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Pricing News

  • Price Briefing: August 17-23

    Friday, 24 August 2018

    Currency depreciation not yet reflecting on iodine prices; sluggish sales weigh on China’s magnesia export prices; PRICING NOTICE: Proposal to launch frac sand price; China flake graphite prices dip on slow buying, weakening yuan; Chinese carbonate price range widens on lower concluded deals; Imported ilmenite price continues to fall in China; PRICING NOTICE: Discontinuation of seven fluorspar prices

  • PRICING NOTICE: Discontinuation of seven fluorspar prices

    Tuesday, 21 August 2018

    Industrial Minerals has today discontinued seven grades of fluorspar.

  • Price Briefing: July 13-19

    Friday, 20 July 2018

    GLOBAL LITHIUM WRAP: Battle over market share triggers price war; PRICING NOTICE: Extension of consultation period on proposal to discontinue fluorspar prices; China’s magnesia export prices steady but domestic prices soften; Chinese soda ash price edges down on oversupply; PRICING NOTICE: Discontinuation of kaolin pricing; factors converge to depress ilmenite import price in China

  • PRICING NOTICE: Extension of consultation period on proposal to discontinue fluorspar prices

    Wednesday, 18 July 2018

    Industrial Minerals has extended the consultation period regarding its proposal to discontinue several fluorspar prices.

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Features

  • Fluorspar market on edge as new participants step in

    Thursday, 06 September 2018

    Moves by Canada Fluorspar and Sepfluor to enter the global fluorspar market have raised questions about how this will affect the worldwide supply and demand dynamic, and how fluorspar prices may be affected.

  • 2017: The year of the supply squeeze

    Thursday, 14 December 2017

    If 2016 should be remembered with a shudder, then 2017 will be remembered as the year when it became harder to source minerals. The supply situation changed for many minerals in the markets that Industrial Minerals covers, not least because many producers were simply shut down by strict environmental laws in China, or found it harder to source materials due to demand-side challenges, consultant editor Siobhan Lismore-Scott writes.

  • A Chinese squeeze? Fluorspar industry governed by uncertainty

    Friday, 29 September 2017

    China is the largest producer and consumer of fluorspar, but supply has been curtailed due to draconian environmental legislation, which has pushed up prices. Will this give new producers in Vietnam, Canada and Afghanistan a chance to swoop in and further alter the supply mix? IM Consultant Editor, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, reports.

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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.