Mining Brief: Fluorspar Market Realizing Increased Demand as Fluorine Uses Increase
Fluorspar, the name used for fluorite when it is sold as a bulk material or in processed form, is not an often discussed mining product. Fluorite has a wide variety of uses. The non-stick cooking surface known as Teflon is made using fluorine derived from fluorite. The primary uses are in the metallurgical, ceramics, and chemical industries; however, optical, lapidary, and other uses are also important. Recent industry reports project that the global Fluorspar Acid Grade market size is expected to reach US$ 2800.1 million by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 8.9% during 2021-2026. Fluospar is sold in different grades including acid, metallurgical and ceramic. Acid grade fluorspar is a high-purity material used by the chemical industry. It contains over 97% CaF2. Most of the fluorspar consumed in the United States is acid grade even if it is used in lower grade applications. It is used mainly in the chemical industry to manufacture hydrofluoric acid (HF). The HF is then used to manufacture a variety of products which include: fluorocarbon chemicals, foam blowing agents, refrigerants, and a variety of fluoride chemicals. Fluorspar is also used directly or indirectly to manufacture products such as aluminum, gasoline, insulating foams, refrigerants, steel, and uranium fuel. Byproduct fluorosilicic acid production from some phosphoric acid producers supplements fluorspar as a domestic source of fluorine. Active stocks in the markets this week include Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS), Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE), Lion One Metals Limited (OTCQX: LOMLF) (TSXV: LIO), McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX), Saville Resources Inc. (TSX-V: SRE).
Europe and North America are expected to increase over the next few years. Fluorspar Acid Grade markets in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period. Advanced technology and innovation are the most important characteristics of North America and the main reason why the United States dominates the world market. The Fluorspar Acid Grade market in South America is also expected to expand in the near future. A report from MarketsAndResearch shows much optimism for the market in the near future, saying: “Our analysts monitoring the situation across the globe explains that the market will generate remunerative prospects for producers post COVID-19 crisis. The report aims to provide an additional illustration of the latest scenario, economic slowdown, and COVID-19 impact on the overall industry… Other factors that are driving the growth of the market can be the increased number of demands. The Fluorspar Acid Grade market is expected to propel during the forecast period from 2020 to 2025.”
Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS) BREAKING NEWS: Ares Strategic Mining Inc. Completes Delineation Drilling Assaying and Confirms High Grades of Naturally Occurring Fluorspar – Ares Strategic Mining (“Ares” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has received all the assay results from its 12 Reverse Circulation delineation drill holes from the drill program conducted at its Lost Sheep Fluorspar mining operation located In Delta, Utah, US.
James Walker, President and CEO of the Company said, “The results have been a great validation of our project assessment and its potential. Not only do we have the only permitted and producing fluorspar mine in the U.S, but we can now confirm that high grades of naturally occurring fluorspar at our mine. This is excellent news for U.S. industries which import 100% of its fluorspar from abroad. Fluorspar is used in aluminum, steel, refrigeration units, electric car batteries, smart phones, medical supplies, cement, and hydrofluoric acid, and now U.S industry has the potential to source fluorspar domestically instead of from abroad. We have discovered large sections of fluorspar which already meet industry standards. We have commenced plant design work, block modelling, and resource calculations for the drilled and assayed fluorspar pipe. With the already completed metallurgical work, which the company recently announced had achieved the highest grade required by industry, Ares is advancing with its mine construction plans with the anticipation to supply to US industry in the near future.”
High-grade fluorspar is located within discrete near vertical fluorite bearing volcanic breccia pipes hosted within competent limestone. Due to working safety and space limitations inside the actual LGP pit, all 12 RC drill holes were drilled from two locations/pads fanned through the fluorite bearing breccia pipe boundaries at different elevations to delineate the shape and grade distribution of the Fluorspar mineralization within it as well as the contacts with the limestone wall rock at different elevation levels.
A summary of the drill intersects and grades can be seen in the table below.
|Hole ID||Azimuth||Dip||From (m)||To (m)||Interval (m)||%CaF2|
These assay results confirm the very high fluorspar grades reported from historic productions at the different mines that operated between the 1950’s and the 1980’ in the Spor Mountain by the USGS in various reports. These reports already indicated the fluorspar occurrences in the Spor Mountain rank amongst the highest naturally occurring fluorspar grades in the World. Read this entire release including full drilling results for the Ares Strategic Mining news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-ars/
Other recent developments in the markets include:
Commerce Resources Corp.(TSX-V:CCE) (OTCPK: CMRZF) recently reported that the Ashram REE/ Fluorspar Deposit is the subject focus of two papers that will be presented at the upcoming 2020 Conference of Metallurgists (COM2020). The conference was originally planned to be held in Toronto this August; however, it has recently been rescheduled for October 14th and 15th and is modified to an online webinar format given recent events. COM2020 is organized by the Metallurgy and Materials Society, a section of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum (CIM).
