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Why fluorite is a strategic mineral

Views: 169     Author: SEPPE     Publish Time: 2021-05-17      Origin: SEPPE Technologies

Why fluorite is a strategic mineral


The strategic emerging industries led by fluorine chemicals are highly valued by all countries. As its main raw material, fluorite is also called the "second rare earth". 

As early as 2016, the State Council of China included fluorite in the catalog of 24 strategic minerals.


Fluorite, also known as fluorspar, is the main source of chemical fluorine. The most important use of fluorite is to produce hydrofluoric acid. Half of the world's fluorspar production is used to produce hydrofluoric acid.

Concentrated sulfuric acid and acid-grade fluorite powder are commonly used in industry to extract fluorine. It is widely used in many important industries related to national economy and people’s livelihood, including emerging industries such as new energy and new materials, as well as traditional industries such as refrigeration, building materials, smelting, optics, ceramics, and glass, as well as defense, electronics, and military industries with major strategies. 


1. In the aluminum industry, hydrofluoric acid is used to produce aluminum fluoride, artificial cryolite, sodium fluoride and magnesium fluoride;

2. The semiconductor industry uses it to remove oxides on the silicon surface;

3. It can be used as a catalyst for the alkylation reaction of isobutane and n-butene in oil refineries;

4. In the aviation and aerospace industries, hydrofluoric acid is mainly used to produce jet liquid propellant and missile jet fuel propellant;

5. In the nuclear energy industry, hydrofluoric acid is mainly used to make UF4, which is then fluorinated to produce UF6, which is finally used to make 235U;

6. Hydrofluoric acid is also used in the "pickling" process to remove oxygen-containing impurities on the surface of stainless steel;

7. Hydrofluoric acid is also used to etch glass, engrave patterns, mark scales and text;

8. Due to the ability of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve oxides, it plays an important role in the purification of aluminum and uranium;

9. Hydrofluoric acid is also used in the synthesis of a variety of fluorine-containing organic compounds, such as Teflon, Freon and other refrigerants.


Fluorite resources are unevenly distributed all over the world. China and South Africa are the countries with the richest fluorite reserves in the world. At present, China accounts for 15.38% of the global reserves, although the reserves account for The ratio is not high, but the output ranks first in the world, accounting for more than half of the global output. 

However, fluorite resources in major fluorite consuming countries such as the United States, Western Europe, and Japan are exhausted and basically rely on imports.


Fluorite is non-renewable. At the same time, its importance and necessity to the downstream fluorine chemical industry endow it with the meaning of "strategic resource". 

Due to the scarcity of fluorite resources worldwide, the recoverable reserves are limited, and countries restrict mining in order to protect fluorite resources, resulting in a small annual increase in fluorite production.


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