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Market fears havoc from ChinaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s overhaul of customs rules

By DAVIDE GHILOTTI

Published: Friday, 13 July 2018

 

China's customs department will introduce a much stricter system that local exporters and importers must follow to carry out international trading.

 

A soon-to-be-implemented overhaul of the customs system regulating exports and imports of mineral commodities in China is creating widespread concerns about large-scale disruptions to supply chains to and from the country.

 

China customs is imposing a new system of documentation effective from August 1, 2018. This system will require Chinese exporters to provide much more detailed information on the nature, value and route of their shipments.

 

Officials expect these restrictions will clamp down on widespread tax dodging that have been endemic in parts of the Chinese exports industry for many years.

 

"Until now, you could go about your exporting business by giving away almost no information to customs and, as a result, to the taxman," one market participant said. "This way of doing things is going away for good."

 

Tax avoidance and smuggling have been often mentioned as widespread practices in the trading of minerals originating from China, including bauxite, alumina, graphite, magnesia, silicon carbide.

 

Historical and current trade data from China customs shows how authorities are often unable to single out the identity of a large number of exporters behind certain shipments, which appear listed only as "no company name".

 

Additionally, a large share of total volumes of some commodities exported is also listed in customs data simply as "Shenzhen": this means that these companies are supposedly operating from the special-status Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, and are able to hide their identity behind the zoneÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s preferential arrangements.

 

http://www.indmin.com/Article/3820749/Mark...toms-rules.html

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US/China trade: Industrial minerals on tariff target list

 

In the latest announcement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), industrial minerals have been targeted for a 10% ad valorem duty on imports from China. This action is an escalation of the original U$34Bn action and a proposed $16Bn action announced on 20 June. In total, this latest round of changes will affect another US$200Bn of imports and the USTR is currently seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing regarding these latest modifications between August 20 and 23.

 

Roskill View: Many manufacturers in the US are going to have plenty to comment about on this latest proposal ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ importers of graphite, magnesia, fluorspar, barite, talc, vermiculite, antimony, and zircon to name but a few, including refractory producers.

 

For example, imports of natural flake graphite into the USA in 2017 totaled 45.1kt, of which 44% were sourced from China. For the ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¹Ãƒƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“artificial graphiteÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ category of synthetic graphite, the USA imports 69.0kt from China out of a total of 102.6kt, representing 67% of imports. Finding alternative sources of competitively priced natural flake graphite will be challenging, especially as in many product lines, substitution of raw materials is not a quick process, with quality and product testing involved. Barite will be another headache, largely used in drilling fluids ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the USA imported 1.3Mt from China in 2017, compared with domestic production of 316kt and few imports from elsewhere in the world.

 

If the duties are put in place, it will add another cost pressure that will affect all industries differently, depending on the raw material proportion of manufacturing costs. The US Trade Department is certainly ramping up the pressure with this latest wide-sweeping measure, which will impact many different consumers of minerals across a myriad of end user industries.

https://roskill.com/news/us-china-trade-ind...ff-target-list/

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From Roskill

Graphite: Chinese flake closures to continue through 2018

 

Production plant inspections and temporary closures look set to continue through 2018, impacting the Chinese natural flake graphite supply chain. The latest round of closures occurred in late May 2018, focused, as usual, on Shandong province ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the centre for flake graphite and spherical graphite processing in China. The May closures are believed to have occurred before a government summit was held in the region at Qingdao in June. By early July, many plants remained closed as producers try to meet increasingly strict environmental targets.

 

Previous closures in 2017 resulted in price increases, as a sudden curtail to flake graphite supply combined with rapidly rising demand from the lithium-ion battery market and recovery in the traditional refractory sector. Producers were then forced to draw down on stockpiles. In 2018, however, the market appears to have been more prepared and, by early July, prices had yet to increase following the latest round of closures.

