Category Archives: Tungsten Information

Tungsten: An Industrial Metal With An Unstable Supply

This infographic below visualizes tungsten properties, uses, and the affect that China’s global supply dominance is having on tungsten prices. Currently, tungsten is primarily used to make cemented carbide, an incredibly hard material used in wide variety of industrial areas. China is currently the world’s largest producer, exporter and consumer of tungsten, and as a result their actions in the tungsten space have considerable affect on the global tungsten markets. Click on the image below to get the full story.

We try to cover the context of a commodity, in this case tungsten, and we encourage investors to do their own due diligence on companies in this space. That said, we do have some recommendations on where to start your research.

One of the most exciting upcoming tungsten projects is the Sangdong Tungsten-Molybdenum Project owned by Woulfe Mining Corp (WFEMF.PK). Molybdenum products are also widely used like molybdenum wire, molybdenum sheet. Their recent feasibility study presents a net present value of $400 million. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) invested $70 million in Woulfe Mining in February of 2012.

North American Tungsten (NTC) has become the largest producer of Tungsten in the Western world, and has a market cap of approximately $90 million CDN. Unlike most companies in the tungsten space today, North American Tungsten hold’s strategic properties outside of China. They have recently reported that production has increased in the last six months.

Not to be confused with Woulfe Mining Corp, Wolf Minerals is another interesting junior exploration company in the tungsten space. Wolf (ASX: WLF, AIM: WLFE) has identified a world class tungsten deposit at the Hemerdon property in Devon, England that is currently awaiting final approvals. Development will begin in this year and is expected to be completed by 2013.

Largo Resources (LGORF.PK), a Canadian exploration company, owns the Northern Dancer property which is the largest undeveloped tungsten project in the world. It has the potential to fulfill 10% of the world’s tungsten demand at below average operating costs.

Tungsten can be made as tungsten electrode, tungsten rod, etc. Other interesting companies to research include Malaga Inc (MLGAF.PK), which owns a producing property in Peru and has a $25 million CDN market cap. Both Adex Mining Inc (ADXDF.PK) and Geodex Minerals Ltd (GXMLF.PK) are exploring tungsten deposits in New Brunswick, Canada, and are also worth noting.

‘All systems go’ as tungsten mine promises hundreds of new jobs

Hundreds of new jobs are to be created after a disused Devon mine became an unlikely weapon in the war to break Chinese domination of the world market for a sought-after metal.

The Hemerdon Mine, an open-pit site on the edge of Dartmoor, near Plymouth, has been quietly rusting away since the Second World War.

But now the rising price of its tungsten reserves – said to be the fourth largest global deposit – has accelerated plans to breathe fresh life into the business. Tungsten products like tungsten rod, tungsten counterweight are widely used. The Australian operating company, Wolf Minerals Ltd, has already secured £55 million financing from three major banks and has now signed a deal to sell most of its production in return for a £20 million advance.

John Carter, economic spokesman for South Hams District Council, said the project would be "no five-minute wonder" but the source of real, long-term jobs. "It is a fantastic story and makes you wonder whether all the tin mines in Cornwall would still be going if the price was right," he added. "It is all systems go and provides the chance to put people into jobs when they are so needed down here."

The site had valid approval dating back to the 1980s, with minor alterations and improvements to the existing planning permission approved by Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council in 2011. Work has already started on building a new 600-metre link road to the mine, between Lee Moor Road and West Park Hill, a condition of the 1986 planning consent. Work on the link is due to be completed in June this year and the exploitation of a pit, measuring 800 metres by 500 metres by 200 metres, is hoped to begin by the end of 2013.

Waste material will be dumped north of the site on Crownhill Down next to the Imerys china clay operations. Wolf expects the mine to employ 150 to 200 people during construction, and 230 when it reaches full-scale production. It is expected to generate returns of between £65 million and £74 million a year, with the company eyeing a profit margin of 20 per cent.

Tungsten, a very dense grey metal also known as "wolfram", is best known as the filament used in conventional light bulbs. But its extreme hardness, high melting point and other qualities mean it is in demand for other manufacturing uses, including the automobile and aerospace industries.

China holds about 60 per cent of the global reserves and is also the metal’s biggest consumer. The country’s rapid growth has in recent years seen Beijing clamp down on exports, through duties and quotas, forcing prices for the raw material up 32 per cent last year to more than $440 a tonne. Under the latest agreement Austria’s Wolfram Bergbau und Hutten and the US’s Global Tungsten & Powders, have agreed to take 80 per cent of Hemerdon’s output for at least five years. Tungsten alloy, tungsten carbide are both widely used.

