Ares Strategic Mining’s manufacturing partner, Mujim Group, has announced the development of a new technology to produce fluorspar lumps from material that was previously considered unsuitable for manufacture. Ares Strategic Mining reports it may be possible for it to become the first vertically integrated lumps manufacturer in the USA, to run alongside its ‘currently anticipated acidspar and metspar products’ as it anticipates ‘concluding a joint venture agreement to use this technology’.
Canadian company Ares Strategic Mining owns the Lost Sheep operation in Utah, which is currently the only fluorspar mine in production and fully permitted in the USA, selling fluorspar to domestic brokers and steel mills. In March last year, Roskill reported the partnership of Ares with Mujim Group, a fluorspar mining and distribution company with operations in Thailand and Laos. Mujim Group is supporting Ares Strategic Mining to expand Lost Sheep via assistance with equipment selection, mining methods, processing techniques and the supply of expert fluorspar mining personnel.
A delay in bringing new acidspar capacity to the market outside China was a major factor in keeping world fluorspar prices elevated in 2019 and early 2020, before the worst effects of COVID-19. As global demand recovers in 2021, ramp up from new mines will provide much needed relief to a fluorspar market which has been squeezed by restricted supply in recent years.
Fluorspar lumps are used in the production of ceramics, fiberglass, and glass and are used to reduce the refractory melting point; however, production and availability of this product is relatively rare.
The USA lists fluorspar among the commodities it considers critical materials and continues to rely on imports for most of its domestic fluorspar requirements.
Roskill’s NEW Fluorspar: Outlook to 2030, 15th Edition report will be published in early 2021 and include analysis of supply, demand, trade and prices, as well as providing forecasts to 2030 and profiles of the main producers.