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Fluorspar

Latest News

  • Tertiary Minerals to look for profit beyond fluorspar

    Friday, 13 January 2017

    Weak fluorspar demand, poor stock market conditions for junior development companies and difficulties faced at its Swedish fluorspar project have forced the company to evaluate alternative acquisition opportunities as a faster route to profitable production.

  • Fluorspar: Year in Review 2016

    Friday, 30 December 2016

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

  • Chinese fluorspar exports rise as it cuts back on imports

    Friday, 09 December 2016

    Trade data from China has shown that fluorspar exports from the country saw an increase across all grades – although prices weakened – while imports saw a decline between January and October 2016. However the export of downstream products such as aluminium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid have recently weakened.

  • Tertiary to buy additional assets at Lassedalen

    Wednesday, 07 December 2016

    The potential sale agreed with Norsk Hydro will add value to the company's fluorspar project in Norway.

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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.

  • Pricing notice: Correction to US fluorspar price specification

    Monday, 05 December 2016

    Industrial Minerals will be revising the specification of its acidspar grade for delivery in US Gulf ports, with effect from 8 December.

  • Pricing notice: Update on proposed delisting of fluorspar prices

    Wednesday, 30 November 2016

    Industrial Minerals will retain its acidspar, CIF US Gulf Ports price and extend the consultation period for acidspar, China to Japan. Several other fluorspar grades will be delisted.

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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.

  • Which materials are “critical” and which are “strategic”?

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    The terms “critical” and “strategic” used to describe the importance of various minerals and metals to different countries and organisations are often applied without definition or context. George J Simandl, Carlee Akam and Suzanne Paradis outline the case for appropriate use of these terms to avoid misunderstandings and misrepresentations.

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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.