Devon mine is focus of global trade war for tungsten

The Hemerdon Mine, an open-pit site near Plympton, has been quietly rusting away since the Second World War, notwithstanding some efforts in the 1980s to bring it back into use. But now the rising price of the tungsten bar it holds, a metal currently under a Chinese stranglehold, means plans are under way to bring it back to life.

Hemerdon’s deposit of tungsten, which is Swedish for "heavy stone", is the fourth largest in the world, according to the British Geological Survey.

Management at Aim-listed Wolf Minerals, the Australian team developing the mine, say that it should be able to meet 3.5pc of global demand. "We are going to be one of the biggest producers of tungsten in the world," says Humphrey Hale, managing director.

Wolf estimates it will cost about £120m to get the mine into production by 2014, and recently secured £55m of this in loans from a consortium of banks.

More should come from offtake deals, in which the buyer secures some of the mine’s future output in exchange for funding now. Meanwhile work is in hand to build a link road to the site.

The Government is watching all this activity with an approving eye. When Wolf arranged its planning consents for Hemerdon, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the trade and investment minister, wrote to say that he hoped the development would proceed quickly.

"This is an important project for a number of reasons: to the local community in terms of jobs and wealth creation and to the UK and wider European Union in securing supplies of tungsten,” he wrote.

His words point to the worries which are driving global interest in tungsten wire– how to secure supplies of the metal in a market which is dominated by China.

Tungsten, a very dense grey metal also known as "wolfram", is best known to many as the filament used in conventional light bulbs. However, its extreme hardness, high melting point and other qualities mean it is in demand to produce drill bits, tough coatings and for other manufacturing uses.

Found only in mineral forms rather than as the pure metal, tungsten rod is mined around the world. But most of all it is mined in China, which holds about 60pc of the global reserves, provides about 85pc of the world’s supplies, and is also the metal’s biggest consumer.

That represents quite a headache for the West, because back in the 1980s and 1990s cheap Chinese exports of tungsten flooded the market and drove out many Western producers. At the same time, the end of the Cold War meant strategic Soviet stockpiles were sold off, dumping tonnes more of the metal on the market.

Not any more, though. Since 2005 China’s appetite for tungsten and other raw materials to feed its runaway growth has seen Beijing clamp down on exports through duties and quotas.

With producers around the world struggling to meet demand, the price of ammonium paratungstate, the most commonly traded form of tungsten metal, rose 32pc last year to more than $440 a tonne, according to data from Metal Bulletin.

The European Commission has identified tungsten as "critical" raw material, which means Brussels considers there to be a risk of a supply shortage and a knock-on hit to the EU economy.

Politicians outside China are not keeping quiet about this situation. Last month the US, the EU and Japan lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation, claiming China is unfairly benefiting its own industries by monopolising global supply, via restrictions on the export of tungsten and other raw materials, such as rare earths.

The ultimate outcome could be that China faces sanctions, but no one is expecting a tide of tungsten to arrive on the market.

Mr Hale argues that governments would be better off putting the money paid to lawyers to argue on the international stage towards developing their own natural resources.

"The Chinese will listen to the WTO and will make all the right noises and it will take years [to resolve] – in which time businesses will have spent money on mines outside China," he says.

EMC Now Working to Re-start Springer Tungsten

EMC Metals Corp. (the “Company” or “EMC”) CA:EMC +6.25% today announced that the existing sales agency agreement with Laurentian Bank Securities has been terminated as part of a strategic decision to restart operations at the Springer tungsten mine and mineral processing complex located in Nevada, USA. The sale process was concluded after rising tungsten prices made a near-term restart of the mine asset much more attractive to EMC than at the time the asset was first offered for sale.

The Springer tungsten mine was constructed by the General Electric Company (“GE”) in the late 1970s, commissioned in 1981, and run for only a short period before being put on care & maintenance status due to weak tungsten prices. The mine, resource and property assets were purchased from GE by a wholly-owned subsidiary of EMC in late 2006. EMC partially reconditioned the asset between 2006 and 2008, spending in excess of $20 million on the surface facilities and resource drilling. Recent review and updating of various re-start plans for the mine, coupled with current pricing levels and market supply dynamics for tungsten, present an encouraging picture on project re-start. Once back in operation, Springer Tungsten would represent the only significant tungsten wire production source (WO3, in concentrate) in the USA. The property has previously been an important source of tungsten in the USA, first mined in 1918.

