National Minerals Information Center

Statistical Compendium

This Statistical Compendium provides a consistent set of official, long-term (20 years or more) data series through 1990 for selected commodities to facilitate analysis of longterm trends in these mineral sectors. Listed below is an index of mineral commodity data published in the Statistical Compendium.

Aluminum Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go to the Aluminum Statistics and Information page.

Aluminum is the second most abundant metal element in the Earth's crust after silicon, yet it is a comparatively new industrial metal that has been produced in commercial quantities for slightly more than 100 years. Measured either in quantity or value, aluminum's use exceeds that of any other metal except iron, and it is important in virtually all segments of the world economy.

Although the United States continues to be the leading producer of primary aluminum metal in the world, its dominance in the industry has begun to wane. In 1960, the United States accounted for slightly more than 40% of the world's production. In 1990, the U.S. share of world production had decreased to 23%. Most of the restructuring of the world aluminum industry began in the late 1970's and continues to this day. Australia and Canada have emerged as major metal producers. Other countries entering the world market today are Brazil, China, Norway, Venezuela, and several countries in the Persian Gulf area.

Another factor that should be considered in analyzing the domestic aluminum industry is the growing importance of secondary aluminum to the domestic supply situation. Secondary aluminum is defined as aluminum recovered from both new and old purchased scrap. New scrap generated by fabrication of aluminum products may be either home scrap (sometimes called runaround scrap) or prompt industrial scrap. Home scrap is recycled within the company generating the scrap and consequently seldom enters the commercial secondary market. Prompt industrial scrap, however, is new scrap from a fabricator who does not choose to, or is not equipped to, recycle the scrap. This scrap then enters the secondary market. Old scrap is a product of obsolescence and becomes available to the secondary industry when consumer products have reached the end of their economic life and have been discarded. In 1960, 397,000 metric tons of aluminum was recovered from new and old scrap. In 1990, almost 2.4 million metric tons of aluminum was recovered from purchased scrap. More than half of this secondary aluminum was recovered from postconsumer, or old, scrap. tbl1.txt

  • Table 1.--Salient aluminum statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. primary aluminum metal production
  • Table 3.--Aluminum price
  • Table 4.--Aluminum supply-demand relationships
  • Table 5.--Domestic secondary recovery of old and new aluminum scrap
  • Table 6.--Production and shipments of secondary aluminum alloys by independent smelters in the United States
  • Table 7.--Month-end U.S. inventories of aluminum ingot, mill products, and scrap
  • Table 8.--U.S. receipts and consumption of purchased new and old aluminum scrap and sweated pig
  • Table 9.--World primary aluminum smelter capacities at yearend
  • Table 10.--World production of primary aluminum, by country

 

Bauxite and Alumina Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Bauxite and Alumina Statistics and Information page.

Bauxite is a naturally occurring, heterogeneous material primarily composed of one or more aluminum hydroxide minerals and various mixtures of aluminum silicate (clay, etc.), iron oxide, silica, titania, and other impurities in minor or trace amounts. It is principally used for the production of alumina (Al2O3), the oxide of aluminum, which is consumed chiefly in the production of primary aluminum metal. The other major uses of bauxite are in refractories, abrasives, chemicals, proppants, and aluminous cements.

  • Table 1.--Salient bauxite statistics (TXT)
  • Table 2.--Domestic mine production (TXT)

 

Cement Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Cement Statistics and Information page.

The term "cement" most commonly refers to hydraulic cement, especially portland cement. Hydraulic cements are those that have the property of hardening under water and are the chief binding agents for concrete and masonry. Portland cement was patented by Joseph Aspdin of Leeds, England, in 1824, and today, it is the predominant variety of hydraulic cement. The name "portland" was chosen because the set cement resembled a building stone quarried from the Isle of Portland off the southern coast of England.

More than 95% of the cement produced in the United States is portland cement; masonry cement used for stucco and mortar accounts for most of the balance. Portland cement concrete is one of the principal materials of construction, and it is anticipated that the use of concrete in construction will continue at a high level worldwide.

In the long term, cement consumption has increased and will continue to increase because increased population leads to increased construction. In the short term, cement demand is subject to the cyclic nature of the U.S. economy in general and the level of construction activity in particular. This is evident in the 20-year data tables, which show a decreased demand in the mid-1970's because of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil- embargo shocks to the world economy, a slump during the recession of the early 1980's, strong growth in demand during the rest of the 1980's as the U.S. economy experienced growth, and a downturn in 1990 as overbuilding, economic slowdown, and tight money supply caused a significant decrease in construction.

