Mining Brief: Global Fluorite Market is Very Promising as Fluorspar Beneficial Uses and Applications Expand

Palm Beach, FL – October 20, 2020 – Most people are aware of the value of investing in ores and minerals such as gold, silver, copper and lithium, but there is another mineral that bears attention also… it is fluorspar. It has very wide uses. Fluorspar is an industrial mineral used in the manufacture of fluorochemicals, aluminum and steel. The term “fluorspar” refers to crude or beneficiated material that is mined and/or milled for the mineral fluorite (calcium fluoride). Fluorite is a nonmetallic mineral, containing 51.1 percent calcium and 48.9 percent fluorine. Fluorspar’s uses have grown and changed in the last 100 years; today, the most important markets are fluorochemical production, aluminum refining and steelmaking. In the U.S., most acid-grade fluorspar is used in the production of hydrofluoric acid, which is primarily used in manufacturing various fluorocarbon chemicals that are used as refrigerants, foam-blowing agents and solvents, and in the production of high-performance plastics. Hydrofluoric acid also is used in manufacturing computer chips and high-octane gasoline, stainless steel pickling and uranium fuel processing. Acid- or ceramic-grade fluorspar also may be used to manufacture enamels, glass and fiberglass, and welding rod coatings. Metallurgical-grade fluorspar is consumed mainly in steelmaking, but is also used in making portland cement and casting iron and steel.  Active stocks in the mining markets this week include Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS), Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE), Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF), Americas Gold and Silver Corporation (NYSE: USAS) (TSX: USA), McEwen MiningInc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX).


According to a report from Grand View Research the growth of the automotive sector is expected to drive global fluorspar market growth through 2025. It said: “Fluorspar is used in the production of hydrofluoric acid which is a key component for manufacturing aluminum. Heavy usage of aluminum in the automotive industry is projected to remain a key driver for global market growth. Increasing automobile demand, as well as production in emerging economies, is expected to fuel global market growth. Continued expansion of metal and foundry industries is expected to foster the global market demand. Increasing usage of fluoropolymers in lithium batteries coupled with fluorine usage for refrigeration is expected to foster the global market growth. Fluorspar can be further used in fluorocarbon production, which is used for downstream activities. Increasing downstream activities in emerging economies such as China & Mexico is projected to augment global fluorspar market growth.”


Ares Strategic Mining Inc. (OTCQB: ARSMF) (TSX-V: ARS) BREAKING NEWS:  Ares Strategic Mining Inc. Announces the Acquisition of 28 New Claims Showing Fluorspar Mineralization, and the Consolidation of the Spor Mountain Fluorspar District   – Ares Strategic Mining (“Ares” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the Company has located and acquired additional mining prospects demonstrating fluorspar mineralization, and consolidating the Spor Mountain Fluorspar District.


James Walker, President and CEO stated: “This development further increases the potential of Ares’ operation for both the short-term and long-term. Using a combination of aerial mapping and geotechnical analyses, our staff determined how the fluorspar pipes were formed throughout the Spor Mountain District, and identified the likely locations of the fluorspar pipes according to the known geological mechanics of the area. The veracity of these predictions were verified by visual inspection of the identified locations, where dozens of new fluorspar showings were demonstrated at surface. This work deserves special acknowledgment for its ingenuity and accuracy, and for further enlarging the Company’s potential and future mining options. The Company has made enormous advances during 2020, and this development grants Ares even greater potential capacity as the U.S’ only permitted and producing fluorspar mining operation.”


Detailed analysis of the Lidar orthofoto, combined with the high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM), revealed distinct features typical of intrussive breccias through the host rock limestones and dolostones outside of the company’s land position and within the Spor Mountain range. Ground exploration carried out by the company during the months of September and October 2020, resulted in positive identification of fluorspar mineralization at surface in a number of those identified targets. Most of these new discoveries are new and have never been historically described. Some of these targets show unequivocal characteristic textures of the fluorspar breccia pipes, such as crackle breccia textures cemented by calcite or volcanic rock, and even show the remnant boxworks of the weathered spongy textures characteristic of the fluorspar mineralization in the area. They occur as a circular to elliptical shape breaking through the limestone/dolostone host rock.    


In addition to the discoveries, the company also managed to acquire some of the remaining historic prospects shown in the USGS’ files, which include the Blue Queen and the Lost Soul prospects, as well as many showings not identified in previous USGS reports. In particular, a series of fluorspar showings around the north of the Bell Hill claims, and south of the Floride mine.  Read this release for the Ares Strategic Mining news at:


Other recent developments in the markets include:


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.


Americas Gold and Silver Corporation (NYSE American: USAS) (TSX: USA) a growing North American precious metals producer, provided an update to its Mineral Reserve and Resource statement as at June 30, 2020.  On a consolidated and attributable basis, estimated contained metal in the proven and probable mineral reserve categories totalled 610,000 ounces of gold, 30.6 million ounces of silver, 134 million pounds of zinc, 129 million pounds of lead and 28 million pounds of copper. Please refer to the Company’s website for a full breakdown of its Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource statement by asset.


2020 Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource Update Highlights: Since the June 2019 Mineral Reserve and Resource statement, exploration drilling was focused solely at the Galena Complex as the Company constructed and commissioned Relief Canyon; Drilling to date at the Galena Complex includes approximately 33% of planned exploration drilling based on the Galena Complex Recapitalization Plan (“Recapitalization Plan”); and Based on this initial drilling at the Galena Complex, measured and indicated (“M&I”) silver resources on a 100% basis (60% USA/40% Eric Sprott) increased from 27.4 million ounces to 37.3 million ounces and inferred silver resources increased from 39.0 million ounces to 78.6 million ounces. This represents a 36% and 101% increase, respectively, from previous reported estimates.


Commerce Resources Corp. (OTCPK: CMRZF) (TSX-V:CCE) recently announced the start of a test project initiative with MineSense, a digital mining solutions provider based in Vancouver, BC. The project is being conducted as part of the Company’s ongoing collaboration with CanmetMINING, a branch of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).


MineSense specializes in digital technology solutions for ore-waste classification in real-time at the mining stage (run-of-mine), thereby providing better grade control compared to that of the deposit block model or mine plan. MineSense utilizes data analytics combined with its trademarked ShovelSense and BeltSense technologies to monitor mineralogical or grade changes in an ore body daily, as it is mined. This information allows for optimal ore blending, grade trend characterization, and overall improved mine planning with resultant cost efficiencies.


McEwen MiningInc. (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX) recently reported consolidated production for Q3 2020 was 23,100 gold ounces and 575,000 silver ounces, or 30,400 gold equivalent ounces(1)(GEOs), at the average gold:silver price ratio for the quarter of 79:1. Production rebounded during Q3 after the successful restart of all four of our operations, which were temporary suspended during Q2, largely due to actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst our workers, business partners, and communities.


In Q3, Black Fox produced 5,800 GEOs, compared to 2,200 GEOs in Q2. The mine is benefitting from the additional development work completed during Q2 that increased mining flexibility. We expect production to continue to trend higher during Q4, and mining from Black Fox to continue into H1 2021, while we transition to mining the Froome deposit.


Development of underground access to the Froome deposit, located a half mile (800 m) west of the Black Fox mine, is on track, having advanced 47% by the end of the quarter. We plan to reach the deposit in Q2 2021 and achieve commercial production from Froome in Q4 2021. Froome offers several benefits compared to Black Fox such as straighter more efficient haulage, wider and more consistent mineralization, and lower cost bulk mining methods. We are targeting an average annualized production rate of 40-45,000 GEOs per year from Froome over a period of approximately 2.5 years.


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