Monday, March 30, 2009

Boeing is Using Tungsten for the new Hypersonic Vehicle: X-51A Programme


The intense heat generated by hypersonic speeds creates thermal management requirements even outside the engine structure.

The X-51A is wrapped in special, spray-on treatments derived from the Space Shuttle called Boeing lightweight ablative coatings, which can withstand surface heat up to 1,260°C.

The coatings allowed the programme to use conventional alloys, rather than special composite materials, in the structure. For example, a nearly 31kg aluminium frame forms the majority of the engine structure, despite a material melting point of only about 150°C. The nose is formed from a 68kg tungsten block, rather than more exotic and risky composite materials. [...] Read more...

Deposit of tungsten ore found in Anhui

2009-03-30 15:17    

A large deposit of tungsten ore with a proved reserve of 96,200 tonnes has been verified in east China's Anhui Province, local geologists said Thursday. The finding in Qimen County is an important one for the country as only 144,000 tonnes of tungsten ore have been found between 2001 and 2007, said Hao Changrong, head of No. 332 Geology Team that prospects ore in the south of Anhui Province.

China's tungsten reserve are mainly in the provinces of Hunan, Jiangxi and Henan, which jointly account for 61.37 percent of the total national reserve.

The deposit in Qimen indicates that more ore could be found in the southern parts of Anhui, Jiangxi's neighbour, Hao said.

China, along with Russia, Canada and the United States, is a major tungsten producer in the world. It holds 40.5 percent of the world's proved reserves.

Anhui News

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tungsten: A Replacing for Toxic Lead

Home-made lead sinkers pose health risk

Home-made lead sinkers pose health risk

BIA Victoria has added its voice to a new campaign by the Victorian Department of Human Services to warn anglers of the dangers of lead poisoning from home-made lead sinkers.

Two Melbourne families were treated recently for lead poisoning after making lead sinkers at home, and DHS senior medical adviser Dr Marion Carey said she was alarmed at the number of lead poisoning cases related to manufacturing sinkers.

"People are obviously unaware of the dangers of bringing lead into their homes," she said.

"Lead poisoning can have serious effects – brain damage, infertility, high blood pressure, memory loss and learning difficulties in children. Symptoms include headaches, muscle and abdominal pain, weakness and concentration problems."

BIA general Manager Robert Coco said the best way to reduce the risk was to stop using lead altogether.

"These days there are many sinkers made of less toxic compounds including tin, bismuth and tungsten, so using lead sinkers is putting you and your family at unnecessary risk," he said.

For people still using lead, essential precautions include:

• Never work with lead inside the home, and always shower and change clothes and shoes before going inside after working with lead.

• Never work with lead near children or pregnant women.

• Never use a grinder or sander on lead materials as the lead dust can float into your home on your clothes.

• Always wear a respirator when working with lead, and thoroughly clean your work area after you have finished.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Thank You Note from the Talking Tungsten Organizing Committee

The Organizing Committee would like to thank you for attending the Talking Tungsten Forum during the PDAC 2009. Your support and attendance made it a success.

Talking Tungsten attracted over 100 attendees, including representatives from investment houses, other tungsten companies, and private investors as well as attracted media attention. We wish to thank the industry experts, Chris Thompson (Haywood Securities) for presenting his detailed industry report on the supply/demand fundamentals of Tungsten, and David Coffin (Hard Rock Analyst Editor) for his knowledgeable market overview and positive forecast for a bullish tungsten market. And last but not least thank you to Nicole Adshead-Bell, VP Investment Banking, Haywood Securities Vancouver, for moderating the event.

The Organizing Commitee would like to thank our sponsors and media partners. We would also like to thank the following companies for helping consolidate the Tungsten Space: North American Tungsten, Geodex Minerals, Playfair Mining, Adex Mining, Golden Predator, Prospector Consolidated Resources, Sultan Minerals and Heemskirk Consolidated; without your support the event would not have been able to go ahead.

