Financing secured towards fluorspar mine restart

News Analysis




Financing secured towards fluorspar mine restart

Deutsche Flusspat GmbH has successfully completed a financing round towards the reopening of the Käfersteige mine.

Since Deutsche Flusspat GmbH (DFG) acquired the extraction rights for the Käfersteige mine in 2022, preparations have been underway to assess the feasibility of reopening the operation. Bayer previously owned the mine, but it was closed back in 1996. The successful financing round will enable preparations to continue, aiding in the general approval process for its reopening.

The European Union and the German government have classified fluorspar as a critical material, highlighting the importance of increasing domestic production to meet future energy and transport transition demands. The decision also emphasises the significance of reopening DFG's Käfersteige mine, which is expected to have an annual production capacity of 100kt of acidspar. This increased supply will help meet domestic demand and reduce dependence on acidspar imports from countries such as China, South Africa, and Mexico. Germany’s current fluorspar supply comes from the Grube Clara and the Niederschlag mining operations. Both produce acidspar, with Niederschlag also producing metspar.

The manufacturing plants that produce hydrofluoric acid may gain an advantage from the extra raw material provided by the Käfersteige mine. An additional supplier will allow for the diversification of their sourced materials and create a more stable supply chain. This could, in turn, allow manufacturing plants to increase their production capacities as demand for hydrofluoric acid continues to rise amidst the rising demand for EVs. EV sales in Germany rose to over 700k in 2023 from nearly 7k in 2013 according to the IEA.

A voluntary environmental impact assessment is currently being done at the Käfersteige mine. The flooded mine is being dewatered to facilitate technical, geological, and economic studies. DFG has announced that the rehabilitation of the mine is expected to commence this summer.