Initial work planned for Q2 2012 will include finalizing capital refurbishment estimates, along with development of detailed multi-year mining plans, both for the Sutton I & II areas developed by GE, and also for other areas of the resource where early production may be facilitated. Various discussions are currently underway relating to financing the restart, as well as staffing key positions.

Mr. George Putnam, CEO of EMC commented:

“Springer now represents a significant near term restart opportunity to generate revenue and profits for EMC at this 100% owned asset. We are excited about the longer-term prospects for tungsten demand and pricing, and the unique position Springer represents in the USA as a potential near-term producer of tungsten concentrates.”

Mr. William Harris, EMC Board of Directors Chair, commented:

“The Company remains very positive on our considerable scandium development efforts and investment, but we also believe a Springer Tungsten mine restart makes compelling business sense now.”

About EMC Metals

EMC owns a 100% interest in the Springer tungsten mine in Nevada, USA. Strong tungsten bar prices and tight supply conditions, combined with the refurbished mill and existing tungsten resource on the property, support a strategy to seek a near term restart of the Springer facility. EMC also owns a 50% earn-in right on the Nyngan Scandium Project in NSW, Australia and 100% interest in the Carlin Vanadium property near Carlin, Nevada. All three properties have current NI 43-101 compliant resource estimates, available on the Company website and on SEDAR.

On February 29th, 2012, EMC announced that it’s earn-in on the Nyngan Scandium Project was rejected and would be taken to dispute with our partner. EMC continues to aggressively pursue our right to a 50% project earn-in, both through direct discussions with our partner and through a formal dispute process. We maintain that all project earn-in conditions outlined under the JV Agreement have been met, and subject to satisfactory agreement, EMC will take all lawful steps to secure its proprietary rights to a 50% joint venture interest.

The technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Willem Duyvesteyn, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Duyvesteyn is employed by EMC Metals Corp.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

This press release contains forward-looking information that does involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements regarding long term prices for tungsten, our ability to find and retain qualified management and key technical persons to operate the tungsten project, our ability to raise the necessary capital to fund a restart of mining operations, the short term or long term economic feasibility of tungsten production at our Springer facility, and in general statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking information in this press release is based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice, and by other risk factors disclosed in our public filings. Except as required by law, EMC assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

The Drilled Gold Bars Filled With Tungsten

I have to admit that I really do like this story. Over the weekend there’s been some rather breathless speculation about how a gold bar has been found, one that has been drilled out and filled with tungsten. Given that I’m actually in the metals trade, albeit not bullion or tungsten (I have handled both but they’re not my specialty) I thought I’d have a closer look.

The first mainstream report that I saw was by Felix Salmon at Reuters. And there’s two parts to that story.Firstly, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has attempted to do the substitution. It’s been known for a long time that the densities of tungsten and gold are close enough that in theory, drilling out a hallmarked gold bar and replacing the interior with tungsten could fool all but the most sophisticated of tests.

You can see the purported photos of the bar that has been found here. Following the story around the claim is made by ABC Bullion that a Swiss refiner (and producer of good delivery bars to the London gold market) MKS had sent out the warning email last week. Which, at least as of lunchtime today was something of a surprise to MKS as when I spoke to them they had no idea about it all. There were quite a lot of people like me asking about it but they had no idea whether the story was true, whether someone in their company had sent it, no real idea of what was going on at all. They were quite mystified in fact.

But as I’ve said, in theory this sort of thing is possible even if it would be very difficult to do in practice. Further, I’m not really sure that the economics of it quite work out either. Sure, Tungsten alloy is vastly cheaper than gold but this would be very skilled work with a low success rate and the gross profits are a few thousand $ per 1 kg bar so treated. It’s most certainly not a 5 minute job either. Nor mechanisable. Just not sure that it would be worth it.

Where the story goes off into fantasy though is here (and Felix is correct in the questions he asks to try and work out prevalence): If there are 1.3 million salted 400 oz bars in existence, and each one is 75% tungsten, then that makes 390 million ounces of gold which in truth isn’t there. At $1,660 per ounce, that’s over $600 billion which people think they own but don’t. To put that number in context, it’s roughly half the total quantity of subprime mortgages which had been issued at the height of the housing bubble.

