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Fluorspar

Latest News

  • Acquisitions boost Imerys’ 2016 revenues

    Thursday, 16 February 2017

    Imerys’ long list of recently completed acquisitions brought in over €140m in additional revenue, boosting the company’s yearly turnover, as income showed robust growth while refractories remained difficult.

  • Chemours Q4 earnings hit by charges; TiO2 sales rise

    Thursday, 16 February 2017

    Despite charges relating to the settlement of its PFOA case with DuPont, Chemours reported positive improvements in its TiO2 division for the fourth quarter, driven by increased prices for the mineral y-o-y.

  • Value of Chinese fluorspar exports declines throughout 2016

    Tuesday, 14 February 2017

    Although the country exported higher fluorspar volumes, prices for all fluorspar grades declined throughout the year. Meanwhile imports of both acidspar and metspar increased into China during 2016.

  • Iran's first ocean port Chabahar starts operation

    Monday, 30 January 2017

    Iran has opened its first ocean port at the Gulf of Oman with direct access to the ocean. This port is seen as an important transport link to Iran and central Asia and infrastructure is being financially supported by India.

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Pricing News

  • Fluorspar: Year in Review 2016

    Friday, 30 December 2016

    A roundup of the year’s main events in the global fluorspar market.

  • Prices

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

    Antimony trioxide prices drop, as do iodine prices; lithium deals for 2017 approach closure; foundry chromite spot market widens; raw material costs lift WFA prices; graphite suppliers talk 2017 contracts; Cristal to increase TiO2 prices; industry concerned over China scrapping magnesia quota.

  • Rare earths stockpiling in China leads to upward price pressure

    Saturday, 21 May 2016

    Chinese rare earths prices rise in April; MTI Chromite sand mine to close

  • Chinese New Year keeps lid on mineral markets in February

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016

    Antimony fluctuates, rare earths stay flat; lithium prices exaggerated, says Albemarle; graphite stagnates, chromite prices dip.

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Features

  • 2016 Year in Review

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

    A round up of the year's main events in major global industrial minerals markets such as lithium, agriminerals, rare earths and titanium dioxide.

  • Talk From The Top: What those at the helm make of the last two years in industrial minerals markets

    Saturday, 21 May 2016

    While the majority of industrial mineral market participants are bracing themselves for another tough year, IM spoke to key industry players about adapting to current conditions and seeking out new markets.

  • Industrial minerals in British Columbia

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016

    Canada’s most southwesterly province has a long history of industrial mineral mining. George Simandl and Michaela Neetz of the British Columbia Geological Survey at the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines give a detailed over view of its non-metallic mineral activity and potential.

  • Fluorspar: Year in Review 2015

    Monday, 21 December 2015

    A roundup of the year's main events in the global fluorspar industry.

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Market Brief

Fluorspar is the commercial name for fluorite, a form of calcium fluoride (CaF2). Pure fluorite contains 51.3% calcium and 48.7% fluorine.

Fluorite is the primary source of fluorine, however relatively minor sources of fluorine include cryolite (Na3AlF6), sellaite (MgF2), topaz (Al2SiO4[F,OH]2), villiaumite (NaF), bastnasite ([Ce,La][CO3]F), and fluorapatite (Ca 5[PO4,CO3]3F).

Naturally occurring cryolite, used in the aluminium smelting process, has largely been replaced by synthetic cryolite.

Fluorspar may be found in a range of geological environments, such as hydrothermal and sedimentary, associated with barytes, calcium carbonate, galena, pyrite, quartz and sphalerite.

Fluorspar grades are categorised on the basis of CaF2 content. Major grades produced include:

Other grades include:

Another source of fluorine is fluosilicic acid (FSA), made as a by-product from the processing of phosphate rock into phosphoric acid for the fertiliser industry. FSA for its fluorine content has primarily been used as a water additive, particularly in the USA.

Supply

The world's identified resource of fluorspar is approximately 500m tonnes contained. However, if reserves of fluorine present in phosphate rock are also considered, then this adds a further 1.29bn tonnes of fluorspar (or 630m. tonnes of fluorine).

South Africa is the single largest holder of these reserves (18%) with 41m tonnes of fluorite reserves, followed by Mexico (14%) with 32m tonnes, China (9%) reporting 21m tonnes, and Mongolia (5%) having 12m tonnes.















Nearly 49% of the reserves are not commercially mined or produced.




World fluorspar production capacity is about 6.3m tpa (2012), and is dominated by China (50%) and Mexico (18%), followed by smaller production in Mongolia (7%) and South Africa (3%). Countries including Russia, Namibia and Spain account for 2% each, while Kenya and Morocco contribute 1% individually.














World's major fluorspar producers include:

Mexichem – Mexico

Steyuan Mineral Resources Group – China

Mongolrostsvetmet LLC – Mongolia/Russia (JV)

Minersa – Spain

Kenya Fluorspar – Kenya

Vergenoeg Mining Company – South Africa

Masan Resources – Vietnam

British Fluorspar – United Kingdom

Markets







There are two principal grades of fluorspar, which are defined based on the CaF2 content of the material. Metallurgical (and ceramic) grade fluorspar contains ≤97% CaF2, while acid grade fluorspar contains ≥97% CaF2.

Metspar is primarily sold as a flux into markets for iron and steel casting and steelmaking.












Source: Ray Will, IM Fluorspar Conference 2011



Acidspar is the raw material for hydrofluoric acid (HF) and thus for all fluorochemicals, in addition to being an important feedstock for aluminium fluoride (captive) and other markets (such as welding rods).

Around 60% of fluorspar produced in 2008 was classed as acid grade, with the balance classed as metallurgical grade.