Rare Earths: Construction begins at the Gakara project in Burundi

Roskill view: Rainbow Rare Earths announced the start of construction works at its Gakara rare earths project in Burundi. The company completed an IPO in January which raised US$8M towards the development of the project, and signed a 10-year sales agreement with German industrial group Thyssenkrupp to supply rare earth… Read more

Nickel: RNC secures partner in Dumont project

Roskill view: A long-term fall in nickel prices from peaks in 2007/2008, and again in 2010/2011 led to the rapid expansion of the pipeline of nickel projects, but the steady decline in nickel prices down through to mid-2016 understandably dismayed investors. While a partial recovery in prices got underway in… Read more

Vanadium: Bushveld Minerals and Wogen Resources strike deal

Roskill view: Last week, Bushveld Minerals (South Africa) secured a definitive sales and marketing agreement with Wogen Resources (UK). The agreement will provide financing to aid Bushveld’s acquisition of a 78.8% interest in Strategic Minerals Corporation (SMC) from Evraz as well as working capital finance for Vametco Alloys. Bushveld signed… Read more

Alumina: Nabaltec to acquire 100% of US subsidiary Nashtec

Roskill view: Germany-headquartered speciality alumina producer Nabaltec has announced it is a step closer to restarting operations at its idled Nashtec subsidiary in the USA with the signing of an agreement to acquire the remaining shares in the company from its JV partner Allied Alumina. In August 2016, Nabaltec announced… Read more

Magnesia, refractories: RHI revenue falls 5.8% in 2016

Roskill view: While revenues fell nearly 6% y-on-y, leading Austria-headquartered magnesia and refractories group RHI AG maintained operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) at 2015 levels (posting €123.2M in 2016) despite continued weakness in the global steel refractories market.  RHI noted that operating EBIT was improved in its raw… Read more

Lithium: Talison to double concentrate capacity to 160ktpy LCE.

Roskill view: Albemarle announced that it and Talison joint venture partner Tianqi Lithium have approved an expansion of the Greenbushes spodumene mine, doubling capacity to 160ktpy. Commissioning is expected in H2 2019. Albemarle noted that this expansion was key to its own capacity goals of 165ktpy LCE in refined product by… Read more

Cobalt: SMM cut cathode reported to have high nickel content

Roskill view: Metal Bulletin (MB) reported last week that ongoing production problems at Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) have led to the nickel content in SMM’s material gradually increasing over the past few weeks, despite the company’s best efforts to correct it. SMM produces 99.8% cut cathode, the nickel content of… Read more

Nickel: Prices more stable than the news may have you believe

Roskill view: The nickel market has had no shortage of big news items in the last months. An environmental crackdown in the Philippines, including the closure and suspension of many of the smaller and mid-sized producers, has helped to shore up prices, among concerns that a reduction in supply of… Read more

Niobium continues to attract investment

The global niobium industry has witnessed substantial alterations to its corporate landscape over the past few years.  As recently as 2011, the Brazilian niobium and ferroniobium giant CBMM was wholly owned by the Salles family, with Anglo American providing the balance of the country’s ferroniobium output. The only other significant… Read more