The answer to this comes from a commenter there:

The amount of turnover in the market is much higher than you think. In the case of the professional market which deals in 400oz bars, yes many of these sit in central bank vaults but many others are held by private investors and these are traded. There has been no occurrences in my 18 years in the industry, and I haven’t heard of others, of fake 400oz gold bars. Any bar coming out of a LBMA accredited refinery can be trusted because the refinery cannot control or know where the bar will end up and during its life there is a good chance a bar will eventually be melted for use by a jeweller or other refiner and as such there is a high probability of being caught out.

In the retail market I’d guess that turnover is a lot higher, particularly as retail investors do tend to exhibit herding behaviour, which means when there is selling it usually overwhelms retail buyers at that point in time. The end result is that in a net selling situation dealers do not sit on gold due to the high holding costs vs low profit margins and uncertainty as to when buying demand will return, so they liquidate that net selling excess back to refiners, where it is melted. Thus there is a fair bit of turnover and again, a good chance of fakes being detected.

I would take that even further. Even the ingots in central banks, or in gold vaults, sometimes get sent off to be refined. For the very same reason those vaults are regularly vacuumed for the trace amounts of gold that have rubbed/been chipped off the ingots. It’s absolutely true that gold doesn’t oxidise or decompose, but as bars are moved around then they inevitably get bumped and after enough of that they are likely to get sent of for refining so as to maintain their good delivery characteristics. And no, a Tungsten bar filled bar would not be refined without someone noticing.

If I were to assign percentages here I’d say that someone trying to drill out a bar and fill it with tungsten would be up near 100%. I’m sure the idea has occurred to lots of people independently. As to this being a common occurrence among good delivery bars I’d put it down somewhere near zero. There’s just too much turnover of bars through the refineries for this to be possible.

The World Is Running Low On Tungsten| Why You Should Care

Eric Savitz, Forbes Staff 3 comments, 0 called-out + Comment now + Comment now Guest post written by Pierre Monet.Pierre Monet is CEO of Malaga Inc., a Montreal-based mining company with operations in Peru.

Last month, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway unit IMC International Metalworkingagreed to invest $80 million in a tungsten mining project in South Korea, which was once the world’s biggest tungsten producer.While the deal may come as a surprise to the outside world, those with knowledge of tungsten understand that it’s a crucial but disappearing resource that continues to affect all of us.

A Hard Metal That’s Hard To Get

Tungsten (W) is among the the world’s hardest materials. The metal’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures – particularly high heat – makes it irreplaceable in applications such as cemented carbide tools (which accounts for 50% of its use), “hard steel” drill bits for oil and gas exploration, rocket engine nozzles, cathode-ray tubes as well as vacuum tube filaments, and (for the time being, anyway) filaments in incandescent light bulbs. (The latter only accounts for 3% of its use.)

Increasingly, tungsten is finding its way into new technologies. Its hardness, stability and ability to withstand extreme temperatures make it desirable in the manufacturing of electrodes and components used in touch screens. With the explosion of touch screen technology in smart phones and tablet devices, demand for tungsten target, which already was growing six percent annually, is increasing dramatically.

Trouble is, supply is not keeping up.

China, which has more than 80% of the world’s supply of tungsten, has sharply curtailed its exports and as of now is a net importer of this precious element. China also shows no signs of loosening the reins on tungsten exports, preferring instead to use its supply for its own manufacturing applications. Ergo for the foreseeable future, the rest of the world has to look elsewhere for supply.

Russia has some, but keeps 70% of what it has for domestic use. Tungsten alloy has also been harvested and recycled from existing devices and components, but even those sources have now reached their limits and there’s no new significant supply on the horizon.

Currently, that leaves no more than five mines supplying most of the world’s tungsten outside of China and Russia. Consequently, in a recent British Geological Survey report on metals of economic value on the “endangered list,” tungsten was at the very top.

Carbine Tungsten floats gold projects

ASX-listed Carbine Tungsten has successfully spun off its gold assets into Gossan Hill Gold, with its initial public offering (IPO) aimed at raising some A$8-million to explore four gold prospects in New South Wales.

Carbine Tungsten, which was on the verge of a full-scale wet commissioning of its tailings retreatment plant for the Mount Carbine Tungsten mine, in North Queensland, would retain a 22% shareholding in the spin-off company.

