Fluoride Action Network

Namibia: Okorusu fluorspar lays modalities to sort financial woes

Source: Informante | September 10th, 2009 | By TIRIVANGANI MASAWI
Industry type: Mining Industry

NE of Namibia’s fluorspar producers Okorusu Mine in Otjiwarongo – a subsidiary of Solvay Fluorine Industries Worldwide – has laid down modalities to sort out their financial woes after the company was reported to be in a state of bankruptcy last month.

According to a statement, the company stopped operations last month due to a slump in demand of fluorspar from their parent company Solvay which saw the mine overstocking without an alternative market.

The statement attributes the financial woes to the slow down in demand for fluorspar – a raw product used in water FLUORIDATION and production of nuclear fuel.

“The reduced demand is linked to the global economic crisis which has resulted in low sales of most of the manufactured products sourced from acid grade fluorspar,” read part of the statement.

The company has had to send most of its employees on forced paid leave.

The mine’s general manager, Mark Dowe, said the company is not bankrupt but is struggling to find markets for its products and the situation is still within their control.

“The company has just closed down for three weeks to sort the way forward and also lay a plan on how to address the employees plight but we will however resume operations within the next three weeks,” says the statement released last week.

The management at one of the country’s fluorspar producers was adamant that the company will not shut down completely because the market slump of fluorspar was a short lived phenomenon.

“The mine remains very profitable in spite of lower sales during 2009. However, it is not all doom and gloom for the company,” read the statement.

Fluorspar is a raw product used in the manufacturing of nuclear products and is also essential in water fluoridation but of late the mineral has seen a slump in demand from the major markets among them the United States of America and Russia because of recession.