World is running out of tungsten?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/03/14/the-world-is-running-low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care /

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On Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:49:41 -0500, Ignoramus32673 wrote:

low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care/
Municipal waste dumps should have significant tungsten from all the discarded lightbulbs. Would that be competitive with natural tungsten ore? Concentration may be low, but OTOH it's pure metal.
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Clever folks will take filaments to the recycling center, and sell them to the recycle guys.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:49:41 -0500, Ignoramus32673 wrote:

low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care/
Municipal waste dumps should have significant tungsten from all the discarded lightbulbs. Would that be competitive with natural tungsten ore? Concentration may be low, but OTOH it's pure metal.
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Yup.
And suspicious old cynics will wonder if this is what the light bulb laws were all about in the first place??
On 3/15/2012 8:57 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

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I've read several articles over the last 5-or-so years indicating that numerous metals are becoming relatively scarce, and that China likely has the largest yet untapped supplies of quite a few of the very rare materials needed for future technological advances.
The future of mining/extracting of needed metals may be new methods in landfill recovery technology. The waste companies will end up holding the futures' supply of scarce metals.
A friend photographed his aerial view flying over a long ago closed copper mining operation in NM.. the vast scale of those mines can't be appreciated by looking at pictures in textbooks. When copper supplies get low in the not too distant future, manufacturers will have to shift to other alternative materials for conductors.
Even if metals can be recovered from landfills, it would probably have to be done by an electrolysis-type process since much of the landfill metals have likely been reduced to a slurry.
--
WB
.........


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On Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:52:19 -0400, Wild_Bill wrote:

Check Norilsk in Siberia/Russia. It's similar latitude to Alaskan North Slope, but it's an industrial city with population of 100,000 and a mile- wide, half-mile deep hole in the ground, whereas people commute to the Slope oilfields by flying in and out. Norilsk also apparently holds the record for most polluted city in the world. Russians are tough people.
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Not tough, they die 10 years easlier because of it. I found an article about it.
http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a 09
i
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On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:04:50 +0000 (UTC), Przemek Klosowski

OhMyCrom! 4 million tons?
Environment
Landscape near Norilsk
Much of the surrounding areas are naturally treeless tundra.
Pollution
The nickel ore is smelted on site at Norilsk. The smelting is directly responsible for severe pollution, generally acid rain and smog. By some estimates, 1 percent of the entire global emissions of sulfur dioxide comes from this one city. Heavy metal pollution near Norilsk is so severe that mining the surface soil is now economically feasible, as a result of acquiring high concentrations of platinum and palladium through pollution.[11]
The Blacksmith Institute[8] included Norilsk in its 2007 list of the ten most polluted places on Earth. The list cites air pollution by particulates (including radioisotopes strontium-90, and caesium-137 and metals nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, and selenium) and by gases (such as nitrogen and carbon oxides, sulfur dioxide, phenols, and hydrogen sulfide). The Institute estimates four million tons of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium, and zinc are released into the air every year.[citation needed]
According to an April 2007 BBC News report,[12] the company accepted responsibility for what had happened to the forests, and insisted they were taking action to cut the pollution. For the period up to 20152020 the company expects to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by approximately two-thirds, but admits it is hard to guarantee this pace of reduction because they are still developing the technology. CNN has claimed that there is not a single living tree within 48 km (30 mi) of the nickel smelter Nadezhda ("The Hope").[13]
-- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. -- Jimi Hendrix
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I would think then, that capturing it the point source (s) would be even more feasible.
jk
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Sounds like Iron City.. Pittsburgh PA a few generations ago, except that Pittsburgh has 4 seasons not an arctic environment.
A very interesting website written by a talented native writer, about the areas surrounding Chernobol and notable historic battle sites.. The Serpent's Wall.
http://www.kiddofspeed.com /
http://www.theserpentswall.com/page35.html
http://www.theserpentswall.com/index.html
--
WB
.........


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On Mar 14, 11:49pm, Ignoramus32673 <ignoramus32...@NOSPAM. 32673.invalid> wrote:

Time to start hoarding TIG tips?
Uranium has some similar properties- it's tough enough that some ballistic warheads use it as the outer re-entry material, and it also plays a role in the nuke going off (part of the secondary, I think).
Dave
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On Wed, 14 Mar 2012 22:49:41 -0500, Ignoramus32673 wrote:

low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care/
China seems to be playing games with rare-earth commodities, too.
I wonder if it's an intentional attempt to screw up world markets, for economic or military reasons, or if it's just a sea change in attitude at the top. This could all be because someone's drunken brother-in-law got appointed Minister of Mining & Metals (to replace someone else's drunken brother-in-law), suddenly realized that they were going to run out, and panicked.
I wonder how many Tungsten deposits there are in the continental US that might be exploited if the price goes up enough.
--
My liberal friends think I'm a conservative kook.
My conservative friends think I'm a liberal kook.
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wrote:

