2014

Roskill: Stability Returns to the Rhenium Market

LONDON, January 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

By the beginning of 2013, the rhenium market had experienced three years of relative calm after considerable volatility from the end of 2006 to 2009 when the spot price peaked at almost US$12,000/kg, with steeply rising demand for use in aerospace superalloys.  Since the end of 2009 the spot price has remained below US$5,000/kg and was being quoted between US$3,500 and US$3,700/kg in January 2013.

Despite some concerns in the industry regarding future supply, Roskill believes that primary and secondary resources are sufficient to allow producers and potential producers to keep pace with demand.    This should mean continuing stability in the rhenium market, and security of supply for consumers at acceptable prices.

The new Roskill report on Rhenium uses our comprehensive data base to provide estimates of mine production of rhenium contained in molybdenum concentrates, most of which is not credited to the miner and much of which is not recovered. The report also assesses global rhenium resources in copper-molybdenum ores.

Rhenium imparts creep resistance to superalloy

Rhenium imparts creep resistance to superalloy gas turbine blades used at extreme temperatures in aero engines and industrial gas turbines.  Because of fears concerning security of supply, rhenium prices have had periods of great volatility thereby discouraging alloy makers from relying on the metal.  This report provides a perspective on the rhenium market, giving both potential and existing producers and consumers the wherewithal on which base their decisions.

Stability returns to the rhenium market

In the early 2000s the rhenium market was probably over supplied as output continued to rise despite a decline in the build-rate of aero engines between 2002 and 2005.  From 2007 to 2009 rhenium production was lower, yet demand from the aerospace industry was increasing.   As a result, surpluses that had built up in the early 2000s were used.  

Between 2009 and 2012 rhenium supply has probably been in rough balance with demand.  With a better understanding of the market dynamics, producers should be more able to tailor future output to demand.

Gas-to-liquid catalysts an opportunity for rhenium

In addition to its invaluable contribution to the stability of superalloys and the safety of aero jet engines, rhenium is used in reforming catalysts in the production of high octane petroleum additives.  It is also used as a promoter in catalysts in gas-to-liquid operations, which, although small currently, may assume much greater importance in the long term in the light of the rapid expansion of shale gas output in the USA and elsewhere.

Rhenium: Global industry markets and outlook, 9th Edition, 2013 is available at £3800 / US$6100 / €4800 from Roskill Information Services Ltd, 54 Russell Road, London SW19 1QL ENGLAND. Tel: +44 20 8417 0087. Fax +44 20 8417 1308 Email: info@roskill.co.uk   Web: http://www.roskill.com/rhenium

Note to editors

Roskill Information Services Ltd. of London, UK is a leading provider of multi-client and bespoke market research services to the minerals and metals industry.

The new Rhenium report contains 117 pages, 57 tables and 22 figures plus an appendix of international trade statistics.  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.