 

Plant inspections have been ongoing in the natural graphite industry throughout the 2010s but have become more frequent and more rigorous to meet strengthening environmental policy. Previously, inspections were carried out by local government, which was often more concerned with keeping companies in operation (and paying tax) than on making sure environmental targets were properly met. Since the mid-2010s, however, inspections have come under control of the central government, which has prioritised pollution control in graphite and many other industries.

 

The spherical graphite sector in particular has been hard hit. Production of spherical graphite involves the use of strong acids and other harsh chemical reagents, as well as the grinding of graphite which can produce air-borne particulate matter.

 

Roskill view: Although both flake and spherical graphite have been in a state of considerable overcapacity in China, sudden and continued closures have left producers unprepared in recent years. In 2016, Chinese flake graphite production fell by around 30% on the previous year as a result of widespread closures. Production recovered in early 2017 but fell back again with a new round of closures in mid-2017. This pattern appears to have repeated in 2018 with some recovery early in the year followed by closures in May.

 

Although prices had yet to rise again by July 2018, it must be noted that there was a significant lag time between the mid-2017 closures and the first price increases in October that year. If low production levels continue to sustain through 2018, we could still see price increases later this year.

https://roskill.com/news/graphite-chinese-f...e-through-2018/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another ASX graphite (LGR) hopeful moves it's focus elsewhere. Who will be next?

 

The Company is currently a graphite mining exploration company which holds

exploration tenements in the south-west of Sri Lanka. Following completion of the

Transaction, the CompanyÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s core business activities will shift from graphite exploration

to retailing consumer electronics with a key focus e-commerce growth.

 

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20180803/pdf/...1tld2ddn86t.pdf

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7th Graphite & Graphene Conference will be held in London 6 - 7 September 2018 (see link for full agenda)

This particular agenda item could be interesting for producers/soon to be producers outside of China

11:15am Chinese graphite: how long before China reopens?

How large are the stockpiles of graphite in China and what will happen to this graphite now? Will it be stored or sold within or outside of China?

An update of the environmental regulations that are being applied to ChinaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s industry.

Do certain Chinese provinces have stricter regulations than others?

What graphite producers are capable of taking over ChinaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s production levels and will the quantity or quality of graphite remain or change?

Will ChinaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s cutbacks affect the development of spherical graphite due to reduced research into this product? Can Europe pick up the slack?

 

Haibo Mo, Deputy General Manager, Qingdao Hensen Graphite

http://www.indmin.com/events/graphite-conference/agenda.html

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Flake graphite prices soften on sellersÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ push

By DAVIDE GHILOTTI, CARRIE SHI

Published: Friday, 17 August 2018

 

Prices for three grades of European flake graphite declined this week as well as one grade of China-origin material, as the impact of the cheaper yuan spreads to graphite trading.

http://www.indmin.com/Article/3827708/Grap...llers-push.html

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  • 1 month later...
7th Graphite & Graphene Conference will be held in London 6 - 7 September 2018

 

Some news out of the conference - Natural flake and synthetic graphite ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ debate rages on

Metal Bulletin | 5 days ago |

 

The split of the global market share between natural flake and synthetic graphite was a regular topic of debate among delegates this week at the 7th Graphite & Graphene Conference in London.

 

While high-precision markets for graphite develop, such as lithium-ion batteries and flame retardants, the industry is asking whether consumers will opt for natural or artificial material, and how this will shape global consumption.

 

As well as the different costs of the materials ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ with natural flake still significantly cheaper than synthetic graphite ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ conference participants noted other factors that must be taken into account.

 

ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“You need to compare [like with like], and that doesnÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢t happen in many cases. While cost is a factor, you need to consider the performance and properties of your material,ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ Fabrizio Corti, business director for synthetic graphite at Imerys Graphite & Carbon, said.

 

Questions about the long-term sustainability of both natural and synthetic materials, and the indirect costs related to both types, must also be addressed, he added.

