

In Memoriam: William H. McCracken 1923-2016
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of William H. “Bill” McCracken, aged 92. Bill passed away of heart failure, in Lima, Peru on 7 August after suffering […]

Jinding USA named exclusive Americas supplier for Liaoning Jinding Magnesite Group

Direct sourcing of Chinese high grade fused and dead burned magnesia
One of China’s leading magnesia producers, Liaoning Jinding Magnesite Group Co. Ltd (JDMG), has named Jinding USA (JDUSA) its exclusive magnesia sales agent and exporter […]

Graphite’s future: what lies ahead?

Graphite Supply Chain 2016 | The world’s new meeting place for the natural graphite industry

As industrial minerals go, graphite can be as exciting as it gets (no disrespect to US frac sand developers in the […]

Houston Highlights

Oilfield Minerals Forum 2016 Review
Despite the cautious rally of oil prices in recent weeks the oil industry has remained depressed. In such downturns it is often imperative to glean market knowledge as never before.

So perhaps […]

Magnesia comes home

MagForum 2016 Review
Austria is host to some wonderful scenery and culture, but it is also the home of the modern magnesia industry, and thus Vienna was a most fitting venue for IMFORMED’s inaugural magnesium minerals […]

Oilfield market outlook: new dawn rises?

The BIG picture for oilfield mineral demand
Have we reached the bottom of the oil price decline and tentative recovery is on the way? Perhaps.

Oil prices have consistently risen in the last few weeks and while […]

Barite capacity impacted by oilfield blues

Halliburton idles Nevada plant; starts new source in Kazakhstan
It’s been a busy month for the barite sector, despite the prevailing dark clouds of the oilfield industry.

Halliburton’s Q1 2016 operational update last Friday made bleak reading […]

Industrial mineral supply chains explained

Mineral Logistics Forum 2016 Review
Understanding the logistics aspects of mineral supply chains is crucial to the success of any operation and project.

Those attending Mineral Logistics Forum 2016 in Rotterdam last week were fortunate to be […]

Fused magnesia projects: are they always crystal clear?

Outside China, production of fused magnesia has usually been in the hands of the few, and those that at least can negotiate half-decent electricity rates – fused industrial minerals are not known as “crystallised electricity” […]

Recycling industrial minerals: not so “secondary”

Mineral Recycling Forum 2016 Review
Last month witnessed the successful launch of IMFORMED’s inaugural Mineral Recycling Forum held in Rotterdam during 14-15 March.

Over 100 delegates came away enriched with knowledge and new contacts for one of […]

Magnesia market challenges & opportunities

MagForum 2016 eyes options for suppliers & buyers
These are testing times for the global magnesia business. Producers are looking to diversify into non-refractory markets amid a significant downturn in the steel industry.

IMFORMED’s inaugural magnesium minerals and markets […]

Refractory mineral trends: IREFCON16

India sparks healthy prospects for refractories
Courtesy Tata Steel

On 20-22 January 2016, the 11th India International Refractories Congress (IREFCON16), organised by the Indian Refractory Makers Association (IRMA), took place in Hyderabad. This well […]

Mineral Logistics Forum 2016

Programme Update
REGISTER NOW

The networking and knowledge hub for the industrial minerals logistics market
Shipping outlook | Logistics trends | Kaolin | Talc | Borates | Papermaking | Vienna hub | Handling

Without due care and attention in securing optimal […]

Calcined bauxite poised for proppants recovery

Roskill’s new Non-Metallurgical Bauxite & Alumina report
Roskill is releasing its new Non-Metallurgical Bauxite & Alumina report with forecasts to 2021. The report is essential reading for anyone requiring a comprehensive overview of the sector. Non-Metallurgical Bauxite […]

Mineral Recycling Forum 2016

Last Chance for Early Bird Registration
€125 Discount Ends Monday 1 February 2016
Contact: Ismene Clarke | +44 (0)7905 771 494 | ismene@imformed.com

As the minerals industry strives towards sustainable development, Secondary Raw Materials (SRM) have emerged as […]

Recycling refractories: entering a new era

The recycling of refractories has been around for at least the last three decades, although it has only been in the last few years that the sector has witnessed increased commercial activity.