Table of Contents

    Page

1.        Summary    1

1.1       Properties, occurrence and resources    2

1.2       Recovery processes    2

1.3       World supply    3

1.4       Consumption    3

1.5       International trade    4

1.6       Prices    5

2.        History, occurrence, properties and resources of rhenium    6

2.1       Properties    6

2.2       Reserves and resources of rhenium    7

3.        Rhenium recovery processes    12

3.1       Primary rhenium recovery processes    12

3.1.1     Recovery from molybdenum concentrate roasting    12

3.1.2     Other recovery processes    13

3.2       Secondary rhenium recovery processes    14

4.        World production of rhenium    15

4.1       Primary production of rhenium    16

4.1.1     Primary production by country    17

4.1.2     Primary production of rhenium by company    19

4.2       Mine production of rhenium by country    20

4.3       Secondary production of rhenium    21

4.3.1     Secondary production of rhenium by country    21

4.3.2     Secondary rhenium capacity by company    22

4.4       Outlook for the production of rhenium    23

5.        Current and potential rhenium-producing countries and companies    26

5.1       Argentina    26

5.1.1     Minera Alumbrera    26

5.1.2     Minera Alumbrera/Yamana Gold - Agua Rica Project    26

5.1.3     Other    27

5.2       Armenia    27

5.2.1     Armenian Molybdenum Production (AMP)    28

5.2.2     Yerevan Pure Iron Plant (YPIP)    28

5.3       Australia    28

5.3.1     Ivanhoe Australia Ltd.    28

5.3.2     Other projects    29

5.4       Austria    29

5.5       Belgium    30

5.6       Burkina Faso    30

5.7       Canada    30

5.7.1     Rhenium resources    30

5.7.2     Rhenium production    31

5.7.2.1   Molycorp    32

5.8       Chile    32

5.8.1     Resources of rhenium    33

5.8.2     Rhenium production    33

5.8.2.1   Molibdenos y Metales S.A (Molymet)    34

5.8.3     Production of rhenium-bearing molybdenum concentrate    37

5.8.3.1   Codelco    38

5.8.3.2   Antofagasta plc    39

5.8.3.3   Cia Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi    39

5.8.3.4   Anglo American Sur    40

5.8.3.5   Amerigo Resources    40

5.8.3.6   Potential new sources of rhenium    40

5.9       China    40

5.9.1     Producers of primary rhenium    41

5.10      Colombia    42

5.11      Estonia    42

5.12      France    42

5.13      Germany    43

5.13.1.1  Buss & Buss Spezialmetalle GmbH    43

5.13.1.2  Heraeus Precious Metals    44

5.13.1.3  H.C. Starck GmbH & Company KG    44

5.14      Iran    44

5.15      Japan    45

5.16      Kazakhstan    45

5.16.1    Zhezkazganredmet    46

5.17      South Korea    47

5.18      Mexico    47

5.18.1    Minera Mexico    47

5.18.2    Molymex    48

5.19      Mongolia    48

5.19.1    Erdenet Corp    48

5.19.2    Erdene Resource Development - Zuun Mod    49

5.19.3    Mongolyn Alt Group - Tsagaan-Suvraga    49

5.20      Netherlands    49

5.21      Papua New Guinea    50

5.22      Peru    51

5.22.1    Rhenium resources in Peru    51

5.22.2    Production of rhenium contained in molybdenum concentrates    52

5.22.2.1  Southern Copper Corporation    53

5.22.2.2  Cía Minera Antamina SA    54

5.22.2.3  Freeport McMoRan - Cerro Verde    54

5.22.3    Potential new sources of rhenium    54

5.23      Poland    55

5.23.1    KGHM Ecoren    55

5.24      Russia    55

5.25      Serbia    57

5.26      Tadjikistan    57

5.27      Turkey    57

5.28      UK    57

5.29      USA    58

5.29.1    Resources    59

5.29.2    Primary production of rhenium    60

5.29.2.1  Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold    60

5.29.2.2  Rio Tinto - Kennecott Utah Copper    61

5.29.2.3  Other producers of rhenium-bearing concentrates    61

5.29.3    Potential future sources of primary rhenium    62

5.29.4    Producers of secondary rhenium in the USA    63

5.29.4.1  AAA Molybdenum Products, Inc.    63

5.29.4.2  Gemini Industries    64

5.29.4.3  Colonial Metals Inc.    64

5.29.4.4  Titan Metal Recovery    64

5.29.4.5  CP Chemicals Group    65

5.29.4.6  Heraeus Metal Processing    65

5.29.5    Fabricators of rhenium    65

5.29.5.1  BASF    65

5.29.5.2  Concept Alloys L.L.C    66

5.29.5.3  H. Cross Company    66

5.29.5.4  Powmet Incorporated    66

5.29.5.5  Rhenium Alloys Incorporated    66

5.29.5.6  Ultramet    67

5.30      Uzbekistan    67

6.        Consumption and supply and demand of rhenium    68

6.1       Consumption of rhenium by end-use    68

6.2       Consumption of rhenium by country    70

6.3       Rhenium supply and demand balance    70

7.        End-uses of rhenium    72

7.1       Superalloys    72

7.1.1     Use of rhenium in nickel-based superalloys    74

7.1.2     Markets for rhenium-containing superalloys    75

7.1.2.1   Aero engines    76

7.1.2.2   Industrial gas turbines    80

7.1.2.3   Other markets for superalloys    84

7.2       Consumption of rhenium in catalysts    85