  • Table 1.--Portland and masonry cement demand and production (TXT)
  • Table 2.--Average annual mill value, in bulk, of cement sold in the United States (TXT)
  • Table 3.--Portland cement and clinker annual capacity and capacity utilization in the United States (TXT)
  • Table 4.--U.S. exports for consumption of cement and clinker (TXT)

 

Chromium Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Chromium Statistics and Information page.

Chromium has a wide range of uses in metals, chemicals, and refractories. It is one of the Nation's most important strategic and critical materials. Chromium use in iron, steel, and nonferrous alloys enhances hardenability and resistance to corrosion and oxidation. The use of chromium to produce stainless steel and nonferrous alloys are two of its more important applications. Other applications are in alloy steel, plating of metals, pigments, leather processing, catalysts, surface treatments, and refractories.

Because the United States has no chromite ore reserves and a limited reserve base, domestic supply has been a concern during every national military emergency since World War I. World chromite resources, mining capacity, and ferrochromium production capacity are concentrated in the Eastern Hemisphere. The National Defense Stockpile contains chromium in various forms including chromite ore, chromium ferroalloys, and chromium metal in recognition of the vulnerability of long supply routes during a military emergency.

Research is conducted by the Federal Government to reduce U.S. vulnerability to potential chromium supply interruption. That research covers both domestic resource utilization and alternative materials identification. Domestic chromium resources include mineral deposits and recyclable materials. The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Mines evaluate U.S. territory for chromium mineral deposits. The U.S. Bureau of Mines also studies minerals extraction and processing and materials substitution and recycling. Alternative materials research is also conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Aministration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

World chromite ore reserves are more than adequate to meet anticipated world demand.

  • Table 1.--U.S. salient chromite statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. Government stockpile yearend inventories
  • Table 3.--Production, shipments, and stocks of chromium ferroalloys and metal in the United States
  • Table 4.--Consumption of chromite and tenor of ore used by primary consumer groups in the U.S.
  • Table 5.--U.S. consumption of chromium ferroalloys and metal by end use
  • Table 6.--Consumer yearend stocks of chromite, by industry
  • Table 7.--Price quotations at year end for chromium materials
  • Table 8.--World annual chromite production, by country
  • Table 9.--U.S. imports for consumption of chromite ore and ferrochromium

 

Clays Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Clays Statistics and Information page.

Clay is a natural, earthy, fine-grained material composed largely of a group of crystalline minerals known as the clay minerals. These minerals are hydrous silicates composed mainly of silica, alumina, and water. Several of these minerals also contain appreciable quantities of iron, alkalies, and alkaline earth.

Clays are bulk commodities that support a variety of substantial industries that are vital in local and regional economies and are important to the national economy. Deposits of common clays, shales, and fire clays are widespread. Ball clay, bentonite, fuller's earth, and kaolin deposits occur in smaller geographic areas.

U.S. production of clays in 1989 was 42 million metric tons valued at $1.5 billion, from 44 States and Puerto Rico. U.S. clay demand during the last two decades has declined because of decreased construction. Large declines in the manufacture of brick, lightweight aggregates, and portland cement were observed during the period. The specialty clays used in more diversified applications and industries fared better. Demand for these clays-- kaolin, ball clay, fuller's earth, and bentonite--has held up well despite some softening in the latter part of the decade.

The forecast range for U.S. clay demand for the year 2000 is between 47 and 77 million metric tons. Probable U.S. demand for 2000 was put at 63 million metric tons. The United States possesses the best overall supply of clays of any country in the world with respect to types as well as quantity. In addition, the United States is more advanced in clay-processing technology than most other countries and is capable of processing clay to meet all domestic consumer requirements.

For several of the clay types, demand and industry employment are strongly influenced by production costs and price. Efficiencies and innovations that would reduce extraction costs would be particularly effective in increasing demand.

Although clays have been used for thousands of years, understanding of the molecular and atomic structure along with tools for measuring and observing the chemical and physical properties of the many clay minerals have only recently been made available and are continually being improved. This type of research is a relatively new field that, if pursued diligently, holds potential for improvements in quality, new physical properties, and even designed physical properties of clays.

