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Global Tungsten Supply in Jeopardy



Tungsten is one of the hardest and most sought-after materials in the world. It is valued for its unmatched hardness and vital role in improving contemporary alloys. Tungsten is regarded as a crucial mineral in many nations because of its significance to important industries like energy and defense. It is incredibly durable, which makes it necessary for everyday products like lighting, transistors, alloys, construction materials, and automobile parts.

Tungsten Reserves and China’s Dominance:

With an estimated concentration of 1.5 parts per million in the Earth’s surface, tungsten is one of the world’s rarest minerals. Global reserves of 3.2 million tonnes are known to exist. Notably, China, which has a dominant position in tungsten production, export, and consumption, is home to more than half of these deposits. China has a significant impact on the world tungsten market due to its careful regulation of the tungsten supply, which includes production restrictions, stringent permission control, and centralised management.

Difficulties in the Tungsten Supply Chain: 

Although estimates suggest that the world’s tungsten reserves might last for more than a century, worries about possible stockpiling by major producers such as China and Russia have caused attention to turn to domestic use. According to a British Geological Survey analysis, tungsten has been placed on the ‘endangered list’ due to dwindling recycling possibilities and a decline in the number of mines globally coupled with Chinese control.

Hope for Diversification: 

Nevertheless, there is some cause for optimism as new companies are entering the mining and production markets, offering substitutes for the overwhelmingly dominated Chinese supply. With the exception of Chinese exports, the Almonty Korea Tungsten project, located in the Sangdong Mine in South Korea, is expected to play a significant role in the world’s tungsten reserves. With tungsten supply potential for 90 years, the project will be ready for operation by the end of 2024, and there is hope for a more varied supply chain because of it.

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Large-scale production and manufacturing facilities are springing up at the same time, especially in Vietnam, to service new mining projects like the Sangdong Mine. A major participant in this trend is Tungsten Metals Group, which is the exclusive owner and operator of ATC Vietnam’s Ferrotungsten Production Factory located in Vinh Bao, Haiphong. With an astounding 4,000 tonnes of ferrotungsten alloy produced annually, this plant is the biggest of its kind outside of China. Tungsten Metals Group, with a group of seasoned experts from the Chinese ferroalloy and tungsten sectors, seeks to lessen reliance on Chinese-controlled resources and stabilise supply chains. Discover more about Tungsten Metals Group.

Final Thoughts:

In the long run, these advancements point to a favourable trajectory for the tungsten supply, providing a more stable and balanced base for the economies of the West. The cooperative efforts of new mining operations and large-scale manufacturing facilities offer a glimmer of optimism as we navigate the twenty-first century. This might reduce reliance on supply networks controlled by China and guarantee the prolonged availability of tungsten for years to come.


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