South Africa has the largest known global reserves of Fluorochemical Products (41 Mt, or 18% of known reserves), ahead of Mexico (14%), and China (9%) and ranks 4th in the world for the production. The quality of its products allows uses in fluorochemistry (acid quality), ceramics and as a flux in metallurgy.
In 2014, South Africa saw its fluorite exports decrease by 22% compared to 2010, with the majority of production from the Vergenoeg mine (acid and metallurgical grades) being exported to Europe and India. This decline is related to a combination of unfavorable factors: large stocks, low demand in international markets, competition from Chinese products.
Currently, the trend is towards a recovery of exports for the acidic acid (plus 105% between 2014 and 2013 at 256 kt, but with a 24% drop in the price per ton delivered to Durban), while exports metallurgical quality products collapsed in this same period.