Industrial Minerals (magazine)
|Categories||Minerals and markets|
|First issue||October 1967|
|Country||United Kingdom (country of publication), Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, South America|
The Industrial Minerals (IM) publication is a specialist online service (supported by a monthly print magazine) covering all aspects of the non-metallic minerals industry. This is represented by its tagline: "from mine to market".
Trevor Tarring MBE, the then metal editor of MB, explained:
“Industrial Minerals was actually conceived in 1962. In those days Metal Bulletin was very active, covering the ups and downs of mineral sands prices as part of its ores coverage. I remember my late father being very pleased that the Board had agreed to launch a new title to fan out from this base to cover all the non-metallic minerals. Unfortunately, not long after, he entered a terminal illness, so I was doubly busy and the IM project went on the back burner. It was revived in 1966 for a 1967 launch. The leading question was who would edit it. Luckily my then-right hand man was Peter Rowbotham who jumped at the chance. The blueprint we gave him still had quite a strong focus on prices, in the Metal Bulletin mould. But Peter said ‘Facts, Trevor. That’s what they want, facts’. This has certainly proved a good recipe down the years. It was also the basis for IM showing the Metal Bulletin group the way into the conference business.”
The first editor of IM, Peter Rowbotham described IM as "...the onlooker that sees most of the game.." which has been core to the magazine's operation ever since.
Dick Fleming became the second editor of IM in 1970 and directed the magazine through the majority of the decade.
Perhaps the most significant event in the 1970s was launching Metal Bulletin’s first conference in 1974, the 1st Industrial Minerals International Congress, in London. Industrial Minerals and Metal Bulletin have since gone on to launch a vast range of conferences.
Brian Coope took the editorial reigns at IM for the latter part of the decade and into the 1980s.
Brian Coope was at IM for three years in the 1980s before Gerry Clarke moved from his post as Lecturer in Applied Mineralogy at the University of Plymouth to join the IM set-up in 1978. He subsequently become the editor in 1983.
Joyce Griffiths became the fifth editor of IM in 1988, and was responsible for hiring the next editor, Mike O'Driscoll, as part of the editorial team.
Joyce Griffiths left in 1995 and Mike O'Driscoll began his post as the sixth editor of IM.
In 1995, IM launched Mineral PriceWatch (MPW) which became firmly established as a unique source of industrial mineral pricing information and data. In the same year, IM launched another monthly newsletter, North American Minerals News which ceased in 2002.
In October 2007, IM celebrated 40 years serving the non-metallic minerals industry. This was highlighted by the issue's flagship article, Industrial Minerals: a generation of change by IM's former North America Editor, Peter Harben. The cover, The changing face of IM, depicted the four major redesigns at the magazine.
In 2009, 10 market trackers were launched, creating individual website portals for the 'leading minerals' in the industry.
In February 2012, the focus of IM changed and became centred around the online services with breaking news added to the website and social networks (Industrial Minerals Network on LinkedIn and @Indmin on Twitter).
In June 2012, IM became a portfolio with 3 distinguishable arms: Insight (the original editorial content with the website becoming the primary focus), Data (a historical pricing database tool) and Research (special one-off reports, consultancy and roundtables). The inaugural Oilfield Minerals Outlook roundtable took place that month in Houston, Texas and featured presentations from the Energy Information Administration, AMCOL and Unimin.
To coincide with the roundtable, a new market tracker was launched for Frac Sand following market demand.
- Peter Rowbotham 1967 - 1970
- Dick Fleming 1970 - 1977
- Brian Coope 1977 - 1983
- Gerry Clarke 1983 - 1987
- Joyce Griffiths 1988 - 1995
- Mike O’Driscoll 1995 - 2012
- Siobhan Lismore 2012 -
The new arms of Industrial Minerals are looked after by the following:
- Insight - Siobhan Lismore
- Data - Andrew Miller
- Research - Emma Hughes
- Alumina & Bauxite
- Frac Sand - new for 2012
- Phosphate & Potash
- Rare Earths
- Soda Ash
- Tio2 & Zircon
IM underwent its fifth redesign in 2010 with the first issue published in March to coincide with the magazine's 20th Industrial Minerals Congress & Exhibition, held in Miami, Florida. Several new sections were added to IM and the structure of the magazine is now split between News & Analysis and Features.
