Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adex confirms proven reserves of tungsten and molybdenum worth $1.16 billion at Mount Pleasant.

Adex Mining Inc. (TSXV: ADE) completed another step just before Christmas towards commencing mining operations in southwest New Brunswick. SGS Lakefield Research Ltd. of Lakefield, Ont., did a mineralization characterization test program for the recovery of tungsten, molybdenum, tin and indium at Mount Pleasant, Charlotte County. Lakefield undertook a detailed analysis of the grain size and liberation characteristics of the metals at the property to confirm an optimum grinding and metal recovery circuit. Adex believes it has proven reserves of tungsten and molybdenum worth $1.16 billion at Mount Pleasant. An underground mine to remove this resource could employ 200 to 250 people over 13 years with an annual payroll of $15 million to $20 million per year.

Tungsten You gotta love it ...

Evolution celebrate launch of new headquarters

Cutting edge: Matt Gavins 'threatens' to chop snooker champion Shaun Murphy's cue, watched by Sheffield United's Billy Sharp Picture: Roger Nadal

A SHEFFIELD firm, which began life as a one man tool repair business a decade ago and has gone on to develop a range of innovative power saws, has officially launched its new headquarters at Holbrook.
Evolution, founded by managing director Matthew Gavins, moved from repairs into supplying specialist steel working products such as dry cutting tungsten carbide tipped saws and magnetic drills.

Thanks to the knowledge and experience it gained in that field, the company has gone on to develop a range of innovative multipurpose saws, which cut steel, aluminium and wood, using just one blade.

Evolution's new headquarters at Holbrook were opened by former World Snooker Champion Shaun Murphy and Sheffield United star Billy Sharp.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

North American Tungsten becomes a vertically integrated tungsten producer

North American Tungsten Corp. Ltd. has concluded a series of strategic agreements to produce and market commercial tungsten products manufactured from its tungsten concentrate at its mining operations. The transactions are a result of three years of North American Tungsten's involvement with Tundra Particle Technologies (TPT) at a pilot plant in Minnesota that has developed and tested patented techniques to produce tungsten powders and intermediates from low-grade concentrates.

In addition, TPT's sister company, Tundra Composites ("TC") has developed a patented process for manufacturing tungsten composites for sale worldwide. Based on the Company's involvement with TPT, NTC has been granted access to this process through a licensing agreement with TC.

As North American Tungsten's Chairman and CEO, Stephen Leahy, noted, "The success of our involvement with TPT has enabled us to move our output up the value chain, broadening our company from a producer of tungsten concentrate into a supplier of valued-added products intended for a 21st Century marketplace. The TPT patented conversion process can utilize a much lower grade of tungsten concentrate than today's other tungsten processors require. North American Tungsten will have a significant outlet for lower grade concentrate.

"This whole concept of our involvement in new material processing options and participation in this new high tech tungsten composite business has been a long time in coming. The ability of the Company to provide low grade flotation concentrate at market pricing will not only position NTC at the forefront of new markets for tungsten, but will also provide new outlets for our low grade tungsten concentrate production well into the future."

Under the recent development agreements, a new company, Tundra Diversified Industries LLC ("TDI") has been formed. This new company will consist of three Strategic partners; Tundra Particle Technologies, LLC, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, will match North American Tungsten's own 43.2% interest; and Queenwood Capital Partners LLC, of Bloomington, Minnesota will own 13.6%. Each of the shareholders will be represented on TDI's board of governors, and each brings a particular interest to TDI that will be important to its success.

In addition, TDI is in the process of entering into a supply agreement with Fiocchi Ammunition to sell TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composite. TDI and Fiocchi intend to initiate the manufacture and sale of TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composites into the ballistics marketplace in the 1st quarter of 2009. This composite material will allow for immediate access to the exciting new lead replacement market with a material that is non-toxic, has the malleability of lead, and can be manufactured to a density that exceeds that of lead and bismuth.

As Mr. Leahy stated, "This is a historic launch of a revolutionary material that I believe will soon become the fastest growing segment of the tungsten market and will complete our objective of becoming a vertically integrated tungsten producer."

