Xanthates Market to Create Lucrative Opportunities for Existing Companies as Well as New Players
The global xanthates market is estimated to be valued at US$ 388 Mn by 2017 end and is expected to reach nearly US$ 625 Mn by the end of 2025, registering a CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period. Globally, the consumption of xanthates was pegged at 247,000 tons in 2016 and is projected to register a CAGR of 4.7% over the forecast period to reach 371,826 tons by the end of 2025.
Mining complexity and declining ore quality necessitates specialty chemicals to process ores
Xanthates are widely used for the extraction of copper, gold and other metals. Over the recent years, there has been a significant decline in the quality of copper ores extracted. The average copper ore grade has declined significantly in the past few years, dropping from 1.2% (2005) to ~0.9% (2015). China is a significant producer of copper with a large number of copper mines. Gold mining in China has also been increasing significantly over the recent past. Australia also has a noticeable share in gold mining in the region. The average ore grade for gold can vary from 1-4 g/ton to 8-10 g/ton. As a result of the extraction of gold from low grade ores that are found in a number of mines in China, these is an increasing demand for flotation collectors, such as xanthates.
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Ageing mineral deposits are resulting in decreased grade of mineral ores. Attributing to the depleting reserves globally, the mining industry is facing the problem of low productivity. The quality of ore is getting affected and as a result, there is a need for exploiting reserves that lie deeper inside the earth. Attributing to this complexity in mining, the demand for mining flotation chemicals is increasing as more chemicals are required for extraction of the desired mineral. This has led to an increasing demand for mining reagents, such as xanthates. Global decline in ore grade has led to the need for exploration of new mines with targeted geographic expansion by investors in Vietnam, India, Australia and other regions of Asia Pacific, thus, driving the APAC xanthates market.
Significant rise in prices of raw materials for xanthates production hampering market growth
Though APAC region is the largest manufacturer of xanthates, there are certain challenges faced by the manufacturers for xanthates production. For instance, there has been a significant rise in the price of amyl alcohol, which is an important raw material used in the manufacture of potassium amyl xanthate (PAX). Attributing to xanthates being the largest class of sulphide collectors used for mining, the rise in prices of raw materials has significantly impacted market growth. The APAC region is focusing on the production of cheaper xanthates, such as sodium based and other alternatives, such as dithiophospates and dithiocarbamates, which are increasingly used as replacements for xanthates. Moreover, there are other factors, such as the hazardous nature, low stability and toxic nature associated with xanthates that are restraining market growth. Consumers are switching towards environment friendly alternatives. Additionally, there are a number of regulations pertaining to the transport and export of xanthates to other regions, which are also restraining market growth.
Global Xanthates Market Analysis by Region
APAC is projected to gain 90 BPS over the forecast period. The region has two main consumers of xanthates – China and Australia. These countries have a large number of copper and gold reserves. The ores extracted are usually of lower grade with less mineral content. As a result, there has been greater demand for xanthates for the processing of ores in these countries. Latin America is also anticipated to be a lucrative region and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period. A number of investments have been made in the mining sector in Latin America. Countries like Peru, Chile, Mexico and Columbia are expected to create significant opportunities for xanthates in the Latin America market.
Non-conventional applications of xanthates are rising in prominence
Conventionally, the use of xanthates was only limited to the mining sector. But recently, there have been noticeable investments in expanding the application scope of xanthates. As a result, xanthates now find applications such as accelerators in rubber processing. Xanthates are used for low temperature curing of rubber. They are also used as high temperature lubricant additives and fire proofing agents. There has also been an increasing use of xanthates for the manufacture of agrochemicals such as herbicides and pesticides.