Agriculture and animal feed
of base metals
Flame retardant building products
Industrial water treatment
Heavy metals removal
Changing market dynamics
Specialty growth areas and the non-metallic industries such as agriculture, wastewater treatment and fire-resistant building materials hold significant growth prospects for the magnesia market.
Traditionally, China has dominated world magnesia supply for over a decade; accounting for some 70% of the world’s magnesia production capacity and 60% of world production.
Environmental and legislative changes in China are influencing market dynamics.
Robust Chinese government anti-pollution measures, implemented in early 2017, has prompted the closure of many magnesia calcination and fusion plants, leading to a reduction in supply.
In addition, government control of explosives has interrupted ore extraction and therefore feedstock to caustic calcine magnesium oxide (CCM), dead burn (DBM) and fusion (FM) magnesia plants. A ban on illegal magnesite mining implemented in early 2018 has only worked to exacerbate ore shortages.
Traditionally, steel alloys and refractories dead burn (DBM) have represent a large segment of the magnesite market and there is no doubt DBM will continue to drive demand for magnesium oxide, with few substitutes for magnesium oxide in refractory applications.
CCM is estimated to represent 20% of total magnesia production supplying a wide variety of markets including:
- Animal feed to reduce grass tetany in Dairy cattle
- Fertiliser – especially palm oil and sugar cane
- Hydrometallurgical processing of base metals (e.g. Ni, Co, Cu), uranium and rare earths
- Building and insulation boards
- Production of magnesium cements
- Flame retardant building products
- Heavy metals removal
- Removal of SO2 from flue gases (FGD)
- Industrial water treatment
- Pulp and paper
- Stabiliser in production of rubber
- Used in the production of rayon, fuel additives
- Feedstock for dead burned and fused magnesia