Tungsten Market Stalemate Difficult to Drop in Short Term, Price Fluctuation not Big


At present the whole tungsten market is weak, some tungsten ore traders to shipment's willing is improved, but the actual transaction still don't give force; Sodium tungstate weak demand, the price appears small loose; Tungsten products market performance relative stationary; The waste tungsten aspects of supply and demand of two weak, watchers more. Expected short-term market stalemate difficult to drop , price fluctuation not big.

Canadian Company updates Tungsten and Strategic Metal Portfolio in Sweden


Mr. David Henstridge , President of Tumi Resources Limited, reports that the Company has staked six areas covering tungsten and strategic metals totaling 3,680 hectares in the Bergslagen District of south-central Sweden , each being 100% owned by the Company.  The primary commodity on these licences is tungsten (and associated fluorite and beryllium), a strategic metal that has seen its value increase by more than 70% since October 2010 . The tungsten metal market is expected to see future shortages, which are due in part to export restrictions imposed by China . China is the largest producer with 2009 data showing greater than 75% of global production but is soon expected to be a net importer of the metal. By staking these six properties the Company will be well positioned for tungsten exploration in Sweden over the coming years.

Mr Henstridge stated, "I am pleased to report that Tumi has positioned itself as a major player in tungsten and associated strategic metal exploration in Sweden . As the Yxsjoberg mineralization may also contain significant additional values in the form of beryllium, copper and fluorite, the company will initially focus attention on this area, particularly looking at the reprocessing potential of the tailings ponds".

Brief details of the six areas are as follows:

Yxsjon: The Yxsjon licence contains the historic Yxsjoberg mine that is a skarn-hosted tungsten-copper-beryllium deposit. The earliest records of mining at Yxsjoberg date back to the 18th and 19th centuries when the deposit was mined for copper. Scheelite (CaW03) was first identified in 1862, and tungsten was mined between 1918 and 1921. A new concentrator was built in 1937 after the mine had been reopened, and a roasting furnace and new gravimetric separator was added in 1951. A circuit for the production of fluorite (CaF2) concentrate was added in 1956. After closure in 1963 due to poor metal prices, the Swedish State-owned mining company AB Statsgruvor acquired the mine, and the construction of a completely new concentrator and headframe began in 1970. The new plant was put in production in 1972 and was converted from gravimetric separation of scheelite and chalcopyrite to selective flotation in 1977. The mine ended operations in 1989, again due to low tungsten prices. The known mineralization continues to a depth of 750 meters, but geophysical measurements indicate that it is likely to continue down to at least 900 meters (NSG report NSG_89026).

The Yxsjoberg process plant has largely been left untouched since the closure of the mine, and two large ponds containing 2.4 and 2.2 million metric tons of tailings remain (Comet, 1992). Though the remaining known tungsten resource in the mine is limited to approximately 500,000 tonnes of mineralization averaging 0.35% WO3*, the tailings should also be considered for reprocessing. The average grade of the tailings has been estimated to be approximately 0.19% WO3* with additional values to be obtained by recovering beryllium, copper and fluorite. According to a report by Kemakta Konsult AB the total tonnage of beryllium in the tailings may exceed 920 tonnes at an average grade of approximately 0.02% beryllium*. As the beryllium price is in around $930 USD /kg the additional metal value may be significant.

Gussarvet: Flood et al, 1981 report (Grb 232) inferred historical resources* of 200,000 tonnes at 0.34% WO3 following a 15 hole diamond drill program in which drill hole GAH 6 intersected 7.75 m averaging 0.64% WO3 and 31.3 m grading 0.37% WO3. The tungsten mineralization occurs in skarn and epidote-quartzite associated with an approximately 100 m wide NE-SW trending carbonate horizon. According to the 1981 report, the SW end of the mineralization appears to be cut by a fault, and one of our objectives will be to locate the extension of the mineralization on the other side of the fault. The report also suggests that the mineralization may be open towards depth, thus making this a high priority target. The Hällsjön-Gussarvet area remains under-explored and will be one of the first areas to be explored by the Company to confirm and increase the historical resource.

Wigstromsgruvan: The licence area contains a small historic tungsten mine that fed ore to the nearby but now closed Yxsjoberg mine mill. Scheelite and fluorite mineralization occur in garnet-diopside skarn within mafic metavolcanics. Production figures reveal 130,456 tonnes of ore grading 0.28% WO3 were shipped to the mill. Ore was produced from a slot-cut approximately 200 m long and up to 50 m deep. Records suggest the mineralization remains open along strike and at depth, hence significant mineral resources remained in place at the time of the mine closure.

