News

Lithium: Tianqi finally secures its SQM stake from Nutrien

Tianqi has finally purchased a 23.77% share of SQM for US$4.1Bn following anti-competition lawsuits filed in Chile under scrutiny from regulators, competitors and consumer groups, delaying closure of a deal it struck with Nutrien in May 2018. Tianqi bid 12% above SQM’s closing price of US$58.16 on May 16th, which… Read more

Tungsten: Almonty commences mine development work at Sangdong

Canada-headquartered tungsten concentrates producer Almonty Industries has begun drift development work at the Sangdong tungsten mine in South Korea. The work – which includes transportation drifts, loading points, passing bays and cross-cuts connecting to the ore bodies – is expected to take 18 months to complete.  Roskill view:  The mine… Read more

Fluorspar: New fluoride-ion battery chemistry

Scientists from Honda Research Institute have collaborated with researchers at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a new fluoride-based battery (FIB) technology that allows room-temperature operation of fluoride-ion based energy cells. The research team found a method for creating a fluoride-ion electrochemical cell capable… Read more

Salt: Major expansion to capacity at Leichhardt Industrials

Leichhardt Industrials has announced a major expansion to proposed capacity at its Eramurra solar salt project in Western Australia. Base capacity is now 2.2Mtpy but this could rise to 2.6Mtpy, depending on the acquisition of more crystalliser areas in 2019. There is also the possibility that the operation could use… Read more

Tantalum: Kemet announces customer-funded capacity increases for MLCCs

On 29 November, capacitor giant Kemet Corporation announced that it had entered into an agreement with one of its customers to help fund increases to capacity. The unnamed customer, assumed to be a large producer of electronic devices, will provide Kemet with interest-free advance payments totalling US$30M. This follows a… Read more

Automotive: Could China cut taxes on US-made cars?

On December 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump held high-stakes trade talks in Buenos Aires, Argentina after the G20 Summit. The leaders of the world’s two largest economies agreed to a 90-day timeline and road map to negotiate a further trade deal. If the two parties… Read more

Rare Earths: TDK acquires Showa Denko R&D branch of magnet alloys

TDK Corporation has reached an agreement with Showa Denko to acquire the latter’s neodymium magnet alloy research and development business sector. The transfer to TDK is scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2019. TDK’s magnet business already includes neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets and ferrite magnets for a variety… Read more

Fluorspar: Acidspar prices at their highest levels since 2011

Environmental restrictions in China, the world’s largest fluorspar producer by far, have persisted into December 2018, turning the world fluorspar supply/demand balance upside down. Sources within China have reported that acid-grade fluorspar (acidspar) domestic wet powder prices now range between US$510/t and US$570/t, while dry powder prices have reached US$547/t… Read more