LONDON (SHARECAST) - Fluormin, a producer of acid grade fluorspar, an industrial mineral widely used in the chemical and aluminium industries for the making of products such as aluminium fluoride, has said it will place the Witkop mine on care and maintenance, following further weakness in the fluorspar market.
The firm said that despite an improvment in its operational performance and significant cost reductions, the prevailing price for acid grade fluorspar has fallen below current operating costs.
The decision to place the mine on care followed a meeting with trade union representatives in South Africa.
In the short term, the company will focus its activities on expanding its mineral resources and mine planning of higher grade deposits and in particular, the Valley deposit.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Bolton, said: "It is with regret that the decision has been made to place the Witkop mine on care and maintenance. However, in the current economic environment, it was concluded following negotiations with the trade unions that the only defensible strategy for the company was to place the mine on care on maintenance at this time.
"Recommencement of operations will be contemplated when the fluorspar industry enters into a more favourable price environment. By keeping the mine on care and maintenance the company is seeking to minimize both the cost and challenges associated with restarting operations at Witkop at such time as the Fluorspar market improves."