And Mr. Heikkila added: "This venture will provide an integrated approach to the ballistics industry of a secure supply of tungsten, custom and proprietary powders and unique composite products for superior products which are environmentally friendly."

- Part of the TUNDRA(TM) group of Minnesota-based companies, Tundra Particle Technologies is engaged in the production, sale and licensing of highly filled composites for various industries and applications. TUNDRA(TM) has granted Tungsten Diversified an exclusive license to manufacture and sell the patented TUNDRA(TM) tungsten-polymer composite as a lead replacement alternative for ammunition. This license allows TDI to sell TUNDRA(TM) composite to the military in North America and the European Union, as well as the sporting market in the European Union. Tundra Particle Technologies will be represented on TDI's board by its principal Kurt Heikkila.

- Queenwood Capital is a private investment firm located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Its chairman, Ronald Erickson, recently joined North American Tungsten's board of directors and will also represent Queenwood on TDI's board. Among his business activities, Mr. Erickson is vice chairman of the board of Gander Mountain, a chain of 115 sporting goods stores in the United States which has been marketing tungsten products as lead replacements in a number of consumer products, especially to hunters and sports fishermen. Queenwood has invested US$2.5 million to purchase its interest in TDI.

- North American Tungsten is the Western World's largest producer of tungsten concentrate, a strategic industrial metal required in a wide variety of products ranging from jet turbine engines and high-speed cutting tools to electronic circuitry and surgical instruments. The company will provide TDI with access to tungsten material at market driven prices for its future processing and manufacturing needs. Under a five-year supply agreement, renewable for an additional five years, North American Tungsten will initially supply 22,500 metric tonne units (MTU's) of tungsten concentrates, increasing the annual supply to 225,000 MTU's by 2013. The supply agreement with TDI complements others that North American Tungsten has concluded, including a recent, 125,000 MTU deal with Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. Stephen Leahy will represent North American Tungsten on the TDI board.

For Further details see NTC

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tungsten is an incredible material.


Tungsten is an incredible material. It is dense and hard, and it has the lowest vapor pressure and highest melting temperature of all metals. This combination of properties makes tungsten extremely valuable for a myriad of applications, while at the same time creates great challenges in the processing of the metal.

As a child, I was fascinated by how things work and spent a lot of time taking things apart. As with most budding engineers, I rarely reassembled them. Incandescent bulbs were one of my first quarries, carefully disassembled to reveal a hidden treasure: a tungsten filament. It was amazing that this tiny wire could be heated to white-hot temperatures to produce light.

Also at an early age, I was introduced to vacuum tubes, and to this day they are magical in my eyes. When a tungsten filament is heated in a vacuum, the electrons near the surface become energetic enough to be emitted into the surrounding space. Additional tungsten conductors, in the form of grids and plates, can be added to the bulb, and the electrons can then be manipulated to switch, rectify, and amplify. These electronic switches were crucial in the development of modern electronics.

Transistors and integrated circuits have almost entirely displaced tubes; however, some researchers are going "retro," exploring tungsten-containing miniaturized vacuum triodes or "nanotriodes" that may one day be used as miniature electronic switches. But one has to ask, "Do they glow?"

TAKING AIM Lowden prepares to test the form and function of 9-mm ammunition fabricated from a tungsten-containing composite replacement for lead.
My personal introduction to tungsten as a structural material was at Kennametal, a producer of tungsten carbide metal-cutting tools, where I took an internship in my senior year while studying chemistry at a small liberal arts college in Latrobe, Pa. The position involved sample preparation for X-ray fluorescence. During visits to the powder metallurgy laboratory, I noticed paint cans on the storage shelves, many without handles. Curiosity led me to remove a can from a shelf, only to be surprised when gravity quickly dragged it to the ground, barely missing my toes. Although the can was less than half full of powder, it weighed almost 35 lb. The powder was tungsten for fabricating heavy-metal alloys.