To view the entire presentation as well as the video recording of the Talking Tungsten Forum, please visit

The Organizing Commitee hopes to be able to host a follow up Talking Tungsten Forum in conjunction with the International Tungsten Industry Association Annual general Meeting that is scheduled to be held in Vancouver this September. Please check the website regularly for updated information.

We invite the attendees to share with us their experience and thoughts on the conference. Kindly email your comments to

Yours Sincerely,

The Talking Tungsten Organising Committee

Liana Shahinian

Toni Davies (nee Williamson)

Christopher Anderson

Large deposit of tungsten ore found in east China

HEFEI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A large deposit of tungsten ore with a proved reserve of 96,200 tonnes has been verified in east China's Anhui Province, local geologists said Thursday.

The finding in Qimen County is an important one for the country as only 144,000 tonnes of tungsten ore have been found between 2001 and 2007, said Hao Changrong, head of No. 332 Geology Team that prospects ore in the south of Anhui Province.

China's tungsten reserve are mainly in the provinces of Hunan, Jiangxi and Henan, which jointly account for 61.37 percent of the total national reserve.

The deposit in Qimen indicates that more ore could be found in the southern parts of Anhui, Jiangxi's neighbour, Hao said.

China, along with Russia, Canada and the United States, is a major tungsten producer in the world. It holds 40.5 percent of the world's proved reserves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MacTung Shows Strength For North American Tungsten

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MacTung Shows Strength For NA Tungsten

VANCOUVER — It will cost almost $400 million to build an underground mine at one of the largest undeveloped tungsten deposits in the world — North American Tungsten's (NTC-V, NATUF-O) Mac-Tung — but a strong tungsten price means the mine would pay back that investment in less than three years.

MacTung is in the east-central Yukon, almost on the border with the Northwest Territories and some 160 km northwest of North American Tungsten's CanTung mine. The property hosts indicated resources of 33 million tonnes grading 0.88% WO3, as well as 11.8 million inferred tonnes averaging 078% WO3.

A new feasibility study says that resources could support an underground mine for 11.2 years. An operation processing 730,000 tonnes of ore annually would produce 752,000 metric tonne units (MTU) of tungsten trioxide each year (1 MTU contains 7.93 kg tungsten). Operating costs are expected to average $104 per MTU for the first five years.

To build the remote project is expected to cost $356.5 million, which rises to more than $400 million with the $45.6-million contingency fund. While that number is not small, especially in the context of today's tight markets, the project carries two silver linings. First, it is expected to deliver a pretax internal rate of return of 23.5%, allowing capital payback in just 2.9 years.

It is interesting to note that Mac-Tung also has the potential to support 17 years of open-pit mining if, after the underground resources are depleted, exploitation switches to the near-surface, lower-grade resources. The feasibility study did not consider the benefits of this additional potential mine life.

The second factor supporting development at MacTung is the mineral in question: tungsten. Most of the world's supply of tungsten — more than 80% — comes from China. But China recently imposed higher export tariffs and strict production quotas for tungsten in an effort to keep more for its own uses.

Annual world tungsten supply is currently just under 9 million MTUs and demand is almost equal. But demand is expected to climb roughly 5% each year, while new supply is limited. The price of tungsten was depressed for some 10 years until starting a significant climb three years ago, which meant there was little incentive to explore for the specialty metal.

North American Tungsten hopes to start construction in the second quarter of 2010 and expects development to take some 27 months. But to build MacTung, the junior needs to find a lender or partner able to carry the significant capital cost.

In fiscal 2008, which concluded at the end of September, North American Tungsten lost $11.7 million. CanTung produced 272,480 MTUs by recovering 73.5% of the tungsten from ore averaging 1.03% WO3, but it was not enough to offset both operating costs at the mine and the costs of completing a feasibility study for MacTung.

The company now carries short-term loan facilities totalling $8.6 million and has just $700,000 in the bank.

On the bright side, in September the company tabled a new resource and reserve estimate for CanTung. The mine still has 655,710 tons of probable reserves grading 1.1% WO3. Before the new estimate, Can-Tung was only expected to operate for another year; it may now have an extended mine life.

