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Tungsten--can the Market Economy Countries Hold Their Own?

Bleiwas DI; Hurdelbrink RJ; Anstett TF
Pres Soc Min Eng AIME 113th Annu Meeting Los Angeles, California, 1984 Feb; :15 pages
The U.S. Bureau of Mines evaluated the potential availability of tungsten from 57 tungsten mines and deposits in 19 market economy countries. The 38 producing properties at the time the study was performed contained approximately 375,000 tons of wo3 (tungsten trioxide). The total estimated recoverable resource from all properties studied, both producers and nonproducers, was 1.2 million tons of wo3 (demonstrated level). Approximately 143,000 tons of wo3 is recoverable from producing properties with costs at or below jan. 1983 Market price. By 1990 production from currently operating mines in market economy countries will decrease as their demonstrated resources become exhausted. Some of this decline may be offset by lower levels of market demand, discoveries of additional resources at producing mines, development of other known deposits, and/or discoveries of new deposits. New tungsten resources will likely result in costs higher than exist at currently producing properties. China has been steadily increasing production and export of tungsten and currently supplies about 25 pct of U.S. Imports. China's tungsten mines are large, high-grade, low cost operations. These factors, coupled with China's apparent need for foreign exchange, could lead to further expansions of exports, with a consequent increased dependence by market economy countries on China for tungsten requirements and a threat to the survival of the market economy countries' tungsten industries.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 54-84
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pres. Soc. Min. Eng. AIME 113th Annu. Meeting, Los Angeles, California, Feb 26-Mar.2, 1984, 15 Pp
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division