Germany’s fluorspar production is
expected to increase by over 25,000 tonnes in 2015, as
metallurgy company Nickelhuette escalates output at its new
site in the Ore Mountains.
The company, which brought the mine online during
H2 2014, successfully produced 4,000 tonnes fluorspar last year
and is looking to increase this towards a capacity of 40,000
tpa throughout 2015.
This is forecast to see a total output of around
30,000 tonnes over the next 12 months, 80% of which will be
acid-grade material for sale in the domestic market.
Nickelhuette’s project will be the
third fluorspar operation in Germany alongside Sachtleben
Bergbau’s Clara Mine in Oberwolfach and the
Ilmenau Gehren project, owned by Fluorchemie Group.
This increased production will make
Germany’s fluorspar sector more self-sufficient as
consumers attempt to diversify supply chains in the wake of
China’s attempts to cut exports.
China’s proportion of German
acidspar imports rebounded to their highest point since 2006 in
2013 and 2014, as an abundance of low-cost supplies began to
emerge in reaction to weak end-market conditions.
While this proportion could increase further in
the short term as fluorochemical producer Solvay looks to
replace the lost output from the closure of their Okorusu mine
in Namibia, in the longer term Chinese imports are expected to
fall as more regional trade patterns prevail.
The escalation of production within Europe will
aid consumers’ attempts to secure supply chains
and although the market for low-cost supplies will remain,
China’s competitive advantage as a low-cost
supplier is expected to deteriorate as output increases from
other areas of Asia.
Today, Germany remains one of the largest global
markets for fluorspar behind China and the US.
Despite German fluorspar consumption falling to
around 200,000 tpa from highs of over 300,000 tonnes, larger
quantities are now being imported from other European nations
and parts of Africa.
Comprehensive data and analysis for
global mineral industries. Graphite and fluorspar available
Andy Miller, Analyst
Shruti Salwan, Analyst
Albert Li, Analyst