11 Top Magnesite-producing Countries

Here's a look at the top magnesite-producing countries of 2015, as per the most recent data from the US Geological Survey.

top magnesite producing countries

Magnesium, a key industrial metal, can be recovered from a range of different host materials, with magnesite being just one key source of magnesium compounds.

Other sources of magnesium include dolomite, forsterite and brucite deposits, in addition to magnesia-bearing brines and even seawater. In its most recent report on magnesium compounds, the US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that these sources could constitute billions of metric tons (MT) of magnesium compounds.

However, it puts currently identified resources of magnesite alone at 12 billion MT. Worldwide, magnesite mineral reserves come to an estimated 2.4 billion MT. Here’s a look at the top magnesite-producing countries of 2015, as per the USGS.

1. China

Mine production: 5.77 million MT

China accounts for the vast majority of the world’s magnesite production, responsible for roughly 69 percent of global output. The country decreased production to 5.77 million MT in 2015, relative to 5.91 MT in 2014.

That might sound like good news for the market, which is in oversupply, but the USGS notes that a 7-percent decrease in steel production in China led to increased magnesia exports from China, which in turn meant lower prices for products from China and increased pressure on producers outside the country.

2. Turkey

Mine production: 800,000 MT

Coming in at a distant second to China is Turkey, with 800,000 MT of production for 2015 compared to 780,000 MT in 2014. According to Industrial Minerals (subscription), Turkey has a long history of magnesite mining, both for export and for use at domestic refractories.

3. Russia

Mine production: 375,000 MT

Magnesite production from Russia stayed flat in 2015, despite new capacity being expected to come online in the country. In February, Russia’s Magnezit Group signed a socioeconomic cooperation agreement with the government of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk territory; it requires the company to ensure the growth of fused magnesia production from 15,000 to 50,000 tons by 2020.

4. Austria

Mine production: 220,000 MT

Austria saw a slight bump up in magnesite production for 2015, putting out 220,000 MT compared to 215,000 MT in 2014. Austrian magnesite producer Styromag operates five mines in Austria, putting out roughly 120,000 tons of material per year.

5. Slovakia

Mine production: 200,000 MT

Slovakia produced 200,000 MT of magnesite in 2015, the same ammount it produced a year earlier. Slovenia producer SLOVMAG is majority owned by Russia’s Magnezit Group, mentioned above. It specializes in the mining of magnesite ore and in the production of refractory products from sintered magnesia.

6. Spain

Mine production: 200,000 MT

Spain increased its magnesite output in 2015, producing 200,000 MT of the material compared with 185,000 MT in 2014. Spain’s Magnesitas Navarras is a leading European magnesia producer. Currently, the company holds the Antzeri and Sorianas magnesite mining projects.

7. Brazil

Mine production: 175,000 MT

Brazil’s magnesite production remained fairly flat in 2015. Brazilian producer Magnesita Refratarios (BVMF:MAGG3) states that it holds one of the largest magnesite, dolomite and talcum reserves in the world.

8. Australia

Mine production: 120,000 MT

Australia recorded a slight drop in magnesite production in 2015, falling to 120,000 MT of output from 145,000 MT the year previous. Queensland Magnesium, responsible for the bulk of Australia’s magnesite production, was acquired by global industrial minerals group Sibelco in April 2012. Examples of magnesite-focused junior mining companies operating in Australia include Korab Resources (ASX:KOR) and Archer Exploration (ASX:AXE).

9. Greece

Mine production: 115,000 MT

Greece produced 115,000 MT of magnesite in 2015, a slight uptick from 2014, when it produced 105,000 MT. The country is home to one of the top magnesia producers in the world, Grecian Magnesite, which has facilities in Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands. Greece’s magnesite mines and production facilities are located in Chalkidiki in Northern Greece.

10. India

Mine production: 70,000 MT

Coming in near the bottom, India produced 70,000 MT of magnesite for 2015 compared with 65,000 MT in 2014. According to a report from Mike O’Driscoll of Industrial Minerals, republished on equities.com, India’s Dalmia is looking to increase its magnesite production.

11. North Korea

Mine production: 70,000 MT

Rounding out the list of top magnesite producers is North Korea, which put out 70,000 MT of production in 2015. According to Australian Mining, mining could continue to play a key role in North Korea’s economy. The country holds the second-largest reserves of magnesite in the world.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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