Carbine Tungsten said on Monday that the directors of the newly listed Gossan Hill Gold had been promoting the company’s IPO since March 5, and would continue with its roadshow across the rest of Australia.

The company noted that early responses have been “very encouraging” from resource funds, institutions and retail brokers alike.With the funds raised, the Gossan Hill Gold company would undertake a two-year drilling programme with the intention of increasing shareholder value through the discovery and extension of known gold mineralisation in each of its four prospects.

Meanwhile, Carbine Tungsten said that full-scale wet commissioning of its own tailings retreatment plant at Mount Carbine would be completed within the next 10 days.

The mine would be officially opened on March 26.

The tailings retreatment project at the Mount Carbine project is expected to produce around 100 t of tungsten Rod a month over four to six years, from a resource of around two-million tons, grading 0.1% tungsten.Carbine Tungsten executives would be visiting Asia in mid-April to conclude sales agreements for the tailings product.

Latest Price Fluctuation Trend of Tungsten Market

Today, the tungsten market continues to vulnerable consolidation trend. Tungsten, iron, and APT downstream Inquiry is rare. Tungsten concentrate market inquiry is in a slight increase, but turnover is still not ideal. As of press time, 65% of Jiangxi, Hunan wolframite reported 13.4-13.5 yuan / ton, and the mine operators insist on not want to lower the price, but psychological price level of the downstream buyers is lower, so the overall market turnover deserted.
The one hand, the basic inventory of mining companies in the hands of procurement come at high price, and to sell the goods at the price lower than cost must be unwilling to do; on the other hand, sales of tungsten iron and APT is very unsatisfactory and downstream processing enterprises are unable to accept the higher prices of raw materials. , Tungsten ore market in such a paradoxical situation can be described as a dilemma. Neither of two sides was willing to make concessions, only to continue the stalemate.
Informed in the meeting held from Jiangxi Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Geology and Mineral Resources of Jiangxi Province have achieved major breakthroughs in looking for mineral. It is proved resources (storage) capacity of 1.06 million tons of large deposits are found in the the Wuning large HUTANG tungsten mine. According to the provincial Bureau of Geology and concerned parties, this is one of the largest discoveries in Jiangxi mineral resources since the founding of the country.  The mine is expected to become the world’s largest tungsten mine and its economic value exceeding 150 billion yuan. This finding further laid the dominant position of Jiangxi Province in the market of tungsten ore.
Recently, the Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Taxation on the adjustment of tin ore resource tax applicable tax rate standard, non-ferrous metal ores, tin ore, molybdenum ore and other non-metallic ores magnesite, talc and other mineral resources in the resource tax rate were raised. Insiders said, This is to give better play to the tax adjustment function, and promote the rational development and utilization of mineral resources, protect ecological environment and to curb over-exploitation and waste of resources, but also release China’s policy signals of gradual increasing protection effort of important strategic resource.

In short term, the trend of tungsten market will continue to be vulnerable to run, if downstream demand can not get a breakthrough, the later market price is very possible to further down.

Tungsten belongs to nonferrous metal

Tungsten is one of the nonferrous metals,and it’s also an important strategic metal. In ancient times, tungsten ore is referred as “scheelite”. In 1781, Swedish chemist Karl William found scheelite,and extract the new acid element – tungstic acid. In 1783, Spanish Depp Asia found wolframite and extracted tungstate. In the same year, tungsten powder was made by using the carbon reduction of tungsten trioxide for the first time, and named this element. Tungsten content in the crust is 0.001%. There are 20 kind minerals containing tungsten. Tungsten deposit is general formed by the activity of granitic magma. Tungsten, after smelting, is silver-white color with luster. It has extremely high melting point and hardness.

Tungsten Market Update (March 1, 2012)

On February 28, Woulfe Mining (TSXV:WOF,OTCQX:WFEMF, FWB:OZ4) and its 100 percent owned subsidiary, Sangdong Mining Corporation, reached an agreement with International Metalworking Companies (IMC), part of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway family, for a tungsten deal that will create a supply pipeline in South Korea.

IMC will pay C$35 million for a 25 percent stake in Sangdong Mining, and will advance Sangdong C$5 million in loans towards the development of its South Korean tungsten-molybdenum project.

