Bauxite & alumina: China alumina prices spike due to sudden shutdowns

Alumina prices in northern China have flirted with six-month highs as sudden environmental shutdowns in Shanxi province have raised concerns about supply. Xinfa Group, one of China’s largest aluminium smelters, is closing all production lines at its 2.8Mtpy alumina refinery in Jiaokou, Shanxi amid an environmental dispute. China’s state-run CCTV… Read more

Fluorspar: US President Trump announces tariffs on goods from Mexico

US President Donald Trump has announced tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico, demanding the country curb illegal immigration into the US. In a tweet, Mr Trump said that from 10 June 2019 a 5% tariff would be imposed and would slowly rise “until the illegal immigration problem is remedied”.… Read more

Battery raw materials: An analysis of upcoming projects for the 2020s

The rapid emergence of electric vehicles and energy storage has brought a renewed interest in battery raw materials commodities and underpinned worldwide exploration for new sources of lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese and graphite. Due to the nature of commodity markets, there is scant independent and systematic research in place analysing… Read more

Rare earths: China’s tariff trade-off with USA

After originally appearing on the draft proposal for US tariffs on imports from China, rare earth products have remained off the US tariff list. In contrast, the response from China has been to include rare earths on its retaliatory list, subjecting rare earth product trade to an increased tariff of… Read more

Rare earths: What is behind rising prices?

On 20 May 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected JL MAG Rare-Earth in East China’s Jiangxi province. JL Mag is one of the key rare earth producers in China, specialising in rare earth permanent magnet materials for wind turbines, electric vehicles, automotive accessories, inverter air-conditioning, energy-saving elevators, robots and intelligent… Read more

Chromium: A North American ferrochrome smelter by 2028?

The four cities of Timmins, Sudbury, Sault St. Marie and Thunder Bay submitted bids in February 2018 to become the host of Noront Resources’ planned Canadian ferrochrome smelter. Environmental and site suitability, capital costs, operating costs and an assessment of community acceptance for hosting the facility were some of the… Read more

Bauxite & alumina: Norsk Hydro gets go-ahead for Alunorte

Norsk Hydro has secured the approvals needed to resume full production from Alunorte, its large alumina refinery in Brazil, ending a long-running legal dispute. The Norwegian company had been running Alunorte at half its 6.3Mtpy capacity for more than a year amid fears that a containment pond for waste material… Read more