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

Alverson, Larry J.
Rhenium,   pp. 777-783 ff. PDF (1015.1 KB)

Page 777

Table l.—.Salient rhenium statistics (Pounds of contained rhenium)
/ 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 
e~tjmata rRevj~ed 
By Larry J. Alverson1 
There was no rhenium production in 1977 from domestic ore. Consumption decreased.
about 12% from that of 1976 to 7,300 pounds; however, it was still at a relatively
high level. Imports of ammonium perrhenate reached a record high of over
Mine productione 
consumptione________________________________ Imports(metalandscrap)________________________
pounds, or 50% more than in the previous record year of 1976. Prices for
both metal powder and compounds declined to the lowest level on record. Bimetallic
catalysts continued to be the major use for rhenium domestically and worldwide.
 7,000 5,000 2,000 r1,500 
 4,400 4,500 6,000 8,300 
 1,437 40 59 82 
 e3,040 e3,287 e966 4,047 
 20,000 24,000 21,000 ~18,&)0 
There was no rhenium production from domestic sources in 1977; all output
was on a toll conversion basis from foreign molybdenite (Mo52). This was
the first year in over 20 years that no rhenium has been produced. Historically,
the domestic rhenium industry has had four main producers: Shattuck Chemical
Co., a subsidiary of Engeihard Minerals & Chemical Corp.; 
Kennecott Copper Corp.; M & R Refractory Metals, Inc.; and Molycorp,
Inc. In the past few years, only Shattuck and M & R have been actively
roasting domestic and foreign MoS2 concentrates for rhenium recovery. However,
Cleveland Refractory Metals, a subsidiary of Kennecott Copper Corp., sold
rhenium from accumulated stocks and imports to augment the domestic supply.
Consumption of rhenium in 1977 decreased about 12% from the record level
of 1976, but it was still at a high level compared with the past several
years. An estimated 80% went into platinum-rhenium bimetallic catalyst manufacture
for use in petroleum-refining operations. 
Semiregenerative bimetallic-reforming units in the petroleum industry increased
12% in capacity during the year, to 53.1% of total reforming capacity. This
was the first time a single type of bimetallic reformer held over 50% of
total reforming capacity. The total for all types of bimetallic reformers
was 61.2% of total reforming capacity, the highest ever attained. This follows
the trend of the past few years, brought about by the increasing demand for
unleaded and 

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