Woulfe and IMC also plan to construct a tungsten processing facility in South Korea with 90 to 100 percent of Sangdong’s tungsten concentrate to be purchased by the joint venture. IMC will then buy 90 to 100 percent of the APT that the facility processes.

Tungsten Investing News asked Brian Wesson, CEO of Woulfe, what the implications of the IMC/Woulfe deal will be for the tungsten market and for the tungsten investor. Wesson said “the market is getting very tight and prices lifting,” then “softening to the current level or slightly lower” when Woulfe comes online. The company has scaled back its production “to fit the gap that exists in the market.”

Wesson cautioned that with Sandvick and IMC, two of the world’s largest tungsten end users, having now secured a tungsten supply outside of China, it may be difficult in the long-term for producers with lower grades or high capital development costs to secure financing “unless the return on capital is around three years.”

Prices for APT tungsten as of February 28 are trading at a range of $400-405/mtu.

Tungsten Introduction

Basic information:
Atomic Number: 74     Atomic Radius: 137.0pm
Atomic Symbol: W      Melting Point: 3422℃
Atomic Weight: 183.5    Boiling Point: 5555℃
Electron Configuration: [Xe]6s24f145d4      
Oxidation States: 6
In 1779 Peter Woulfe examined the mineral now known as wolframite and concluded it must contain a new substance. Scheele, in 1781, found that a new acid could be made from tungsten (a name first applied about 1758 to a mineral now known as scheelite). Scheele and Berman suggested the possibility of obtaining a new metal by reducing this acid. The de Elhuyar brothers found acid in wolframite in 1783 that was identical to the acid of tungsten (tungstic acid) of Scheele, and in that year they succeeded in obtaining the element by reduction of this acid with charcoal. Tungsten occurs in wolframite, scheelite, huebnertie, and ferberite. Important deposits of tungsten occur in California, Colorado, South Korea, Bolivia, Russia, and Portugal. China is reported to have about 75% of the world’s tungsten resources. Natural tungsten contains five stable isotopes. Twenty one other unstable isotopes are recognized. The metal is obtained commercially be reducing tungsten oxide with hydrogen or carbon.
Pure tungsten is a steel-gray to tin-white metal. Very pure tungsten can be cut with a hacksaw,  forged, spun, drawn, and extruded. The impure metal is brittle and can be worked only with difficulty. Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals, and at temperatures over 1650oC has the highest tensile strength. The metal oxidizes in air and must be protected at elevated temperatures. It has excellent corrosion resistance and is attacked only slightly by most mineral acids. The thermal expansion is about the same as borosilicate glass, which makes the metal useful for glass-to-metal seals.
Tungsten and its alloys are used extensively for filaments for electric lamps, electron and television tubes, and for metal evaporation work; for electrical contact points for automobile distributors; X-ray targets; windings and heating elements for electrical furnaces; and for numerous spacecraft and high-temperature applications. High-speed tool steels, Hastelloy(R), Stellite(R), and many other alloys contain tungsten. Tungsten carbide is of great importance to the metal-working, mining, and petroleum industries. Calcium and magnesium tungstates are widely used in fluorescent lighting; other salts of tungsten are used in the chemical and tanning industries. Tungsten disulfide is a dry, high-temperature lubricant, stable to 500C. Tungsten bronzes and other tungsten compounds are used in paints. Tungsten powder (99.9%) costs about $50/lb.

Tungsten concentrates price reduction, delay procurement of tungsten powder

International markets, and overseas tungsten market continue to ensure stability, but as poor market demand, imports of tungsten significantly reduced compared with the same period in previous years, which is expected to stabilize the main market before Christmas.

The domestic market, market of tungsten concentrate is strong. There is low-cost reduction, and mainstream price focus on near 1.8-1.82 yuan / degree, but presently mentality of mine buyers and sellers are different, the overall market transactions is rare, and it is predicted present tungsten ore price keeps steady trend.

It is reported that yesterday a businessman was trying offer 1.75 yuan to sell 43 degrees wolframite concentrate, although no one is willing to accept the goods, but it shows the current market price of tungsten ore was still strong.

However, the actual market demand for raw materials is not good, and the recent strong price does not necessarily maintained. According to the latest understanding, this morning in some parts of price fluctuations in Jiangxi, the price back to 1.8 yuan from 1.82 yuan. Some businesses revealed that now the actual market is not stable and they are not dare to stockpile.

