Bauxite and alumina: Alunorte returns, once again, to normal production

Production at Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine returned to normal in late December 2019, following a closure of around 10 days—the result of a power supply failure caused by an overturned transmission tower. Production at the company’s associated Alunorte alumina refinery had also been reduced by 50–70%. This is not the… Read more

Fluorspar: New acid-grade fluorspar shipments by South Africa’s SepFluor

SepFluor, operator of the newly constructed Nokeng mine in South Africa, has confirmed that it has made its first shipment of fluorspar which meets the industry standard assay for acid-grade fluorspar (acidspar) of 97% CaF2. The 10kt shipment was dispatched in early December 2019 and was thought to be destined… Read more

Rhenium: Cannon-Muskegon moves to reduce content in single crystal superalloys

A new patent filed by superalloys producer Cannon-Muskegon shows that the rhenium content of single crystal superalloys for turbine blades and vane applications can be successfully lowered to 1.4–1.6% Re, while maintaining high-temperature creep resistance and other properties. Total refractory elements (tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum and rhenium) were balanced at 18–19%… Read more

Talc: Golcha Associated adds value through new talc applications

Indian talc producer Golcha Associated operates the single largest talc mine in India and is one of the leading talc producers worldwide with production levels of 300ktpy. Over the last ten years, the company has doubled its processing capacity and introduced high-efficiency jet mills, pulverisers, compactors and classifiers to produce… Read more

Lithium: Livent sees lower hydroxide prices in 2020

Livent has reduced its expected Q4 2019 revenue to US$75–80M from US$90–100M and its full-year 2019 revenue to US$385–390M from US$400–410M on reduced volumes due to delayed orders and lower prices for its lithium products. EBITDA is forecast at US$14–17M in Q4 and US$75–80M for the full-year 2019. The company… Read more

Chromium: Ferrochrome prices continue their decline in January 2020

Merafe Resources, in a joint venture with Glencore’s South African chromium assets, announced US$1.01/lb Cr for the European benchmark ferrochrome price for the first quarter of 2020, decreasing by US$0.01 from the previous quarter. In China, January 2020 ferrochrome tender prices dropped to below US$0.70/lb Cr, falling to below this… Read more

Copper: 2019 year-end rally pushes LME copper prices to eight month high

Copper prices mounted a sustained rally through December, taking their cue from news of a breakthrough to the impasse in the USA/China trade negotiations, scheduled to be ratified in the signing of a phase-one trade agreement in January. Building on improved business sentiment, LME cash prices rose by 6% from… Read more

Indium: Massive Fanya stockpile fails to sell

On 29th December 2019, some 3.6kt of indium stocks from the bankrupt Fanya Metals Exchange were put up for auction by the Kunming Intermediate People’s Court on the Taobao website. Despite receiving more than 10,000 views in the 24-hour bidding window, the lot failed to attract any bids – the… Read more

Rare Earths: Taking flight

Rolls-Royce, in collaboration with the UK government, YASA and Electroflight, is designing what it hopes to be the world’s fastest all-electric airplane, the ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight). In other news, the commercial six-seater Harbour Air ePlane, with an engine designed by Australian engineering firm MagniX, has taken flight… Read more