Byproducts and coproducts have been given little attention by clay producers. High-quality silica sand is the only significant coproduct. Although the potential for additional coproducts is probably limited by marketing problems, possibilities exist for recovering mica, titanium minerals, and silica from kaolin mining operations.

Most clays are produced from open pits, and the industry is particularly susceptible to land use conflicts. Zoning regulations, waste disposal, and pollution factors will affect the economics of production in a growing number of instances. Devising practices to minimize such conflict demands immediate and concerted attention. Of even more importance is the need for adequate data on clay resources, location of deposits, types of clay, use potential, and tonnage so planners can more intelligently design for the use of land within their purview.

  • Table 1.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1971, by State
  • Table 2.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1971, by kind and use
  • Table 3.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1972, by State
  • Table 4.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1972, by kind and use
  • Table 5.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1973, by State
  • Table 6.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1973, by kind and use
  • Table 7.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1974, by State
  • Table 8.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1974, by kind and use
  • Table 9.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1975, by State
  • Table 10.-Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1975, by kind and use
  • Table 11.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1976, by State
  • Table 12.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1976, by kind and use
  • Table 13.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1977, by State
  • Table 14.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1977, by kind and use
  • Table 15.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1978, by State
  • Table 16.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1978, by kind and use
  • Table 17.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1979, by State
  • Table 18.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1979, by kind and use
  • Table 19.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1980, by State
  • Table 20.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1980, by kind and use
  • Table 21.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1981, by State
  • Table 22.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1981, by kind and use
  • Table 23.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1982, by State
  • Table 24.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1982, by kind and use
  • Table 25.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1983, by State
  • Table 26.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1983, by kind and use
  • Table 27.--Clay sold or used by producers in the United States in 1984, by State
  • Table 28.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1984, by kind and use
  • Table 29.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1985, by State
  • Table 30.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1985, by kind and use
  • Table 31.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1986, by State
  • Table 32.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1986, by kind and use
  • Table 33.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1987, by State
  • Table 34.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1987, by kind and use
  • Table 35.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1988, by State
  • Table 36.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1988, by kind and use
  • Table 37.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1989, by State
  • Table 38.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1989, by kind and use
  • Table 39.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1990, by State
  • Table 40.--Clays sold or used by producers in the United States in 1990, by kind and use

 

Cobalt Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990.  For recent statistics, please go the the Cobalt Statistics and Information page.

Cobalt is a strategic and critical metal used in many diverse industrial and military applications. The largest use of cobalt is in superalloys, which are used to make jet engine parts. Cobalt is also used in magnetic alloys and in cutting and wear-resistant materials such as cemented carbides. The chemical industry consumes significant quantities of cobalt in a variety of applications including catalysts for petroleum and chemical processing; drying agents for paints and inks; ground coats for porcelain enamels; decolorizers for ceramics and glass; and pigments for ceramics, paints, and plastics.

Cobalt is almost always produced as a byproduct of other more abundant metals. Currently, more than one-half of the world's supply is produced as a byproduct of copper mining and refining in Zaire and Zambia. Cobalt production in most other countries is a byproduct of nickel mining and/or refining. Although some producers can increase or decrease the amount of cobalt mined or refined, most cobalt production is ultimately dependent on the production of copper and nickel.

The United States is the world's largest consumer of cobalt, but currently has no domestic mine or refinery production. Therefore, the United States is 100% dependent on imports for its supply of primary cobalt. In terms of total supply, currently about 15% of U.S. cobalt consumption is from recycled scrap, resulting in a net import reliance of 85%. To ensure an adequate supply for military, industrial, and essential civilian needs during a national emergency, cobalt metal is included in the National Defense Stockpile.

  • Table 1.--Salient cobalt statistic
  • Table 2.--U.S. reported consumption of cobalt, by form
  • Table 3.--U.S. reported consumption of cobalt, by end use
  • Table 4.--U.S. imports for consumption of cobalt, by form
  • Table 5.--U.S. imports for consumption of cobalt, by country
  • Table 6.--U.S. exports of cobalt, by form
  • Table 7.--U.S. cobalt prices
  • Table 8.--Yearend Government and industrial stocks of cobalt
  • Table 9.--Cobalt: World mine production, by country

 

Copper Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Copper Statistics and Information page.

