Research: Global Tungsten Resources and Supply and Demand

Tungsten, as a strategic resource, is widely used in various fields of national defense and national economy. However, tungsten reserves in the world are very few and the degree of protection is not high. Many countries have included it in the list of strategic reserves, and their status is very prominent. This paper briefly introduces the global distribution of tungsten ore deposits, tungsten reserves, changes in the supply and demand of tungsten ore, analyzes the global supply and consumption of tungsten resources in the past 10 years, and uses the linear relationship between resource consumption and GDP to forecast global tungsten consumption in the next five years. With continuous increase, China's tungsten consumption will also grow rapidly. Finally, according to the current status and future changes of tungsten resources in the world, we provide some suggestions and countermeasures for the development of China's tungsten industry from the aspects of tungsten resource advantages, policies, consumption, and offshore exploration investment. It is hoped that through the analysis of this article, it will provide certain reference value for overseas mineral exploration investment.

"Global Tungsten Resources Supply and Demand Analysis and Countermeasures"

Tungsten is a very important strategic metal and is called "industrial tooth". With high melting point, high hardness, high density, good conductivity and thermal conductivity, and small expansion coefficient, it has important and extensive applications in aerospace, military, steel, automotive, machinery, petrochemical, mining and other fields. Tungsten is mainly used to produce hard alloys and tungsten steels, tungsten materials, etc. Tungsten metal and titanium, cobalt, and tantalum alloys are used to make cutting tools; tungsten alloys and nickel, iron, and copper are used as tungsten alloys for aerospace gyroscope rotors and counterweights. , Damping devices; Armor piercing core for conventional weapons; Shielding devices and components for radiation protection; Die-casting molds for mechanical manufacturing, flywheels and pendulums for automatic watches; contacts and electrodes for electrical equipment. Some of tungsten compounds can be used as fluorescent agents, pigments, dyes, and the like. With the development of the global economy and the advancement of science and technology, the scope of application of tungsten has been expanded and the demand is strong. However, the global reserves of tungsten resources are extremely low and the level of protection is not high. Many countries have included it in the list of strategic reserves, and their status is very prominent.

【1 Tungsten Resources Overview】

[1.1 Tungsten Ore Distribution]

The world's tungsten deposits are mainly distributed on the ring-Pacific metallogenic belt and the two major metallogenic belts of the Alps-Himalayan metallogenic belt. The oversized famous tungsten deposits distributed in the ring-pacific metallogenic belt include Zhuxi, Jiangxi, Dahutang, Jiangxi and Shizhuyuan, Hunan. Tungsten ore, Canadian Sisson, Northern Dancer tungsten ore, and Vietnam's Nui Phao tungsten ore, total tungsten mineralization in the ring-pacific ore belt account for more than half of the world's total tungsten mineralization. The Alps-Himalayan metallogenic belt is distributed by Russia's Verkhne Kayrakty, Hemer Don in England, Mittersill in Austria, Barruecopardo in Spain and other large-ultra-large tungsten mines. The world's tungsten deposits are dominated by quartz veins, porphyry and skarn types. The skarn-type tungsten deposit is the most important type of tungsten in the world, and its reserves account for 1/2 of the world's total reserves. The world's major large-scale, super-large tungsten deposits are shown in Table 1.

The tungsten minerals in China are mainly distributed in three metallogenic belts of the Sanjiang W-Sn metallogenic belt, the West Qinling-Qilianshan metallogenic belt, the Tianshan-Beishan metallogenic belt, the South China metallogenic belt and the North China metallogenic belt, among which the South China metallogenic belt Nanling metallogenic area is the most concentrated metallogenic area, and many large-scale super-large tungsten ore deposits are concentrated in this metallogenic belt, with the reserves accounting for more than 70% of the national reserves. China's tungsten deposits mainly formed in the Yanshan period, accounting for 83%, followed by the Hercynian 9%, Caledonian 4%, Precambrian mineralization 2%, Indo-Chinese 2%.

[1.2 Tungsten ore reserves]

Global tungsten resources are concentrated in China, Russia, Canada, the United States, Bolivia, Austria, Portugal and other countries. The above seven countries have more than 80% of the world's tungsten resources (Figure 1). From 2004 to 2014, the global tungsten reserves remained at about 3 million tons, and China maintained 1.8 million to 1.9 million tons. In 2014, the global tungsten reserves were 3.3 million tons, of which China accounted for 1.9 million tons, accounting for nearly 60% of the world's total. In 2013, China identified 7.104 million tons of tungsten resources. China's tungsten resources are concentrated in five provinces: Hunan, Jiangxi, Henan, Fujian, and Yunnan. The above five provinces account for more than 90% of China's tungsten reserves. The scheelite is mainly distributed in Hunan, and the wolframite is mainly distributed in Jiangxi.

