The emergence of a new era of South African fluorspar production may have been heralded by SepFluor Ltd subsidiary Nokeng Fluorspar Mine (RF) (Pty) Ltd commencing construction of its new fluorspar mine and plant, expected on stream by 2019.

This represents just Phase 1 of SepFluor’s ambitions to become a world leading source of fluorspar. Another mine, and HF and AlF3 plants are also planned.

Meanwhile, hard on the heels of SepFluor is SA Fluorite (Pty) Ltd with its development of the Doornhoek fluorspar deposit in North West province, expecting to secure mining rights by the end of 2018.

At present, while hosting the largest reserves of fluorspar in the world, South Africa has just one mine active and two others closed.

Chris Potgieter, Director, BFluor Chemicals (Pty) Ltd commented:“The noteworthy achievement by SepFluor of getting off-take and funding closure on their Nokeng project can signal a prelude of things to come in the South African fluorochemical industry.”

These latest developments and their significance in the context of the evolving global fluorine market are just some of the key topics which will be presented and discussed at IMFORMED’s Fluorine Forum 2017, 30 Oct-2 Nov., Hilton San Luis Potosi

SepFluor, which was unbundled from Sephaku Holdings in 2012, has been planning the Nokeng mine for at least seven years.

Located at Rust de Winter, 80km north-east of Pretoria, Gauteng province, the R1.7 billion (US$131m) Nokeng open pit fluorspar mine and concentrator is planned to produce 630,000 tpa crude fluorspar ore, 180,000 tpa acid grade fluorspar (acidspar), and 30,000 tpa of metallurgical grade fluorspar (metspar).

Construction is expected to be concluded within a 21-month period, with commissioning beginning in November 2018 and first production in January/February 2019.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has approved an infrastructure grant of R21 million under its Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP), primarily as a contribution towards power supply and road works.

Nokeng is expected to create around 300 fixed-term jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs. Nokeng’s social and labour plan (SLP) has committed some R26 million.

SA access to world mkt