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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Harris, Keith L.; Carlin, James F., Jr.
Tin,   pp. 931-945 ff. PDF (1.7 MB)


Page 931

  931Tin 
By Keith L. Harris' and James F. Carlin, Jr.' 
 World tin consumption declined while world tin mine production rose in response
to prices that reached recor4 highs during 1977. The International Tin Council
(ITC) 
was powerless to stabilize tin prices after exhaustion of its buffer stock
in early January, so the price of tin remained above the ITC ceiling price
from January 13 throughout the remainder of the year. Little additional tin
was available from U.S. Government stockpile excesses. 
 U.S. consumption of primary and secondary tin declined 3% in 1977 to 60,732
metric tons.2 Decreased tinplate production as well as the declining quantity
of tin coated on tinplate were major factors causing the decline. The major
uses for tin were in tinplate, 31%; solder, 29%; bronze and brass, 14%; chemicals,
9%; and tinning, 4%. Malaysia, Thailand, and Bolivia were the major sources
of U.S. tin supplies. Less than 100 tons of tin was produced in Colorado
by the only domestic mine. About 22% of the tin consumed in the United States
in 1977 was tin reclaimed from scrap. 
 In 1977, the sole primary tin smelter in the United States was the Texas
City, Tex., facility of Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Co. (GCMC).
Bolivia's
State-owned Corporaciôn Minera de Bolivia (COMIBOL) provided most
of
the tin concentrate feed for this smelter. 
 In 1977, the average composite price of Straits (Malaysian) tin for New
York delivery was at an alltime highof 534.60 cents per pound, $1.55 above
the 1976 level. 
 The year marked the first full year of U.S. membership in the Fifth International
Tin Agreement (ITA), the first metal commodity agreement in which the United
States participated. 
 Legislation and* Government Programs.—The General Services Administration
(GSA) continued commercial sales of tin during the year. Sales totaled 2,679
tons, while shipments totaled 2,497 tons. As of December 31, 1977, the U.S.
Government stockpile contained 204,176 tons, of which 330 tons was authorized
for disposal. The stockpile goal was 33,021 tons. A bill to 
Table 1.-.--Salient tin statistics 
(Metric tons) 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1976 
1977 
United States: 
Production: 
Mine                             
W 
W 
W 
W 
W 
Smelter                           
 Secondary                        Exports (including reexports)         
    Imports for consumption: 
 Metal                            
Ore(tincontent)                     
4,877 
20,806 
3,461 
46,581 
4,875 
6,096 
19,200 
8,550 
40,238 
5,971 
6.500 
15,869 
3,596 
44,366 
6,415 
5,700 
16,446 
2,338 
45,055 
5,733 
6,700 
18,503 
5,480 
47,774 
6,724 
Consumption: 
Primary                          
 Secondary                        Prices, average cents per pound: 
 NewYorkmarket                    
59,075 
16,763 
227.56 
52,439 
13,341 
396.27 
43,620 
12,180 
3.~Q"~ 
51,767 
11,161 
349.24 
47,596 
13,136 
 ~ 
499.38 
New York composite                 London                           
NA 
218.71 
NA 
370.84 
NA 
311.41 
379.82 
347.42 
534.60 
486.92 
 Penan~                          World production: 
 Mine                                
Smelter                              
214.10 
237,847 
233,874 
355.72 
232,880 
236,198 
303.55 
r232,233 r227,895 
338.94 
p228,005 
r229,861 
485.96 
231,438 
230,243 
rRevised. NA Not available. W Withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary
data. 


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