Fluorspar Mining Efforts Picking Up Pace as Steady Demand for Fluorite Material Rises

Palm Beach, FL – October 5, 2020 – The global fluorspar market is poised to exhibit significant growth through 2030. Fluorite is also more commonly known as fluorspar. Fluorite is immensely popular in the jewelry sector for its cubic design and its various colors such as blue, yellow, purple, and green, and it is famous as a fluorescent mineral. Yet, although it is valuable in the jewelry market. fluorite is high in demand across various industrial areas such as building & construction, metallurgy, chemicals, and glass industries. It is especially valuable for the construction sector. Fluorite is employed 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 global fluorite market is predominantly driven by the growing demand for fluorite, being a precursor to almost all fluorite compounds, as an important raw material in the production of hydrofluoric acid. As hydrofluoric acid is one the most commonly used commercial chemicals, the demand for fluorite is expected to remain significantly high. Apart from this, leading players in the global fluorite market are also capitalizing on the increasing applications of the mineral across a wide range of industries.  Active stocks in the mining markets this week include Westwater Resources Inc.  (NASDAQ: WWR), Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS), Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE), Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF), Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC).


A report from Future Market Insights found that fluorite is witnessing high demand in the manufacture of glass and ceramics, as it facilitates in surface treatments to produce opalescent and glossy surfaces. With a mounting number of manufacturers using fluorite to make attractive and durable consumer products that are made with glass, the consumption of fluorite is expected to increase in the coming years. Furthermore, metallurgical-grade fluorite is also witnessing high demand in the manufacturing of steel, iron, aluminum, and other metals. Thereby, leading players in the global fluorite market are expected to expand their customer base into metal producers to boost the sales of metallurgical-grade fluorite.  The report continued: “While the industrial activities around the world are gaining momentum, production innovation is also becoming an indispensable part of the process in nearly all industrial applications. However, typically in most developed countries, sustainability is becoming an important aspect for both industrialists as well as customers, which is encouraging all stakeholders to highlight the importance of reducing the carbon footprint of their business activities. This is likely to have a paramount impact on the demand and sales of fluorite in the coming years.”


Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS) BREAKING NEWS:  Ares luorite Bearing Pipes on its Permitted Area  – Ares Strategic Mining (“Ares” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the discovery of new and additional fluorspar mineralization  between its the Little Giant Pit (LGP) mining site, and an historic mining site called the Purple Pit, all falling within its permitted mining area.


Ares has accelerated its RC drilling exploration program, expanding the known LGP target after a successful first round of delineation drilling. The Company has also discovered a new area of fluorspar mineralization between the recently drilled (LGP) mining site and the historic mining area of the Purple Pit. Both mining sites are characterized by high-grade fluorspar mineralization and geological evidence now clearly indicates the LGP branches off from the Purple Pit.  Drilling suggests the newly discovered fluorspar connects these mining areas and forms one large single fluorspar bearing breccia. Current drilling has delineated a fluorspar zone over >35m long and 15m wide in plan view. Drilling has further tested the zone to a vertical depth of 70m as per the deepest drill intersect.  Mineralisation is still open to the north, south and at depth.


Drilling is currently progressing with five holes already completed for a total of 420m and at least four more holes are planned for an additional 400 m to continue further delineation of this zone.  Representative fluorspar mineralization found between the LGP and Purple Pits during September 2020 RC drilling.


Once the current site has completed its delineation drilling, the Company will progress to confirm other prospective targets immediately adjacent to the current operation (250 and 350 meters Northeast), which also fall within the Company’s permitted mining area (See news release dated Sept. 9th, 2020). These targets are based geotechnical and Lidar data obtained by the Company, which it has used to create a conceptual model that links the fluorspar bearing breccia pipes which are exposed at surface, and fluorspar contained within fault planes where severed fluorspar pipes remain in the hanging wall blocks. Ares is confident that these targets can be identified based on surface expression features (recessive topography and disruption of stratigraphic markers such as thick limestone beds).  The targets have been identified with surface reconnaissance and the occurrence of breccias with varying degrees of alteration and fluorspar. A minimum of 5 holes (500 to 700m) will be drilled at these NE target zones and if successful, Ares will begin to delineate additional fluorspar mineralization readily accessible from surface for future operations.


