Imerys North American Performance Minerals Division announced recently that the significant increase in natural gas costs will necessitate the implementation of a temporary energy surcharge. Natural gas prices have escalated by 40% recently, trading at prices as high as $10 per MMBTU. Effective March 15, 2003, the Imerys Performance Minerals Division will implement surcharges on Georgia Kaolins of $3, $6 and $18 per dry short ton for hydrous slurry, hydrous dry and all calcined products, respectively. Surcharges for industrial grades of ground calcium carbonate (GCC) will also be applied effective March 15, 2003, at $1, $2.50 and $5 per short dry ton for dry ground, wet ground and treated grades, respectively. These surcharges will be reviewed monthly and will be based on the previous three months' rolling average of the NYMEX settlement close price for natural gas. The surcharges will remain in effect as long as this average quarterly price for natural gas remains above $4.50 per MMBTU.
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