7.2.1     Rhenium use in catalytic reforming of naphtha    86

7.2.1.1   Catalytic reforming processes    86

7.2.1.2   Principal platinum-rhenium catalytic reforming processes    87

7.2.1.3   Market for reforming catalysts    89

7.2.2     Rhenium use in catalysts for BTX production    91

7.2.3     Gas-to-liquid catalysts    92

7.2.4     Rhenium use in catalysts for the direct oxidation of ethylene    93

7.2.5     Catalyst regeneration and recycling    94

7.3       Consumption of rhenium in other end-uses    95

7.3.1     Use of tungsten-rhenium and molybdenum-rhenium alloys    95

7.3.1.1   Use of rhenium alloys in lamp filaments    96

7.3.1.2   Use of rhenium alloys in other filament applications    96

7.3.1.3   Use of rhenium alloys in heater elements    97

7.3.1.4   Use of rhenium alloys in X-ray tubes and targets    98

7.3.1.5   Use of rhenium alloys in thermocouples    98

7.3.1.6   Use of rhenium and rhenium alloys in electrical contacts    99

7.3.2     Use of rhenium in booster rocket nozzles    100

7.3.3     Uses of rhenium compounds    100

8.        Market outlook for rhenium to 2018    101

8.1.1     Outlook for rhenium use in superalloys    102

8.1.1.1   Outlook for rhenium use in aero engines    102

8.1.1.2   Outlook for rhenium use in land-based IGT    103

8.1.2     Outlook for rhenium in catalysts    104

8.1.3     Outlook for rhenium consumption in other uses    105

9.        International trade in rhenium    106

9.1       Rhenium metal    106

9.2       Ammonium perrhenate (APR)    108

9.3       Other    110

10.       Rhenium prices    111

10.1      Contract pricing    111

10.2      Spot pricing    112

10.2.1    Rhenium spot price history    112

10.3      Customs values of rhenium    113

10.4      Rhenium price forecast to 2018    116


List of Tables

    Page

Table 1:  Properties of rhenium    7

Table 2:  World: Rhenium reserves by country    7

Table 3:  World: Estimated rhenium content of principal copper-molybdenum

          porphyry deposits    8

Table 4:  World: Estimated production of primary and secondary rhenium,

          2002 to 2012    15

Table 5:  World: Estimated primary production/supply of rhenium by country,

          2002 to 2012    18

Table 6:  World: Estimated primary rhenium capacity by company, 2012    20

Table 7:  World: Estimated mine production of rhenium by country, 2002 to 2011    20

Table 8:  World: Estimated secondary production of rhenium, 2002 to 2011    22

Table 9:  Estimated rhenium recycling capacity by company    22

Table 10: World: Planned new/expanded primary rhenium capacity, 2012    23

Table 11: Mining projects with potential for rhenium recovery, 2012    24

Table 12: Argentina: Estimated rhenium resources at Cu-Mo deposits    26

Table 13: Armenia: Estimated rhenium resources at Cu-Mo deposits    27

Table 14: Canada: Estimated rhenium resources at Cu-Mo deposits    31

Table 15: Chile: Exports of rhenium metal by destination, 2005 to 2012    32

Table 16: Chile: Estimated rhenium resources at Cu-Mo deposits    33

Table 17: Molymet: Imports of raw molybdenum concentrates by country and

          company, 2006 to 2011    35

Table 18: Chile: Estimated rhenium content of imports of raw molybdenum

          concentrate, 2006 to 2011    37

Table 19: Molymet: Details of rhenium products supplied    37

Table 20: Chile: Estimated mine production of rhenium by mine, 2004 to 2011    38

Table 21: Chile: Min. Los Pelambres: Estimated rhenium content of exports of raw molybdenum concentrates, 2005 to 2011    39

Table 22: Germany: Inferred exports of rhenium to the USA, 2001 to 2010    43

Table 23: Kazakhstan: Production and inferred exports of rhenium to the USA,

          2002 to 2011    46

Table 24: Mongolia: Estimated rhenium resources at Cu-Mo deposits    48

Table 25: Papua New Guinea: Estimated rhenium resources in molybdenum-

copper mining projects    50

Table 26: Peru: Exports of unroasted molybdenum concentrates containing

    rhenium, 2006 to 2012    51

Table 27: Peru: Estimated resources of rhenium    52

Table 28: Peru: Estimated mine production of rhenium by mine, 1995-2012    53

Table 29: UK: Imports and exports of rhenium, 2004 to 2011    58

Table 30: USA: Production and imports of rhenium and APR, 2006 to 2012    58

Table 31: USA: Estimated rhenium resources at copper-molybdenum

          properties, 2012    59

Table 32: USA: Estimated mine production of rhenium by mine, 2004 to 2011    60

Table 33: USA: Companies recycling rhenium    63

Table 34: USA: Companies fabricating and trading rhenium    65

Table 35: Consumption of rhenium by end-use, 2002 to 2012    69

Table 36: World: Consumption of rhenium by in the USA and the rest of the world,

          2002 to 2012    70

Table 37: World: Estimated rhenium supply and demand balance, 2002 to 2012    71

Table 38: Composition of selected single crystal nickel-base superalloys containing