[1.3 New Progress in the Exploration of Tungsten Mines]

Due to the strategic significance of tungsten, the global tungsten mine exploration continues to invest. In 2014, Sisson tungsten mine, the flagship project of Canada's HDI Group, with 3.34 million tons of resources, is raising funds, planning advanced exploration and production. The Jersey tungsten mine in Canada, with a proven reserve of 5.04 million tons, is scheduled to be put into operation. Since the implementation of the ore-prospecting breakthrough strategy, the tungsten exploration investment in China has reached an annual average of about 300 million yuan, and large tungsten deposits such as Dahutang and Zhuxi have been discovered. In 2014, a large-scale porphyry-type tungsten deposit was discovered in Hunan. From 2006 to 2013, China ascertained that the reserves of tungsten resources have increased from 5.584 million tons to 7.041 million tons, and cumulative reserves have increased by 1.43 million tons, with an average annual growth rate of 3.7%. In the period from 2006 to 2013, China newly identified tungsten reserves of 2,244,400 tons, with an average annual increase of 336,600 tons of reserves, especially the discovery of the 2012 large tungsten deposit in Dahutang, Jiangxi Province, which enabled the tungsten deposits to increase their discovered resource reserves in 2012. The highest historically 1.016 million tons.

[2 Global Tungsten Resources Supply and Demand Pattern]

[2.1 Global tungsten supply and demand pattern]

The global tungsten supply and demand pattern has undergone major changes from 1974-2014. According to USGS statistics, in 1974, the global supply of tungsten ore mainly came from China, the Soviet Union, the United States, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, Bolivia and other 14 countries, accounting for 94% of the global supply. According to statistics from the US Geological Survey, China produced 118,700 tons of tungsten ore in 1974 and the former Soviet Union produced about 16,800 tons of tungsten ore. In 1974, the global tungsten consumer countries mainly came from 11 countries such as the United States, the former Soviet Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany, accounting for 91% of the global demand, of which the US consumed 16,300 tons of tungsten, the former Soviet Union consumed 14,900 tons, Japan and the United Kingdom. Each consumption is 06,000 tons and 0.6 million tons. In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, the consumption of tungsten resources will reach its peak in 1974, and the global consumption of tungsten resources is mainly concentrated in the United States and Europe. The total global supply of tungsten ore is 83,500 tons and the demand is 82,800 tons. There is a pattern of supply exceeding demand (Figure 2).

[2.2 Global tungsten supply and demand pattern in 2014]

According to USGS statistics, compared with 1974, the global supply and demand pattern of tungsten resources in 2014 has undergone major changes. China is rich in tungsten resources, with a supply of 68,000 tons, up to 84.5%, and a demand of 34,000 tons, up to 53%. In 2014, the global supply of tungsten ore was concentrated in five countries: China, Russia, Canada, Bolivia, and Vietnam. The supply ratio was as high as 98%. In 2014, the global tungsten consumer countries mainly came from the United States, China, Japan, and Russia. The four countries accounted for global demand. The proportion is as high as 74%, of which Japan consumes 0.7 million tons, the United States consumes 0.4 million tons, and China consumes 34,000 tons. In 2014, the global supply and demand pattern of tungsten resources was more concentrated, from 14 countries in 1974 to five countries in 2014. In addition, the tungsten mines in the world experienced severe overcapacity and oversupply of 20,000 tons. The international tungsten price is low (Figure 3).

The supply of tungsten resources in China has undergone major changes during the past 30 years. For example, supply has changed from 22.6% to 82.5% and demand has changed from 5.39% to 53%.

[3 Global Tungsten Mine Production Supply Trend]

According to statistics of the USGS and WBMS, since 1910, with the application of various types of tungsten products, warfare and economic development and other factors, tungsten production has experienced several major growth and declines, increasing from 0.33 million tons in 1910 to 2014. The 82,400 tons, an increase of 25 times. From the application of tungsten high-speed steel at the beginning of the 19th century to the birth of tungsten carbide-based hard alloy in 1928, tungsten production increased rapidly, especially tungsten's "war metal" property. During the first global war, the second world war, during the Korean War, tungsten production surged. From 1961 to 1975, the Vietnam War and three Middle East wars made tungsten production reach a peak. In 1970, tungsten production reached 85,600 tons. In the new century, the production of tungsten from the low point of 2000 was 37,400 tons, which basically increased year by year, increasing to a new high output of 82,400 tons in 2014, with an average annual growth rate of 8.6%.

