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Growth of Boron Industry is Driven by Chinese Demand

March 3, 2010

LONDON, March 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ –

– Boron: Global Industry Markets and Outlook (12th Edition, 2010)

Global demand for boron, an essential component in the manufacture of
fibreglass and borosilicate glass, grew strongly in the three years to 2008.
Products containing boron in the form of borates or boric acid pervade every
part of everyday life from borosilicate glass in LCD screens to composites
used in car body panels to glass wool for loft insulation.

Growth has been driven by an expansion of demand from China, where
consumption rose by 15%pa from 2000 to 2008. The increase in market share
held by Asian countries reflects the shift in production of textile-grade
fibreglass, borosilicate glass and ceramics away from North America and
Europe to countries with lower production costs.

Following the years of strong growth, 2009 saw a sharp drop in demand for
borates, but, in the second half or the year, markets for both textile-grade
fibreglass and borosilicate glass recovered and demand for borosilicate glass
in LCD screens is expected to grow by 15% in 2010. The main factors affecting
future demand for textile-grade fibreglass are continued growth in electronic
products, increased penetration of fibreglass in markets traditionally held
by steel and concrete and the emergence of new markets such as turbine blades
for wind power generation.

An up-turn in construction activity and the increase in government-led
initiatives to reduce energy consumption will provide a recovering market for
insulation-grade fibreglass in the medium term.

World production of natural and refined borates remains highly
concentrated in Turkey and the USA, with Rio Tinto Minerals and Eti Mine
accounting for around 75% of supply. The high B2O3 content (>26%) of the
colemanite, tincal and kernite mined in Turkey and California is the main
factor contributing to the leading position of these two companies in world
borates supply.

The gap between China’s domestic production and demand (and the
relatively low-grade of locally mined borates) has been, and will continue to
be, the main factor driving capacity expansions worldwide. Since 2003,
expansions undertaken by Rio Tinto Minerals in the USA, Quiborax in Chile,
Eti Mine in Turkey and Manufacturas Los Andes in Argentina, have raised boric
acid capacity by over 200,000tpy and were mainly aimed at the Chinese market.

Future expansion is dominated by plans to expand capacity for refined
borates, boron oxide and calcined tincal in Turkey. Other projects under
consideration are to increase boric acid production in Argentina and Bolivia
and to exploit brine deposits in Tibet and Qinghai. In addition, Rio Tinto
Minerals has plans to exploit the Jadar lithium borate deposit in Serbia.

Note to editors

The report contains 243 pages, 152 tables and 41 figures. It provides a
detailed review of the industry, with subsections on the activities of the
leading producing companies. It also analyses consumption, trade and prices.

For further information or a review copy of this report, please contact
Robert baylis (robert@roskill.co.uk). To receive press releases via email,
please contact Prakash Ramachandran (prakash@roskill.co.uk).

                               Table of Contents

            1 Summary                                                      1

            2 Introduction and occurrence of boron minerals                5
          2.1 Properties of boron                                          5
          2.2 Occurrence of boron minerals                                 6

            3 Mining and processing of borates                             9
          3.1 Mining of boron minerals                                     9
          3.2 Processing of refined borates                                9
    3.2.1     Processing of sodium borates                                10
    3.2.2     Processing of boric acid                                    11
    3.2.3     Processing of brines                                        13
          3.3 Processing of speciality boron compounds                    14
          3.4 Grades of borates                                           16
          3.5 Impact of REACH on borates                                  18

            4 World production of borates                                 21
          4.1 World production of boron minerals                          21
    4.1.1     Leading producers of boron minerals                         25
          4.2 World production of boric acid                              26
          4.3 Future trends in production of borates                      29