The primary driver has […]

Best Wishes for a Happy & Prosperous 2016

 
As IMFORMED nears its first anniversary, Mike and Ismene would like to thank all our customers, sponsors, friends, and families for their unstinting support during the year.

May we take this opportunity to wish all of you a […]

Last chance for 2016 Forum Super Early Bird Discounts

Significant savings on registrations close Thursday 31 December 2015
Ensure you don’t miss out on next year’s leading networking opportunities for the industrial minerals business
Programmed with Intelligence | Moderated by Experts | To Engage and Serve the […]

Mineral recycling and Secondary Raw Materials on EC’s radar

New Circular Economy Package targets mineral recycling and trade in secondary raw materials
The European Commission (EC) has recently adopted what it calls an “ambitious” new Circular Economy Package in order to propel Europe towards a […]

Graphite Supply Chain 2016

The world’s new meeting place for the natural graphite industry

IMFORMED is proud to announce its first partnership with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence to launch Graphite Supply Chain 2016, 13-15 November 2016, Newport Beach (near LA), California, USA, […]

Seeking that industrial minerals opportunity

Industrial Minerals Basics: An Executive Primer
As the minerals industry hunkers down for the end of the year amid depressed markets and falling commodity prices, it’s surely the time to take stock of what’s what and […]

Magnesia sea change in Japan

A review of synthetic magnesia development
By Akio Ishida, Managing Executive Officer, Ube Material Industries Ltd, Japan

It started with salt
Although Japan has no natural magnesite resources, a number of unique synthetic magnesia producers have emerged since […]

Mineral recycling renaissance

Secondary Raw Materials to become more mainstream source for buyers
There is a sense that the recycling of industrial minerals in Europe is about to take a quantum leap during the next 5-10 years, boosted by […]

Ecutec to build GCC plant in Jordan – industry “picking up”

Manaseer to pursue calcium carbonate fillers market
Ecutec Barcelona SL is to construct a major ground calcium carbonate (GCC) plant for the Manaseer Group in Jordan, as Joe Roettle, Global Sales Manager, provides IMFORMED with a positive […]

European Minerals Day – Minerals Matter!!

IMFORMED welcomes European Minerals Day 2015!
The 2015 European Minerals Day is officially launched today in Rumelange, Luxembourg, at the Cimalux cement facility.

The event will take place under the Luxembourg EU Presidency, welcoming Mr François Bausch, […]

Refractory minerals outlook: slow growth period looms

Mineral supply chain and market competition awareness urged
One of industrial minerals’ key consuming markets, refractories, is expected to undergo a period of slow growth for the next few years, meaning at least steady, if not […]

Save the dates!

IMFORMED announces H1 2016 conferences
Recycling | Logistics | Magnesia | Oilfield
IMFORMED is delighted to announce confirmed dates and venues for the first half of 2016.

In response to this year’s success of our inaugural Mineral Logistics […]

Refractory graphite supply under spotlight as battery market evolves

Graphite users are closely monitoring the emergence of the new generation battery market as its market share grows.

The evolution of Li-ion batteries and their growing application in electric vehicles, utility storage facilities, and consumer-led electronic […]

Ceramic proppant producers unite for Indian shale gas market

LWP/Ashapura fly ash proppants JV: a future supply for the Middle East?
Described as a “quantum leap” for LWP Technologies Ltd, the Australian ceramic proppant developer has just announced a joint venture with Indian ceramic proppant producer […]

Foundry Minerals Forum casts weather eye over mineral supply & demand

Precursor to GIFA/METEC sets scene for foundry market week
Chromite | Bentonite | Carbon | Andalusite | Cenospheres | Zircon | Dunite | Silica sand | Mullite | Bauxite

Just about anyone who’s anyone in the metal […]

