Bauxite and alumina: Noranda settles wage disputes

Noranda Bauxite has closed negotiations with three trade unions in Jamaica where it mines bauxite, following two years of disputes. The results are expected to reduce the threat of work stoppages over the coming years, with three separate agreements made lasting until 2022/2023. Together, agreements with the Bustamante Industrial Trade… Read more

Rare earths, niobium, tantalum: Russia-China project planned for eastern Siberia

In late-2019, Russian pipemaking company Chelyabinsk Pipe Works (part of the ChelPipe Group and affiliated with Tekhnoinvest Alliance) was looking to team up with the Chinese steelmaker Inner Mongolia BaoTou Steel to develop its Zashikhinsk rare earths deposit. Located in the Nizhneudinsky district of the Irkutsk region, the deposit is… Read more

Graphite: Magnis signs construction contract for Nachu project in Tanzania

In December 2019, Magnis Energy Technologies (Magnis) signed a binding contract with Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC). The contract is described as a ‘fixed price turn-key solution to produce high-purity graphite products’ and covers building of the processing plant as well as related infrastructure… Read more

Bauxite and alumina: Alcoa to permanently close Point Comfort refinery

On 16 December, US aluminium producer Alcoa Corporation announced the permanent closure of its 2.3Mtpy Point Comfort alumina refinery in Texas, USA. Alumina production has not taken place since the plant was taken off-line in June 2016. The refinery previously produced standard non-metallurgical grades of alumina. The closure of the… Read more

Tungsten: Hemerdon sold to new owner for £2.8M

The Drakelands tungsten-tin mine and processing facilities formerly operated by Australian group Wolf Minerals, and perhaps better known as the Hemerdon operation, have been acquired by firm Tungsten West for £2.8M (US$3.7M). Drakelands, located near Hemerdon in Plymouth, UK was mothballed in late 2018 after Wolf went into administration, owing… Read more

Fluorspar: Arkema expands PVDF capacity to supply EV battery market

In anticipation of continued steady growth in the lithium-ion battery market for electric vehicles, Arkema Group plans to increase capacity of high-performance polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) dedicated to this market at its Changshu plant by approximately 50%. The investment further supports the Group’s ambition to accelerate growth in Advanced Materials.… Read more

Rare earths: Myanmar’s border to China recloses

Roskill understands that some Chinese producers and operators in Myanmar have been asked to head back to China after the border between the two countries closed once again in mid-December. The border had recently reopened in October following a “permanent closure” in May 2019, making this the third switch within… Read more

Bauxite and alumina, iron ore: SMB-Winning consortium moves into Guinean iron ore

Société Minière de Boké-Winning Africa (SMB-Winning) has won the right to develop half of the Simandou deposit in Guinea which is thought to contain around 2Bnt of high-grade iron ore. The consortium includes Chinese aluminium producer Shandong Weiqiao (a subsidiary of China Hongqiao) as well as logistics firms Winning Shipping… Read more