            5 Review of borate-producing countries and companies          32
          5.1 Argentina                                                   32
    5.1.1     Producers of borates in Argentina                           33
    5.1.1.1   Boro2000                                                    33
    5.1.1.2   Compania Minera Gavenda                                     34
    5.1.1.3   Electroquimica El Carmen                                    34
    5.1.1.4   Empresa Minera ULEX                                         34
    5.1.1.5   Manufacturas Los Andes                                      35
    5.1.1.6   Minera Santa Rita                                           35
    5.1.1.7   Procesadora de Boratos Argentinos                           36
    5.1.1.8   RTM-Argentina                                               36
    5.1.1.9   Potential producers of borates in Argentina                 37
    5.1.2     Exports of borates from Argentina                           39
          5.2 Australia                                                   40
          5.3 Austria                                                     41
          5.4 Belgium                                                     41
          5.5 Bolivia                                                     41
    5.5.1     Producers of borates in Bolivia                             42
    5.5.1.1   Quiborax                                                    42
    5.5.1.2   Sociedad Industrial Tierra                                  42
    5.5.1.3   Sociedade Colectiva Minera Rio Grande                       43
    5.5.1.4   Socomirg                                                    43
    5.5.2     Potential producers of borates in Bolivia                   43
    5.5.2.1   COMIBOL                                                     43
    5.5.2.2   New World Resources                                         44
    5.5.3     Exports of borates from Bolivia                             45
          5.6 Brazil                                                      46
          5.7 Chile                                                       46
    5.7.1     Production of borates in Chile                              46
    5.7.2     Producers of borates in Chile                               48
    5.7.2.1   Quimica Industrial del Borax                                48
    5.7.2.2   Sociedad Quimica y Minera Pentabor                          49
    5.7.2.3   SQM                                                         49
    5.7.3     Exports of borates from Chile                               50
          5.8 China                                                       50
    5.8.1     Reserves of boron minerals in China                         51
    5.8.2     Production of natural borates in China                      52
    5.8.3     Production of refined borates in China                      55
    5.8.3.1   Production of refined borates by region in China            55
    5.8.3.2   Production of refined borax in China                        56
    5.8.3.3   Production of boric acid in China                           57
    5.8.3.4   Production of ferro-boron in China                          58
    5.8.3.5   Production of boron carbide in China                        59
    5.8.3.6   Production of calcium borates in China                      60
    5.8.4     Producers of boron compounds in China                       61
    5.8.4.1   CITIC Guoan Sci-Tech Development Co                         63
    5.8.4.2   Dalian Zhengxing Abrasive Co                                63
    5.8.4.3   Dandong Chemical Engineering Institute Co                   63
    5.8.4.4   Dandong Kuandian Boron Mine                                 64
    5.8.4.5   Dangxiongcuo Salt Lake Project                              64
    5.8.4.6   Dashiqiao Xing Peng Compound Fertilizer Co                  65
    5.8.4.7   Deli Boron Industry                                         65
    5.8.4.8   Dunhua Zhengxing Abrasive Co                                65
    5.8.4.9   Guangzhou Youyuan Metals & Chemicals                        65
    5.8.4.10  Hongwei Boronalloy Co                                       66
    5.8.4.11  Jinan Sanyuantong Ferroalloy Co                             66
    5.8.4.12  Lianyungang Zhaoling Abrasives Co                           66
    5.8.4.13  Liaoning Fengcheng Mine                                     66
    5.8.4.14  Liaoning Fengcheng Wengqiuangou Iron Boron Project          67
    5.8.4.15  Liaoning Jiayuan Chemical Co                                67
    5.8.4.16  Liaoyang International Boronalloys Co                       67
    5.8.4.17  Mudanjiang Jingangzuan Boron Carbide                        67
    5.8.4.18  Mudanjiang Qianjin Boron Carbide                            68
    5.8.4.19  Qinghai Jihua Jiangyuan Industrial Co                       68
    5.8.4.20  Qinghai Zhongtian Boron and Lithium Mine                    68
    5.8.4.21  Sanmei Chemical Industry Co                                 68
    5.8.4.22  Shandong Linuo Group                                        68
    5.8.4.23  Shanghai JinYin Boron Chemicals Manufacturing Co            69
