A vital feedstock to the chemicals industry with a relatively mild ESG profile overall, but with some reported links to child labour.

Fluorite (CaF₂)

Fluorite, which is also known as fluorspar, is widely used for chemical manufacturing, in particular the production of hydrofluoric acid. It is also used to make high quality optics, and in the manufacture of speciality glass, ceramics and enamelware, as well as to make the non-stick coating Teflon.[1]  Lower grade fluorite ore is used as a flux in steel and aluminium production.

69% of fluorite production takes place in China, but China holds just 19% of global fluorite reserves. In future years, fluorite production may shift to countries with comparable known reserves, but lower current production, including Mexico, South Africa and Mongolia.

The scale of ESG issues associated with the fluorite supply chain is relatively low compared to that of many other minerals. Nonetheless, ESG issues do exist for fluorite that should be examined as part of a company’s supply chain due diligence. The most noteworthy of these is hazardous child labour, which reportedly occurs in the sorting and packing of fluorite in Mongolia.

Main Uses and Attributes

Fluorite is a precursor chemical for many industrial compounds, including hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid has a range of applications, such as etching and cleaning circuit boards, preparing steel for galvanizing or painting,[1] [2] creating fluorocarbons and other chemicals, etching glass and dissolving uranium oxide as part of the refining process for nuclear fuel.[3]

Fluorite is also used to make high quality optics, and in speciality glazes and surface treatments, for glass, ceramics and enamelware, and to make the non-stick coating Teflon.[4]

Lower grade fluorite ore is used as a flux in steel and aluminium production, to remove impurities from molten metal at the smelting stage, to aid the melting process and to alter the chemical and physical properties of the slag that is formed.

Main Uses

  • Ceramics
  • Chemicals
  • Jewellery

Key Industries

  • Aluminium Smelting
  • Chemical
  • Communications
  • Electronics
  • Steel Making

Key Countries

Top Producer China
Top Reserves Mexico

Supply Chain Risk

TDi assesses Fluorite for key risks affecting the security of supply, and for its association with artisanal and small-scale mining.

Overall Supply Chain Resilience Risk
Strength of Association with ASM
Very Low Moderate Very High

Country Governance Risks

Fluorite's association with countries experiencing:

Violence and Conflict
Weak Rule of Law
Poor Human Rights
Poor Environmental Governance
Very Low Moderate Very High

Association with ESG issues

TDi Sustainability's data rates Fluorite's association with the following issues as high or very high:

Violence and Conflict
Disease Prevalence in Affected Areas
Negative Perceptions of Corporate Citizenship
Occupational Health and Safety
Child Labour
Labour Rights
Forced Labour
Indigenous Peoples Rights
Company/Community Conflicts
Community Rights Violations
Non-Payment of Taxes
Illicit Financial Flows
Tailings Breaches
Release of Radiation
Negative Biodiversity and Conservation Impact
Degraded/Fragmented Landscape
Very Low Moderate Very High

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