Hundreds. The US has quite a bit of tungsten. Canada does, too, in the Yukon, and theirs is high-quality ore.
We don't mine it for the same reason we don't mine molybdenum: environmental issues. And they're heavy issues, involving questions like, "How soon do you want to die to get some more tungsten?"
Rising prices *should* encourage solutions to the environmental problems. Then markets will prevail.
Meantime, let's suck up all we can from China. I'd rather they turn out thousands of crippled mutants than us. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:28:53 -0400, Ed Huntress

Whoop! I got tungsten mixed up with molybdenum mining, and toxicity. Actually, I mentally got them reversed.
Moly is highly toxic. Tungsten and its compounds are not. Most of the environmentl problems with tungsten involve leeching of soluble compounds from tailing ponds and the like.
--
Ed Huntress

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On 3/15/2012 10:47 AM, Ed Huntress wrote:

There is more to i that just that, though.
China drove the price down to the point of putting competitors out of business.
If the price rises to the point where it is economically viable to start mining again, they could dump the market and run everybody off again.
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wrote:

I doubt it. They would run smack into WTO regulations, which Europe and Japan now seem willing to charge and enforce, along with us.
As long as China is supplying tungsten (and rare earths) without prejudice against foreign buyers, it doesn't hurt us that they dominate the market. But now it is charged that they are squeezing the foreign market in order to gain an advantage with the products manufactured from those metals.
That has put them in the sights of all of their customers. We'll see action from the WTO soon, and we'll find out whether enforcement of their regulations has any effect -- or any teeth.
In any case, we aren't going to have to beg them for tungsten. We have quite a bit of it, and we will have it when we need it.
--
Ed Huntress

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Forbes thinks you have your head buried somewhere, Ed...
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/03/14/the-world-is-running-low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care/2 /
Page 2
_Prior to 2001, Tungsten miners looked for new sources even as they harvested existing ore in order to guarantee a continuous supply. But in the early 2000s, China flooded the market with inexpensive tungsten. That, coupled with the recession in 2008-2009, drove the price of tungsten down to the point where many mines went out of business and others found it too expensive to continue exploration. Consequently, from 2009-2011 the search for new sources of tungsten dried up._
With China recently deciding to restrict exports and buy up as much tungsten as it can, demand has exploded and the search is on again. Unfortunately, the timetable from exploration to building a new mine or reopening an existing one to the actual production of tungsten concentrate is typically a two-to-three year process for those mines currently extracting tungsten for export. In the case of companies that are drilling for (and find) new supplies of tungsten from scratch, the cycle to production is at least three to five years. Bottom line: there is no new significant supply of tungsten expected on the market before 2013.
That may explain Berkshires move, and why, when the price of most commodities plunged during the second half of 2011 some by as much as 60 percent tungsten prices remained stable at $430-$445 per MTU (metric ton unit) nearly double what they were in 2009. Some analysts predict the price could reach even higher levels in 2012, which is not unrealistic when you consider that some producers state that demand is so high they could ship tungsten at a rate of one container per day versus the current rate of one per week if they had the capacity.
Given the short supply of available tungsten on the world market, industries that are depending on it more and more (such as technology) appear to have limited options. In fact, if you view a Warren Buffet type of move where a company acquires a tungsten operation/mine for its own private use as unrealistic for most businesses, then theres really only one other viable possibility: working with and encouraging those companies (outside of China) that are currently supplying tungsten to increase supply and meet demand.
_The risk of not doing so could result in China choosing to repeat its earlier policy of flooding the market, which would not only drive some suppliers out of business but potentially create a virtual, worldwide monopoly with prices and supply dictated by China._ Recent rises in the price of oil again and the effect it has had on the worldwide economy should tell us thats not the way to go.
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wrote:

There aqre something like 500 mineable sites in the US, Richard. And there are a number of mines that are shut down, ready to go if the economics swing in their favor.
I'd have to go searching for the numbers and I'm not that interested, frankly.
Make of this what you want, but I worked alongside of Forbes reporters, years ago, on steel industry press jaunts. Most of what they knew about the steel industry they learned from me, and they still got a lot of it wrong. d8-) I don't have very high regard for their industrial reporting. They're mostly good writers, though.
--
Ed Huntress

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On 3/15/2012 4:46 PM, Ed Huntress wrote:

Ed, your ego is down right amazing...
"A man sees what he want's to see and disregards the rest"
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wrote:

As I said, make of it what you will. A young female reporter from _Metalworking News/American Metal Market_ tailed me around on another press junket. They were supposed to be the industry experts on the metals-producing industries. I thought she was hitting on me. No such luck...she just wanted to be sure she heard the questions I asked of the industry people. And I didn't learn that until I'd bought her a couple of drinks. d8-)
If you knew the reporters who get stuck on the industry beat at news and business magazines, none of this would surprise you. We had a really vile nickname for the top industry reporter for _The New York Times_. He was hopeless.
Forbes is expert at finance and at corporate soap operas. End of that story.
BTW, if you remember back around 33 or 34 years, you'll recall we went through this exact situation with cobalt. The USSR produced most of the world's supply, and they were squeezing us hard. It all blew over, as this situation probably will. We may have to rattle China's windows with some WTO action.
--
Ed Huntress

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