Jun 18

‘Best market conditions in five years’ prompts Iluka to raise zircon, rutile prices

Iluka Resources will raise prices for its zircon and rutile products, amid strong demand, weakened supply and what it says is a “trend towards high grade feedstocks and chloride feedstocks across the board.”

 

Iluka Resources will raise its zircon price as of April 1 and has already raised its rutile price for the first half of this year, it said, citing robust market conditions.

The minerals sands mining and exploration company will raise its zircon reference price to $1,410 per tonne from April 1 for the following six months from $1,230 per tonne, its price as of October 1 last year.

It has also raised its price for contracted rutile sales by 8% or $70 per tonne for the first half to $895 per tonne.

Its zircon reference price is now 48% higher and realised prices are 60% higher than the lows of the second quarter of 2016, it also noted.

Industrial Minerals recently assessed zircon, premium grade, min 66.5% ZrO2, bulk, cif China prices at $1,350-1,450 per tonne.

Industrial Minerals assessed the price for rutile concentrate min 95% TiO2 bulk cif China prices at $850-950 per tonne, rutile concentrate min 95% TiO2 large volumes for pigment fob Australia at $800-900 per tonne and rutile concentrate min. 95% TiO2 bagged, fob Australia at $950-1,200 per tonne.

In a conference call to discuss its full-year results, Iluka described market conditions as the “best in five years,” noting strong demand for both its zircon and titanium feedstocks. “Zircon supply is expected to remain tight [but there is] limited scope for short-term supplier response,” it said.

While Iluka did not provide guidance for 2018 on its zircon production, it said that its sales are likely to exceed production. The company also painted a positive picture for titanium feedstocks, stating that there is a universal trend towards high-grade feedstocks and chloride feedstocks. Iluka therefore has a positive outlook on pricing, repeating its aim to “maintain sustainable pricing.”

“We are not a speculator – we don’t think speculating the market is useful,” it added. Despite a full-year loss of $172 million due to impairments, strong market conditions have allowed the company to slash debt by 64% to $183 million.

The company has also reinstated a final fully franked dividend, declaring a payout of 25 cents per share. Iluka’s full-year production in 2017 exceeded expectations, it said last month, mainly due to Sierra Rutile contributing 171,000 tonnes of zircon and rutile.

Jun 11

ArcelorMittal, Nippon tie up to jointly bid for Essar Steel

MUMBAI: Two global steel giants — ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel — are teaming up to jointly bid
for bankrupt Essar Steel BSE 0.41 %, said two senior executives who did not want to be named. The
asset is expected to go under the hammer in the second week of February.

ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel had originally planned to submit independent bids for Essar Steel,
which is among the five steel companies up for sale following RBI’s directions to refer 12 companies
to bankruptcy court in June last year. The other key contenders for Essar Steel are Tata Steel BSE 0.54
%, Vedanta Resources and the promoters of Essar, the Ruias, in partnership with Russia’s VTB
Capital.

Japan’s Nippon Steel and billionaire Lakshmi Mittal-promoted ArcelorMittal decided to bid jointly for
Essar last week, said the people cited above. “The final contours of the tie-up are being worked out.
We don’t really know the rationale for the tie-up as yet,” said one of the persons.

ArcelorMittal declined comment on what it said was speculation. Nippon Steel couldn’t be reached
over the weekend and there was no response to an email.

PARTNERSHIP TO INTENSIFY BIDDING

“Nippon Steel has deep pockets but it does not have any presence in India and therefore partnering
with those who are familiar with Indian regulations is comforting,” said one of the persons. “For
Arcelor-Mittal, partnership will add to the financial muscle needed for acquiring the company.”

This partnership will intensify bidding for Essar Steel and result in lower haircuts for lenders. Essar
Steel faces Rs 54,851 crore in claims from financial creditors and Rs 22,914 crore in claims from
operational creditors. The five steel companies among the 12 are Electrosteel Steels, Bhushan Steel,
Monnet Ispat and Bhushan Power & Steel besides Essar Steel.

