-->
American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Happy Tungsten Month – highlighting a “stepchild” in the latest WTO case

    If you haven’t lived under a rock, you will know that there’s a new WTO case brought on by the United States, Japan and the EU over China’s restrictive mineral policies, specifically focusing on the country’s near total rare earths supply monopoly. The media has been all over it, and that’s a positive development, as it highlights the United States’ mineral supply issues. A lesser-known fact is that the new trade dispute also encompasses two other minerals – molybdenum and tungsten.

    While underreported, it’s not a coincidence that these two elements are part of the case, as they, too, are critical components in “green” and high-tech applications (tungsten being increasingly critical in touch screen technology, for example) with China controlling significant quantities of global output.

    Hence our decision to showcase one of the two “stepchildren” in the WTO case reporting – tungsten – as our “metal of the month” this April.

    Here are a few tungsten facts to get us started:

    · Tungsten is one of the hardest and most dense metals in existence, and has the highest melting point of all non-alloyed metals.

    · It is used for hardening a variety of tools, bullets, and other military applications, as well as electrical applications.

    · The U.S. import dependency rate for tungsten is currently at 36%, lower than in previous years, due to increased scrap consumption.

    · However, with China controlling most of the world’s output, the tungsten supply outlook stays troublesome, leading the British Geological Survey to rank it as one of the metals most prone to supply disruptions.

    With the U.S. fortunate to house significant tungsten deposits according to the USGS, it’s time to bring this metal into the debate over our critical mineral needs. Stay tuned for more for tungsten-related updates on blog, as well as on Twitter and Facebook throughout the month.

    Share
  • A look at tungsten shows why broad focus is needed for critical mineral strategy

    With this week’s WTO ruling on China’s raw materials exports (visit RareMetalBlog for our very own Daniel McGroarty’s take) all eyes are once again on rare earths – and for good reasons, as these critical elements are the poster child of the challenges associated with resource dependency. However, a broader focus is needed, and tungsten is a case in point.

    Used for hardening a variety of tools, bullets, and other military applications, tungsten has seen its value shoot up in 2011 with an increase of 35% in market value. And here’s the rub, according to Investment Logs:

    Like rare earth elements (REE), China produces most of the world’s tungsten supply. Since China restricted sales of Adenosine Triphosphate (APT), which is the main form tungsten is sold in, the price has doubled. Tungsten is following the same path as REEs, but no one has noticed yet.

    While the U.S. import dependency rate of 36 percent for tungsten may be lower than in previous years due to increased scrap consumption, challenges remain:

    With China, our main tungsten supplier, continuing to engage in geopolitical power plays with its mineral resources, the tungsten supply outlook stays troublesome, leading the British Geological Survey to rank it as one of the metals most prone to supply disruptions.

    According to the USGS, the U.S. is home to significant tungsten deposits, among vast reserves of many other metals and minerals – so why have we not yet overhauled our policies to maximize our domestic resource potential? Securing our strategic and economic future all while creating thousands of jobs should be a key priority for any policy maker.

    Share
  • Rare earths and beyond: China is shaping India’s mineral policy

    In today’s globalized world, it doesn’t take a seat at the decision-making table for one nation to influence another’s domestic policies – a near-monopoly on critical mineral resources will do.  A case in point is India, which, after a seven-year hiatus, is expanding its indigenous Rare Earth Element (REE) production over growing concerns that China [...]

Archives