Sandudden: Scheelite and fluorite ore from a test-pit was also shipped to the Yxsjöberg mill with mineralization having similar characteristics to that found at Wigstromsgruvan. Production from the test-pit was 17,080 tonnes grading 0.22% WO3, mined from two benches to a depth of 10 m. Kontio, et al, 1979 report inferred historical resources* in the area of 422,000 tonnes at a grade of 0.25% WO3 and 5% CaF2. The Sandudden area remains under-explored and will be one of the first areas to be explored by the Company to both confirm and increase the historical resource.

Gustavsberg: The licence area contains a historic iron mine in the Riddarhyttan area of central Sweden . Documentation from the mine indicated that copper and tungsten mineralization was found in the skarn adjacent to the iron ore. Mine geologists reported discoveries of "up to football-sized patches of scheelite" in the footwall skarn. The mineralization is located in a N-S to NW-SE trending band of thinly bedded/banded metavolcanic rocks of alternating felsic and mafic nature. No modern exploration for tungsten has been done in the area although prospectors have been reporting scheelite occurring in the remnant waste dumps at the mine; a recent inspection by Company geologists discovered scheelite in excess of 4 cm in size. This information suggests the Gustavsberg licence area to be a prime target for modern tungsten exploration.

Gensgruvan: A small mine called Molybdengruvan operated within the licence area for a few years in the 1940's. Production figures from 1944 record 1,600 tonnes of ore were mined with an average grade of 0.3% WO3. Local geological surveys have unearthed a number of untested outcrops containing scheelite mineralization. Also, a large number of mineralized boulders have been discovered in the area, but the source has not been located.

Kennametal to Invest in Tungsten-cobalt Blended Powder Operations in the US and China

Kennametal Inc. has commenced plans for a new carbide recycling facility in the United States and announced the expansion of its tungsten-cobalt powder operations in Tianjin, China.

The company is starting preliminary work to establish an advanced carbide recycling facility in the US where it will reclaim material from scrap and consumed products such as metal-cutting inserts, and reuse it for new production.


Tungsten Concentrate Market Runs Slowly


Core tips: Tungsten concentrate market runs slowly currently. Although some tungsten miners are more confident to ship, the real transaction volume is not satisfied enough.

The situation of tungsten concentrate market shows its weak trend. Although some tungsten miners are more confident to ship, the real transaction volume is not satisfied enough. Ammonium paratungstate prices fluctuate slightly because of weak demand. Tungsten product market demonstrates steady relatively while scrap tungsten steel market is weak on both supply and demand that most traders choose to wait-and-see. Chinatungsten Online expects tungsten concentrate market possibly falls into stalemate and price is rear to fluctuate.

Scrap Tungsten Market Sees Few Deals

The mainstream scrap tungsten price maintains steady. The transaction price excluding tax of bit concentrates on ¥187.00-¥191.00/kg, domestic blade is ¥172.00-¥176.00/kg, imported blade is ¥182-186/kg; scrap pure tungsten block is ¥208.00-¥213.00/kg.


Tungsten Concentrate Market Seems to Show its Downward Trend Again

Domestic tungsten concentrate shows its weak trend constantly by 17th Dec. Mainstream prices of tungsten concentrate with more then 60% tungsten focus on ¥116,000.00-118,000.00/mt currently. Tungsten concentrate market is confronted “high price with low demand” situation now, while the enquiry from end-users sees few. As to tungsten ore, miners drastically drop the output; many investors choose to put their emphasis on the market of 2013.

Chinatungsten Online analyzes, low demand of end-users leads to weak driving force of tungsten prices rising. High purchasing cost results in low transaction volume which also has negative impact on tungsten prices. Recently, high-level prices of tungsten does not adapt to the market, thereby the price range of tungsten ore becomes narrow. Chinatungsten Online forecasts that tungsten concentrate market keeps steady and weak, tungsten concentrate prices go down again.

Why Your Next ring Should be Tungsten Carbide


Tungsten carbide rings are twice as hard as steel, four times harder than titanium and virtually unscratchable. For decades tungsten carbide has been used in mining, aerospace, and other industries that have required a metal that is extremely hard and long lasting. Watch makers were the first to begin using tungsten carbide in jewelry, making watch bands that would never scratch. Since then tungsten carbide has emerged as a serious competitor in the ring industry due to its resilience, strength, and beauty. 

All of our rings are 89% Tungsten Carbide, 10% Nickel, and 1% Chromium. We do not use any Cobalt in our rings. We use a nickel-binder alloy NOT a cobalt-binder alloy.