According to USGS statistics, from 2004 to 2014, the global tungsten production remained at 50,000-90,000 tons. In 2014, the world’s original tungsten production was 82,400 tons, demand was 64,000 tons, and production capacity was 20,000 tons. In 2014, it occupied 68,000 tons, accounting for 83% of the world's total. Russia is the second largest tungsten producer. In 2014, it produced 3,600 tons of tungsten. Canada is the third largest producer of tungsten. In 2014, it produced 22 million tons of tungsten; Bolivia, Vietnam, Australia, Austria, Portugal, and Congo Gold are also important tungsten producers. country. Tungsten has been produced in more than 30 countries around the world. Due to the large number of tungsten in China entering the international market blindly, tungsten prices have dropped, and many small-yield tungsten producers have been forced to cut production or stop production. In 2014, China, Russia, Canada, Bolivia, and Vietnam had a supply ratio of 98% (Figure 4).

[4 global tungsten ore consumption trend]

According to USGS statistics, the global per capita tungsten consumption from 2000 to 2014 has increased year by year, from 7.51G/person to 13.16G/person, with an average annual growth rate of 5.4%. Among them, China's per capita consumption of tungsten is 10-25 grams/person, Americans use 25-35 grams per person for tungsten, and per capita consumption of tungsten is 42-78 grams per person. Compared to the developed capitalist countries that have already completed industrialization, China’s per capita consumption of tungsten resources is very small. In the eight years from 2006 to 2013, China has consumed 998,400 tons of tungsten resources, which has a huge growth potential. With the rise of India and ASEAN economies, the global demand for tungsten resources will continue to increase in the future.

From 2000 to 2014, global tungsten metal consumption continued to increase, from 46,000 tons in 2000 to 95,400 tons in 2014, with an average annual growth rate of 7.7%. According to the linear relationship between resource consumption and GDP, China predicts that tungsten consumption will continue to increase from 2015 to 2020. In 2015, tungsten consumption will reach 99,500 tons. In 2020, tungsten consumption will reach 111,150 tons, which is different from the results predicted by international agency Roskill (Figure 5). ).

[5 countermeasures and suggestions]

[5.1 increase investment in tungsten exploration and pay attention to wolframite; increase scheelite mining technology and process at the same time]

Although China's tungsten resource reserves are abundant, but the quality is low, the proportion of scheelite that is difficult to pick is increasing. Excessive exploitation and excessive exports cause the obvious decline in the advantages of tungsten resources.

In recent years, tungsten ore exploration has made some progress. Thanks to continuous investment in exploration, on the one hand, it suggests continuous high investment in tungsten exploration, especially for high-grade, easily-acquired wolframite. On the other hand, the cooperation between enterprises and scientific research institutes should be strengthened to increase the selection and technology of scheelite, so as to increase the overall cost advantage of tungsten mines in China.

[5.2 Policies to Reduce Taxes and Expenses, Resolve Overcapacity and Share the Period of Mining Downturn]

Due to the overcapacity of tungsten mines in recent years, tungsten prices have continued to slump. The operating profits of tungsten mining companies such as Xiamen Tungsten Industry and Zhangyuan Tungsten Industry have dropped drastically, and some companies are facing losses and production shutdowns. It is suggested that the state should provide phased preferential treatment for tungsten enterprises from the policy level to help enterprises to cope with the mining downturn. On the one hand, it has reduced or even eliminated tungsten tariffs and increased sales of tungsten abroad. On the other hand, the resource tax for tungsten mines and the compensation for mineral resources should be appropriately reduced, and enterprises should be allowed to use the reclaiming deposit for mining land temporarily to improve their operational efficiency.

[5.3 Layout of new growth points ahead of schedule, focusing on recycled tungsten]

The vertex of tungsten consumption in China has yet to come. India and ASEAN will become the main driving force for tungsten consumption in the future. The dependence of developed countries on regenerative tungsten is increasing. On the one hand, it is proposed to lay out the exploration of tungsten resources in Central Asia and the ASEAN region on the one hand, and on the other hand, pay attention to the utilization and market of recycled tungsten, increase the utilization of tungsten tungsten in domestic wastes, and timely intervene in the regenerative tungsten market in developed countries with appropriate investments. Relieve the growth pressure of China’s future tungsten consumption, and control the supply of international tungsten ore from the downstream to increase the price of tungsten.

[5.4 Grasp the "One Belt and One Road" Strategy to Gain Overseas Resources]

With the global mining downturn, the market value of tungsten mining companies will soon bottom out. Canada and other large tungsten producers will actively welcome Chinese investors to invest in Sisson and other large-scale tungsten projects. The implementation of the “One Belt One Road” national strategy includes important tungsten along Russia, Vietnam and Turkey. Resource countries, which are already important tungsten mineral deposits at the time of investment, China should maintain a certain degree of global supply, base on domestic resource security, maximize the sharing of overseas resources, and strengthen resources to “go global” efforts. Share the important period of resource dividends of subsequent industrialized countries such as ASEAN and India. We should actively acquire overseas high-quality resources as a long-term strategy for a country, and gradually realize the transfer of mineral resources and related industries to countries such as Africa, ASEAN, and Central Asia.


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