Oilfield Minerals Forum goes down a storm in Houston

IMFORMED conference abuzz with discussion and networking
Barytes | Barite | Bentonite | Hectorite | Garnet | Frac sand | Ceramic proppants | Shipping | Grinding | Drying | Handling | India | China | Argentina

IMFORMED’s […]

Gear up for GIFA: Foundry Minerals & Markets Forum 2015

Atlantic Congress Hotel, Essen, Monday 15 June 2015
Chromite | Zircon | Graphite | Andalusite | Mullite | Bentonite | Silica sand | Dunite | Cenospheres

IMFORMED’s 1-day conference for the foundry mineral business is of high interest […]

Chromite market challenge continues

Refractories and chemicals show bright spots
The overall situation for non-metallurgical chromite supply is one of weak demand and oversupply, particularly for foundry grade, although there are some signs of improvement in refractory and chemical markets.

World […]

Indian barytes tender concluded

Garuda starts new barytes processing plant
India’s tender for sale of crude barytes ore concluded earlier this week, with a total of 400,000 tonnes of barytes sold by the country’s dominant producer, state government-owned Andhra Pradesh […]

Zircon plant opened in US by Southern Ionics Minerals

Timing good as Iluka winds down US operations
Southern Ionics Minerals LLC has formally opened its new Mineral Sands Plant (MSP) in Offerman, Pierce county, Georgia, with zircon and titanium minerals production scheduled to start in […]

Foundry Minerals & Markets Forum 2015, 15 June, Essen

Chromite, zircon, graphite, andalusite, mullite, bentonite, silica sand, dunite, cenospheres
Only 1 week to Early Bird Rate cut-off 15 May 2015. Book now for a €125 saving!
IMFORMED’s high profile 1-day conference for the foundry mineral business […]

Indian barytes upgrade jv between APMDC and ONGC

Revised barytes tender outcome uncertain
India’s vast stockpile of low grade barytes material will be the feedstock for a new upgrading initiative planned between the country’s largest barytes producer, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd (APMDC), […]

Ceramic proppant pilot plant commissioning in Australia

Coretrack Ltd has commenced commissioning at its recently constructed pilot-scale proppant plant at Clontarf, near Brisbane, Queensland.

Coretrack is developing a new ceramic proppant grade based on fly-ash for use in hydraulic fracturing of oil and […]

Mineral Logistics on a high in Rotterdam

IMFORMED’s first event a success
IMFORMED’s inaugural event, Mineral Logistics Forum 2015, took place last Friday, 24 April 2015, in Rotterdam, and by common consent of the attendees was an unqualified success.

A total of 92 international […]

Imerys move to buy Andalusite Resources quashed

SEE NEWSFILE UPDATE
SA Competition Commission found deal “significantly preventing competition”
The acquisition of Andalusite Resources (Pty) Ltd, which would have bolstered Imerys’ already strong grip on the global andalusite supply sector, has been prohibited by South […]

Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum Houston 2015

Only 1 week to go until Early Bird Rate cut-off 27 April 2015!
Book now for a US$300 saving!
IMFORMED’s high profile conference for the global oilfield mineral business is attracting much attention as the market adjusts […]

Barytes US imports up in 2014

Port of Houston tour confirmed for Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum
According to the USGS, estimated US barytes imports in 2014 increased by more than 29% to 2.9m tonnes compared with those of 2013, indicating increased demand […]

Mineral Logistics Forum 2015

THIS FORUM HAS TAKEN PLACE – FOR DETAILS ON PROGRAMME, ATTENDEES, PICTURES, & FEEDBACK PLEASE CLICK HERE

With just a month to go until IMFORMED’s inaugural Mineral Logistics Forum 2015, 24 April 2015, in Rotterdam, there […]

Proppants: Carbo Ceramics idles US & China plants in 18% capacity cut

First it was Oxane Materials, then Saint-Gobain, followed by Imerys, and now the mighty Carbo Ceramics. All of the US major ceramic proppant producers have now been forced to idle capacity in the face of […]

Imerys seals S&B acquisition: so what does it mean?