Cobalt-binder is very common because it is more readily available and substantially cheaper than nickel-binder. While in manufacturing processes this may be a fine substitute, in jewelry substituting cobalt for nickel can produce adverse effects, our rings are hypo-allergenic. Cobalt can have adverse effects on skin and is subject to oxidation similar to silver but cannot be removed by polishing or grinding. Nickel-binder carbide is completely safe and chemically inert and will never oxidize. Many other companies will claim to have 'Tungsten Carbide' rings that sell very cheap, but will not disclose their elements. Others will only use Tungsten (see tungsten vs. titanium below).
While we do not recommend intentionally trying to damage your ring, tungsten carbide can endure a lot of abuse. Tungsten carbide rings are an 8.5-9.5 on the mohs scale. This means that the only way to scratch a tungsten carbide ring is to polish the ring with carborundum or grind it with a diamond grade abrasive. Under normal conditions our rings will never scratch or lose their mirror like polish, in some rare instances rings may develop small micro-scratches that are faintly visible but do not diminish from the rings polish or look, if this does happen again, we will gladly exchange your ring for a new one. What does this mean? Whether working in the shop, outside, in the office, or on the mountain you can wear your ring without ever having to worry about scratching or damaging it. If you are curious try rubbing your tungsten ring on a file, if it scratches it is not tungsten carbide, if it does not scratch, it is tungsten carbide. Our rings will not scratch.

Tungsten Carbide vs. Titanium

Titanium rings look great new, and usually are less expensive. It is very common for people to mistakenly believe that the two metals are either the same thing or equal. Titanium is a strong metal but not resilient like tungsten carbide. Over time titanium rings will scratch and lose their polish thus needing to be refinished. Tungsten alone (not tungsten carbide) is also much like titanium. Without the carbide it does not gain its extreme hardness and durability. Only when tungsten is combined with a carbon alloy is it transformed into tungsten carbide, the strongest of all metals. Tungsten carbide is also a heavier metal than titanium which is very lightweight, making it more durable and better looking.

Tungsten Carbide vs. Gold & Platinum

Traditionally gold or platinum were the only choices that people would consider when buying a wedding band, or any ring that symbolized something important. Tungsten carbide has become a worthy substitute to these precious metals due to it's brilliant forever lasting mirror like polish and resilient finish. Gold and platinum rings are also very brilliant but fade quickly and scratch very easy, over time gold and platinum can also begin to warp causing the ring to become "untrue" (not round). This nasty little side effect often is the culprit behind people not being able to remove their wedding bands and needing to have them cut off. Tungsten carbide rings can be easily removed in an emergency by a skilled professional just as easy if not easier than gold rings.

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Industry


Overall Industry Structure:  The tungsten industry may be considered to comprise three principal divisions:

Primary Tungsten Producers – the mines which mine and carry out primary mineral processing to produce tungsten mineral concentrates

Secondary Tungsten Processors – the processing plants which take the mineral concentrates and process them into a number of tungsten powders, including ammonium paratungstate (APT), suitable for use in downstream metal/alloy manufacturing.  These powders are often referred to as “intermediates”

Tertiary Tungsten Product Manufacturers – the plants which produce finished tungsten metal, tungsten alloys, tungsten tools and other tungsten end products.

Traditionally there has been some degree of vertical integration within the industry, with some common ownership of secondary processing and tertiary manufacturing facilities, but this integration rarely extended upstream to the primary producers, the miners. However, the expansion of the Chinese economy and the demand for tungsten has, apparently, resulted in considerable vertical integration in the tungsten industry in China, whether through common ownership or contractual arrangements, with a move away from exports of concentrates and into downstream processing and manufacturing. This pressure towards vertical integration within China and an apparent desire to secure long term concentrate supply, has resulted in various large Chinese companies investing in Western tungsten projects. This activity in China has started to affect the industry outside China, with a number of strategic mergers, acquisitions and investment within the Western tungsten industry over the last two years. 

Tungsten Products:  The usages of tungsten result in an industry structured to produce various categories of products:

Approximately 50% of tungsten is used in the production of hardmetals, or cemented carbides; these are cutting, drilling and wear materials formed from tungsten carbides and cobalt, and occasionally other minor metals such as titanium, tantalum and niobium

Some 17% of tungsten is used to produce specialist steel alloys, such as high speed steel, heat resistant steel and tool steels, all largely utilised in metal cutting applications and specialist engineering applications

In the region of 15% of tungsten would be used to make “mill products”; the mill products would comprise tungsten rod, sheet and wire, electrical contacts, etc…

The balancing 18% of tungsten is used by the chemical industry and in other specialist applications.

