Tungsten Overview

Overview

  • A chemical element with the symbol W and atomic number 74
  • Tungsten’s important ores include Scheelite and Wolframite
  • Outstanding physical and chemical characteristics, including:
    • the worlds hardest element with the highest boiling point
    • the lowest coefficient of expansion of any pure metals as well as high density

Uses

Used in a variety of specialised industrial applications and is known to have relatively poor substitutability by other metals.

Due to tungsten’s unique properties, cemented carbide can simultaneously withstand deformation, heavy load, high pressure and temperature as well as corrosion. As a result, cemented carbides are indispensable in high tech and machine tooling, in particular for metal cutting and rock drilling, and many other engineering applications.

Supply and Demand

  • Global tungsten consumption has almost doubled since 2000.
  • China with 80% of global supply increasingly exerts market power.
  • With only a few projects coming on stream, W is well placed to benefit from the increasing demand from customers in Europe, Middle East and the United States.

Animation of Tungsten ore

Pricing

  • Tungsten pricing is quoted in metric tonne units (mtu) and broadly 1mtu equates to 1% resource grade.
  • Pricing is mainly based on quotations published twice a week by Metal Bulletin and other pricing can be sourced from Metal-Pages.
  • Price rises are forecast over the next few years (see chart below).

Tungsten Prices 16-08-2016

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