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

Minor metals,   pp. 1347-1358 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 1347

  1347Minor Metals 
By Staff, Division of Nonferrous Metals 
CONTENTS 
 Page 
Arsenic 1347 
Cesium and rubidium 1349 
Germanium 1350 
Indium 1352 
Radium 1353 
  Page 
 Scandium 1354 
 Selenium 1354 
 Tellurium 1356 
 Thallium 1358 
ARSENIC 1 
 Domestic Production.—Arsenic trioxide was produced in the United States
as a byproduct of base-metal ores, primarily cop~ per ore, at the Tacoma,
Wash., plant of the American Smelting and Refining Company. Production figures
cannot be published. Production in 1972, however, rose substantially over
that in 1971 which had been curtailed by the strike at copper facilities.
Shipments were less than production and yearend stocks continued the upward
trend begun in 1968. 
 Consumption and Uses.—Apparent consumption of arsenic, essentially
all as white arsenic (As203), decreased slightly from that in 1971. Calcium
and lead arsenate chemicals were the major end products. Minor quantities
of arsenic were used in sodium arsenate and other chemical compounds. 
 Production of calcium arsenate has trended downward since 1968 when nearly
1,700 tons was produced. Less than 600 tons was produced in 1969 and in 1970,
and only 470 tons was -produced in 1971. Lead arsenate, on the other hand,
rose to nearly 3,100 tons in 1971 from 2,100 tons in 1970. 
 Arsenic is primarily used for its toxic qualities in the agricultural industry
for insecticides, selective plant killers, defoliants, and for parasitic
control in chicken feed; arsenic compounds continued to be used as wood preservatives.
Consumption of Wolman Salts, the principal arsenic 
preservative, -totaled 1,085 tons in 1971 compared -with 806 tons in 1970.
 About 3% of the arsenic consumed is used as metal for alloying with lead
and copper. Sm-all quantities of high-purity arsenic are used in the electronics
industry. 
 Prices.—The price of refined white arsenic, 99.5%, at New York docks,
in barrels, small lots, has been unchanged at 6-1,4 -to 6-% cents per pound
since July 6, 1968. Refined white arsenic in bulk carload lots at Laredo,
Tea., was $120 -per ton, and crude white arsenic was quoted at $94 per ton
at T:acoma, Wash. Lead arsenate in 50-pound bags was quoted at 26 to 29 cents
per pound throughout 1972. 
 Arsenic metal was quoted in London at 
£600 -nominal per long -ton (64.3 cents per pound) until mid-May when
it rose to 
£650 (69.5 cents). In July the price rose to £690 per metric
ton (75.1 cents per pound) where it remained through yearend. 
 Foreign Trade.—No exports of arsenic metal or white arsenic have been
reported since 1945. 
 Imports of white arsenic declined 21% in 1972 to 13,600 tons, the lowest
level since 1960. Sweden, the principal supplier of white arsenic, furnished
60%, followed by Mexico with 26%, and France with 11%. 
 1Preparedby Gertrude N. Greenspoon, mineral specialist. 


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