Copper smelting operations have been traced back to at least 5000 B.C., but modern history and growth in demand for copper began with the discovery and commercial development of electricity in the latter part of the 19th century. Electrical and electronic uses still dominate copper markets, composing more than 70% of U.S. copper consumption in 1990. Copper ranks third in world metal consumption after steel and aluminum. The largest refined copper-consuming nations have long been the industrialized countries with large manufacturing bases. The major copper-consuming nations or areas in 1990 were Western Europe (28.5%), the United States (19.1%), Japan (14%), the U.S.S.R. (10.2%), and China (5.3%). Since the 1950's, the trend has been toward increased consumption by the Asian countries, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, mainly to support export-oriented fabrication industries. More recently, China has indicated significant growth as it built new rod and brass mills for its increased domestic copper needs. In 1990, copper was mined in 54 countries. The eight leading mine producing nations, accounting for 68% of production, were Chile and the United States, each with 18%; Canada, 8%; the U.S.S.R. 7%; Zambia 5%; and China, Poland, and Zaire, each with 4% share of the world total. Only 16.5% of the total copper produced as concentrates was available for export to other nations. The eight leading refining nations, accounting for 67% of total refined metal production, were the United States, the U.S.S.R., Japan, Chile, Canada, Zambia, Belgium, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Copper and copper alloy scrap compose a significant share of the world's supply. In the United States, about 44% of total annual copper consumption was from copper in old and purchased new scrap. The largest international sources for scrap are the United States and Europe. Most U.S. trade in copper scrap is with the Far Eastern countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

  • Table 1.--Salient copper statistics
  • Table 2.--Mine production of recoverable copper in the United States, by State
  • Table 3.--Primary and secondary copper refined in the United States, by process and type
  • Table 4.--U.S. production of selected copper products and sulfuric acid
  • Table 5.--Reported consumption of refined copper, by industry
  • Table 6.--U.S. refined copper inventories, end of year
  • Table 7.--Average copper prices in the United States and on the London Metals Exchange
  • Table 8.--Selected U.S. refined copper prices
  • Table 9.--Selected U.S. copper scrap and ingot prices
  • Table 10.--U.S. imports for consumption of copper and copper manufactures
  • Table 11.--U.S. exports of copper and copper manufactures
  • Table 12.--World copper mine production
  • Table 13.--Copper world smelter production
  • Table 14.--World copper refinery production
  • Table 15.--U.S. copper consumption
  • Table 16.--U.S. copper scrap and copper alloy consumption and trade
  • Table 17.--U.S. copper mine, smelter, refinery capacity, and percent utilization

 

Ferroalloys Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Ferroalloys Statistics and Information page.

Ferroalloys impart distinctive qualities to steel and cast iron and serve important functions during iron and steel production cycles. The principal ferroalloys are those of chromium, manganese, and silicon. Manganese, used to neutralize the harmful effect of sulfur and as an alloying element, is essential to the production of virtually all steels and is also important to the production of cast iron. Chromium adds corrosion resistance to stainless steels. Silicon is used primarily for the deoxidation of steel and as an alloying element in cast iron. Boron, cobalt, columbium, copper, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zirconium, and the rare earths are among the other elements contributing to the character of the various alloy steels and cast irons. Most of these elements are normally added to the molten metal as a ferroalloy.

Ferroalloys and related materials are essential to the production of many metals and alloys, including aluminum, iron, and steel. The domestic ferroalloys industry has been in a state of decline since its peak production years in the early 1970's because of decreased demand and competition from low-priced imports. Since that time, many U.S. producers have gone out of business, leaving the domestic ferroalloy industry a lean but surviving element of the country's industrial base.

  • Table 1.--Ferroalloys produced and shipped from furnaces in the United States

 

Gold Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Gold Statistics and Information page.

Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence. Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry. However, because of its superior electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion and other desirable combinations of physical and chemical properties, gold also emerged in the late 20th century as an essential industrial metal. Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products. Although gold is important to industry and the arts, it also retains a unique status among all commodities as a long-term store of value. Until recent times, it was considered essentially a monetary metal, and most of the bullion produced each year went into the vaults of government treasuries or central banks.

 

Iron Ore Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Iron Ore Statistics and Information page.

