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The copper rush

(Switzer Daily) - While investor interest in ‘battery metals’ has focused on lithium and graphite, copper has been the quiet achiever in terms of its role in the renewable energy revolution.
But with the copper price testing record highs set a decade ago, the credentials of the red metal are getting louder by the day.

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FRA Hazmat Tank Car Impact Test Research

(Railway Age) - Approximately one out of every four railroad freight cars in North America is a tank car, according to the Association of American Railroads, Railroad Facts, 2019 Edition (p. 38). Each year, such cars transport roughly 2 million shipments of hazardous materials (hazmat), carrying goods that are essential to North America’s economy, public health and quality of life.

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From the Farm: Applying sulfur to corn

(WCIA) - Many of us are too young to remember acid rain and the damage it did.  But it contained sulfuric acid from coal-fired power plants — and its absence means a shortfall of sulfur needed by crops.

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Maritec Advises Shipowners On How To Be IMO2020 Compliant Amid High Sulphur Warning

(Hellenic Shipping News) Singapore-based independent test and research facility Maritec is advising shipowners on how best to meet IMO 2020 fuel testing requirements following reports of excessive sulphur in some very low sulphur fuel oils.

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Battery metals are critical over the next decade, Roskill says

(The Northern Miner) The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is driving the increasing demand for lithium, nickel and cobalt – critical metals used as cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the automotive, energy and electronics industries. According to Deloitte's Electric Vehicle Trends, EV sales are forecast to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million by 2025, and to 31.1 million by 2030. Analysts from Roskill, a commodity research firm and a leader in critical materials supply chains, provide an outlook on battery metals' markets over the next decade.

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Texas deep freeze hits energy sector, Houston ship channel shut

(Reuters) A deep freeze that hit Texas over the weekend wrought more havoc on the U.S. energy sector on Tuesday, curbing output in the largest U.S. oil field, knocking out a fifth of the nation’s refining capacity, and shutting a key shipping channel in Houston. (related article)

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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Companies report lower throughput in Europe

(S&P Global by Platts) Oil companies in Europe have reported lower throughput in the fourth quarter and 2020 as a whole, with many refineries continuing with run cuts in the first quarter of 2021.

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Mines push on as South Africa plays catch-up

(Mining Review) The South African mining sector is managing the Covid-19 pandemic remarkably well, but the country needs to do more if it wants mining to benefit from the looming demand peak in ‘green minerals’, according to Ralf Hennecke of BME.

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EGYPTIAN AND EAST AFRICAN MARKETS ADAPTING TO IMO 2020

(Bunker Spot) Speakers at Petrospot’s Maritime Week Africa conference said that the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.50% global sulphur cap is bringing a ‘radical change’ to the bunker markets in Egypt and East Africa.

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Is a Dry Bulk Market Rebound Around the Corner?

(Hellenic Shipping News) with the Chinese New Year holidays in full swing, dry bulk market analysts are wondering whether the freight market will manage to regain its upwards momentum, once the Chinese economy gets back to work. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “throughout the pandemic, uncertainty has been found in abundance across all global markets including that of shipping. Given this, most have just focused on hoping for a market with less noise and volatility for 2021. In the dry bulk sector, it seems that a slightly more stable scene has started to emerge. Beginning with the freight market, monthly average returns in all dry size segments have experienced a rather “atypical” bullish January”.

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Nanotechnologies reduce friction and improve durability of materials

(Eurek Alert) "Thin films are solid state substances that can be only several atomic layers thick. Usually, their properties are considerably different from the properties of the original substances on the macroscale. The areas of their application keep expanding and include nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, spintronics, electro-, and photocatalysis, as well as such important fields of economics as space technologies and instrument building.

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India to overtake EU as world's third largest energy consumer by 2030: IEA

The Economic Times - February 10, 2021
India will overtake the European Union as the world's third-largest energy consumer by 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday as it forecast India accounting for the biggest share of energy demand growth over the next two decades. In its India Energy Outlook 2021, IEA saw primary energy consumption almost doubling to 1,123 million tonnes of oil equivalent as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expands to USD 8.6 trillion by 2040.

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The Might of Metals in the Clean Energy Transition

GreenBiz - February 10, 2021
Metals. It isn't often that we -- most of us, anyway -- think about them. They are like water or packaged foods, things that appear out of a faucet or on a grocery store shelf as if by some magic inception. But there is a scientific beginning to metals. And it's something we ought to be thinking about, increasingly so. Here's why: Minerals are critical to the transition to clean, green energy. Copper supplies, for example, need to increase by as much as 6 percent per year to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Copper is needed for wind farms, solar panels and electric vehicles. Other metals supplies need to rise, too, in order to get companies and countries to their carbon neutrality goals -- phasing out fossil fuels.