APT offer is strong, a slight increase in market price today is 210-212 thousand yuan / ton, but the turnover is quite difficult; sodium tungstate factory price of the 15.4-15.5 yuan / ton, although less than price, but by the strong price of tungsten concentrate and inventory reduced support of sodium tungstate manufacturers, market conditions improved slightly.

Downstream manufacturers of tungsten powder purchase quite little and the turnover is poor. It seems many businesses are waiting for low-cost goods in late December.

Tungsten steel scrap prices continue to stabilize, demand of downstream manufacturer is very limited, and purchase intention is weak with very few transactions.

Tungsten metal supply and demand are under tension maintain, the state is very possible to purchase storage

80% of tungsten application is in the rapid development of tungsten carbide, special steel products, high-tech manufacturing, and industrial upgrading, which may accelerate the demand of downstream products.

We expect 2012 export quotas for tungsten ore mining is still tense, the state purchasing and storage resources of tungsten metal is a high probability event, it will be well supported tungsten price. In addition, the international market demand for tungsten remained stable, there are no significant declines in economic conditions, and foreign tungsten prices will remain high. Tungsten export quotas have been strained since last year many times. Since China’s increasing tightened control of strategic metals export quotas, in recent years, the tension may appear again, pushing the foreign price of tungsten and cause certain supports to domestic tungsten price.

As for supply side, China accounted for 70% of global reserves of tungsten, tungsten mining are subject to annual total quantity limit, so the supply of tungsten has always been limited. Since the beginning of the year, market demand is relatively stable with insufficient supply and high production costs, tungsten, APT and tungsten iron prices keep rising trend. With the price of tungsten get into high, intermediate traders began selling short stocks, making the price of tungsten into the trend of adjustment. Third quarter, U.S. and European companies make up inventory, which made tungsten price back to the high level. But on the background that the economic slowdown at home and abroad, tungsten price get adjusted in third quarter, until the recent drop and suppliers do not want to sell, then price get some support. Downstream demand remains relatively strong, and tight supply and demand is expected to maintain.

The application of tungsten in the national defense and civil

China is a country with rich tungsten resources, over half a century, made ​​significant contributions to the development of the world’s tungsten industry. Especially in recent decades, China’s industrial development has moved from exporting tungsten concentrates, importing of tungsten products, tungsten processing products and gradually developed into a basically meet the domestic demand, and can develop into a large variety of tungsten products export industry country. This is not only fundamentally changed the situation of China’s tungsten industry, and more successful for the development of China’s defense industry and national economic development has made important contributions. Tungsten processed products in multiple areas of both production capacity or production are among the highest level in the world, to become truly world-recognized major industrial countries, but in some aspects of tungsten processing technology with the world advanced countries there is still a gap, to become a true world power tungsten processing technology needs make great efforts.

Tungsten products in the important role of nation-building

Processing of tungsten materials including tungsten carbide, tungsten alloy, tungsten wire, tungsten electrode, the scale of production of these materials and properties at or near the world level, to better meet China’s national economic construction and national defense needs, has made significant contributions to the Chinese the rapid development of national economic construction and national defense modernization enable China to a new attitude based on the world of the forest.

Tungsten-based alloys in the construction of national defense and the important role of the national economy

(1) In the aerospace industry applications. China developed the first generation of tungsten heavy alloy performance good in the 1960s, since immediately after the birth of self-developed China’s first artificial satellite navigation device has been successfully applied, then this new material has the first in China an intercontinental missile and developed by a variety of new fighters, helicopters, has been successfully applied. Developed to meet the needs of Chinese communications satellite, but also successfully developed a new type of density up to 18.5g/cm3 high proportion of tungsten-based alloys. A variety of high-performance W-Cu alloys in the rocket (missile) combustion chamber, nozzle, throat, rudder and other parts of the development of high temperature has been applied.

(2) Military industrial applications. China has successful developed the W-Ni-Fe heavy alloy, provides of a variety of wear, shaped charge of the development a key material. W-Ni-Cu heavy alloys also play an important role in doing gyrorotor high proportion of material in China’s first nuclear submarine of the research and development.

(3) In the civilian industry and nuclear industrial applications. In the nuclear power industry, used for nuclear reactor insulation and shielding materials, tungsten heavy alloy has a good prospect. In civilian industry, high-density tungsten alloy has been more widely used, mobile phones and golf oscillator rod weight will be a wide range of products. Processing done in the electric performance of the anvil block material to make electrical upsetting of hundredfold increase production efficiency, has significant economic benefits.