    5.8.4.24  Sunxing Chemical Industries                                 69
    5.8.4.25  Tianjin Yahong Chemical Co                                  69
    5.8.4.26  Tieling Bomet Boron Alloys                                  69
    5.8.4.27  Xi'an Unique Electronic and Chemical Co                     70
    5.8.4.28  Yingkou Boron Mine                                          70
    5.8.4.29  Yingkou Liaobin Fine Chemicals                              70
    5.8.4.30  Yingkou Xingdong Chemical Plant                             70
    5.8.4.31  Zhejiang Jinke Chemicals                                    70
    5.8.4.32  Zhejiang Jinmei Chemical Industry                           70
    5.8.4.33  Zibo BOR Chemical Co                                        71
    5.8.4.34  Zibo Juncheng Chemical Co                                   71
    5.8.4.35  Zibo Linzi Xinqiang Chemical Co                             71
    5.8.4.36  Zibo New Liyuan Chemical Plant                              71
    5.8.4.37  Zibo Wuwei Industrial Co                                    72
    5.8.4.38  Zibo Zichuan Chuanjun Chemical                              72
    5.8.5     Imports of borates into China                               72
          5.9 Czech Republic                                              74
          5.1 Finland                                                     74
         5.11 France                                                      75
         5.12 Germany                                                     76
    5.12.1    Producers of boron compounds in Germany                     76
    5.12.1.1  BASF                                                        76
    5.12.1.2  Chemetall                                                   77
    5.12.1.3  Durferrit                                                   77
    5.12.1.4  ESK Ceramics                                                77
    5.12.1.5  GfE                                                         78
    5.12.1.6  H.C. Starck                                                 78
    5.12.1.7  Solvay                                                      78
         5.13 India                                                       79
    5.13.1    Producers of boron compounds in India                       79
    5.13.1.1  Borax Morarji Ltd                                           79
    5.13.1.2  Borochemie (India) Pvt Ltd                                  80
    5.13.1.3  Boron Carbide (India) Pvt Ltd                               80
    5.13.1.4  C-Tech                                                      80
    5.13.1.5  Indo Borax & Chemicals                                      80
    5.13.1.6  Lakshmi Metallurgy                                          80
    5.13.1.7  Minex Metallurgical                                         81
    5.13.1.8  National Peroxide Ltd                                       81
    5.13.1.9  Navin Fluorine                                              81
    5.13.1.10 Tanfac Industries                                           81
         5.14 Iran                                                        82
         5.15 Italy                                                       82
    5.15.1    Societa Chimica Larderello                                  82
    5.15.2    Imports of borates into Italy                               83
         5.16 Japan                                                       84
    5.16.1    Producers of boron compounds in Japan                       84
    5.16.1.1  Denki KK Kabushiki Kaisha                                   84
    5.16.1.2  Japan New Metals                                            84
    5.16.1.3  Mizushima Ferroalloy Co                                     84
    5.16.1.4  Morita Chemical Industry Co                                 85
    5.16.1.5  NGK Spark Plug Co                                           85
    5.16.1.6  Nippon Denko                                                85
    5.16.1.7  Shin-Etsu Chemical                                          85
    5.16.1.8  Showa Denko KK                                              86
    5.16.1.9  Stella Chemifa Corp                                         86
    5.16.1.10 Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal Corp                            87
    5.16.1.11 Tomiyama Pure Chemical Industries                           87
         5.17 Kazakhstan                                                  87
    5.17.1    Past and potential natural borate operations in Kazakhstan  87
    5.17.1.1  JSC Inderbor                                                87
    5.17.1.2  JSC KazInvestNedry                                          88
    5.17.1.3  TOO Satbor                                                  89
         5.18 North Korea                                                 90
         5.19 South Korea                                                 90
          5.2 Netherlands                                                 90
         5.21 Norway                                                      91
         5.22 Peru                                                        91
    5.22.1    Inkabor SAC                                                 91