Of the five, the respective resolution professionals have accepted binding bids for Monnet Ispat and
Electrosteel Steels, while the other three will be up for sale after the February 1 Budget. JSW Ispat in
partnership with AION was the sole bidder for Monnet Ispat. Vedanta Resources emerged the
highest bidder for Electrosteel Steels.

Tata Steel has sought fresh bids for Electrosteel Steels after a clarification was issued on tax liability
for acquiring distressed companies a day after deadline. JSW Ispat has tied up with a Japanese fund
and Piramal to bid for Bhushan Steel and is expected to face stiff competition from Vedanta. “These
developments show that bidding for steel companies, particularly Essar, will attract intense
competition and no one wants to take a chance in losing good assets at a discount,” said one of those
aware of the development .

The Ruias will make every effort to retain their prized asset and their bid may be the most aggressive
among all bidders, said people with knowledge of discussions.

Jun 04

As Chinese imports decline, domestic refractory makers eye larger market

Better mining policy is the need of the hour to encourage the segment, says Chairman, IREFCON NEW DELHI, MARCH 11

Considered to be a ‘dying industry’ till recently, domestic refractory makers are suddenly finding their place under the sun, thanks to the spurt in prices of Chinese imports.

Earlier, apart from finished products, nearly 40 per cent of the raw materials for refractory bricks — such as magnesite, graphite, fused and calcined alumina and high grade clays — were imported from China. However, with China clamping down on mining and introducing stringent pollution control norms, the supply of raw materials has been impacted. This has shifted the focus on to domestic refractory makers, said Parmod Sagar, Chairman, India International Refractories Congress (Irefcon).

Refractory products are vital in all high-temperature processes in the making of metals, cement, glass and ceramics. The steel industry is one of the biggest consumers of refractory products, accounting for nearly 60-70 per cent of the total production.

“Till about a year back refractory was considered a dying industry, everyone was ignoring it. But this China issue has brought a change in the way refractory is viewed as a product for steel and cement making,” Sagar told BusinessLinerecently at an Irefcon conference.

Despite refractory being a key component for the steel industry, it has hardly found mention in the government’s steel policy, he said.

Price surge

According to Sagar, while the price of refractory products has increased by 30-50 per cent, that of the raw materials surged by 10-150 per cent across various categories.

The ₹6,500-crore domestic refractory industry, which has not taken any ‘significant’ price hike in the last three to five years, has managed to pass it on to its consumers thus far. However, any further price hike would be difficult to manage, he said.

Need for mining policy

To encourage players to set up plants in India, the Centre should focus on supporting the refractory industry with a better mining policy, and allocate funds for research and development of raw material in India, he said. There is also a need to bring down import duty on raw material for refractory to zero so as to encourage domestic production.

May 28

Alteo sommé de réparer les dégâts après un accident de pollution de l’air “de grande ampleur”

La préfecture des Bouches-du-Rhône a sommé le 11 avril l’entreprise Alteo de réparer les dommages causés par un accident de pollution de l’air qualifié de “grande ampleur”. Cet accident provient de l’usine d’alumine de Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône), un site déjà pointé du doigt par le passé, lors de l’affaire des boues rouges.

Le préfet des Bouches-du-Rhône a pris le mercredi 11 avril un arrêté d’urgence pour ordonner la réparation des dommages causés par un accident de pollution de l’air qualifié de “grande ampleur” dans l’usine d’alumine Alteo de Gardanne (Bouches-du-Rhône).

“Le préfet a pris un arrêté d’urgence demandant à l’exploitant de mettre en oeuvre, à sa charge et en lien avec les services de la commune de Bouc-Bel-Air, les moyens nécessaires pour supprimer dès à présent les conséquences et les nuisances générées par les retombées de poussières sédimentables chez les riverains”, précise la préfecture dans un communiqué.

Le maire de Bouc-Bel-Air, Richard Maillé, a porté plainte le lundi 9 avril contre l’usine d’alumine à la suite de la pollution de sa commune le dimanche 8 avril par un nuage de poussières rouges en provenance du site stockant des résidus de bauxite.