World Tungsten Metal Production:  The total yearly tonnage of mine tungsten metal production is very small relative to base metals, the more recent estimates being:

83,000t  of primary tungsten metal (W) production – equivalent to 105,000t of tungsten trioxide, WO3 (79.3% W)

The breakdown of this production would be circa:

70,000t/ year W from Chinese mines  -  of the order of 84% of World production

7,000t /year W from Western orientated economies  -  circa 9%

6,000t/year W from other communist or CIS countries  -  circa 7%

Tungsten Pricing:  Prices for tungsten concentrates produced by mines and the intermediate tungsten powers produced by the secondary processors are quoted in metric tonne units (mtu). An mtu consists of 10kg of WO3, as contained within the particular material in question, concentrates or APT (this relationship conveniently results in the fact that a 1% resource grade equates to 1 mtu). The two materials for which prices are quoted widely and reported in mtu of WO3 are:

tungsten trioxide, WO3, (containing 79.3% tungsten metal), as the critical constituent in the minerals in mine concentrates

ammonium paratungstate, APT, the main secondary downstream product made from concentrates.

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Metal and Uses


Tungsten Metal (W):  From a mining and metal industry perspective, tungsten falls into a loose grouping of around 20 metals termed the minor metals (the other metal groupings being; the precious metals, the base metals and the platinum group metals (PGMs)).  Tungsten is unique in having a combination of relatively extreme properties compared to other metals; its properties include:

a very high melting point, 3422°C (5700°C, boiling)  -  highest melting point of all metals

a very dense, heavy metal, 19.25 g/cm2

an extremely strong, wear resistant metal; has a hardness close to that of diamonds - highest modulus of elasticity and highest tensile strength of all metals

a thermally and chemically stable metal, with high thermal conductivity - lowest coefficient of expansion of the metals

a high electrical conductivity

a relatively inert metal which does not oxidise readily, is extremely corrosive resistant and relatively acid resistant and is deemed environmentally benign.

Tungsten Uses:  As a consequence of tungsten metal’s properties, tungsten alloys are used in various application areas:

Tungsten, due to its hardness and ability to withstand heat, is very suitable as a critical component of cutting tools used to drill or cut other metals, concrete or rock (e.g. household drill bits, metal fabrication tools, dentists tools, etc..)

These attributes also make tungsten alloys suitable for critical temperature sensitive and wear resistant machinery components (e.g. engine valves, ball-point pen tips, turbine blades, snow tyre studs)

These wear and temperature resistant properties, in combination with tungsten’s electrical conductivity, also make tungsten ideal as a critical temperature resistant component in electronics and as a contact point in electrical circuits (e.g. LCD panels, TV tubes, laser printers, window heating wires, car horns, electrical switch gear)

Tungsten’s high density properties also make it suitable as a weight or counterbalance in specific machinery applications (airplane flaps, mobile phone vibration systems, crankcase balancing weights, golf clubs and as an environmentally acceptable substitute for lead shot in cartridges).

[Knowledge of Tungsten] Tungsten Mineralization


Tungsten Minerals: The only two tungsten minerals of any importance are two tungstates or oxides, their relative values being determined by the measure used to determine mine ore grades and mine concentrate grades, i.e. the tungsten trioxide or WO3, content:

Scheelite, a calcium tungsten oxide, CaWO4  -  contains 80.5% WO3

Wolframite, an iron-manganese tungsten oxide, (Fe, Mn)WO4  -  the iron rich variety, called Ferberite, contains 76.3% WO3; the manganese rich variety is termed Hubnerite and contains 76.6% WO3

Tungsten Deposits: Tungsten principally occurs in four main geological settings, as:

Skarn deposits - where granites are intruded into limestones

Vein deposits - in quartz veins adjacent to granites, as a series of larger separate veins

Sheeted vein deposits - as multiple, narrow, closely spaced, quartz veins forming large sheeted vein systems within and adjacent to granites

Pegmatites - very coarse segregations/concentrations of specific minerals at the margins of granites

Metals and Minerals Associated with Tungsten: Tungsten mineralisation is frequently associated with minor quantities of sulphides, usually iron sulphides, but occasionally with economic quantities of copper sulphides; it may also have specific associations with other potentially economic minerals:

Tungsten and tin in vein and sheeted vein deposits

Tungsten and gold in sheeted vein deposits

Tungsten and magnetite in skarn deposits

Tungsten and molybdenum in skarn deposits

Tungsten and lithium, tantalum, niobium and tin in pegmatite deposits