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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Wessel, F. W.
Titanium,   pp. 1227-1237 ff. PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 1227

  1227Titanium 
By F. W. Wessel' 
 In 1972 production of rutile in the United States was reported for the first
time in several years. Titanium Enterprises, Clay County, Fla., began in
midsummer to produce rutile and other heavy-sand minerals. Rutile imports,
almost entirely from Australia, were 9% less than in 1971. Imports of ilmenite
were 35% lower, but imports of Sorel slag were 13% higher. A plant to produce
185,000 tons per year of ilmenite concentrate was under construction in New
Jersey, and was expected to come onstream early in 1973. For the first time
"synthetic" rutile made from ilmenite became a market factor; imports were
from Australia and Japan. 
 Strong demand for titania pigment continued unchecked throughout the year.
The demand was based on several factors, foremost of which were an active
building construction and housing market and the necessity of replacing at
least part of the void left by cessation of composite pigment production.
Production of titania pigment increased only slightly, and imports were obtained
to meet the demand. West Ger 
many, Canada, Japan, France, Finland, and the United Kingdom were the major
sources. There were some domestic price increases about midyear, but price
controls and previously concluded contracts were inhibiting factors. Two
major European producers also increased prices during the year, reflecting
spreading shortages. 
 The general titanium metal situation showed slight gains over 1971. Production
of titanium sponge was resumed in February and increased steadily through
August, when it reached its yearend level at about one-third of industry
capacity. Recovery was assisted in some measure by Federal stockpile contracts,
concluded in June with two major producers. Production of ingot increased
10%, and mill products shipments increased 12%. Consumption of sponge, scrap,
anti ingot showed increases of 8%, 27% and 14%, respectively. Early in the
year fabricators increased mill product prices by 8%. 
Legislation and Government Programs.— The stockpile objectives for
rutile and titanI Physical. scientist, Division of Nonferrous 
Metals. 
Table 1. 
—Salient 
titanium statistics 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Ilmenite concentrate: 
 Mine shipments short tons... Value thousands... Imports2 short tons~ Consumption
do.~. 
Titanium slag: Consumptiondo... Rutile concentrate: 3 
960,118 
$19,484 
178,154 
959,558 
142,168 
893,034 
$18,636 
110,853 
1,003,501 
138,553 
920,964 
$18,626 
231,119 
972,314 
129,247 
713,610 
$15,936 
185,618 
898,783 
143,554 
' 729,428 
$16,774 
183,846 
786,384 
264,095 
 Imports do...... 
 Consumption do.... 
Sponge metal: 
Imports for consumption 
  do..... Consumption do.... 
Price: Dec.31, perpound4~.. 
174,366 
160,273 
3,349 
14,237 
$1.32 
204,645 
185,432 
5,745 
20,124 
$1.32 
243,089 
189,172 
5,931 
16,414 
$1.32 
215,109 
225,498 
2,802 
12,145 
$1.32 
195,068 
242,758 
4,078 
13,068 
$1.32 
World production: 
Ilmenite concentrate 
 shorttons.... 3Rutile concentrate     do.. - - - 
222,247 
332,792 
' 3,532,151 
' 436,821 
3,962,540 
459,507 
3,705,134 
423,815 
3,586,377 
356,853 
' Revised. 
1 Includes a small quantity of rutile. 
2 Includes titaniferous slag. 
' Mine shipments withheld to avoid disclosing individual company confidential
data. Nominal. Actual sales probably in $1.10—$1.20 range. 


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