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

Cocke, W. Thomas
Graphite,   pp. 447-456 PDF (986.0 KB)


Page 447

Graphite 
By W. Thomas Cocke1 
 Natural graphite became more plentiful in 1977. Domestic consumption decreased
slightly according to a canvass of major consumers. Domestic production was
slightly less than that of 1976. Although some known graphite deposits were
investigated, there were no new mine openings and only one mine remained
in operation. National stockpile goals were reaffirmed to correspond to 3-year
totals, but no acquisitions have been made. 
 Imports of natural graphite increased 9%. Total exports increased 13%. Prices
were down 3% for crystalline and,down 8% for amorphous in 1977. Domestic
prices generally follow those of imported materials. 
 World production of graphite increased in 1977, with nearly all producers
showing some increase. Supplies of amorphous graphite remained adequate and
premium grades of crystalline became more plentiful. Substitutes of lower
grade materials appear to have fallen off. 
 Production of manufactured graphite increased 11% over that of 1976, owing
priixiarily to increases in production of electrodes, electric motor brushes,
and graphite shapes. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—On October 1, 1977, the Federal
Preparedness. Agency of the General Services Administration (GSA) reaffirmed
national stockpile goals for strategic graphite to reflect the 3~year requirement
proposed in 1976. Stockpile totals and objectives for each type of graphite
are shown in table 2. There were no acquisitions of strategic graphite to
reach the new goals, although there has been a reevaluation of GSA purchase
specifications for strategic graphite materials. Careful consideration will
be given to market conditions before any purchases are attempted. A decision
will be made in 1978 concerning the extension of the 3-year trial suspension
on the import duty for crystalline flake graphite. 
Table 1.—Salient natural graphite statistics 
1973 
1974 
1975 
1916 
1977 
United States: 
 Consumptione i short ton& 
 Exports do~.    Value thousand&. — Imports for consumption2
short
ton&. —    Value thousand&. 
World:Production short ton&_ 
r69,(g)o 7,953 
$992 
77,431 
$4,494 
435,150 
' ~69,OOO 
12,189 
$1,693 
82,636 
$5,677 
548,284 
r54~(~() 
10,586 
$1,890 
65,663 
$5,698 
r497,5~0 
r65,~ 
12,236 
$2,388 
79,098 
$6,753 
r497,564 
71,000 
13,783 
$2,662 
87,556 
$8,058 
503,510 
 eEstimate TRevised. 
 ' Apparent consumption has been substituted for the consumption survey results
appearing as the total of table 4, since the latter are incomplete. 
 2lncludes some manufactured graphite; see table 6. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
In 1977, natural graphite production was and continued to account for only
a small from a single source, the Southwestern portion of domestic supply.
Graphite depoGraphite Co. mine near Burnet, Tex. Ship- sits in Alabama, Idaho,
Montana, New ments from the mine were less than in 1976 York, and Pennsylvania
have received at447 


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