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A Recovering Economy Prompts an Uptick in Silicon Demand

A Recovering Economy Prompts an Uptick in Silicon Demand
PR Newswire
NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2022

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — News Commentary
Silicon is frequently used as a semiconductor in electronics. Typically, components…

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A Recovering Economy Prompts an Uptick in Silicon Demand

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — News Commentary

Silicon is frequently used as a semiconductor in electronics. Typically, components such as printed circuit boards, transistors, integrated circuits, and many more include silicon in their composition due to its properties that help achieve the desired conductive efficiency. Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest share of this market, with China leading the way as the world’s largest producer of silicon metal. Overall, the silicon metal market was valued at over 2.9 Million tons in 2020, and is market is projected to register a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period (2021-2026), according to data provided by Mordor Intelligence. MGX Minerals Inc. (CSE: XMG) (OTC: MGXMF), U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SLCA), Smart Sand, Inc. (NASDAQ: SND), HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ) (OTC: HPQFF), PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (NASDAQ: PYR)

The current pandemic has affected both the demand and supply of silicon all around the world. As governments implemented restrictions to slow down the spread of the viral infections, regular material supply was severely disrupted, and most silicon metal plants temporarily stopped production. However, now that the world economy has returned to near full capacity, silicon is once again needed, as the semiconductor market is in a phase of increased demand. Global semiconductor sales stood at USD 439 Billion in 2020 due to the growing demand for chips across the markets.

MGX Minerals Inc. (CSE: XMG) (OTC: MGXMF) announced breaking news yesterday regarding, “a business development and distribution partnership (the “Partnership”) with Dong Bang Metal Co. Ltd (“Dong Bang‘) of Korea for metallurgical grade silicon (3303#). The Partnership has executed a non-binding Letter of Intent (the “LOI’) outlining commercial terms including grade, quantity, price, delivery and distribution plan. Under certain terms and conditions, Dong Bang will receive exclusive distribution rights for Asia, inclusive of Korea and Japan.


Metallurgical testing on an one ton sample from the Company’s Gibraltar Silica deposit, located 95 kilometers north-east of Cranbrook, British Columbia, has indicated that the material is chemically suitable, as medium quality feedstock, for metallurgical-grade silicon. The one ton sample of quartzite from Gibraltar was shipped to an independent lab, Dorfner Anzaplan, an independent laboratory, for mineralogical analyses through X-ray diffraction analysis, chemical analyses through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, grain size distribution, mineral processing analysis, automated optical sorting, and thermal stability testing. The sample was crushed and screened into fractions between 20–120 mm for evaluation of applicability of these fractions as feedstock for metallurgical-grade silicon production. Results indicate that the material, after comminution and classification fraction, is of high initial purity (99.5 wt.-%), making the fraction chemically suitable as medium quality feedstock material for metallurgical-grade silicon metal production.

The demand for silicon metal continues to grow and recent supply chain bottlenecks have limited overall supply, creating an opportunity for the distribution of silicon in Asia from North America. Increased demand for solar panels, microprocessors, and silicon alloys, due to its semi-conductor and structural properties, continue to create large scale shortages for silicon. The current quoted spot price of silicon 3303# grade in China is $2,100 USD per tonne…

Qualified Person

Andris Kikauka (P. Geo.), CEO of MGX Minerals, has prepared, reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release. Mr. Kikauka is a non-independent Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101.”

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SLCA) announced on November 30th, 2021 that its Industrial and Specialty Products business will increase prices for most of its non-contracted silica sand, aplite, diatomaceous earth and clay products used primarily in glass, foundry, paints, coatings, elastomers, roofing, chemicals, recreation, building products, agricultural, pet litter and other applications. Price increases will range from 6% to 14%, depending on the product and grade, and go into effect for shipments beginning February 1, 2022. These price increases are necessary to help offset significant and continuing cost increases in energy, labor, transportation, materials and manufacturing costs.

Smart Sand, Inc. (NASDAQ: SND) announced on August 2nd, 2021 that it has entered into a new multi-year Master Product Purchase Agreement with EQT Production Company, a subsidiary of EQT Corporation (“EQT”).  Charles Young, Smart Sand’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are extremely excited to be continuing our long-term relationship with EQT, one of our oldest and most reliable business partners. This new contract demonstrates our continued commitment to provide long-term, sustainable sand supply and logistics solutions to our customers. The Appalachian Basin is a key market for Smart Sand. We continue to work to build out our logistics capabilities, including this new terminal, to offer even greater efficiency to our customers while also providing ESG benefits by reducing trucking mileage and associated carbon emissions related to sand delivery.”

HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ) (OTCQX: HPQFF) has announced on December 21st, 2021 that it has secured, with a Quebec-based supplier, the procurement, and January 2022 delivery, of the high purity quartz material needed to operate the GEN3 PUREVAP™ Quartz Reduction Reactor (“QRR”) Pilot Plant.  The PUREVAP™ QRR is an innovative process, which permits the one-step transformation of quartz (SiO2) into high purity silicon metal (from 99.5% to 99.99% Si) at reduced costs, energy input, and carbon footprint. This game-changing advantage means that the PUREVAP™ QRR process not only produces a higher purity silicon material than traditional processes, but it does not require the extremely pure feedstock needed by conventional processes.

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (NASDAQ: PYR) announced on August 5th, 2021 that the Company has successfully produced Nano Silicon materials with its PUREVAP™ Nano Silicon Reactor (“NSIR”) for HPQ Nano Silicon Powders Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of HPQ Silicon Resources Inc.  “Notwithstanding certain unexpected operating challenges, the results today are indeed a significant milestone as it validates our original assumptions and provides further evidence that we are on the right path,” said P. Peter Pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis. “Although there may be challenges ahead, and no outcome can be guaranteed, words cannot adequality describe the excitement at PyroGenesis of potentially being able to address significant challenges facing the development of lithium-ion batteries for the EV market, and others. For example, by 2030, it is estimated that anodes may contain up to 30% silicon in automotive applications as compared to today where silicon is barely used in these applications.”

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