Mining Brief: Fluorspar Industrial Mineral Predicted to Realize Significant Growth as Uses Rise
Fluorspar has a wide variety of uses. It is a mineral composed of calcium and fluorine and is used for a variety of metallurgical, chemical and ceramic processes. It is sometimes cut into gems to be used in ornamental objects. More importantly, it is also used as flux to lower the melting point of raw materials in the steel production process. High growth in the global construction industry coupled with increasing construction of skyscrapers and earthquake resistant buildings will stimulate demand for steel which will augment the fluorite market development in the study period. The increasing demand for aluminum & steel, mostly in the developing economies will contribute towards the product industry growth. Aluminum is extensively used in the manufacturing of automobiles and aircrafts. Steady increase in the automobile production in Asian countries coupled with a rising vehicle demand owing to increasing disposable income and GDP growth in emerging economies will fuel aluminum consumption. This will boost the fluorspar demand to be used in the synthesis of aluminum. Rising steel demand from the construction industry will also propel the fluorspar market growth. Active stocks in the mining markets this week include Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS), Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE), B2Gold Corp. (NYSE: BTG) (TSX: BTO), Wheaton Precious Metals™ Corp. (NYSE: WPM) (TSX:WPM), Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT).
The fluorspar market is segmented on the basis of product and application. Among the product segments, metaspar, which contains 60% to 85% calcium fluoride, is predicted to record a valuation above USD 1 billion with a significant growth rate till 2024 owing to its usage in the synthesis of aluminum, steel, iron and others. It acts as flux to remove impurities from molten metal and improves the fluidity. China, Mexico and Mongolia are the largest fluorite producers in the world. Asia Pacific will drive the product market growth owing to the presence of a large number of steel & aluminum manufacturing plants in the region. The high demand for fluorochemicals in a wide range of applications will also help the fluorite market to grow through 2024.
Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS) BREAKING NEWS: Ares Strategic Mining Inc. Announces 1,500m Follow-up RC Drill Program After Confirming Presence of Additional Fluorite Bearing Pipes on its Permitted Area – Ares Strategic Mining (“Ares” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce an immediate follow-up drill program after confirming high-grade fluorspar mineralization on its Lost Sheep fluorspar mine.
Ares will again employ More Core Diamond Drilling Services Ltd., to conduct RC drilling for to test for additional fluorspar mineralization within the Lost Sheep fluorspar mine area in Utah to assist planning for possible mining in the future. The Company will drill two or three holes (200 to 300m of drilling) between the old Purple Pit and the recently delineated LGP target to test for possible continuity of fluorspar mineralization and/or depth extension. Personal communications with individuals that worked the underground Purple Pit mine indicates that there is still mineralization trending towards the LGP pipe at the 250 foot level and below the 325 foot level. These areas will be tested during Phase 2 of drilling.
The Company will also test a series of very prospective targets immediately adjacent to the current operation (250 and 350 meters away) and within the permitted area, based on a conceptual model that links fluorite bearing breccia pipes with exposed fluorspar at surface. A minimum of 5 holes (500 to 700m) will be drilled in this target zone and if successful, will begin to delineate additional fluorspar mineralization readily accessible from surface.
James Walker, President and CEO of the Company said, “The high grade results from the last drill program, and the confirmation that other possible high-grade areas exist within our permitted mine area and extensive exploration land package, has encouraged the Company to move forward its timelines. Ares is currently considering expanding the proposed production capacity and processing facilities at its mine. The Company anticipates secondary and tertiary mining operations at other sites in the future. By moving our drill program forward, we hope to enable faster expansion of our production capabilities once mining operations have commenced. The Company and its staff are very excited at the near-term and long-term prospects, and we are looking forward to commence operations and being the only domestic supplier of metspar and acidspar to the U.S.”
The Company has conducted detailed geology interpretation after examining high-resolution imagery and DEM models obtained from the recently acquired Lidar survey and has identified a fault set that produced repetitive offset of the geological sequence. The majority of the known historic fluorite operations are located in the steep south slopes of a series of different parallel hills, in a “domino” style of extensional faulting. Blind targets are located in the hanging wall offset blocks. The conceptual model indicates the exposed deposits correspond to the lower sections of the fluorspar bearing pipes, and the top parts of the pipes, reaching or not the surface, can be predicted in those offset blocks immediately adjacent to them. Read this release for the Ares Strategic Mining news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-ars/
Other recent developments in the markets include:
B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO) (NYSE: BTG) recently announced that the Company continues to monitor the evolving political situation in Mali. B2Gold’s mining operations at its Fekola Mine have not been affected in any way and the Company continues mining and milling operations as normal. The Fekola Mine has sufficient supplies on hand to maintain its budgeted activities through the end of the third quarter and beyond if needed. The Fekola mill expansion remains on schedule. No operational days have been lost due to the political situation in the country and all of B2Gold’s mine personnel are safe.
B2Gold will continue to monitor the situation and work to ensure that its mining operations continue normally, providing economic benefits and job creation both to the communities around the mine and to regional and national governments. Foreign investment and political stability in Mali are crucial for the country.
Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE)) recently reported the company has been awarded a combined total of $160,000 in grant funding in support of research and development of the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit’s flowsheet. The Ashram deposit is one of the largest rare earth deposits being advanced globally, with a fluorspar component that also then ranks it as one of the largest fluorspar deposits defined globally.
The research and development program will be carried out as a collaboration between the company, Universite du Quebec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue (UQAT) and Industrial Waste Technology Centre (CTRI). The company will provide approximately 1.5 tonnes of Ashram deposit material to be used as feed for the various test programs
Wheaton Precious Metals™ Corp. (NYSE: WPM) (TSX:WPM) recently announced that its Board of Directors has declared its third quarterly cash dividend payment for 2020 of US$0.10 per common share. The third quarterly cash dividend for 2020 of US$0.10 will be paid to holders of record of Wheaton Precious Metals common shares as of the close of business on August 27, 2020 and will be distributed on or about September 10, 2020.
Under the Company’s dividend policy, the quarterly dividend per common share is targeted to equal approximately 30% of the average cash generated by operating activities in the previous four quarters divided by the Company’s then outstanding common shares, all rounded to the nearest cent. To minimize volatility in quarterly dividends, the Company has set a minimum quarterly dividend of $0.10 per common share for the duration of 2020 representing an 11% increase relative to 2019. Under this policy, the forecast annualized dividend for 2020 would represent an increase of more than 90% over a five-year period.
Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT) and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (NYSE: KL – TSX: KL) have signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement to jointly assess regional exploration opportunities around Newmont’s Timmins properties and Kirkland’s Holt Complex in Ontario, Canada. As part of the Strategic Alliance, Newmont has acquired an option (the Option) from Kirkland on the mining and mineral rights subject to a royalty payable by Newmont to Royal Gold, Inc. (the Holt Royalty) in exchange for a $75 million payment to Kirkland Lake Gold. Newmont can exercise the Option only in the event Kirkland intends to restart operations at the Holt Mine and process material subject to the Holt Royalty. Kirkland has the right to assume Newmont’s obligations under the Holt Royalty at any time, in which case the Option would terminate. The effect of the Option structure is that Newmont will have no additional liability exposure in relation to the Holt Royalty.
As a result of the Strategic Alliance Agreement and the Option, Newmont expects to remove the approximately $350 million liability for the Holt Royalty on its balance sheet at June 30, 2020 and record a gain of approximately $275 million in Net income (loss) from discontinued operations in its results for the third quarter of 2020.