Thursday, August 29, 2013


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From: Leo Odera Omolo
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The Mineral fluorite

Fluorite is a very popular mineral, and it naturally occurs in all colors of the spectrum. It is one of the most varied colored minerals in the mineral kingdom, and the colors may be very intense and almost electric. Pure Fluorite is colorless; the color variations are caused by various impurities. Some colors are deeply colored, and are especially pretty in large well-formed crystals, which Fluorite often forms. Sometimes coloring is caused by hydrocarbons, which can be removed from a specimen by heating. Some dealers may apply oil treatment upon amateur Fluorite specimens to enhance luster.

Fluorite has interesting cleavage habits. The perfect cleavage parallel to the octahedral faces can sometimes be peeled off to smooth out a crystal into a perfect octahedron. Many crystals, especially larger ones, have their edges or sections chipped off because of the cleavage.

Fluorite is one of the more famous fluorescent minerals. Many specimens strongly fluoresce, in a great variation of color. In fact, the word "fluorescent" is derived from the mineral Fluorite. The name of the element fluorine is also derived from Fluorite, as Fluorite is by far the most common and well-known fluorine mineral.

Chemical Formula CaF2
Composition Calcium fluoride
Color Fluorite occurs in all colors, including colorless, white, purple, blue, red, pink, orange, yellow, brown, green, gray, and black. May also be multicolored and banded.
Streak White
Hardness 4
Crystal System Isometric
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)
Highly Modified Cubic
Cubic Penetration Twin
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Most commonly octahedrals and cubic; seldom in dodecahedral crystals. Crystals may also be a combination of octahedra and cubes, and dodecahedral growths may also be present, forming complex and interesting crystals. Cleavage marks are present on most crystals. Cleavage fragments from large crystals are also prevalent; in octahedra, the cleavage fragments are flat, triangular shaped pieces, and cubic cleavage fragments are flat, three dimensional rectangles. Crystals frequently form penetration twins, where one cube is intergrown in another ("fluorite twins"). Also occurs as clusters of intergrown cubes, grainy, botryoidal, as spherical balls, and massive.
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity 3.0 - 3.3
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 1, all sides
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
Other ID Marks Commonly fluorescent in a variety of colors.
Complex Tests Red and green fluorite become phosphorescent if heated higher than 212º F (100º C)
In Group Halides
Striking Features Perfect cleavage, low hardness, and crystal habits
Environment Hydrothermal ore veins, sedimentary deposits, metamorphic environments, and pegmatite dikes.
Rock Type Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 1
Prevalence (1-3) 1
Demand (1-3) 1

Kenya Fluorspar Company

Kenya Fluorspar Company Ltd (KFC) is one of the few large-scale mining and metallurgical operations in Kenya and ranks as one of the country’s leading foreign exchange earners. It is also at the forefront of community development in the remote area in which it operates, the Kerio Valley.
The fluorite deposits, which are specifically located in the areas of Kimwarer, Choff and Kamnaon, were first discovered in 1967 by a prospector searching for semi-precious stones, who initially mistook the purple fluorite for gemstone.
A hand-mining operation was started and the fluorspar was supplied to the Bamburi Portland Cement Company in Mombasa. At its peak, the operation, which relied on donkeys to transport the fluorspar, produced around 400 tons per month of high grade fluorspar. In 1971 the Fluorspar Company of Kenya (FCK) was established, under the auspices of the Kenya government, to exploit the deposits on a larger scale.
Four years later the government gazetted its intention to purchase the land and compensate the owners. This exercise was completed in 1986.
Various problems encountered over the years, including technical, financial and market-related, culminated in FCK going into receivership in 1979. Kenya Fluorspar Company, a wholly government-owned company, bought the assets and continued the operation. This coincided with an improvement in the fluorspar market and long-term customer contracts.
In 1996 the company was privatized under the terms of a governmental reform policy. The privatised company, Kenya Fluorspar Company, entered into a 20-year lease with the government, leasing an area of 3,664 hectares. This entitles the company to mine all minerals and continue with mining operations including exploratory drilling.
The company has seven active mining sites available from which ore can be mined depending on the grade and quality required.
In 2003 the company obtained made a major investment in earth-moving equipment and plant upgrading.


Our Board

Charles Field-Marsham, Founder, Chairman: Charles is a Canadian entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in building businesses in Africa. In 1991, he joined Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, he then lived and worked in Kenya between 1993 and 2003 where he started and acquired several businesses. More about Charles Field-Marsham.
Andre DeSimone, Non-executive Director: Andre is currently the Executive Director of Kestrel Capital, an investment bank that is also a member of the Naoribi Stock Exchange . Between 1997 and 2001, Andre was a portfolio manager at Zurich Scudder Investments in New York where he co-managed a Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund. From 2001 to 2003, Andre was at Kenol/Kobil Petroleum where he was responsible for new acquisitions and oversight of subsidiaries outside Kenya. Andre joined the Board in 2005 .He holds a BSc in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chris D Groom, Non-executive Director: Chris was the Finance Director of Bamburi Cement for 15 years before becoming Managing Director in 1995 and retired June 2000. Since then he has been working as a Consultant. He currently also serves on the Boards of East African Portland Cement (EAPC), Income Tax Appeals Committee and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Raphael M Thyaka, Non executive Director: Raphael spent 28 years of his working life at Bamburi Cement from 1977 to 2005 of which the last 10 years was as Director. From 2002 to his retirement he was Deputy Managing Director and he currently serves on the Boards of Athi River Mining and Lafarge Ecosystems Ltd (a subsidiary of Bamburi Cement. Raphael holds a BA degree in Management and Administration from the University of Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania and Diploma in Marketing from Insead in France. He joined the Board of KFC in 2006.


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