         5.23 Poland                                                      92
         5.24 Russia                                                      93
    5.24.1    Reserves of boron minerals in Russia                        93
    5.24.2    Production of borates in Russia                             94
    5.24.3    Producers of boron compounds in Russia                      95
    5.24.3.1  JSC Aviabor                                                 95
    5.24.3.2  JSC Halogen                                                 95
    5.24.3.3  MMC BOR                                                     95
    5.24.3.4  NLMK                                                       100
    5.24.3.5  South Urals Cryolite Plant (JSC YuUKZ)                     100
    5.24.3.6  Other producers                                            100
    5.24.4    Trade in borates in Russia                                 100
         5.25 Serbia                                                     103
         5.26 Slovenia                                                   104
         5.27 South Africa                                               104
    5.27.1    Producers of boron compounds in South Africa               104
         5.28 Spain                                                      105
    5.28.1    Producers of boron compounds in Spain                      105
    5.28.1.1  Borax Espana SA                                            105
    5.28.1.2  Derivados del Fluor                                        105
    5.28.1.3  FMC Foret                                                  105
    5.28.1.4  Mario Pilato Blat                                          106
         5.29 Taiwan                                                     106
          5.3 Turkey                                                     106
    5.30.1    Reserves of boron minerals in Turkey                       108
    5.30.2    Eti Mine (Eti Maden IÃ"¦Ãƒ“¦Ã‚¸letmeleri)                          109
    5.30.2.1  Mine operations                                            109
    5.30.2.2  Refining operations                                        111
    5.30.2.3  Sales of boron compounds                                   113
    5.30.3    NNT                                                        117
         5.31 UK                                                         117
    5.31.1    Producers of boron compounds in the UK                     118
         5.32 Ukraine                                                    119
         5.33 USA                                                        120
    5.33.1    Reserves of boron minerals in the USA                      120
    5.33.2    Production of boron minerals in the USA                    121
    5.33.3    Rio Tinto Minerals                                         122
    5.33.3.1  Reserves of natural borates                                123
    5.33.3.2  Production of borates                                      124
    5.33.3.3  Refined borates                                            126
    5.33.4    Searles Valley Minerals                                    129
    5.33.5    Producers of boron compounds in the USA                    130
    5.33.5.1  Air Products and Chemicals                                 130
    5.33.5.2  Akzo Nobel                                                 130
    5.33.5.3  Albemarle                                                  131
    5.33.5.4  American Elements                                          131
    5.33.5.5  American Gas Group                                         131
    5.33.5.6  BASF                                                       131
    5.33.5.7  Ceradyne                                                   131
    5.33.5.8  Chemtura                                                   132
    5.33.5.9  Frontier Scientific                                        132
    5.33.5.10 Hammond Lead                                               132
    5.33.5.11 Honeywell Specialty Materials                              133
    5.33.5.12 InCide Technologies                                        133
    5.33.5.13 INVISTA                                                    133
    5.33.5.14 KB Alloys                                                  133
    5.33.5.15 Matheson Tri-Gas                                           134
    5.33.5.16 Rohm and Haas                                              134
    5.33.5.17 Rose Mill                                                  134
    5.33.5.18 SB Boron                                                   135
    5.33.5.19 Tronox                                                     135
    5.33.5.20 Voltaix                                                    135
    5.33.5.21 Westinghouse Electric                                      136
    5.33.5.22 W.R. Grace                                                 136
    5.33.6    Producers of boron carbide and boron nitride in the USA    136
    5.33.7    Trade in borates in the USA                                137
    5.33.7.1  Distributors of boron compounds                            140
         5.34 Uzbekistan                                                 141

