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Columbium Availability--market Economy Countries. a Minerals Availability Appraisal.
Miller-FW; Fantel-RJ; Buckingham-DA
MISSING :20 pages
The Bureau of Mines has investigated the availability of columbium from 19 deposits (3 producers and 16 nonproducers) in 7 market economy countries (mec's). Brazil has the largest recoverable columbium resource, possessing approximately 2.39 million metric tons (mmt), or 69 pct of the mec total (3.47 Mmt). The Western Hemisphere countries of Brazil, Canada, and the United States contain 3.14 Mmt of recoverable Columbium or 90 pct of the mec total. Columbium recovered as a byproduct of tin mining is not included as part of mec resources in this study. Currently producing mines are Araxa and Catalao in Brazil, and Niobec in Canada. These three mines have 2.42 Mmt of recoverable resources or approximately 69 pct of the mec total. It is estimated that these mines, operating at full capacity, could satisfy cumulative mec demand (based on an annual growth rate of 5.1 pct) for the next 20 yr. The United States is totally dependent upon foreign sources for its columbium supply. The majority of U.S. columbium is imported from Brazil in the form of steelmaking-grade ferrocolumbium. Canada has been the sole source of pyrochlore concentrates since Brazil discontinued exports in 1981. The United States also imports small (but important) quantities of columbium as columbite concentrates from Nigeria and Brazil, as columbite contained in tin slags from Thailand and Malaysia, and as synthetic concentrates from the Federal Republic of Germany.
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division