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)
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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