Investors get an early look at fluorspar in an October 22 Vancouver event
by Greg Klein
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When China produces over half of a critical mineral’s world supply, the world has a potential problem. But investors have a potential opportunity. Those are among the topics to be discussed at Vancouver’s October 22 Fluorspar Pre-Conference Workshop. The three-hour event will link investors with experts and companies who pursue this vital commodity.
With increasingly widespread interest, says Industrial Minerals Data Manager Simon Moores. Even so, fluorspar is little known to investors. Yet it’s used to produce aluminum, steel, concrete, uranium, gasoline and hydrofluoric acid, which is essential to producing fluorocarbons. Fluorocarbons, in turn, are necessary for aerosols and refrigerants. In most of its applications, fluorspar is irreplaceable.
While the mineral is new to most investors, the supply-demand scenario will sound familiar. China produces the bulk of global supply. Dwindling reserves, a 15% export tax and increasing demand have pushed prices way up, from $130 a tonne for acid-grade fluorspar in 2003 to a range of $550 to $600 a tonne last month. As a result, the search is on for sources outside China. There are no producing fluorspar mines in Canada or the U.S.
Monday’s Fluorspar Pre-Conference Workshop will bring some of those companies to an investor audience, along with two expert speakers. Simon Moores, a writer with the authoritative journal Industrial Minerals, says he’ll provide “introductory, basic information that investors would need. We’ll look at where the bulk of the supply comes from, we’ll look at demand and the outlook for next year. We’ll also look at how the space is structured.
“That’s a key aspect,” he adds. “Fluorspar is not just sold as fluorspar, it’s sold as acidspar or acid grade, and metspar or metallurgical grade. They have two different market dynamics. So we’ll look at price trends in these two separate industries. I’ll be speaking to people who are new to the industry and give them the basics, the most important things they need to know.”
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