Later, I went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory while I studied for a graduate degree in metallurgy. I specialized in vapor-phase processing of high-temperature materials, primarily structural coatings and composites. Once again, tungsten entered my life when I became involved in a project to develop a small fiber-reinforced ceramic can with a tungsten layer deposited on its outer diameter. The cans were to be used as thermionic emitters in advanced space power systems.

I became intimately involved with tungsten during the development of powder-metal replacements for lead in small-arms ammunition, in other words, during the investigation of "green bullets." A perusal of the periodic table reveals very few candidates for replacing lead. Bismuth, tin, and zinc are interesting, but each has deficiencies. Tungsten is heavy and commonly used in ordnance but unfortunately is much too hard for most small-arms applications.

One approach to the problem seemed quite straightforward: Build a composite that combined the properties of different elements to produce a leadlike material. A light, ductile metal like tin could be used as the binder with tungsten included for mass. But tungsten is not easy to process, and bullets had to be cheap. A review of the tungsten binary-phase diagrams revealed fewer than 40 systems, with few intermetallic compounds. Most of the soft metals with low melting points do not wet tungsten, and, in addition, significant differences in density make casting impossible. There had to be a method to combine tungsten and a ductile metal binder.

After World War I, resourceful window and curtain manufacturers sprinkled tungsten particulates onto the surface of tin sheets, which were subsequently fed through a rolling mill to produce high-density, pliable sheets that could be used to make weights. The solution to the lead-replacement problem was actually very simple. Powder blends without additives were pressed at room temperature to produce dense compacts. It wasn't rocket science, but it worked, and the tungsten-tin composite is a leading candidate for replacing lead in small-caliber bullets and for a variety of other applications.

Although we may not realize it, tungsten continues to be a part of our lives because it is still used in lighting and electrical contacts; in electronics, including cell phones and pagers; in cutting tools and engine components; in radiation shielding; and now in sporting goods such as golf balls and shot.

Rick Lowden is a metallurgist and senior research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Although his primary area of expertise is vapor-phase processing of materials, he has been intimately involved in the development of powder-metal replacements for lead in ammunition--and being an avid shooter, it's been a dream come true.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rising Tungsten Prices still don't deter Manufactures

The city's location and R&D capability are expected to counter roadblocks, including rising raw tungsten prices.

The tungsten jewelry sector in Shenzhen continues to stay strong even as it faces challenges.

The city accounts for 60 percent of China's total annual exports. In 2007, the latest year for which industry data is available, it shipped $23 million worth of tungsten carbide powder and alloy jewelry. Last year, however, Shenzhen was estimated to export just $18.4 million worth, a reduction of 25 percent. This is attributed to the appreciation of the yuan and the global market slump.

Other factors have played a part in the export slowdown. The price of the metal increases by an average of 15 percent every year, making it less attractive to manufacturers. Another reason is that the government does not offer incentives to boost exports of goods using tungsten since it is a rare metal and a nonrenewable resource.

Moreover, in an effort to curb the consumption of the material, Beijing is expected in coming years to impose additional exportation taxes on products that utilize the material.

In spite of these developments, Shenzhen suppliers see more room for development because China claims 80 percent of global tungsten output and continues to hold the distinction of being the world's top producer of the metal. Ores are extracted from deposits in Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian provinces.

Although the city does not yield raw tungsten nor is it a production or distribution center of the processed material, Shenzhen is in close proximity to Hong Kong, making it an important hub in the downstream processing industry for fashion jewelry.

The city is home to more than 100 manufacturers, 99 percent of whom are small- to medium-scale enterprises that can perform polishing, sparkling, cold pressing and welding in-house. Large companies have the same capability, in addition to alloy powder metallurgy, mold making, molding, electroplating and laser engraving.

Suppliers have strong R&D capability, which is driven primarily by mold making. On average, 20 percent of annual revenue, or up to $2 million, is allocated for this process. The development of new models requires 50 days, with mold making, metallurgy and jewelry processing each taking at least 10 days to complete.

