University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Sondermayer, Roman V.
Thorium,   pp. 1201-1208 PDF (856.3 KB)


Page 1204

1204 
:MIN.ERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 
FOREIGN TRADE 
 During 1972, imports of monazite largely for the rare earth content, decreased
sharply (83.5%) from 1971 levels. Malaysia was the only supplier of monazite
during 1972. Imports from Australia, the largest supplier in 1971, ceased
during 1972. Imports of thorium oxides decreased significantly (87%), but
imports of thorium nitrate were about four times higher than in 1971. These
compounds were imported from France. Imports of gas mantles decreased slightly
(1.6%) from 1971 levels. 
The United Kingdom and Austria were the principal suppliers. 
 Minor imports of thorium waste and scrap were registered during 1972 for
the first time since 1970. 
 In official statistics, thorium and uranium exports are undifferentiated.
Consequently, it is impossible to evaluate thorium exports only. However,
the composite figure for thorium and uranium exports ' indicated a decrease
in metal and alloy exports and an increase in exports of compounds. 
' WORLD REVIEW 
 Australia, India, Brazil, Malaysia, and the United States were the principal
world producers of monazite concentrate, ' the main source of thorium, during
1972. No raw material was mined for recovery only of Th02 output of monazite
and Th02 resulted from operations of the rare earth industry. 
 Brazil.—During 1972 no major changes were reported in the beach sand
industry. The Commissfio Nacional de Energia Nuclear (CNEN) controlled the
overall production of monazite in the country. CNEN, through AdministraçAo
da Producab da Monazita (APM), operated workings at Itabapoana (Rio de Janiero)
and Cumuruxatiba (Bahia) - Monazita e Ilmenita do Brasil (MIBRA), a privately
owned company, operated facilities for the production of monazite at Guarapari.
 Law 5740, enacted in December 1971, created a mixed Government-private company,
Cia. Brasileira de Tecnologia Nuclear (CBTN), to operate under CNEN in certain
commercial aspects of nuclear energy. The stated objectives of CBTN were
reported as follows: to prospect for and mine nuclear and associated mineral
deposits through the Cia. de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais (CPRM), and the
development of nuclear energy and its uses. CBTN will have headquarters in
Brasilia, the company's capital will amount to $18 million. The law stipulates
that only Brazilians can be directors and members of the fiscal council of
the company. 
 Canada.—There has been no thorium production since 1968, although
large thorium resources exist in Canada. Some 
Table 8.—Monazite concentrate: World production by country 
(Short tons) 
Country' 
1970 
1971 
1972 P 
Australia                                  
Brazil                                    
India'                                       
Malaysia'                                     
Mauritaniae                                   
4,891 
2,544 
4,004 
1,827 
110 
4,854 
1,502 
4,664 
1,621 
110 
5,537 
2,453 
e4,700 1,927 
 110 
Mozainbique                                   
Nigeria                                       
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)                        
Thailand                                      
 2 
14 
18 
119 
— 102 
 7 
123 
— 11 
' 10 188 
UnitedStates                                  
W 
W 
W 
Zaire                                        
158 
239 
e 240 
Total                                   
13,687 
13,222 
15,176 
W Withheld 
to avoid disc 
losing individual 
company con- 
 Estimate. "Preliminary. fidential data. 
 ' In addition to the countries listed, Indonesia and North Korea produce
monazite, but information is inadequate to make reliable estimates of output
levels. 
 2Year beginning April 1 of that stated. 
' Exporta. 


Go up to Top of Page