On news of the feasibility study, North American Tungsten's share price gained 3¢ to close at 17.5¢. The company has a 52-week trading range of 10¢-$1.39 and has 127 million shares outstanding.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

200EX show car is finished in darkest tungsten


It won't matter what Rolls-Royce calls its 200EX concept when it reaches production; the press has already boiled it down to an inelegant if appropriate label.

When Rolls-Royce's 200EX was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, it had already been labelled the "baby roller" for some years.

It all came out of the UK car magazines as a handy way to describe the new, smaller model.

The 5.4 metre-long 200EX is a design study set to compete with its former sister brand Bentley's Continental model, which is less than half the price of the Roll-Royce Phantom and selling in thousands rather than hundreds. Using what Rolls-Royce calls its new RR4 platform, the car is due for production in 2010. Read more...

Effective reactor materials such as nano-structured diamond and tungsten, with unique properties

Posted: March 18, 2009

(Nanowerk News) Increasingly, we live in a time that is obsessively motivated towards alternative energies, as global warming and its effects begin to dominate the world's collective consciousness. Favour is irreversibly shifting away from 'traditional' fossil fuels as it becomes clear that the future of energy production must tick all the boxes; abundant, financially viable and, above all, green. As our understanding and priorities have shifted, scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and across the world have been working to establish one extremely high profile alternative energy source as a major potential player: fusion. Read more...

Substitute for lead: tungsten

The American Sportfishing Association, an Alexandria-based trade group, isn't happy with an arbitrary decision by the National Park Service that would ban the use of lead components in fishing tackle in all national parks by 2010. The ban also would include lead component ammunition used by hunters.

An official with the trade group said it was surprised and dismayed by the announcement.


The park service said nontoxic substitutes for lead, such as tungsten, copper and steel, are widely available. Read more...

Ganzhou to procure tungsten and rare earth products

Wednesday, 18 Mar 2009

Ganzhou to procure tungsten and rare earth products
It is reported that Ganzhou City of China's Jiangxi Province plans to spend around CNY 1.8 billion to procure tungsten and rare earth products to stabilize market prices.

As per report Ganzhou will buy 10,000 tonnes of scheelite and tungsten products, 10,000 tonnes of rare-earth ore and all kinds of separation products made from rare earth. The province began building reserves in January and will cease to do so in December 2009.

Last October, the price of tungsten, rare earth and other non-ferrous metal products in China sharply dropped. Related enterprises in Ganzhou suffered a big loss. Around 88 rare earth mining enterprises ceased production.

The local government hopes the new stabilization move will help those enterprises resume production and recover financially. Click here...

Monday, March 16, 2009

China's tungsten city starts 10,000 T reserve buy

SHANGHAI, March 16 - Ganzhou, a city in eastern China's Jiangxi Province and the world's largest tungsten making region, is building up its own tungsten and rare earth reserves to support domestic metals firms, the Xinhua news agency said.

The city has raised a special fund totalling about 1.8 billion yuan ($263 million) to purchase 10,000 tonnes of tungsten concentrates and products, and 10,000 tonnes of rare earth raw ores and products, the official news agency said on Sunday, citing a local industry official.

All the 88 rare earth mines and 90 percent of raw earth processors in Ganzhou had halted production as prices had been slumping since last October, Lai Zhaotian, secretary general of the city's rare earth industry association, was quoted as saying.

To help metal firms in a dire situation after commodities prices collapsed, China's State Reserves Bureau has been buying various metals, including copper, aluminium, zinc and nickel. Read more...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why liberals should love the free market - See Tungsten analogy

Vincent Patsy

I love to listen to liberals talk about the drug war, social issues and civil liberties. They often invoke the idea, for example, that a woman owns her uterus and her body, and she therefore owns the right to do what she wants with her body. The reasoning behind the above argument is very important, because by using the principle of self-ownership, liberals strike at what is essentially the core of classical liberalism or libertarianism. This core is the idea that individuals have natural rights and any violation of these rights is immoral.

