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

Hague, J. M.
Bismuth,   pp. 211-216 PDF (566.5 KB)


Page 211

  211Bismuth 
By J. M. Hague1 
 After declining in the preceding 2 years, 
consumption of bismuth in the United 
States during 1972 increased about 40% to 
a level near the annual average of the 
1961—70 period. 
 The price of bismuth was generally firm during the year but at a level substantially
below the -average of recent years. Sustained demand however, brought a price
increase in the fourth quarter. Domestic production increased only slightly
and the increased demand was met by increased imports and by sales from the
Government stockpile. World production outside the United States increased
slightly and reached a new record. World production and consumption of bismuth
has grown at a faster rate during the last 30 years than U.S. production
and consumption; the centers of production are shifting toward foreign mines
and smelters. 
 Legislation and Government Programs. 
—The General Services Administration (GSA) continued to sell surplus
stocks of bismuth from the national stockpile during 
the first three quarters of 1972. On October 10, announcement was made that
all bismuth remaining in inventory was required in order to meet the stockpile
objective at that time, 2.1 million pounds; the sales program was terminated
under the authorization of Public Law 91—318 (approved July 10, 1970).
Sales during 1972 were 235,100 pounds. The stockpile inventory at the end
of the year was 2,204,733 pounds. 
 Bismuth remained on the list of com snodities eligible for exploration assistance
from the Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) covering 75% of the cost; but
no contracts were in effect during 1972 and no applications were pending.
 Federal income tax laws under the Tax Reform Act of 1969 provide a percentage
depletion allowance of 22% for domestic production and 14% for U.S. companies
producing from foreign sources. 
 I Mining engineer, Division of Nonferrous Metals. 
Table 1.—Salient bismuth statistics 
(Pounds) 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Consumption                    
Exports'                       
Imports,general                  
Price: New York, average ton lots     
Stocks Dec. 31: Consumer and dealer... 
World: Production                     
2,347,768 
120,466 
1,265,671 
$4.00 
621,500 
8,312,000 
2,531,959 
447,931 
894,804 
$4.63 
597,901 
8,289,000 
2,209,641 
910,275 
997,924 
$6.00 
2721,714 
8,192,000 
1,648,718 
71,187 
848,708 
$5.26 
21,107,215 
8,442,000 
2,315,534 
264,276 
1,562,934 
$3.63 
2717,466 
8,794,000 
' Includes bismuth, bismuth alloys, and waste and scrap. 2 Consumer stocks
only. 


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