Imerys, the world’s leading industrial minerals group, in a significant move for the industrial minerals sector has closed its purchase of Greek industrial minerals group S&B Industrial Minerals SA.

The buy brings considerable mineral assets to […]

Rio Tinto moves uranium into industrial minerals group

Titanium dioxide feedstock output to remain steady
In expectation of a challenging 2015 and “to drive greater value”, Rio Tinto Plc today announced an organisational restructure, essentially a streamlining in splitting up its Energy business and […]

Imerys, Sibelco, Rio Tinto, & Magnesita talk about their mineral supply chains

Where? Right here at the Mineral Logistics Forum 2015, 23-24 April 2015, Rotterdam – the networking and knowledge hub for all those active in logistics for industrial minerals.

IMFORMED announces an exciting speaker panel with Imerys, […]

Proppant prospects postponed? Be patient

The sharp drop in oil price has clearly impacted the ceramic proppants market with major producers halting expansion plans and in more severe cases closing plants. How long can we expect these doldrums to last?

The […]

Haydn Murray: Industrial minerals world mourns passing of a legend

Prof. Haydn H. Murray, world renowned industrial minerals geologist and long time professor of geology at Indiana University passed away peacefully on 4 February 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana.

Haydn Murray was a great worker and friend […]

Mineral supply logistics: often underestimated, always vital

Logistics is one of the most important components of any industrial mineral operation or project development.

And yet it is the one aspect in industrial mineral project due diligence that is most often overlooked. It can […]

Industrial Minerals Market Embraces New Provider of Information and Events

IMFORMED launches new platform for industrial minerals networking and research, announcing high profile Forums on mineral logistics, oilfield, and foundry markets.
A new source of information and networking events dedicated to the global industrial minerals business […]

World’s second hectorite source on stream

Hectatone’s first shipment of organoclay for oilfield drilling
Hectatone Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Lithium USA Corp., has produced an organoclay, branded Hectatone™, from its processing plant near Fernley, Nevada, using lithium-rich hectorite from the […]

Rio Tinto Minerals borates production up 3%

Rio Tinto Minerals (RTM), which claims to supply almost 50% of the world’s refined borates, has reported that its 2014 borates production was up 3% over 2013 to 508,000 tonnes B2O3 content.

Barytes UK mine replacement for M-I SWACO by 2017

Oil price crisis, what crisis? Despite apparent gloom for the outlook of drilling activity and its impact on oilfield mineral demand, M-I SWACO appears to be pressing ahead with plans to open a new barytes […]

Barytes developments continue amid Baker Hughes-Halliburton merger

Last year’s news of the mega-merger of oilfield supply giants Baker Hughes and Halliburton continues to reverberate.

Among a number of issues that the proposed transaction raises is the prospect of two of the largest producers […]

Proppant promise from Australian fly ash

A pilot plant to be operated by Ecopropp Pty Ltd in Australia for producing ceramic proppants manufactured from fly ash is aiming for commissioning in early 2015.

Most recently, Ecopropp also reported that “highly positive” results […]

Proppant players feel the squeeze

Ceramic proppant producer Oxane Materials Inc. is to close its Van Buren, Arkansas plant on 23 January 2015.

News of the closure was delivered on 24 November in a letter to Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman […]

Proppant players in Europe: ceramic proppant options limited as Baltic Ceramics gears up

With European shale gas development a question of an uncertain when, rather than if, it would seem prudent for those wishing to enter a looming proppant market to start securing suitable reserves and preparing production […]

Shale gas market in Europe remains uncertain

Further withdrawals by overseas oil and gas exploration companies from Ukraine is seriously hindering the country’s ability to swiftly realise its shale gas resource potential, and thus provide a potential market for proppants.

That said, the […]

Mining supergroups – do industrial minerals get a look-in?

Glencore acquiring Rio Tinto would have established a world mining supergroup. For the time being it now looks as if the deal is off, with both parties now assessing options as the mineral community ponders […]