There are official concerns about the reserve decrease in refractory clay and fluorite and their tendency to create environmental pollution. A notice posted on the central government’s website says the government will implement comprehensive measures for restriction, which may involve taxation, production planning management, industry entry standards and export policies.
The government ordered authorities to promote industrial restructuring, close down backward production facilities and implement strict industry entry regulations. The industry entry standards for refractory clay and fluorite enterprises will be published on March 1 this year with immediate effect.
China View said the notice also calls for intensified customs efforts to crack down on smuggling and supervision on refuse ore treatment.
The government plans to raise the rate of resource tax on the two minerals.
There are three principal types of industrial use for fluorite, corresponding to different grades of purity.
Metallurgical grade fluorite, the lowest of the three grades, has traditionally been used as a flux to lower the melting point of raw materials in steel production and later in the production of aluminium.
Ceramic (intermediate) grade fluorite is used in the manufacture of opalescent glass, enamels and cooking utensils.
The highest grade, acid grade fluorite, is used to make hydrofluoric acid by decomposing the fluorite with sulfuric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is the primary feedstock for the manufacture of virtually all organic and inorganic fluorine-containing compounds, including fluoropolymers and perfluorocarbons, and is also used to etch glass.