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Tertiary Minerals still committed to fluorspar market

Tertiary Minerals is the UK's only public traded fluorspar company - a mineral the firm describes as "strategic".

Tertiary's MB project is in Nevada....

Tertiary Minerals (LON:TYM) is the UK's only public traded fluorspar company - a mineral the firm describes as "strategic".

The AIM group has three fluorspar assets - the Storuman property in Sweden and the Lassedalen project in Norway.

It also controls the large MB deposit in Nevada, USA, which has been its main focus has been in recent months.

Fluorspar has multiple applications

Fluorspar is the mineral form of calcium fluoride -  CaF2 - and it has many applications.

When mined, it is separated into two main grades -  Acidspar is at least 97% calcium fluoride, while metspar (metallurgical spar) is a much lower purity -  at between 60% and 85%.

The latter is used for iron smelting, and to manufacture glass, steel, enamels and aluminium products, while acidspar is generally converted to hydrofluoric acid, by combining it with sulphuric acid.

This can then be made it into other things like  fluorocarbons, which are used in Teflon (the stuff your frying pan is coated with), fridges, freezers and air conditioning units.

It is perhaps worth noting that new environmentally friendly refrigerants, required by regulation, contain more fluorine than the older ozone depleting ones.

Global demand for fluorspar is between 6 and 6.5mln tonnes a year, according to Tertiary, with Acidspar, the most in demand of the two - at around 3.8 mln tonnes a year.

China produces more than half of all fluorspar production but exports have continued to decline, as the People's Republic has developed and needed to use its own source.

It's classed as a 'critical' raw material by the European Commission, and outside China, Western Europe, Canada and the USA (which imports 100% of what it needs) are the largest acid-spar consumers, importing more than 900,000 tonnes a year.

Tertiary is well-placed to capitalise on this opportunity

At the MB project, which covers 2,800 acres, and 146 claims, near the US Highway 50, the group's latest drilling programme has increased the already large deposit's size.

The project already houses 6.1mln tonnes at 10.8% fluorspar in the higher confidence indicated category  and 80.3 million tonnes of inferred, grading 10.7%, at a 9% cut-off.

Meanwhile, at the Storuman site, the firm has received a positive decision on its mining permit application, it having been granted by the Mining Inspectorate. The project so far has a total JORC resource of nearly 28mln tonnes at 10.21%.

Norway still ongoing

Lassedalen, although on the sidelines, and effectively on care and maintenance for some times as the firm focuses  on the US and Sweden, has a 4mln tonne resources (grading 25 per cent fluorspar) and a scoping study previously has shown enough for nearly seven years of mining.

In December, it agreed in principle to acquire land and historic mine workings at the project.

Aluminium group Hydro has agreed to sell the asset for a nominal NKr1, with Tertiary having 12 months to complete due diligence and a fourteen month exclusivity period.

Richard Clemmey, managing director said:  "The potential land acquisition represents a significant milestone for our Lassedalen fluorspar project, as well adding value to the project, the transaction strengthens the long term security of tenure and reduces future royalty exposure".

Earlier in the week, Tertiary disposed of two legacy gold assets in Finland, Kaaresselkä and Kiekerömaa, for US$100,000 in cash and shares.


--updates for Lassedalen news --

Quick facts: Tertiary Minerals PLC

Price: 0.26 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £2.06 m

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