Iron is the fourth most abundant rock-forming element and composes about 5% of the Earth's crust. Astrophysical and seismic evidence indicate that iron is even more abundant in the interior of the Earth and has apparently combined with nickel to make up the bulk of the planet's core. Geologic processes have concentrated a small fraction of the crustal iron into deposits that contain as much as 70% of the element. The principal ore minerals of iron are hematite, magnetite, siderite, and goethite. An estimated 98% of the ore shipped in the world is consumed in the manufacture of iron and steel. The remaining 2% is used in the manufacture of cement, heavy-medium materials, pigments, ballast, agricultural products, or specialty chemicals. As a result, demand for iron ore is tied directly to the production of raw steel and the availability of high-quality ferrous scrap.

World production of raw steel was at a record-high in 1989 and would have been even greater in 1990 and 1991 if political and socioeconomic events had not led to the disintegration and dissolution of the U.S.S.R. The U.S.S.R. had been the leading producer of iron ore for more than three decades and traditionally accounted for one-fourth to one-third of the world's annual output. Other major producers include Australia, Brazil, China, India, and the United States. Since 1980, demand for steel has stabilized and even slackened in many industrialized countries. However, demand continues to escalate in the developing and newly industrialized countries. Much of the recent growth has been in the Far East.

Iron ore mining and beneficiation in the United States has changed significantly since World War II. At that time, natural ores were the mainstay of the domestic mining industry. The natural ores, which consisted primarily of hematite and goethite, were extracted from near-surface zones of enrichment in the Precambrian banded iron ore formations of Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The ores came from areas where part of the silica had been leached from the underlying low-grade taconite by weathering or movement of ground water. The old Lake Superior ores averaged 50% to 60% Fe and could be shipped directly to the steelworks without prior beneficiation. In 1944, at the peak of the war, 103 natural ore mines were operating in Minnesota and another 43 in Michigan. That year, the two States shipped 65.5 million metric tons of crude ore directly to consumers and another 23.9 million metric tons to beneficiation plants. Demand for steel during the Korean War accelerated the depletion of these reserves, and the mining companies in the Lake Superior District began turning more and more to magnetic taconite. This trend can be seen in figure 1. By the end of the Vietnam Conflict, most of the natural ore in the district had been mined out, with the last mine of this type closing in 1991.

Figure 1 Consumption of iron ore and agglomerates at U.S. iron and steel plants, by type of product.

During the 1960's and 1970's, massive pelletizing complexes were built in the Lake Superior District to compensate for the shutdown of the natural ore mines. Today, the district still produces the bulk of the Nation's iron ore, but almost all of the ore being recovered is magnetite. Pellets made from finely ground magnetite concentrate now account for 97% of U.S. usable production (fig. 2). In the late 1980's, blast furnace operators began switching to fluxed pellets in response to environmental restrictions on cokemaking and higher energy costs. This more easily reducible type of pellet is created by adding limestone and/or dolomite to the iron ore concentrate during the balling stage. In 1990, fluxed pellets accounted for 39% of U.S. pellet production.

Since colonial times, the blast furnace has been the principal instrument for converting the ore to molten iron and is expected to remain the mainstay of the steel industry for at least another 30 years. Nevertheless, because of increasing environmental concerns and sharp increases in energy prices, companies have begun evaluating several novel ironmaking and steelmaking processes. In the late 1970's, Venezuela, Mexico, and other countries with surplus natural gas began making significant quantities of a product called direct-reduced iron (DRI). Since then, DRI has become a competitive substitute for high-quality scrap. In 1990, the world produced 29.37 million metric tons of DRI, which typically averages 90% to 94% Fe. The p29 million metric tons of DRI falls far short of the 500 million metric tons of hot metal and pig iron being produced annually by the blast furnace, but a number of other promising technologies are under development that could help fill the gap.

Figure 2 Usable iron ore production, by type of product.

In 1988, the first commercial Corex plant was commissioned at Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa. Many of the technical problems associated with the startup of this 300,000- metric-ton-per-year demonstration plant have since been solved, and several steel companies are now considering building much larger units in the United States and Western Europe. The proposed Corex plants are still significantly smaller than existing blast furnaces but can be brought up to full operation much quicker with less cost. A key feature of the Corex process is that it uses untreated raw coal in place of coke. The ability to operate without coke gives the Corex plant two environmental advantages over the conventional blast furnace. First, because coke ovens are not needed, all of the problems associated with the generation of benzene and other coal tar byproducts are eliminated. Second, the dust problems associated with blast furnaces are also eliminated because the offgas is used as fuel. Joint COREX and DRI plants are now on the drawing board, with the offgas from the Corex plant being used to fuel the adjoining DRI plant. Direct steelmaking, a much more revolutionary process, is still in the early stages of development. A pilot plant, funded by the American Iron and Steel Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy, has been operating near Pittsburgh since 1990.