          rhenium    75

Table 39: Deliveries of aero engines by producer, 2000 to 2012    77

Table 40: Commercial aero engines by thrust, aircraft type and manufacturer    78

Table 41: Companies participating in surveys of gas turbine orders, 2008 to 2011    82

Table 42: Size and applications of gas turbines ordered by participating companies, 2011    83

Table 43: Rhenium-bearing catalysts used in catalytic reforming of naphtha    89

Table 44: World: Catalytic reforming capacity by region, 2002 to 2006, 2009

          and 2011    90

Table 45: Uses of BTX compounds    91

Table 46: World: Production capacity for aromatics by principal countries, start of

          2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011    92

Table 47: World: Forecast of rhenium demand by application, 2012 to 2018    101

Table 48: Forecast demand for rhenium in aero engines, 2012 to 2018    103

Table 49: USA: Imports of rhenium metal by country of origin, 2001 to 2009    107

Table 50: Chile: Exports of rhenium metal by destination, 2004 to 2012    108

Table 51: USA: Imports of ammonium perrhenate by country, 2002 to 2012    109

Table 52: Chile: Exports of APR by country, 2006 to 2012    110

Table 53: Chile: Average values of exports of rhenium metal, 2005 to 2012    114

Table 54: Chile: Exports of ammonium perrhenate by country, 2006 to 2012    114

Table 55: USA: Average value of rhenium metal imports by country of origin,

          2003 to 2012    115

Table 56: USA: Average value of ammonium perrhenate imports by country of

          origin, 2003 to 2012    116

Table 57: Forecast rhenium metal prices, 2012 to 2018    117


List of Figures

Figure 1:  World: Estimated supply and demand and spot prices of rhenium,

           2002 to 2012    1

Figure 2:  World: Estimated division of rhenium resources contained in copper-molybdenum porphyry deposits    8

Figure 3:  World: Supply of primary and recycled rhenium, 2002 to 2012    16

Figure 4:  World: Primary production/supply of rhenium, 2000 to 2012    17

Figure 5:  World: Estimated production/supply of primary rhenium by country,

           2002 to 2012    18

Figure 6:  World: Estimated division of primary rhenium production/supply by

           country, 2012    19

Figure 7:  World: Division of estimated mine production of rhenium, 2011    21

Figure 8:  World: Estimated demand for rhenium, 2000 to 2012    68

Figure 9:  Consumption of rhenium by end-use, 2002 to 2012    69

Figure 10: Supply and demand of rhenium, 2002 to 2012, with forecast to 2018    71

Figure 11: World: Use of superalloys by sector    74

Figure 12: Deliveries of aero engines by producing company, 2000 to 2012    77

Figure 13: World: Aircraft deliveries, 1980 to 2012 (units)    80

Figure 14: Participating companies: Gas turbine orders, 1979 to 2011    82

Figure 15: Size and applications of gas turbines ordered by participating

           companies, 2012    83

Figure 16: World: Consumption of energy by fuel, 2005 to 2012    84

Figure 17: World: Catalytic reforming capacity by region, 2011    90

Figure 18: World: Forecast of demand for rhenium, 2018    102

Figure 19: USA: Division of imports of rhenium metal by country of origin for period

           from 2002 to October 2012    107

Figure 20: Chile: Division of exports of rhenium metal by country of destination for

           period from 2004 to 2012    108

Figure 21: USA: Division of imports of APR by country of origin for the period 2003

           to 2012    110

Figure 22: Prices for rhenium in the spot market, 2004 to 2012    113


For further information on this report, please contact Robert Baylis, rbaylis@roskill.co.uk or +44-20-8417-0087.

SOURCE Roskill Information Services



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