News

Graphite: SGL Carbon profit warning and CEO resignation

SGL Carbon of Germany has warned this year’s profits could fall short of expectations as the company withdrew its three-year forecasts and its CEO Jürgen Köhler stepped down amid claims of ‘flawed business planning’. It now expects operating profits to be €10M (US$11M) below those of last year’s €65M (US$72M),… Read more

Lithium: Alita Resources faces operational cost and financial headwinds

Australian spodumene miner Alita Resources (previously Alliance Mineral Assets), owner of the Bald Hill mine, has entered voluntary suspension from trading pending ongoing off-take and finance negotiations. This follows the company’s announced strategic review of its operations amidst cash flow concerns related to operating costs and weaker concentrate pricing. In… Read more

Copper: China’s imports recover strongly through July

Chinese total copper imports (in all forms) revived substantially in July, calming industry fears after June’s abnormally low monthly total undermined market sentiment. Imports in June had slumped unexpectedly 17% year-on-year to 866kt, resulting in a 1% drop in Chinese copper imports in the first half of 2019. Roskill’s provisional… Read more

Fluorspar: Resource nationalism complicates mining investment in Mongolia

Mongolian fluorspar production has rebounded in 2018 and 2019 with output being increased to supply markets affected by less readily available Chinese material. There is no domestic requirement for fluorspar, so all production is exported, mainly to China and Russia. Small shipments (typically totalling less than 20ktpy) are also sent… Read more

Rare Earths: More permanent magnets used to improve electric motors

Linear Labs in Texas, USA, has claimed at least two times more torque density and three times more power density in its HET (Hunstable Electric Turbine) compared to other high-performance permanent magnet motors. In addition to using less copper, motor performance specs are quoted by the company to have 10%… Read more

Steel: Chinese crude steel output slows as mills begin to cut production

Chinese crude steel production totalled 85.2Mt in July, a 5% year-on-year increase vs. 9.9% in H1 2019. Steel mills have started to cut output as profit margins are close to negative territories, despite the recent drop in iron ore prices. In the second part of July, China’s blast furnace operating… Read more

Nickel: Prices spike amid Indonesian supply speculation

Nickel prices spiked this week, with the LME three-month nickel price reaching a high of US$16,690/t amid continued market speculation over future Indonesian supply. Roskill View In a recent article, Roskill documented the rise in nickel prices through July, reaching above US$14,000/t. Price volatility is nothing new for the nickel… Read more

Bauxite and alumina: Rusal re-opens Achinsk alumina refinery

Rusal is reported to have begun a staged reopening of its Achinsk operations, Russia’s largest alumina refinery, following last week’s explosions at a nearby military base. On 5 August, a fire at an ammunition depot in the Siberian town of Achinsk triggered large explosions that left one dead and eight… Read more

Cobalt: Will the Mutanda shutdown bring an end to intermediate oversupply?

On 7th August, Glencore confirmed that it would suspend production at the world’s largest cobalt mine. Mutanda will be transitioned to temporary care and maintenance by the end of the year, “…reflecting its reduced economic viability in the current market environment, primarily in response to low cobalt prices”. Roskill View… Read more

Fluorspar: New South African acidspar mine opens with plans for downstream beneficiation to follow

SepFluor Limited’s R1.7Bn (US$115M) Nokeng fluorspar mine and plant at Rust de Winter, north east of Pretoria, was officially opened on 1 August 2019. Nokeng has a 12Mt SAMREC-compliant reserve and an initial estimated life-of-mine of 19 years. It will initially exploit two haematite-fluorspar orebodies—Outwash Fan and Plattekop—with an option… Read more