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THE NEWSLETTER OF THE BARYTES ASSOCIATION

Volume 2, Issue 1 Spring 2002

Update on Members and Activities

  • Preparations are well in hand for the General Assembly meeting at Sachtleben in Germany May 15th and 16th. 12 of our current 16 members are attending – and overall we expect around 20 participants. Registrations and accommodation through the Secretariat in Brussels.
  • New members for 2002 so far are Minerals Girona, Spain and Somibar, Algeria. Indian Barytes and Chemicals, India, and Polar Minerals, US, have recently shown interest in joining and have been invited to join us at the meeting.
  • Membership covers all continents with 11 based in greater Europe.
  • Charlie Brown of M-I, Houston, USA has joined the Executive of the Association to represent non-European members and information.
  • The annual statistical survey of (16) members shows world sales from the Association approached 3.5 million tonnes last year well over half the world’s total of 6.4 million tonnes. All but 2 members have barytes mines and these produced in total some 1.7 million tonnes (0.5 million tonnes of this in Europe). Full details of the survey will be sent to you in early May.
  • Thank you for the response to the various questionnaires – on "Best Available Technology" (BAT) and the heavy metal investigation. It was all useful for the longer-term for the group but several have yet to send in their forms – please send them to the Director, Peter Huxtable in the UK at the earliest.
  • The website will be finally launched in early May and can be found at www.barytes.org

Industry Update

Sector Concerns

As a result of several similar concerns with trace elements and the trend to greater product risk assessment – our guest speaker at the GA in May will be Jonathan Rainer of RT-Borax to describe their work with regulators and customers and share their experiences.

  • Heavy Metals

Following the Executive meeting last July, a survey of members was launched. A report will be presented at the GA. Responses are still awaited from several members to make the exercise of more value and use.

  • Mercury

This becomes an issue for the oil well suppliers in the US in early 2002 and we will update members at the GA.

  • Crystalline Silica

We are monitoring this on a global basis. Several countries have imposed tighter levels. There are concerns both on measurement; and whether it is an indicative or a binding limit value.

Many members worldwide contributed to this exercise by the Association by completing the questionnaire sent out last November. The information for Europe was the basis of the submission to the European Commission in April but references were made to worldwide practices. This is available to members who participated in the exercise. We would still welcome response from those members who have not yet returned their forms.

  • End of Life Vehicles

There is some concern that trace element levels in barytes will be included in this EU directive. Recent proposed amendments (if enacted) would enable up to 0.1% of Pb, Cr and Hg, and 0.01% Cd if not intentionally introduced.

  • Barytes in Plastics – food

Another EU consultation document includes barytes in the listed substances. Members have been asked to assist in a response.

  • Sustainability

Establishing sustainable development indicators for the minerals and mining industry is a current worldwide activity. The European minerals industry has developed a set in conjunction with the EU and NGO’s.

European Policies

  • Safe Operation of Mines

A second draft of the proposal has been subject to consultation and a final draft directive is expected in June for adoption by end 2002.

  • Minerals taxation

This is on the environment agenda but no firm proposals yet. In April the UK introduced an aggregates tax at 35% of price.

  • Physical Agents


Legislation on whole body vibration has been introduced at EU level, and tighter limits on noise protection. Further proposals in 2002 include electromagnetic and ultraviolet radiation.

  • Soil Protection

A communication document has been published.

  • Environmental Liability

The White paper continues to be discussed.

  • Chemicals Directive

This directive will involve risk assessments on a wider range of materials than originally envisaged - including natural products.

Update from the oil industry

There has been an increase in oil prices during 2002 but not to the high levels thought possible with the current unrest in the Middle East.

Update from the car industry

The market generally has stayed stable and the anticipated more serious world economic recession seems to have been avoided. Potentially substitution remains the greatest threat to barytes use.

Extracts from the Press

"Industrial Minerals" magazine

  • Dec 2001 – Minersa, Spain


Congratulations on producing your 3 millionth tonne of fluorspar! (p18)

  • Jan 2002 – Chaillac, France

An excellent full page description of our member’s barytes operation (p59).

  • Feb 2002 – IBC, India

Some interesting developments at the operation – IBC have recently applied for membership of the Association.

  • Mar 2002 – Uzbekistan

 Information on Navoi operation (p18)

  • May 2002 – Spotlight on BarytesFull page feature on barytes in the current issue.

Prices

Trends in pricing are shown from the price pages of "Industrial Minerals" from 1995 to date.

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Diary Dates

  • 2002

12-15 May GMI Conference, Toronto, Canada

15-16 May Barytes General Assembly, Germany

27-28 May Mine & Quarry Waste, EU, Italy

19-21 Sept Minerals 2002 Conference, Brussels

11 Oct Minerals 2002 Conference, Derbyshire, UK

27-28 Oct Barytes General Assembly, Brussels

Nov "Industrial Minerals" Dinner, London

  • 2003

May Barytes General Assembly, member site

For further information on minerals industry conferences & events try www.miningevents.com