Un accident de pollution de l’air de grande ampleur
Des lotissements de la commune, une école et des édifices publics ont été souillés par les résidus emportés par le vent violent qui a soufflé le week-end dernier sur le département.

Selon la préfecture, le site de déchets de résidus minéraux exploité par Alteo “a été à l’origine d’un accident de pollution de l’air de grande ampleur” avec des conséquences sur l’environnement.

Elle somme l’exploitant de lui fournir un rapport d’accident “sous quinze jours”, précisant que ses services procèderont à un contrôle des opérations de nettoyage.

Un groupe régulièrement pointé du doigt
Le groupe Alteo est régulièrement pointé du doigt par les associations de défense de l’environnement pour avoir déversé pendant des années des boues rouges dans la Méditerranée.

Le site des Bouches-du-Rhône, qui représente 440 emplois directs et 300 indirects, a obtenu en décembre 2015 l’autorisation de poursuivre le rejet en mer d’effluents liquides, au coeur du Parc national des Calanques.

Selon l’industriel, une nouvelle station de traitement des eaux a permis de cesser définitivement le rejet de boues rouges en mer.

Le gouvernement socialiste de Manuel Valls a pris la décision en 2015 de prolonger l’activité d’Alteo et, pour six ans, le rejet dans la mer d’effluents aqueux dépassant les seuils réglementaires. Une décision confortée par le tribunal administratif de Marseille.

L’usine d’alumine bénéficiait depuis 1966 du droit de rejeter les résidus solides du traitement de la bauxite à une profondeur de 320 mètres dans un canyon marin au coeur du parc national. Quelque 20 millions de tonnes de boues rouges ont depuis été déversées sur plus de 2.000 km2 de fonds marins.

May 28

IX CONGRESO NACIONAL DE MATERIALES, MAQUINARÍA Y MONTAJE DE REFRACTARIOS. 13 JUNIO 2018

REUNIONES JUNIO OVIEDO HOTEL AYRE OVIEDO.

 

Martes 12 de Junio de 2018:

16.00 Reunión Comité Técnico (Solo asociados)

16.00 Reunión Comité Montadores (Solo asociados)

18.00 Coffee Break (Solo asociados)

18.30 Junta Directiva (Solo asociados)

21.00 Salida Hall Hotel para Cena apertura Congreso en el Real Club de Tenis

Miércoles 13 de Junio de 2018:

8.30- Entrega de acreditaciones

9.00-9.15 – Apertura del Congreso. Bienvenida del Presidente de Anfre

9.15- 10.00 – Ponencia de Unesid-“ La industria siderúrgia española. Mercado Nacional y entorno internacional”. Alfonso Hidalgo

10.00- 10.35 – Ponencia de Midegasa- “ Silica fume grade for Application in Refractory. Properties and advantages”. Christian Lengdobler.

10.35- 11.10 – Ponencia de Cementos Molins- “ Soluciones y tendencias refractarias sostenibles con aluminatos de calcio”. Christian Iglesis

11.10- 11.40 – Coffee Break

11.40- 12.15 – Ponencia Informed. “ Year of the Dog: is its bark worse than its bite? China´s refractory minerals outlook”. Mike O´Driscoll.

12.15- 12.50 – Ponencia de Imerys. “Improvements for a better rehability of low Cement castables.” Fabien Simonin

12.50- 13.25 – Ponencia de Elkem. “EMSIL-DRYTM: Hormigones de secado rápido , ventajas tanto para el fabricante de Refractarios como para los Usuarios finales.”Jordi Hernández.

13.25- 14.00 – Ponencia Arciresa.“Bauxstar 90. Una nueva Bauxita producida en España”. María F. Torío y Fernando López.

14.00- 15.30 – Comida

15.30- 16.15 – Ponencia de Oficemen .” La industria española del Cemento”. Ricardo López

16.15- 16.50 – Ponencia de IMCD España. “ Hormigones refractarios para aplicaciones industriales: aún tenemos margen para mejorar”. Adrián García

17.00 – 18.00/18.30 – Mesa redonda de Materias Primas. Cierre de Congreso

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