News & Analysis
Comment - A selected editorial comment
Top Stories - All the latest news industrial minerals news and analysis
Strandlines - The latest developments from and commentary on the titanium feedstock and zircon industries
Supply Situation Report - Short news feature with a spotlight on one mineral grade, examining Supply Security, Price Trends, Market Demand, and Outlook
Market Monitor - News and developments from the end-markets driving industrial minerals consumption
Refractories Hotline - A focus on the refractory market
People & places - Personnel movements in industrial minerals companies
Diary Dates - A list of internal and external conferences and exhibitions relevant to the industrial minerals sector
Price Briefing - A round-up and analysis of the biggest mineral price changes from the past month, taken from IM's prices section on indmin.com
Price Listing - A list of prices compiled from industry sources covering over 40 different industrial minerals, including alumina, bauxite, chromite, fluorspar, lithium carbonate, potash, rare earth minerals and zircon
Main Feature - An in-depth article on a mineral
Short Feature - In a similar vein to the main feature, but focusing on markets (i.e. ceramics) and specific countries (such as Turkey)
Exposure - A profile of new and undeveloped mineral depots of the world
Processing - An in-depth look at the new equipment and/or methods from the world of industrial minerals processing
End User Focus - An examination of a specific end use market and the role of industrial minerals, for example the tundish in continuous casting and refractory minerals used
Trading Faces - An interview with a selected industrial mineral trader
One theme over the past decade has been increasing interest from investors and private equity firms (such as IMin Partners) into industrial minerals. Traditionally viewed as low value, high bulk commodities, the rush for fertilisers, electric cars and high power magnets has seen interest in minerals such as potash, lithium carbonate and rare earths soar.
As IM explained in its December 2009 feature, A Decade of Minerals:
"Potash made those outside of the non-metallic minerals group of industries stand up and take note. As potash soared towards $1,000/tonne - a figure it would probably have reached by  if it was not for the global economic crash - mining giants and investors alike wanted a piece of the pie.
The reversal of potash's fortunes is summed up with the following: in 2004 Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada (the world's potash production hub) had not issued any exploration permits for the fertiliser mineral; at the end of 2007 3m. hectares was under exploration."
Some of the recent topics IM has covered in its features include the future of lithium demand, North Africa's construction industry and its vast minerals consumption, the surging interest in sillimanite minerals for refractory markets, and the effect of the global recession on aluminium and steel markets, and in turn demand for metallurgical flux minerals such as lime, dolomite, bauxite, fluorspar, olivine and wollastonite.
Events & Roundtables
Since 1972 when IM launched its first event, its biennial Industrial Minerals International Congress & Exhibition in London, many have followed. Current events and roundtables include:
- Industrial Minerals Internation Congress & Exhibition - Every 2 years
- China Industrial Minerals Conference(CIMC) - Every 2 years
- International Bauxite & Alumina Seminar - Every year
- Fluorspar - Every year 
- MagMin(Magnesite) - Every year
- Lithium Supply & Markets (LSM)
- Graphite - Every year
- Oilfield Minerals Outlook 2013 - Every year
- Oilfield Minerals Outlook: Middle East - Every year
- Moving Minerals 101 - Every year
- Industrial Minerals
- Industrial Minerals Association Europe
- Amazon recognition
- Metal Bulletin
- "Euromoney sells Metal Bulletin subsidiary EIC", Daily Mail and General Trust, 12 April 2007
- "Metal Bulletin", Folio Magazine, January 31, 2007
- "New private-equity shareholders for industrial-minerals group Idwala"
- "IMin Partners"
- "Lithium batteries for hybrid electric cars"
- "Volvo unveils lithium electric car
- "As Hybrid Cars Gobble Rare Metals, Shortage Looms",Reuters, 31 August 2009
- "Gambling on lithium’s future"
- "North Africa builds its minerals’ future"
- "Sillimanite supply surge"
- "Metal markets in flux"
- Rio Tinto Minerals events attendance
- Mining Weekly
- TRU Group