All rights are essentially the application of self-ownership to different parts of one's body. I own my mind, lungs and mouth, and therefore have the right to free speech. The fact that the First Amendment to the Constitution protects this right is irrelevant — the natural right of self-ownership supersedes the Constitution.

But liberals' inability to extend natural rights to economics is where my love affair with them ends.

I own my body, my mind and my property. I can dispose of my property in any manner I conclude will bring me more happiness as long as I do not violate the rights of others. When I decide to exchange my property in a voluntary manner, I have a right to do so. By introducing coercion into the exchange of property, the government violates my rights just the same as if it was suppressing my right to free speech. And the system of economics which is compatible with natural rights is free market capitalism.

The resistance to free market economics often comes from a misunderstanding of what capitalists actually believe. As a capitalist, I do not want subsidies for big oil, I do not want us to use our military to conquer foreign lands, and I certainly do not want businesses to be regulated. All three of these actions represent coercion and an aberration of someone's natural rights. They are also tools by which larger businesses use government to oppress smaller businesses.

Our current situation is in no way free market capitalism, but rather revolves around business leaders and government coercing the citizens for the benefit of business over that of the people. Established businesses want to be regulated because they will be better able to pay for, and have a better understanding of, the licenses needed to run a business — like tax code, for instance. They essentially use government to eliminate their weaker competitors.

Another misrepresentation of the free market was brought up recently in Adam Gaglio's viewpoint (The perils of environmentalism, 03/01/2009). Gaglio mentioned environmentalists' notion that resources are scarce so we need to preserve them for future generations. But all resources are scarce — that is why you have to pay for food and clothing. There is a limited amount of all resources other than air. If resources were not scarce, we would be living in the Garden of Eden with all of our desires met instantly. Unfortunately, we were kicked out for various indiscretions, and now we have scarcity of all goods. This means that we need to utilize them.

Only the free market can deal with the proper utilization of resources. Suppose I owned a tungsten mine with a value of $10 million. If I dig out $1 million worth of tungsten this year, I will have $9 million left in capital value. Now suppose that the world is running out of tungsten. This change would be reflected in a higher capital value for my mine, maybe up to $100 million. This prompts me to dig out less tungsten, and since the price rises, the marginal users of tungsten may switch to other metals. If the government owns the mine, then there is no capital value. There is no possible way for them to know how much tungsten to produce now and how much to leave in the ground.

Author Isabel Paterson, one of the founders of the libertarian movement, once wrote: "Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long preserved in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends." Liberals, I do not doubt your devotion to higher goals, I merely object to the means by which you attempt to achieve them. To my liberal friends, please, make yourself logically consistent and join me on the other side.

Vincent Patsy can be reached at

Friday, March 6, 2009

North American Tungsten sees strong future for metal as new composite technology widens range of applications


From Thursday's Globe and Mail

March 5, 2009 at 12:25 AM EST

TORONTO — Stephen Leahy doesn't want to take guns away – he just wants to make their bullets greener.

The chairman and chief executive officer of North American Tungsten Corp. Ltd. hopes demand for the metal his company produces will increase as tungsten's use as an environmentally friendly alternative to lead gains in popularity.

Tungsten can now be used as a non-toxic substitute for lead in fishing lures, wheel weights and protective X-ray vests.

But Mr. Leahy is most excited about the potential to use tungsten in bullets and buckshot.

"A ballistics company told me they think that lead will be banned in all shooting applications except the military in Europe in the next few years. They have to scramble to find an alternative and tungsten is the best alternative," Mr. Leahy said in an interview at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference this week.

While no longer used in paint or gasoline, lead is still used to make bullets and fishing lures because it is so heavy. The toxic lead from bullets and fishing lures can leach into water and soil.

Lead is poisonous and can, among other things, cause developmental defects in children.

Mr. Leahy is betting that the environmental damage lead can cause may prompt hunters and anglers to pay a little more for lead-free products.

"Some of these [issues] are starting to gain a lot of momentum, like lead shotgun shot, because of what it does to waterfowl. It kills them even if you don't shoot them."