  • Table 1.--Salient iron ore statistics
  • Table 2.--Iron ore mined and beneficiated in the United States
  • Table 3.--Shipments of usable iron ore from mines in the United States, by State
  • Table 4.--Usable iron ore produced in the U.S. Lake Superior District, by range
  • Table 5.--Usable iron ore produced in the United States, by type of product
  • Table 6.--Employment at iron mines and beneficiating plants
  • Table 7.--Shipments of usable iron ore from mines in the United States
  • Table 8.--U.S. and Canadian iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes
  • Table 9.--Ore shipments from U.S. ports on the upper Great Lakes
  • Table 10.--U.S. imports of iron ore and agglomerates, by country
  • Table 11.--U.S. export of iron ore and agglomerates, by country of destination
  • Table 12.--Consumption of iron ore and agglomerates at U.S. iron and steel plants, by type of product
  • Table 13.--Consumption of iron ore, pellets, and sinter at U.S. iron and steel plants
  • Table 14.--Consumption of iron ore at U.S. iron and steel plants, by source
  • Table 15.--U.S. consumption of iron ore and agglomerates, by end use
  • Table 16.--Yearend stocks of iron ore and agglomerates
  • Table 17.--Blast furnace production of hot metal and pig iron in the United States
  • Table 18.--World production of iron ore
  • Table 19.--Production of iron ore by primary producing countries
  • Table 20.--Metal content of iron ore produced in primary producing countries

 

Iron and Steel Scrap Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Iron and Steel Scrap Statistics and Information page.

Use of iron and steel scrap to produce new steel and ferrous castings, which are vital to the United States for both national security and economic well-being, represents significant energy, environmental, economic, and resource conservation benefits. Direct-reduced iron, pig iron, and iron carbide can be substituted for iron and steel scrap but are usually considered more expensive than scrap. Also, availability of these substitutes on a large scale is limited, and there are certain technical problems associated with the use of some of these substitute materials. However, these scrap alternatives have certain advantages, which include providing iron free of residual elements, such as copper, for use in producing higher quality steel and ferrous castings products. Iron and steel scrap consists of all ferrous materials, either alloyed or unalloyed, containing iron or steel as a principal component that are the waste of industrial production or are objects discarded because of obsolescence, failure, or other reasons. Iron and steel scrap is classified as home scrap (revert, runaround, or internally generated scrap), prompt industrial scrap (waste material resulting from fabrication of new iron and steel products), and obsolete scrap (old scrap consisting of iron or steel products that have been discarded or rejected for various reasons). Purchased scrap consists of the last two classifications. An analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Mines of iron and steel scrap consumption by domestic steel mills revealed that two key trends have emerged during the last 20 years. First, steelmakers have increased their use of electric arc furnaces, which use close to 100% scrap as a charge material to produce raw steel. Second, steel producers have extended their use of continuous casting--a more efficient forming technology than ingot casting--which has increased steel mill processing yields but has left progressively less home scrap available to the mills.

  • Table 1.--Salient U.S. iron and steel scrap and pig iron statistics (TXT)

 

Iron and Steel Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990.  For recent statistics, please go the the Iron and Steel Statistics and Information page.

Table 1 indicates the decline of the basic open-hearth steelmaking process in favor of the basic oxygen process-both are the domain of the "integrated" steel companies. The rise of the electric arc furnace production illustrates the growth of the "minimills," small producers using only this process.

The tabulation of steel types shows the predominance of "plain carbon" steels and some decline in the production of alloy steels. This is caused by the development of the high-strength low-alloy steels in the 1960's. The alloy content of these steels is well below that of the recognized traditional alloy steels--always under one-quarter of 1%. For this reason, these steels, which took over some applications of alloy steels, are usually classified with the "plain carbon" grades.

The production of stainless steels and their higher alloyed cousins, heat-resisting grades, is growing slowly. These steels are always made in electric arc furnaces and are usually end- refined in argon-oxygen decarburization units.

Table 2 is the history of the U.S. steel industry in a nutshell. Shedding the excess capacity, mainly of older, less efficient units, resulted in better utilization of the remainder. Actually, this meant demolition of open-hearth furnaces, which were replaced by basic oxygen units but were kept as "spare capacity." For several years prior to 1975, capacity numbers were not published, and thus no capacity utilization data could be calculated.

