CGBN

PLANTS, CENTERS, AND FACILITIES

SCHOTT Pharma opens new production facility for prefillable glass syringes in Hungary

After €76 million investment (US$81.6 million) and 1.5 years of construction, SCHOTT Pharma opened its newest production facility in Lukácsháza, Hungary. Expanding production capacity will support pharma megatrends and market growth for prefillable syringes made of specialty glass.

Allied Mineral Products breaks ground on $23.5 million expansion at Alabama plant

State and local officials joined executives and employees of Allied Mineral Products in groundbreaking ceremonies at the site of Allied’s major plant expansion in Pell City, Ala. Allied is investing $23.5 million to launch an expansion of the plant that produces a variety of heat containment refractory products used in industrial applications.

Norway announces Europe’s largest rare earth deposit

Norwegian mining company Rare Earths Norway announced the largest rare earth element deposit in continental Europe. The maiden inferred mineral resource estimate is claimed to be 559 Mt at 1.57% total rare earth oxides, which equates to 8.8 Mt with a reasonable prospect for eventual economic extraction.

Massive potential lithium source found in Pennsylvania

A recent study shows that wastewater from Pennsylvania shale gas wells contain enough lithium to supply 40% of U.S. demand for the critical battery metal. Though some speculate this discovery could spark a lithium rush, extracting this lithium is marred by technoeconomical, health, and environmental concerns.

Critical Metals to acquire controlling stake in world’s biggest rare earth project

Critical Metals Corp. signed an agreement with Rimbal Pty. Ltd. to acquire a controlling interest in the Tanbreez project in Greenland, the largest rare earth deposit in the world. Tanbreez is estimated to host 28.2 million tonnes of total rare earth oxides in 4.7 billion tonnes of material. It is expected to contain more than 27% heavy rare earth elements.

Energy Fuels achieves commercial production of separated rare earths at White Mesa

Uranium and rare earths elements producer Energy Fuels began commercial production of separated neodymium–praseodymium at its White Mesa mill in Utah. This project marks the first production of separated rare earth elements in the U.S. after several decades.


ACQUISITIONS AND COLLABORATIONS

Sibelco completes acquisition of Strategic Materials

Sibelco completed its purchase of Strategic Materials, one of North America’s largest glass recyclers. Strategic Materials operates 42 sites, processing around 2 million tonnes of cullet per year. This capacity adds to the 3 million tonnes of cullet Sibelco processes annually at its 24 recycling plants in Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, and the U.K.

Intel and partners to use Sharp’s Japan LCD plants for chip research

Intel and its 14 partner Japanese companies will use Sharp’s underutilized liquid crystal display plants in the country to research semiconductor production technology. Other companies are making similar arrangements with Japan’s liquid crystal display makers, which are struggling with competition from Korea, Taiwan, and China.

OTI Lumionics and Nord Quantique investigate quantum computing for materials science

OTI Lumionics and Nord Quantique announced a $5 million Canadian (US$3.65 million) partnership to investigate quantum computing methods for materials science applications. They will focus on electronic structure calculations, vibronic spectra, and ab initio molecular dynamics using Nord Quantique’s quantum error correction architecture.

Beta Glass and Wecyclers partner to launch cullet trucks for improved recycling

Beta Glass PLC, a manufacturer of glass packaging, crowns, and crates in West and Central Africa, partnered with Wecyclers, an innovative waste management company, to launch a fleet of cullet trucks. This strategic initiative aims to enhance recycling efforts, promote sustainability, and reinforce environmental responsibility across Nigeria.

New collaboration accelerates renewable energy in Portugal

The Nature Conservancy, Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, and the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association formed a collaboration to support Portugal’s energy transition agenda. The organizations will work with Portuguese stakeholders to identify areas for solar and wind energy projects while respecting ecological and cultural values.

Argonne and a Moroccan university sign agreement to advance green energy technology

Argonne National Laboratory and University Mohammed VI Polytechnic signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on key areas of mutual interest related to green energy technology and the nexus of water and energy.

Corning Museum of Glass organizes exhibition dedicated to scent and glass innovation

The Corning Museum of Glass announced “Sensorium: Stories of Glass and Fragrance,” an exhibition that will explore the millennia-long relationships between glass, perfumery, and the storage of scent. Organized by Julie Bellemare, curator of early modern glass at CMoG, the show will run from Sept. 7, 2024, through Feb. 1, 2025.

New Colorado program will make recycling free for everyone

Colorado will soon have a statewide free recycling program. Companies that package their products in single-use materials will pay a fee, which will allow everyone who has access to curbside trash pickup to also receive curbside recycling pickup. Similar programs have run successfully in some European countries and Canada for years.

Government of Canada releases updated Critical Minerals List

The Government of Canada released an updated version of its Critical Minerals List. The list retains all 31 minerals from the 2021 list and an additional three minerals—high-purity iron, phosphorus, and silicon metal—for a total of 34 critical minerals.

Second Australian rare earths producer suffers cyber attack

Iluka Resources Ltd. has become the second Australian rare earths miner to suffer a cyber attack in recent months, although the hackers were not able to penetrate its cybersecurity protections. The week before, fellow Australian rare earths producer Northern Minerals Ltd. said some of its data was released onto the “dark web.”

Fiber optics to keep elephants and trains safe across Indian Railways East Coast

Information provider Sensonic announced a multimillion contract award to implement an elephant detection system for Indian Railways’ East Coast network. This project will use fiber optic sensing technology to help protect both endangered elephants and train operations across more than 30 elephant corridors spanning more than 400 km of railway.


MARKET TRENDS

Podcast: Investigating Europe’s carbon border adjustment mechanism

In a podcast episode by the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining, Colin Church discusses the European Union’s carbon border adjustment mechanism with Anushka Devaser and Gyles Scott-Hayward from professional services firm WSP.

US support for nuclear energy at record high

The National Nuclear Energy Public Opinion Survey, which interviewed 1,000 U.S. adults between April 30–May 2, found that 77% of respondents said they strongly, or somewhat, favored the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the U.S.


NEW PRODUCTS

BASF and NGK release advanced type of sodium–sulfur batteries

BASF Stationary Energy Storage GmbH and NGK Insulators, Ltd. released an advanced container-type sodium–sulfur battery. The new product is characterized by a significantly lower degradation rate of less than 1 % per year and an improved thermal management system in battery modules, which enables a longer continuous discharge.

Jinergy launches enhanced offshore module technology solution

Jinergy announced the launch of enhanced offshore solar modules, designed to withstand the harsh working conditions with reliability addressed by the quality of module glass, frame, junction box, encapsulation material, and sealing silicone.

UK firm makes rare earth element-free magnet 200 times faster with AI

Materials Nexus, working in collaboration with the Henry Royce Institute and The University of Sheffield, designed and developed MagNex, a novel permanent magnet made without using rare earth elements. The company’s artificial intelligence platform powered the design of the magnet.

High-efficiency colored solar panels for buildings

Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE developed an innovative solar facade element called MorphoColor that can be incorporated into a building’s exterior practically invisibly and without any significant loss of efficiency.

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