Mr. Leahy's company produces about 4 per cent of the world's annual supply of tungsten at its Cantung mine in the western Northwest Territories, close to the Yukon border. The extremely dense metal has traditionally been used in steel hardening, in electronic applications and in light bulb filaments.

Until recently, tungsten wasn't seen as a viable alternative to lead because its lack of malleability made it so difficult to work with.

Scientists and researchers, including a company backed by North American Tungsten, have now developed tungsten composites that can be shaped for use in a myriad of applications.

Through a joint venture formed in 2006, North American Tungsten owns 43 per cent of Tundra Diversified Industries. The privately held Minnesota company has developed a process to coat tungsten particles in plastic and bind them together. The weighty composite can then replace lead in fishing weights, buckshot and protective X-ray blankets.

Mr. Leahy believes that new applications for tungsten will have a major impact on demand for the metal. Annual worldwide production is a relatively small 80,000 tonnes.

North American Tungsten is also developing the Mactung deposit, which is located about 160 kilometres north of Cantung. The new mine will be much larger than Cantung and is expected to cost more than $350-million to build. With North American Tungsten's current market value of just $17-million, that won't be easy and Mr. Leahy is hoping the metal's new role as a more environmentally friendly product will drive investor interest in the company.

From a peak of about $260 (U.S.) a tonne, tungsten prices have remained relatively strong at about $225 a tonne.

Mr. Leahy expects about 10 per cent of the firm's production this year will go to composite applications. He's hoping to increase that to two-thirds of production within five years.

To make his point, Mr. Leahy takes off his Swiss-made tungsten watch and slides it across the table. "I've seen more new products in tungsten in the past few years than I have seen in the last 16 years combined," he said.

Icon decission to develop its Mount Carbine tungsten project, spurr's Share Purchase Plan

6th March 2009

ASX-listed exploration company Icon Resources has invited shareholders to take part in a share purchase plan, in an effort to raise $916 000 through the issue of about 18,3-million shares.

Icon shareholders would be entitled to purchase up to $10 000 worth of shares, at a price of $0,05 a share. If fully subscribed to the maximum allowable 30% of its issued capital, Icon would raise its target to $916 000.

The share purchase plan came after Icon decided to develop its Mount Carbine tungsten project, in Queensland. The company had been investigating opportunities to acquire a processing plant to fast-track the project, and the search resulted in an agreement with diversified group Metals X, to acquire its north Queensland Collingwood tin project.

The Collingwood assets included a processing plant suitable for Mount Carbine.

Icon would purchase the Collingwood project for $3,75-million, on a three-year, future-date convertible note, with a floor price of $0,05. After these terms were agreed to, Icon decided to extend its share purchase plan to its shareholders.

The funds obtained from the share raising would be used to pay the cash component of the Collingwood purchase, which was estimated at $250 000, and to trail test batches of both Mount Carbine and Collingwood tailings, as well as to supply general working capital.

Icon stated this week that the Collingwood project had a number of attractions, not least of which were the widely held positive long-term prospects for tin, and the significant known and potential tin mineralisation at the project.

The initial bench tests have suggested that the Collingwood tailings could also be profitably treated, and that the plant might be able to produce an immediate cash flow from the treatment of these tailings, while site preparations were being carried out at Mount Carbine.

The company further stated that it was currently in discussions with parties interested in retreating the Mount Carbine tailings in partnership with Icon, and added that the recent acquisition of Collingwood had been received as a significant positive addition to the project.

"The company is also in discussions with a number of tungsten producers which have expressed an interest in more involvement in the Mount Carbine, than just a simple offtake agreement. These entities are mostly interested in the larger project, that is the tailings plus the subsequent hard-rock mining."

Mining Weekly

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Global Tungsten & Powders reaches supply agreement with Malaga

Monday, Malaga Inc. (MLG.TO: News ) said it signed supply agreement with Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. for the sale of its tungsten ore concentrates produced by the company's subsidiary at Pasto Bueno mine, Huaura plant in Peru.

