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)
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.
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