 

The supply of synthetic graphite is less affected by the problems that affect mining or processing in producing areas ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâ€Â¦ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ which, as has been shown by ChinaÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s environmentally driven restrictions, can disrupt output. But the production process for synthetic is energy-intensive, thus increasing costs.

 

At present, there is a perception, shared by several industry participants that demand for synthetic graphite is growing more quickly than it is for natural material.

 

ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“Synthetic is growing a bit faster than natural, in my opinion,ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ Gerry Hand, vice president of marketing at Superior Graphite, said. And this view was shared by other delegates.

At the same time, most participants agreed that the majority of users will settle into using a mix of both types of graphite. Depending on the application for which their output is intended, the share would tip in favor of one or the other.

 

Participants canvassed by Industrial Minerals during the London conference suggested that this market split could be 50:50. But a 60:40 split in favor of either type of material was also suggested.

 

Batteries: a maze of formulas

In the battery space, there is still a perceived lack of clarity on battery component makersÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ production processes and inputs.

 

ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“When it comes to battery makers, not even we, who have been supplying graphite to them for many years, clearly understand the exact composition of their formulas [regarding the proportions of natural and synthetic],ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ one delegate told Industrial Minerals on the sidelines of the event.

 

Different sub-sectors of the battery industry may rely on a larger share of synthetic graphite, while others may use more natural material, he added.

 

Battery makers supplying the consumer electronics markets have relied for years on natural graphite feedstock. This is likely to continue, the delegate said, but noted that anode producers for the electric vehicle sector seem to rely more heavily on synthetic graphite.

 

ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“You also must consider whether you are looking at international battery makers in South Korea or Japan, or at companies in China supplying the domestic market,ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ the delegate added. ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“There are bound to be differences there too.ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ÂÂ

 

Story originally appeared in Metal Bulletin

http://www.mining.com/web/synthetic-vs-natural-debate-rages/

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Graphite: Industry calls for move to less environmentally harmful processing methods

 

As demand for heavily-processed natural graphite (for electric vehicle batteries and other growth applications) continues to drive the graphite market, industry members outside China list greater environmental awareness among the most important changes needed to move the market forward. One main concern is with the use of large quantities of hydrofluoric acid as well as other strong acids and reagents for purification.

 

Speaking at Industrial MineralsÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ 7th Graphite & Graphene Conference, industry veteran Stephen Riddle of Asbury Carbons told delegates that changes must occur downstream, with consumers having to choose between current Chinese pricing or paying a premium to allow rest of world (ROW) production via more environmentally-friendly processing methods.

 

Roskill view: Almost all spherical graphite (for use in lithium-ion batteries) and expandable/expanded graphite (for use in flexible graphite, heat management and flame retardant products) are currently manufactured in China. There are high barriers to entry into downstream production for ROW manufacturers, including high energy costs, other high production costs, and much tighter environmental controls. Roskill has a unique insight into these production costs because it also researches the hydrofluoric acid supply chain as part of its work on fluorspar. Alternative processing methods have been developed, including a thermal-only purification method, but so far this has seen limited commercialisation because of competition with lower priced Chinese material.

 

The automotive industry is eager to be seen to be taking a more environmentally responsible stance with the move to electric vehicles and, at the same time, producers of electronic products (such as Apple and Intel) are investing in supply chain traceability and sustainability. It seems logical that they would want a greener alternative for use in their batteries, but will they pay for it?

 

Syrah Resources, which is the largest new producer of natural graphite for supply to the battery industry, is still supplying its graphite to Chinese processors, although it has plans (similar to many other graphite projects still in the pipeline) to produce spherical graphite in the ROW. Meanwhile, China is working hard to improve its environmental credentials, with several rounds of processing plant closures in recent years and permanent removal of the worst polluters. Although graphite-related pollution control in China is now improving sharply, production methods have yet to change and still rely on strong acids as part of a competitive production process.

https://roskill.com/news/graphite-industry-...essing-methods/

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