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Fluorspar is a colorless mineral composed of calcium fluoride. Sometimes the mineral is also found in hues of white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, brown, and bluish black.
The high transparency and very low dispersion of fluorspar make the mineral useful in the production of lenses for cameras, microscopes and telescopes. Fluorite optics are also usable in the far-ultraviolet range.
Fluorite has been the state mineral of Illinois since 1965.
Fluorspar is a widely occurring mineral found in large deposits in many areas. It is estimated that there are 230 million tonnes of the total reserves of fluorite in the world. The largest deposits are in South Africa, Mexico and China.
The World Map of Fluoride Producer shows a list of the major countries that produce large quantities of the mineral. As the data in the map shows, China leads the world in the production of fluorspar; in 2010, the country produced three million tonnes of the mineral.
Mexico is the second-largest fluorspar producer with an annual production of one million metric tonnes.
The third place is occupied by Mongolia followed by Russia, South Africa, Spain, Namibia, Morocco, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Kenya. There are also deposits of fluorspar in the United States.
Fluorspar is a very useful mineral used in iron and steel casting, primary aluminum production, glass manufacture, enamels, welding rod coatings, cement production, and other uses.
Last updated on December 20, 2012
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