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Development and Utilization of Fluorite Resources in China
- Jun 08, 2018 -

     According to data released by the United States Geological Survey in 2017, global fluorite production was 6.4 million tons in 2016, with China and Mexico being the two largest producers in the world. China and Mexico account for 65.6% and 15.6tons of global output respectively, i.e. 4.2 million tons and 1 million tons respectively. 

China fluorite plays an important role in the world, and the export volume accounts for 40% of the world export volume. Therefore, the situation of China fluorite export has a great impact on the world market. China mainly exports fluorite to Japan, the United States, the Netherlands, India, Italy, South Korea and so on. Among them, Japan, the United States and the Netherlands accounted for more than 70% of the total exports of fluorite. According to the customs statistics from 2009 to 2016, the export rate of fluorite in China increased rapidly from less than 270000 tons to 720000 tons in 2009 ~ 2011, and increased by 160 tons in 2 years. The amount of fluorite export decreased to about 400000 tons during the period of 2 years, and there was a trend of decreasing gradually.FEP Pellet  Cable Insulation Application DS602.jpg

     The main reasons for the decline in the quantity of fluorite exports are as follows: first, it is affected by the cost of domestic production, the cost of manpower, the tariff on exports and the continued decline in competitiveness in the international market; secondly, the price of fluorite abroad is cheap. The average export price of fluorite in Mongolia is 145 US dollars / t, in Myanmar, Vietnam and other countries, the average price of fluorite export is 110 US dollars / t, and the domestic production cost of fluorite refined powder is about 1400 yuan / t, resulting in the sharp decline of fluorite export in China.

     Customs statistics show that the import of fluorite in China as a whole has increased from 71000 tons in 2009 to 168000 tons in 2015, an increase of 137.2015 from Mongolia, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc. The import price is about $150 / ton.


     In recent years, the rapid development of fluorite industry in Vietnam will challenge Chinese products. Masan fluorite companies in Vietnam are trying to boost production, exporting a small amount of chemical fluorite in 2014, with a target of 200000 tons in 2015. Fluorite in Vietnam has passed product testing and has attracted attention, especially in neighboring countries. Vietnam is likely to play an important role in the future market. Vietnam output will increase production outside China by 11%. Thailand and Myanmar are also involved in the supply chain, where prices are highly competitive in the Asian Free Trade area.PVDF Plastic Tube.jpg


      Fluorite is widely used in metallurgy (steelmaking and non-ferrous metal smelting) and building materials (cement, glass, ceramics, etc.) because of its low melting point. Such as hydrofluoric acid, artificial cryolite and aluminum fluoride and so on. Bulk fluorite crystals can also be used as optical fluorite and technological fluorite.

      In the building materials industry, fluorite is mainly used in cement, glass, cast stone and ceramic enamel industry. In the field of fluorite application, 2.4 billion tons of cement was produced in the whole country, up 2.5 tons from the same period last year, and the output of flat glass reached 770 million weight boxes, which increased by 5.8% . Therefore, in glass manufacturing and cement production, the demand for fluorite reached its peak in 2014. In 2015, 2016, due to reasons such as cement and glass production capacity, the demand for fluorite also showed a decreasing trend. It is also projected that fluorite demand will not exceed that of 2014 in the next few years.


FEP Granule Heating Wire.jpg  Metallurgical industry is the main application field of fluorite particle ore, accounting for about 25%. Generally, the content of fluorite CaF2 is higher than 65, the main impurity silicon dioxide has certain requirements, and there are strict restrictions on sulfur and phosphorus. According to the China Iron and Steel Association, the national crude steel output in 2016 was 808 million tons, an increase of 1.2 tons from 804 million tons in 2015. As a result, in 2015 and 2016, with the development of national deproduction capacity and the readjustment of the future product structure of the steel industry, Chinaundefineds crude steel production will remain at a stable level. This also determines that the demand for fluorite particles will gradually decrease and tend to stabilize.

     The largest demand for fluorite is in the fluorine chemical industry, accounting for more than 50 percent. Fluorite is first converted to hydrogen fluoride in fluorine chemical industry, so the correlation between fluorite and fluorine is the highest in fluorine chemical industry. Hydrogen fluoride production is mainly concentrated in Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu, Shandong, Inner Mongolia and other places. Henan, Hunan hydrogen fluoride production plant mainly for aluminum fluoride supporting. According to statistics, no new project has been put into production in 2015 ~ 2016. The production capacity in 2016 is 1.76 million t / a (excluding the production capacity of hydrogen fluoride associated with the dry process aluminum fluoride plant), in which 55000 tons of production capacity is produced by fluorosilicate, a by-product of phosphate fertilizer, and the operating rate is about 65%. Output is about 1.14 million tons, up from a year earlier.


     Through the analysis of the three key industries mentioned above, it can be found that the demand for fluorite in the building materials and steel metallurgy industries has shown a steady downward trend, while the production and price of hydrogen fluoride in the fluorine chemical industry have increased substantially in 2016. Although it has driven up the price of fluorite, the production of fluorite has decreased by 4.5% compared with 2015. After several years of downturn, the stocks of fluorite and hydrogen fluoride production enterprises are normal, indicating the import of fluorite. The substitution effect of hydrogen fluoride, a byproduct of associated mineral and phosphate fertilizer, is gradually appearing.

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