The supply agreement provides for a monthly minimum quantity of tungsten ore to be acquired by Global Tungsten from Malaga until February 2014. Further, the agreement provides that Global Tungsten shall pay Malaga in advance a sum of US$1.2 million within thirty days of the execution of the supply agreement, to be applied against Malaga's invoices over the last concentrates delivered by February 2014.

As part of the deal, Global Tungsten has undertaken to finance Malaga for an amount of US$3.8 million, through the issuance by Malaga to Global Tungsten of 5-year convertible secured promissory notes

Geodex Annou Completion of an Updated Preliminary Economic Assessmen Report on Its Sisson Brook TungstenYBDENUM DEPOSIT, NEW BRUNSWICK

The last document on the economic status of Geodex Minerals Ltd.'s Sisson Brook tungsten-molybdenum deposit north of Fredericton, N.B., was a preliminary economic assessment carried out by Wardrop Engineering in November, 2007. A robust NPV and IRR led to the recommendation that work proceed to the next development stage. Infill drilling, geotechnical work and environmental/community studies took place in 2008 and have continued since that time.

The present study remains at the scoping study (Preliminary Economic Assessment) level but is based largely on new data, particularly an expanded block model which has recently undergone preliminary floating cone pit shells with grade scheduling and a program of metallurgical work at SGS in Vancouver. Preliminary ore-sorting testing and the subsequent preliminary process design indicate that a pre-concentration circuit would profoundly benefit operating and capital costs. These further indicate that the ore-sorting process following three-stage crushing could concentrate 96.0% of the tungsten and 83.8% of the molybdenum in slightly more than half of the feed material, which increases grade to the mill and reduces capital and operating costs. A plant layout and process equipment list was developed and costed by an independent engineering group to reflect this revised concept.

The report spreadsheet uses a mining and crushing rate of 20,000 tonnes/day over a mine life of 20 years. Overall recoveries (sorter and mill) are 74% for tungsten and 70% for molybdenum. Tungsten is priced at an APT price of $US 220/mtu of WO3 in concentrate, with a blended $US 50/tonne reduction (gravity/flotation) for offsite costs. Molybdenum uses a long term price of $US 15/lb with an 8% assessment for offsite costs and roasting. Mine Operating Costs remain at $Can 1.30/tonne ($US 1.11), beneficiation costs are re-assessed at $Can 4.66/tonne ($US 3.96) with G &A costs at $Can 0.66/tonne ($US 0.56).

The re-calculated pre-production Capital Costs from the new process concept are slightly reduced at $US 339 million which includes a 30% contingency. Owner's costs include $US 1.0 million for environmental costs during construction. Sustaining (and sinking fund provision for reclamation) costs are assessed at 2.5% of original capital per production year.

Spreadsheet analysis indicates that the project has an Unleveraged IRR from Year -2 of 23%. The pre-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate is $US 372 million, $US 277 million at 10%. Payback period is in Year 4. Cumulative cash flow is $US 1.18 billion.

It has long been recognized that New Brunswick offers a mining-friendly environment, good access and excellent infrastructure. The economics of open pit development linked to the large size of the deposit suggest that much flexibility will exist in mine planning to react to changes in metal prices by extending mine life or increasing daily volume.

The recommendation within this report is that the company moves to completion of a Pre-Feasibility study by Q4 2009. The present report is a 'baseline' study or directional concept produced in a worldwide trough of mining finance. It requires refinement and upgrading in several areas to bring it to the stage of a commercial concept.

Tungsten Market is subject to supply cutbacks

China, who holds a monopoly on the supply of tungsten, churned out 84,470 tonnes of tungsten concentrates last year. This figure was up by 5.01 per cent YoY; however the figure shows a 10.71 per cent contraction MoMo, December 2008 vs. December 2007. In 2008, yield of tungsten concentrates in Hunan Province dropped 10.86 per cent YoY to 27,590 tonnes accounting for 32.7 per cent of the total output while it in Jiangxi Province has notched up by 5.52 per cent YoY to 39,306 tonnes which takes up 46.5 per cent of the total. The whole tonnages in Hunan and Jiangxi contributed as high as 79.2 per cent to the state annual production of tungsten concentrates.