Tungsten processing material’s role in national economic construction

The emergence of the first tungsten wire brought light to mankind, the Chinese production of tungsten wire species and tungsten lighting to ensure the needs of thousands of households, and seismic tungsten wire and other high-tech product development success, but also changed China tungsten products export structure. Tungsten not only have the high temperature performance, but also has a strong function of absorbing radiation, so the tungsten plate will play a huge role in today’s nuclear power industry development.

In summary, the development of tungsten processing industry does not only play a very important role in building on the national economy, also has a significant impact on the modernization of national defense.

Tungsten Ore Supply Situation Is Difficult To Alleviate In Short-Term

The current situation is that prices experienced after 5-6 months of adjustment, to regain an upward trend since July. Tungsten price at the beginning of August to return to 157,000 yuan / ton year, prices rose 40.9% over year; 2011 January-July average price of 136,000 yuan / ton, compared with 2010 average price rose 56.8%. Tungsten supply and demand in the third quarter outlook is still difficult to ease the tension, the factor support the rising price of tungsten has not changed, promoting industrial chain link products were synchronous increase, and we observed further downstream product gross margin expansion.

For digging more in-depth industry investment opportunities of tungsten, we hold a conversation meeting on August 5, especially invited Qiu Wanyi, General Secretary of Ganzhou Tungsten Association, to explain the update state of tungsten industry and future developing trend.

Meeting Minutes
First, tungsten News. According to statistics of Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, first half of this year’s production of tungsten concentrate was 522.73 million ton, an increase of 3.9%, we note that last year’s average price of tungsten concentrates was 9 millions. On July this year, the average price was 13.5 million, which rose 50%. Our production increase is only 3.9%, we use the following two aspects to interpret Why it is not match.

First, the state has stopped the approval of the new tungsten mine, quota management was implemented on existing mines, making small increase on production. Secondly, mining industry, especially there is a significant feature on black tungsten mine, that it is hard to increase the production in a short time. It is hard for mining industry to increase production in a short time, which means we need 3-5 years to build a new tungsten mine, but it takes 5 years to meet production volume.

In recent years, there is definitely some incremental, it is mainly from the following three aspects: First, some of the technological transformation in old mines; second is a new so-called multi-metallic mineral by-product, the last few years countries stop approval of the exploitation of new tungsten mine, but other mining products include tungsten, copper, zinc, molybdenum and other metals, tungsten production of its by-products is great, and this is also a source of new mines. The third is the use of tungsten waste and tailings recovery, 80% increment from the latter two cases, which is multi-metal mining by-product, coupled with the use of tungsten scrap.

Like Luanchuan in Henan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu, in recent years the incremental scheelite is more obvious, Hunan Anhua regional waste processing tungsten production has increased a lot. I met a boss dealing with tungsten scrap in Anhua, who said year’s production is 8,000 tons in Anhua, which did not happen previously. Year’s production of a tungsten plant in Luanchuan can be thousands, and it also comes from the increase in recent years.

An overtaken last encounter a boss tungsten scrap, he said there Anhua year’s production of 8,000 tons were previously not. Henan Luanchuan a year’s production of tungsten plant it there are thousands, is the recent increase in the past few years together.


Due to the limit of cost, mining in shot time can not happen in a short time at this kind of price. In Australian mining industry, the annual salary of pneumatic drill workers is above 1 million RMB, with high mining cost and wage cost. In America, a scheelite is about to selling, but only in environmental risk margin, $450 need to be paid, so the scheelite is still idle there. The abroad scheelite is hard to start as per current price. This is the general situation of upstream enterprises in tungsten.


It can be seen that the production of APT in downstream enterprise did not expand, due to the tense supply of tungsten concentrate, and APT in part of the enterprise could not be completely used. In fact, there is imbalance in capacity utilization, which means recently the production of tungsten concentrate keeps in tight supply state. The development trend of this industry is adopting smelt trade integration, which means the melting enterprise is coming close to mining, and corporate acquisitions and mergers will be a trend. It is estimated that smelting enterprises will survive only in the cracks, and suffer sad days.


There are many enterprises owning mines in Ganzhou, or is acquiring some mines, and becoming a independent boy including process, ore dressing, smelting. Alloy production is the first half year was a rising trend.