Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fluorspar Price and Mine Production Data Trends

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) publishes regularly fluorspar price, mine production, and other data.  Using this data, the graphs below on fluorspar, using 1996 to 2012 price and mine production data, were created.

Also, a regression analysis of the data, using Excel, was done to determine how closely the price and mine production quantity changes correlated with one another from year to year.

The R square result of this regression analysis is 81%, generally considered to indicate a good correlation between changes in two sets of data.  This suggests that often when fluorspar price went up (or down) so did the amount of fluorspar mined go up (or down), from year to year.  There seems to be a relationship between the two events – price changes and amounts mined.

Fluorspar’s price per ton increased 287% from 1996 to 2012, using average fluorspar acid prices for the year provided by the USGS in their reports (from $141 per ton in 1996 to $545 per ton in the first quarter 2012).  This is an average annual increase of 22%.  And, the fluorspar mine production went from 4,090,000 metric tons in 1996 to 6,850,000 metric tons in 2012, a 5% per year increase.

USGS estimates 240,000,000 metric tons fluorspar in mining company’s reserves (2012).  This is enough fluorspar inventories to last 35 years at 2012 mine production levels (6,850,000 metric tons).  So, it seems that it is not insufficient amounts of fluorspar reserves but other constraints that mostly affect the price fluctuations from year to year.

Projecting the amount of fluorspar mined over the short-term upcoming months, based on best mining activity data available and good estimates, could be useful in predicting price trends.

The USGS reports used for the data in the graphs below can be read by clicking here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.   USGS issues similar reports on many other minerals, elements, and compounds mined.  The USGS reports are an excellent data source on these materials.

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