The Bulk Solids Insider: Lithium’s Price Plummet, The Growing Phosphate Fertilizer Market, and Red Sea Shipping Challenges

This article was authored by:

Carrie Carlson
Technical Writer

Updates in Mining & Minerals

Canada Grants Nunavut Control Over Mineral Resources

The Arctic territory of Nunavut was granted control over its mineral resources by the Canadian government in a devolution that has been years in the making. The territory, rich in critical minerals and other resources, will now be able to collect royalties that would otherwise have gone to the federal government. Despite challenges in the region, the move could help to bolster exploration and development, according to Reuters.  

Future of Wyoming’s Trona Industry Uncertain

All eyes in the soda ash industry continue to be on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Rock Springs Resource Management Plan (RMP), public comment for which was closed January 17th. The RMP will have a number of implications for natural resources and land use, including trona mining, in 3.6 million acres of public land. Resource developers, which mine trona ore for the production of soda ash, are worried limitations on development could kill the industry, according to a Wyoming news source.

Uranium Prices Up

Uranium prices recently hit a high they haven’t seen in over 16 years, with potentially further to climb, after Kazatomprom, the world’s largest producer, announced potential supply risks, Reuters reports.

Lithium Price Plummets

Lithium miners are putting the breaks on expansion efforts and looking to cut costs as demand for electric vehicles in China has declined. The price of lithium has dropped by more than 80 per cent in the past year, hitting a low not seen since 2020, according to Financial Times.

A Copper Deficit

Meanwhile, the copper industry is in the opposite position with a supply deficit. reported on a Bloomberg interview with copper mining executive, Robert Friedland, with Friedland noting that while prices aren’t in the realm of incentivizing new mines yet, he sees the industry as ready to explode.

Updates in Fertilizer

Phosphate Fertilizer Market Seeing Growth

The global phosphate fertilizer market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%, going from a valuation of $54.6 billion USD in 2023 to $78.4 billion USD in 2030, according to new market data. Growth is owed largely to the rising focus on sustainable agriculture and the need to feed a growing population.

Farm Credit Canada Encouraging 4R Nutrient Stewardship

Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, Farm Credit Canada, has announced a program that will incentivize its customers to follow Fertilizer Canada’s 4R Nutrient Stewardship program through farm management software AgExpert. The program will officially open in May 2024.

Renewable Energy & Domestic Fertilizer Production Projects Get a Boost

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsackk announced the award of $207 million toward renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). The awards cover projects in 42 states.

Updates in Chemical

EPA Will Require Formal Review of Inactive PFAS

The EPA finalized a rule that will require a formal review by the agency regarding the new or restarted production of 329 per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that haven’t been made or used for many years (known as “inactive PFAS”). The rule falls under the larger umbrella of EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

Chemical Industry Impacted by Red Sea Attacks

Ongoing attacks in the Red Sea are disrupting supply chains for the chemical industry, Chemistry World reports. Route diversions are resulting in longer shipping times and higher costs, with ripple effects throughout the market.

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About the Author . . .

Carrie Carlson is a technical writer and visual designer.

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