The main product lines coming from Shenzhen are rings, bracelets, pendants and cuff links.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An article from Seeking Alpha has been sent to you

I thought you might find this article on Seeking Alpha interesting:
Tungsten: Heavy Metal (Including Cello)

You gotta love it Tungsten is the place to be ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tungsten Inert Gas Welding Can Achieve the Highest Quality Welds

Murex Welding Products' TIG Welding Guide contains applications of TIG welding and pointers to its successful use.

Of all the arc welding processes, TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding can achieve the highest quality welds and is the most versatile in terms of what can be welded and the position of the welds.

However, quality comes at the expense of time and TIG is generally slower than MIG or MMA welding but, where weld integrity is critical, production engineers are prepared to accept the additional process time.

TIG welding is versatile and can be used with most weldable metals, including dissimilar metals and thicknesses from 0.5mm upwards.

TIG welding machines are available in current ratings from 150A to 350A and can operate at currents as low as 3A for a 150A machine.

TIG machines can be used for brazing and MMA welding.

The most commonly used gas for TIG welding is pure argon.

For thick aluminium and copper, argon/helium would be used for the added heat from the helium.

TIG operatives must use the correct tungsten electrode otherwise problems can be experienced with striking the arc and maintaining a stable arc. Read more...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tungsten carbide components used in the mining industry and tooling sector

3 December 2008

As part of its hard-metal blank and semifinished-sintered-product capability, LMT's Boehlerit division in Austria offers a customer-specific design and development service for sintered tool blanks such as hobs, shank style cutters, reamers, drills, fir-tree root cutters, and brazed tips, as well as general sintered products. The service is now available in Great Britain through LMT (UK) Ltd.

The Boehlerit division is a leading supplier of tungsten carbide components for wear parts used in the mining industry and tooling sector. It can develop tools with or without through-coolant facility, and, through its sub-micrograin hard-metal technology, can provide tools with cobalt content between 6 and 15%. Read more...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tungsten carbide grit cutting edge cuts through carbon fibre parts with little chance of damage, and leaves a superbly clean edge that requires little-to-no finish work, high-quality aluminum handle and steel frame

On test: Effetto Mariposa CarboCut, December 2, 2008

Carbon fibre... meet tungsten carbide

Fibre composites require special care when cutting to prevent irreparable - and possibly very expensive - damage. Cyclingnews' technical editor James Huang takes a look at an intriguing solution for an increasingly common problem.

Effetto Mariposa's Carbocut isn't just an ordinary hacksaw...
Photo ©: James Huang
(Click for larger image)

Fine-toothed hacksaws work reasonably well for cutting carbon fibre parts, but even the sharpest ones still essentially tear through the substrate in violent fashion and can dislodge fibers if you're not careful. On the other hand, Effetto Mariposa's new CarboCut uses a non-toothed blade coated with bits of tungsten carbide to gently remove material with little risk of damage.

CarboCut actually cuts a bit slower than standard saws in our experience but if you're patient enough to do the job correctly and let the blade do the work for you, the reward is a fantastically clean surface that looks like it's already been sanded down. This should perhaps come as no surprise because that's exactly what you're doing; you don't cut through the part so much as grind it. Read more...

StrataGold announces positive preliminary economic assessment on the Mar-Tungsten Deposit, Yukon

Monday, December 01, 2008 1:52 PM

VANCOUVER, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - StrataGold Corporation (SGV-TSX) is pleased to announce the release of a positive National Instrument (NI) 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on its 100% owned Mar-Tungsten Deposit located within the Dublin Gulch property, Yukon Territory. The PEA was produced by SRK Consulting (US) Inc. (SRK).  Read more...

Tungsten Market Review

This report focuses on the study of the global tungsten markets. It provides region analysis on tungsten production. It features major tungsten producers, prices, supply and demand conditions, international trade, etc. The review also includes future outlook of the world tungsten market.
Tungsten is a corrosion-resistant metallic element with an extremely high melting point. Its largest use is as cemented carbides in cutting tools; it is also used as an alloying agent with steel to make high-speed tool steel, and in superalloys. Its most familiar use is in light bulb filaments. Read more...