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Cenovus ramps up WCS crude-by-rail program as market conditions improve

S&P Global/Platts - February 9, 2021
Cenovus Energy resumed crude-by-rail shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020 as market conditions improved for moving Western Canadian Select crude from Alberta to refineries in the US and Canada, the company said Feb. 9 in its fourth quarter results statement. Rail is crucial in moving the heavy crude to markets to be refined given the dearth of pipeline capacity. But it is only economic if the price of Western Canadian Select is low enough to support the more expensive rail transportation mode.

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FMCSA Clearinghouse Records More Than 56,000 Truck Driver Violations in 2020

Transport Topics - February 2, 2021
More than 56,000 drug and alcohol violations were recorded last year in a database intended to track truck drivers' compliance history and prevent them from job-hopping in the event of a failed drug test. The number of driver violations reported rose by roughly 10,000 over the final two months of 2020, the first full year of operation for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

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U.S. Chemical Production Grows for Fourth Consecutive Month

October production includes gains in chlor-alkali, industrial gases, plastic resins, adhesives, fertilizers, more, according to ACC.

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Taman Bulk Terminal Loads First Sulphur Shipment – SeaNews

Taman Bulk Terminal has loaded its first shipment of sulphur. 38.5 tons of granulated sulphur produced by North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) at the Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan was loaded on board the 55 dwt Handymax bulker "Sealuck II".

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Want 200-Bu. Corn? You'll Need 34 Pounds Of Sulfur Per Acre.

(AgWeb, September 4, 2020)
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium get all of the publicity, but if there was an Academy Award for crop nutrients, sulfur would win best supporting actor. "A bushel of corn removes 0.08 lb. of sulfur in the grain and 0.09 lb. in the stalk—0.17 lb. total," explains Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie.

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Avoid Nutrient Deficiencies In Your Canola

(Grainnews, July 30, 2020)
Nutrient deficiencies in canola are rarely an issue for canola growers, but mobility and environmental issues can inhibit uptake. Having a good plan, though, goes a long way. Warren Ward, agronomy specialist, Canola Council of Canada, explains.

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Why cleaner air may be bad for your sourdough bread

(Reuters, July 16, 2020)
A decline in U.S. power plant emissions over the last 30 years means the air has less sulfur, a crucial nutrient for wheat and many other crops that researchers are now working to replace with fertilizer applications.

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Member News

Exxon aims to become a top lithium producer for electric vehicles with Arkansas drill operation

(MSN) - Exxon Mobil aims to become a leading producer of lithium for electric vehicle batteries through a drilling operation the oil giant is launching in Arkansas, the company announced Monday.

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Exxon to buy Pioneer In $60 billion deal

(The Wall Street Journal) - Exxon Mobil struck a nearly $60 billion agreement Wednesday to buy Pioneer Natural Resources in the largest oil-and-gas deal in two decades, tying the energy giant's future to fossil fuels.

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Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. celebrates groundbreaking in Ohio for fertilizer facility

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. held a celebratory groundbreaking to mark the commencement of construction on a new liquid fertilizer facility in Defiance, Ohio. The new 50,000-square-foot production facility will occupy 50 acres and is set to become operational in 2024. The facility will service the Eastern Great Lakes Region through its distribution partners and will include terminal loadouts for rail cars and tanker trucks.

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Ford to buy lithium from ioneer for U.S. EV battery plant

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Thursday it will buy lithium from ioneer Ltd's (INR.AX) Rhyolite Ridge mining project in Nevada and use the metal to build electric vehicle batteries in the United States.

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Koch Ag Completes Acquisition, Forms Joint Venture With Moroccan Phosphate Subsidiary

(The Daily Scoop) - "The closing of this acquisition marks Koch's first substantial investment on the African continent," said Brad Razook, Executive VP of Koch Industries and CEO, Resources. "We are excited to add another nutrient to the KAES portfolio in collaboration with a world-class partner."

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Shell Pushes Big Plans To Drill More in Gulf

(The Wall Street Journal) - Political uncertainty is clouding prospects for new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but Shell PLC—the Gulf’s biggest producer—is still investing billions of dollars in its waters to pump oil for years to come.

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Rhyolite Ridge: Investing in the future

(Elko Daily) - Alot has been happening with the Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project in recent months.
“On March 31, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to provide hundreds of millions in new subsidies for the mining of minerals critical for the wind, solar and electric vehicles industries.

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Penflex Becomes The Sulphur Institute's Newest Member

(MSN) - Penflex Corporation recently became the newest member of The Sulphur Institute (TSI), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the safe use of sulfur.

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Koch to acquire 50% stake in JFC III from OCP

(Agri Business Global) - Koch Ag & Energy Solutions (Koch) and OCP have signed an agreement under which a Koch affiliate will acquire a 50% interest in Jorf Fertilizers Company III (JFC III) from OCP, the world's largest phosphate mining and leading global fertilizer group. When closed, the transaction will establish a 50/50 joint venture.

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Exxon posts biggest profit in seven years on high oil prices

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $8.87 billion, its largest in seven years, as the top U.S. oil producer benefited from strong energy prices.

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