Gypsum industry news
Canada: Residents rebuilding their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta will be compensated for duties liable on gypsum wallboard imported from the US. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement, according to the Canadian Press. A source quoted by the agency said that it is part of the government's response to a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that lobbied it to cut duties imposed on wallboard products being imported into Western Canada from the US. The CITT ruled that gypsum wallboard imports from the US had 'hurt' the local industry in January 2017 but, in a separate ruling, it also recognised that competition had been 'substantially' reduced in Western Canada.
UK: Nottingham County Council has granted permissions to the Marblaegis Mine near British Gypsum's East Leake wallboard plant to operate for a further 17 years. The mine was originally licensed to operate until the end of 2025 but can now operate until 2042.
"The phasing out of coal-fired power stations means we have reducing access to synthetic gypsum or desulphogypsum, also called DSG, an important by-product we have been recycling into plasterboard since the early 1990s. We need to counteract this reduction in DSG output by increasing supply from mined and quarried natural gypsum as well as continuing to support plasterboard recycling programmes," said Jeremy Elvins, minerals and estates manager at British Gypsum to Inside Media.
The mine has an installed production capacity of 600,000t/yr but only 250,000t/yr is extracted at present. The mine supports 26 full-time staff at present although the nearby wallboard plant employs 264 staff and 125 contractors.
Oman: The chief executives of the major gypsum mining companies have endorsed new regulations issued by the Public Authority for Mining (PAM) calling for a minimum export price for gypsum. The company leaders also agreed to establish the Oman Gypsum Association (OGA), an organisation intended to support the industry, according to the Oman Daily Observer newspaper. The decision follows the intervention by the PAM in December 2016 when it set minimum export freight on board (FOB) price for raw gypsum at US$12.50/t.
Following the intervention, local gypsum exporters are barred from exporting raw gypsum below this price. Those found in breach of this regulation will be denied export permits, while repeat offenders could have their mining licences removed.
Canada: The federal government has asked for a faster review of anti-dumping tariffs on gypsum wallboard imports. However, the new schedule isn't expected to immediately reduce the duties, according to the Canadian Press. The Finance Department says it wants to help middle-class families in Western Canada, especially those involved in the reconstruction of Fort McMurray, Alberta following wildfires earlier in 2016 that destroyed large numbers of buildings.
"I am grateful to hear the federal government is responding to our concerns and the concerns of people across Fort McMurray with the recent ruling by Canada Border Services Agency that effectively closed Western Canada from imported drywall,'' said Brian Jean, the leader of the opposition Wildrose Party in a statement. He added that his party will continue to ask the government to suspend the tariff during its review or exempt wallboard coming into Fort McMurray from the tax.
In September 2016 the Canada Border Services Agency imposed preliminary tariffs of up to 277% cent on US gypsum wallboard imported into Canada for use in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. The agency said it was responded to a complaint by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada.
Cuba: Rose Petroleum has targeted Euro1m towards developing opportunities to process and manufacture gypsum and associated building materials. The natural resources company said in a statement that it was in direct discussions with a government-owned gypsum company and the relevant ministries regarding a potential transaction. No terms or specific timing of any transaction have been agreed.
"The Cuba project is a very exciting development for Rose which we believe could deliver significant value in the short term, in isolation of the oil price environment," said Matthew Idiens, chief executive officer. "It is worth noting that, at present, there is no domestic supply or production of gypsum panels or wallboard for the construction of internal walls and providing domestic sources is naturally very important for Cuba and its development."
The opportunity was introduced to Rose Petroleum by Earth Source Investment, who had made initial contacts with the Cuban government, in return for shares in Rose Petroleum and non-executive board seats should the deal compete successfully.