The first paper, initially announced in news release dated May 13th, 2020, is a joint collaboration between the Company and CanmetMINING, a branch of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and is titled “Mineral processing flowsheet options for the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit”. The authors, Tesfaye Negeri and Maziar Sauber of CanmetMINING and Darren L. Smith, the Company’s Ashram Project Manager, detail in the paper recent test work completed by CanmetMINING where a marked improvement in flotation performance has been demonstrated through a combination of distributed reagent additions, reagent synergism, and reverse conditioning in a very simple and basic flotation circuit.
Lion One Metals Limited (TSXV: LIO) (OTCQX: LOMLF) recently announced, further to its announcements on July 23, 2020 and August 5, 2020, that it has completed a “bought deal” brokered private placement and concurrent non-brokered private placement of an aggregate of (i) 13,529,750 units (the “Tranche 1 Units”) of the Company at a price of C$1.70 per Tranche 1 Unit (the “Tranche 1 Price”) for gross proceeds of C$23,000,575, including the exercise in full of the underwriters’ option with respect to Tranche 1 Units, and (ii) 8,189,821 units (the “Tranche 2 Units” and together with the Tranche 2 Units, the “Units”) of the Company at a price of C$2.05 per Tranche 2 Unit (the “Tranche 2 Price”) for gross proceeds of C$16,789,133, including a partial exercise of the underwriters’ option with respect to Tranche 2 Units, for aggregate gross proceeds of $39,789,708 (the “Offering”).
Each Tranche 1 Unit is comprised of one common share (a “Common Share”) in the capital of the Company and one-half (1/2) of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant attaching to a Tranche 1 Unit, a “Tranche 1 Warrant”) of the Company. Each Tranche 1 Warrant shall be exercisable to acquire one Common Share (a “Warrant Share”) at a price per Warrant Share of C$2.35 for a period of 12 months from the closing date of the Offering.
Each Tranche 2 Unit will consist of one Common Share and one-half (1/2) of one common share purchase warrant (each whole common share purchase warrant attaching to a Tranche 2 Unit, a “Tranche 2 Warrant”) of the Company. Each Tranche 2 Warrant shall be exercisable to acquire one Warrant Share at a price per Warrant Share of C$2.75 for a period of 12 months from the closing date of the Offering. The net proceeds from the Offering will be used for exploration and development of the Company’s Tuvatu Gold Project, as well as working capital and general corporate purposes.
McEwen Mining Inc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX)recently reported its second quarter (Q2) results for the period ended June 30th, 2020, which included: Cash and working capital at June 30th, 2020 were $18.4 million and $25.5 million, respectively; Gold and silver production was adversely impacted by two factors: first, the temporary suspension of operations at all of our mines as a result of steps taken to stop the spread of COVID-19; and second, by operational issues. Production for Q2 was 15,700 gold ounces and 359,400 silver ounces, or 19,200gold equivalent ounces (“GEOs”) using the average gold:silver price ratio for the quarter of 104:1; and A net loss of $19.8 million in Q2, or $0.05 per share, compared to a net loss of $13.0 million, or $0.04 per share, in Q2 2019.
“I very much wish I could say that all our difficulties that started last year are now behind, but they are not, yet. The second quarter was challenging from an operational and health and safety standpoint. Our significantly lower production not only reduced our revenue, but also dramatically increased our costs per ounce. In addition, a change in how we account for development expenditures added significantly to our cash cost per ounce at Black Fox. However, our path to future growth and improved operational performance has become clearer.
Saville Resources Inc. (TSX-V: SRE) recently highlighted the fluorspar potential of its niobium project, optioned from its neighbor Commerce Resources Corp. (CCE.V)(CMRZF), which is busy developing its Ashram REE (Rare Earth Element) Project in Québec, Canada, following the recent closing of a +$2.5 million CAD financing.
Ashram is not only one of the world‘s largest REE deposits but is also one of the largest fluorspar (CaF2) deposits globally with defined mineral resources. Therefore, the Ashram Deposit is not only an advanced-stage REE deposit, which remains the primary commodity of interest, it is also an advanced-stage fluorspar deposit. Historical drilling on Saville‘s adjacent property has intersected long intervals of high-grade fluorite.