            6 International trade in borates                             142
          6.1 Trade in natural borates                                   142
          6.2 Trade in boric acid                                        147
          6.3 Trade in refined borax                                     152
          6.4 Trade in perborates                                        158

            7 World consumption of borates                               160
          7.1 World consumption of borates by end-use                    160
          7.2 Supply/demand balance for borates                          165
          7.3 Future trends in consumption of borates                    166

            8 End-uses for borates                                       170
          8.1 Use of borates in fibreglass                               170
    8.1.1     Types of fibreglass                                        170
    8.1.1.1   Insulation-grade fibreglass                                170
    8.1.1.2   Textile-grade fibreglass                                   171
    8.1.2     Market trends for fibreglass                               174
    8.1.3     Leading producers of fibreglass                            177
    8.1.4     Trends in demand for borates in fibreglass                 179
          8.2 Use of borates in borosilicate glass                       182
    8.2.1     Leading producers of borosilicate glass                    183
    8.2.2     Trends in demand for borates in borosilicate glass         185
          8.3 Use of borates in ceramics                                 188
    8.3.1     Use of borates in glazes and enamels                       188
    8.3.2     Use of borates in tile bodies                              190
    8.3.3     Markets for borates in ceramics                            190
    8.3.4     Trends in demand for borates in ceramics                   193
          8.4 Use of borates in fertilisers                              194
          8.5 Use of borates in detergents, soaps and cleaning products  195
    8.5.1     Use of borates in laundry detergents                       195
    8.5.2     Use of borates in other soaps and cleaning products        197
    8.5.3     Trends in demand for borates in detergents, soaps and
              cleaning products                                          198
          8.6 Use of borates in flame retardants                         199
    8.6.1     Use of zinc borate in plastics and rubber compounds        199
    8.6.2     Use of boric acid in cellulosic insulation                 202
          8.7 Use of borates in wood preservation                        203
          8.8 Use of borates in paints and coatings                      205
          8.9 Use of borates in pharmaceuticals and toiletries           206
          8.1 Use of borates in starch adhesives                         207
         8.11 Use of borates in industrial fluids                        208
    8.11.1    Use of borates in wire-drawing lubricants                  209
    8.11.2    Use of borates in antifreeze                               209
    8.11.3    Use of borates in brake fluids                             209
    8.11.4    Use of borates in metalworking fluids                      210
    8.11.5    Use of borates in fuel additives                           210
    8.11.6    Use of borates in water treatment chemicals                210
         8.12 Use of borates in plasterboard                             210
         8.13 Use of borates in paper production                         212
    8.13.1    Use of borates in pulp bleaching                           212
    8.13.2    Use of borates in causticising                             214
         8.14 Use of borates in metallurgical applications               215
    8.14.1    Use of borates in fluxes                                   215
    8.14.2    Use of borates in steel smelting                           216
    8.14.3    Use of borates in grain refining                           216
    8.14.4    Use of borates in gold refining                            217
    8.14.5    Use of borates in refractories                             218
    8.14.6    Use of borates in mining                                   218
    8.14.7    Use of borates in electroplating                           218
         8.15 Use of borates in chemical applications                    219
    8.15.1    Use of borates in batteries                                219
    8.15.2    Use of borates in catalysis                                219
         8.16 Use of sodium borohydride in fuel cells                    221
         8.17 Use of ferro-boron in metallurgical applications           222
    8.17.1    Use of ferro-boron in steel                                222
    8.17.2    Use of ferro-boron in permanent magnets                    223
    8.17.3    Use of ferro-boron in amorphous alloys                     225
    8.17.4    Supply of ferro-boron                                      225
         8.18 Use of boron hard materials                                226
    8.18.1    Use of boron carbide                                       227
    8.18.2    Use of boron nitride                                       229
    8.18.3    Use of borides                                             231
    8.18.4    Use of nanometric boron diamond powder                     232
         8.19 Use of boron fibre                                         233
          8.2 Use of elemental boron                                     234
         8.21 Use of boron isotopes                                      235

            9 Prices of borates                                          237
          9.1 Prices of natural borates                                  237
          9.2 Prices of refined borates                                  239
          9.3 Future trends in prices of borates                         243

Boron: Global industry markets and outlook (12th edition, 2010) is
available at GBP2500 / US $5000 / 4000 Euros from Roskill Information
Services Ltd, 27a Leopold Road, London SW19 7BB, England. Tel:
+44-20-8944-0066. Fax +44-20-8947-9568 Email: info@roskill.co.uk w:
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