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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Stafford, Phillip T.
Tungsten,   pp. 949-963 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 949

  949Tungsten 
By Philip T. Stafford1 
 Consumption of tungsten in 1979 was the highest since 1974. Moreover, consumption
of tungsten increased each year for 4 consecutive years through 1979. Because
increases in domestic production did not keep pace with demand, significant
increases in tungsten imports occurred, particularly in 1978 and 1979. Generally,
tungsten prices were less volatile in 1978 and 1979 than during the previous
several years. 
 During 1978 and 1979, more than 95% of domestic production came from four
mining operations: Two in California, one in Colorado, and one in Nevada.
Two new or reopened mines in Nevada with moderate to large capacity were
being developed, and at yearend 1979 three ammonium paratungstate (APT) plants
were being planned or constructed. 
 The 16-year deadlock between producing and consuming countries continued,
as no agreement was reached during 1978 and 1979 at Geneva conferences on
stabilization of the world tungsten market. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—General Services. Administration
(GSA) Office of Stockpile Disposal continued to sell excess stockpiled tungsten
concentrate on the basis on monthly sealed bids. During January and February
1978, regular offerings of excess concentrate were made at the rate of 500,000
pounds of contained tungsten per month, of which 375,000 pounds was for domestic
use and 125,000 pounds was for export. From March 1978 through yearend 1979,
the regular offerings were increased to 600,000 pounds of contained tungsten
per month, of which 450,000 
Table 1.—Salient tungsten statistics 
(Thousand pounds of contained tungsten and thousand dollars) 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States: 
Concentrate: 
Mine production                   Minesinpments                    
 Value                        
Consumption                      
Shipments from Government stocks — — — —
Exports
Imports for consumption              
Stocks, Dec. 31: 
5,588 
5,490 
$29,090 
14,012 
2,970 
1,316 
6,570 
5,830 
5,869 
$37,266 
16,107 
4,004 
1,729 
5,301 
6,008 
6,022 
$55,073 
17,100 
5,015 
1,283 
6,919 
6,896 
6,901 
$56,691 
18,806 
5,560 
1,853 
9,138 
6,643 
6,646 
$55,785 
21,589 
6,1363 
1,929 
11,352 
Producer                      
531 
150 
124 
87 
84 
 Consumer                    Ammonium paratungstate: 
 Production                       
 Consumption                      
 Stocks, Dec. 31: Producer and consumer — — Primary products:
 Production                       
 Consumption                      
 Stocks, Dec. 31: 
1,958 
10,282 
10,353 
1,704 
12,634 
12,934 
1,002 
12,808 
15,921 
1,438 
18,226 
16,799 
 826 
14,940 
15,744 
1,975 
19,005 
16,905 
1,424 
16,062 
17,572 
1,037 
19,028 
18,296 
1,538 
17,758 
18,720 
 879 
21,178 
20,433 
Producer                      
Consumer                     
World: Concentrate: 
3,976 
2,753 
3,390 
2,778 
3,139 
2,581 
3,349 
2,376 
3,385 
2,543 
Production                       Consumption                      
84,508 
73,949 
r90,899 
r80,403 
r92943 
r78,852 
100,127 
86,247 
101,460 
88,109 
r~ 


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