Tungsten is a hard, rare metal of critical and strategic importance. The British Geological Survey ranks tungsten among the scarcest elements on earth - rarer even than rare earths. The US Department of Energy also considers tungsten a critical material. The European Commission identified tungsten as the second most critical material in terms of economic importance vs. supply risk. The metal's unique properties make it essential to the manufacture of everything from drill bits to cruise missiles and there are no known substitutes.
China currently dominates the supply of tungsten and is expected to do so for the next decade. However, the Chinese government has adopted restrictive policies including implementing quota systems, increasing tax rates and pushing for industry consolidation, etc. to reorganize its tungsten industry, the same as in its rare earth industry. Chinese primary tungsten production will be curbed to half its historical growth rate going forward. Further, very few tungsten mines outside of China are expected to be in production, or close to beginning production, during the next few years.
Rising demand for tungsten coupled with dwindling supplies is keeping prices high. As a result, tungsten presents a unique situation with many opportunities for producers, fabricators and investors.
This report provides an in-depth look at the global tungsten industry including:
Additionally, profiles of 28 leading foreign and US companies are given. The report also includes 61 figures and 24 tables.
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