Magnesium compounds: Timab Magnesium acquires 100% ownership of Magnesitas Navarras

Magnesitas Navarras

Magnesia producer Timab Magnesium has become the sole owner of Magnesitas Navarras (Magna) after completing the acquisition of the remaining stake in its parent company from previous joint owner Grecian Magnesite.

Timab, a subsidiary of France-based Groupe Rouiller, and Grecian Magnesite acquired Magna as a joint venture in 2000. Timab now has full ownership of Magna Inversiones, and therefore of Magna.

Magna operates two mines in Spain, in Azcarate and Borobia, and supplies refractories to the steelmaking industry.

Roskill view: This acquisition has happened at a time when the world benchmark price for Chinese dead burned magnesia (97.5%) has just risen by almost 300% to US$1,100-1,400 per tonne fob China from US$305–335 per tonne in June 2017. Roskill staff in China report that production of magnesite in Liaoning Province has just been stopped completely, with no information on when it might be resumed.

Production in China is focused in Liaoning province. Robust Chinese government anti-pollution measures reaching out across the country’s mining industry from early 2017 had already prompted the closure of many magnesia calcination and fusion plants. This led to a sudden reduction in supplies and concern over the future of China’s magnesium compounds supply chain. Supply shortages were already severe before the recent complete halt to magnesite production in Liaoning. President Xi Jinping is focused on pollution control as well as economic growth for his second term, with implications for the global supply chain in magnesium compounds as well as many other industrial raw materials.

Photo by Rufino Lasaosa