The Bureau of Mines conducted laboratory tests to devise a process for recovering a marketable grade of tungsten from the brine of Searles Lake, California. The brine contains only 56 ppm w (70 ppm wo3). Using ion exchange resins synthesized by Bureau chemists, 98 pct of the tungsten was extracted from the brine and 92 pct of the tungsten was recovered as a marketable iron-tungsten concentrate containing 44 pct tungsten as tungsten trioxide. Although major technical problems have largely been resolved, research is progressing to escalate testing in a process research unit to provide more reliable data for an economic appraisal.
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