Graphite: Syrah shocks market with sudden slash in production

As the graphite industry gathered in Berlin last Tuesday (10th September) for Fastmarkets’ 2019 Graphite Conference, news broke of Syrah Resources’ plans to significantly lower production. The company plans to reduce its output of flake graphite concentrate from more than 15ktpm (per month), to around 5ktpm. Syrah Resources has been… Read more

Bauxite and alumina: Prices increase again for brown and white fused alumina

Prices for brown and white fused alumina increased through the first half of September 2019 amid concerns over Chinese supply with the continuing threat of environmental inspections and plant closures. Prices for calcined alumina, meanwhile, have fallen further in recent weeks with increasing supply but little increase in demand. Concerns… Read more

Antimony: Refinery cutbacks in Lengshuijiang

Antimony prices have been on a downward trend since the beginning of the year, declining 25% year-to-date by end-August. In the Hunan Lengshuijiang area, the latest local news suggests that almost all smelters (7 or 8 known to Roskill) have halted production, mainly related to the lack of available feedstock.… Read more

Copper: Contrasting trends in Zambian and DRC copper mine production in H1 2019

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia have long been the dominant forces in African copper output, but operators in both countries continue to face a challenging environment from the constant shift in their respective governments’ taxation and royalty regimes, irrespective of problems posed by wild fluctuations in international… Read more

Batteries: Take-aways from the first day of Detroit’s Battery Show

The Battery Show 2019 kicked-off on Tuesday 10th in Novi, Detroit, with more than 9,000 attendees. Exhibitors this year included global automakers, cell makers, parts suppliers, equipment manufacturers, recyclers, research companies, and government representatives. Of particular interest for the future of the industry were solid-state battery developers, a number of… Read more

Tungsten, fluorspar: Nui Phao Mining wins US$130M payout from Jacobs

On 10th September, Masan Resources announced that its tungsten and fluorspar subsidiary Nui Phao Mining Company (NPMC) had settled an arbitration case with Jacobs E&C Australia for US$130M. Masan noted that in March 2019, a panel of three arbitrators appointed by the Singapore International Arbitration Center had awarded NMPC a… Read more

Steel: China’s August Steel PMI at a 44-month low

China’s August steel Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hit its lowest level since 2015 at 44.9, due to a lower demand, higher production and rising inventories, according to China’s Steel Logistics Professional Committee (CSLPC) latest release. China’s inventories of five major finished steel products at warehouses in 20 major cities rose… Read more

Antimony: China Minmetals purchases antimony stockpile during Fanya auction

On Sunday the 1st of September, the rare earths arm of state-owned China Minmetals placed the winning bid for antimony ingot and rare earth inventories formerly held by the failed Fanya Metal Exchange. Minmetals was the sole bidder for the online auctions, paying RMB780.4M (US$108.8M). Roskill View Prior to the… Read more

Fluorspar: LG Display successfully tests Korean hydrogen fluoride

LG Display has finished tests on domestically produced high-purity hydrogen fluoride and begun to apply domestic production to its process. The company has already added the new Korean products to its production lines for flagship panels such as organic light emitting diodes (OLED) panels. Samsung Display is also expected to… Read more

Lithium: Are spodumene plant design recovery rates realistic?

The past couple of years has seen the start-up of several lithium projects in Australia based on production from spodumene. As these mines have ramped up, however, one common theme has persistently emerged, the issue of processing plants struggling to meet their design recovery rates. Based on analysis from our… Read more

Nickel: Indonesia re-imposes ban on nickel ore exports

The Indonesian government has decided to re-impose a ban on the export of unprocessed nickel ores earlier than originally scheduled. Indonesia had relaxed its previous policy of forbidding the export of unprocessed ores in early 2017 (a policy that had been implemented in 2014). That policy relaxation allowed the export… Read more