Fluorspar: Plans to relocate homes around closed Kenyan mine face opposition

African mine

The Kenyan government, which recently gained control of the country’s only fluorspar mine, appears to be facing opposition from the local community over plans to relocate homes around the facility. It has been reported that clan elders in the Kerio valley, where the mine is located, are refusing to comply with a proposed relocation of homes.

Roskill View: Roskill previously reported on how, after putting the mine into care and maintenance in April 2016 on the back of depressed demand and low prices, Kenya Fluorspar Company failed to renew its lease in April 2018, returning ownership of the mine and its assets to the Kenyan government. Fluorspar prices have since seen significant increases and it appears that the government may have plans to re-start the mine, judging market conditions to be favourable.

South Africa, Egypt, and Morocco are the only African countries to currently operate working fluorspar mines. The next project to come online on the continent is expected to be Sepfluor’s Nokeng mine, also in South Africa, which is due to begin shipments of material in early 2019. The construction process is reported to be on schedule and the project will add significant new capacity to the fluorspar market.

Roskill will be in South Africa to present at Industrial Minerals’ Fluorspar 2018 conference in September 2018, along with speakers from Sepfluor and the Nokeng mine. Roskill will also present a paper on fluorspar trade at the IMFORMED Fluorine Forum in Madrid in October 2018.