Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Sutton, Joseph A.
Columbium and tantalum, pp. 461-471 ff. PDF (1.2 MB)
461Columbium and Tantalum By Joseph A. Sutton1 The 1972 demand for co-lumbium and tantalum in steelmaking continued an upward trend that began in 1968, For steelmaking purposes consumption of ferrocolumbium (FeCb), ferrotantalum-columbiurn (FeTa—Cb), and other columbium and tantalum materials totaled 2.9 million pounds in 1972. The primary use of these materials was for the production of high strength-low alloy steels. During the year while imports of columbium mineral concentrates and the price of columbium raw materials in the forms of columbite and pyrochlore concentrates were increasing, approximately 2.3 -million pounds of combined pentoxides were awarded to industry from Government stocks. The primary use of tantalum continued to be for capacitors in the electronics industry. The chemical industry for the first time used large sheets of thin-gage tantalum to make pressure vessels that were to be used in the KelChlor process for recovering chlorine from byproduct hydrogen chloride. Legislation and Government Programs. —During 1972 the Office of Minerals Exploration (OME), U.S. Geological Survey, continued to offer financial assistance of 50% (columbium) and 75% (tantalum) of costs for exploration of approved columbium and tantalum resources. The General Services Administration (GSA) continued its columbium disposal program and sold to industry 1,857,382 pounds of columbium and 380,209 pounds 1 Physical scientist, Division of Ferrous Metals. Table 1.--Salient columbium statistics (Thousan d pounds) 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 United States: Mine production of columbite-tantalite concentrates Releases from Government stocks (Cbcontent)" Consumption of concentrate: Columbium metal contained in all raw materials consumed(Cbcontent)2 Production of primary products: Columbium metal (Cb content) Ferrocolumbium and ferrotantalum-columbium (Cb+Ta content) Consumption of primary products: Columbium metal (Cb content) Ferrocolumbium and ferrotantalumcolumbium(Cb+Tacontent) Exports: Columbium metal, compounds, and alloys (gross weight) Imports for consumption: Columbium mineral concentrate (gross weight) Columbium metal and columbium-bearing alloys (Cb content) Ferrocolumbium (gross weight)' Tin slags (Cb content) ~ World: Production of columbium-tontalum concentrates (gross weight) W ' 1,505 3,997 W 2,380 92 3,094 7 3,657 1 1,171 378 23,857 W ' 1,810 2,918 W 2,554 179 3,328 41 4,161 5 NA 454 31,451 0 ' 1,042 3,289 W 1,430 261 2,591 46 5,719 2 NA 498 45,149 5 - - 36 2,346 W 1,020 459 2,880 21 3,054 1 NA 526 24,014 779 2,489 W 1,480 218 3,676 29 3,227 1 NA 547 34,953 W Wit hheld to av oid disclosin g individual company ' Estimate. ' Revised. NA Not available. confidential data. ' Revised to none. 5lncludes columbium content in raw materials from which columbium is not recovered. 3lncludes material released as payment-in-kind for upgrading. 4Receipts reported by consumers.
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