James Walker, President and CEO of the Company said, “The high grade results from the last drill program gave us a great insight into the geology and layout of the subsurface fluorspar mineralization, and directed the Company towards locations where high-grade fluorspar was likely located. The first drill holes have confirmed that Ares’ geological assessment were correct, and credits its VP of Exploration, Mr. Raul Sanabria with the successful analysis of the available technical information. Ares can now consider expanding its proposed production capacity and processing facilities at its mine, and anticipates secondary and tertiary mining operations at other sites alongside its Giant Little Pit operation. The Company and its staff are excited at the tangible near-term and long-term prospects, and are looking forward to commencing operations and being the only domestic supplier of metspar and acidspar to the U.S.”    Read this release for the Ares Strategic Mining news at:  https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-ars/


Other recent developments in the markets include:


Westwater Resources Inc.  (NASDAQ: WWR) recently announced that it has entered into a binding letter of intent (“Agreement”) with enCore Energy Corp. (TSXV:EU; OTCQB:ENCUF) to sell all of its US uranium assets.   These assets include two licensed Texas-based uranium production facilities, mineral exploration leases in Texas, and more than 270 square miles (180,000 acres) of patented mineral rights in New Mexico with four projects containing significant historical mineral estimates. This acquisition will more than double enCore’s current mineral rights and holdings with historical mineral estimates, and add two already licensed uranium production facilities.


William M. Sheriff, Executive Chairman of enCore Energy stated, “This transformational acquisition will on completion be the first significant step building enCore into a domestic uranium producer.  Our experienced and accomplished management team believes that a major change is coming in the uranium market in the next 12 to 24 months.  In addition to the key acquisition of licensed production facilities in Texas, enCore will hold the leading land position in New Mexico, consolidating the large Santa Fe and Frisco railroad “checkerboard” mineral rights land grant running through most of the Grants mineral belt.


Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with ArcelorMittal S.A. (NYSE: MT), pursuant to which Cleveland-Cliffs will acquire substantially all of the operations of ArcelorMittal USA LLC and its subsidiaries (“ArcelorMittal USA”) for approximately $1.4 billion. Upon closure of the transaction, Cleveland-Cliffs will be the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, with combined shipments of approximately 17 million net tons in 2019. The company will also be the largest iron ore pellet producer in North America, with 28 million long tons of annual capacity.


ArcelorMittal USA will be acquired by Cleveland-Cliffs on a cash-free and debt-free basis, with a combination of 78.2 million shares of Cleveland-Cliffs common stock, non-voting preferred stock with an approximate aggregate value of $373 million, and $505 million in cash. The enterprise value of the transaction is approximately $3.3 billion, which takes into consideration the assumption by Cleveland-Cliffs of pension/OPEB liabilities and working capital.


Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC) (NYSE: LAC) recently announced that it has completed the previously announced transaction with Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries, “Ganfeng Lithium”) in respect of their joint venture company, Minera Exar S.A. (“Minera Exar”) (the “Transaction”). Minera Exar owns 100% of the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project (“Caucharí-Olaroz”) currently under development in Jujuy, Argentina.


On closing, Ganfeng Lithium subscribed for new shares of Minera Exar for cash consideration of US$16 million increasing its interest from 50% to 51%, with Lithium Americas owning the remaining 49%. In addition, Lithium Americas received US$40 million in cash from the proceeds of a non-interest-bearing loan from Ganfeng Lithium. For more details on the Transaction, please refer to the Company’s press release dated February 7, 2020.


Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE) recently announced continued advancements towards impurity suppression and removal, from high-grade fluorspar concentrate produced from the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit, Quebec.  Previous test work has demonstrated the ability to achieve fluorspar (CaF2) grades in excess of 97% CaF2, as well as specifications for SiO2, Al2O3, Cl, Be, and Cd (see news release dated February 28th, 2020). Since that time, additional test work has further achieved the standard specifications for Pb, As, and Hg while maintaining a high CaF2 grade (~96.5%). The Company continues to advance the impurity removal with several other elements approaching standard specification for acid-grade fluorspar in recent tests.


The test work on fluorspar recovery is being carried out by Hazen Research, CO, USA, which is also developing the primary rare earth element (REE) recovery flowsheet. The recovery of fluorspar from the Ashram Deposit has been approached as a secondary objective to the primary REE recovery. Further, depending on the process approach for fluorspar recovery, impurity removal may also increase overall REE recovery in the flowsheet.


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