Adoption of the continuous casting process, which replaced the time-honored ingot pouring followed by reheating and rolling the ingots, resulted in a sharp increase in process yield and decrease in worker-hours. Continuous casting produces a semifinished shape directly from liquid steel and bypasses the ingot and primary rolling stages. Since these two stages cause unavoidable steel losses, continuous casting increases yield, sometimes by as much as 12%. Process yield is the ratio of shipped steel weight to the weight of the ingot or cast semifinished section from which it originated.

Work productivity, expressed as hours worked per ton shipped, is actually a combination of better work organization and technological progress, such as adoption of basic oxygen furnaces and continuous casting. It is frequently--but not quite correctly--used as a measure of workers' productivity alone. The U.S. steel industry, with about 170,000 employees in 1990, turned out a similar amount of steel to that in the 1970's with more than one-half of a million, but it is the replacement of the obsolescent processes and installations that accounted for a large part of the reduction of personnel.

Another reason for halving the labor force needed to produce a ton of steel is the growth of minimills, which use the most labor-efficient processes and methods; some easy-to-make sections may use only 2 worker-hours per steel ton.

Table 3 indicates the general extent of the steel trade. At times of strong steel demand worldwide, such as in the years 1973-76 and 1979-80, imports are moderate because exporters ship to countries other than the United States and exports are fairly high. Both are, however, strongly influenced by the exchange value of the dollar: a strong, high-valued dollar promotes imports by making them cheaper and reduces export; this was the situation in 1983-87, although a weak dollar and strong sales efforts by the steel producers resulted in high exports in 1989- 90.

Because of the dramatic increase of imports in 1984, the U.S. Government negotiated a number of treaties, Voluntary Restraint Agreements (VRA's), with exporters to restrict imports and thus help the U.S. steel industry. The effectiveness of the VRA's from 1985 onward is quite apparent.

The apparent consumption reported here is not corrected for inventory changes: reduced inventories may indicate increased demand and vice versa. What is regarded as an "inventory" by one person may be "safety stock" for another and "stock earmarked for expected future orders" by a third. Hence, comparisons of such uncertain numbers, which may vary as a function of general business climate, may be misleading. The American Iron and Steel Institute and many other institutions use the "uncorrected" number, and this was used in table 3.

Typically, "stocks" at steel mills are about 8 to 15 million metric tons or 1 to 2 months' demand; at the warehouses and service centers, "stocks" are about 5 to 7 million or 3 to 4 months' demand. User inventories may vary from 10 to 20 million metric tons. As aforementioned, these numbers are based on subjective definitions of "stocks." User inventories tend to go up ahead of expected price increases or in times of strong demand; thus, the increase may actually mask increased consumption.

The intensity of steel consumption as expressed in pounds per person dropped from 1,000-plus pounds in the early 1970's to less than 800 pounds in the late 1980's. About 50 pounds may be accounted for by the down-sizing of automobiles; the remainder is probably caused mainly by the reduction of the steel content of roads and buildings and almost complete replacement of steel cans with aluminum ones. Wide adoption of high-strength low-alloy steels also reduced the amounts of steel used in many applications.

  • Table 1.--Salient statistics of U.S. production and shipments of steel
  • Table 2.--U.S. raw steel production, by furnace process and by steel type
  • Table 3.--Shipments, exports, imports, and consumption of steel mill domestic products

 

Lead Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Lead Statistics and Information page.

Lead is one of the oldest metals used by humankind--some historians have theorized that the downfall of the Roman Empire was expedited by the debilitating effects on its citizens of drinking water carried in lead pipes. It is the most corrosion resistant of the common metals; buildings built in Europe four centuries ago still stand under their original lead roofs.

Today's major use of lead is in lead-acid storage batteries. The electrical systems of vehicles, ships, and aircraft depend on such batteries for startup, and, in some cases, batteries provide the actual motive power. Other batteries provide standby electrical power for emergencies, and very large lead-acid systems are designed to provide "peaking" power in such applications as commercial power networks and subway systems. An increasing use is in the uninterruptible power supply systems necessary for voltage control and emergency power in critical computer storage systems. Lead in gasoline, once the second largest use of lead in the United States, has been virtually phased out to eliminate the health hazard it was found to present.

Nontransportation uses for lead include increasing use for soundproofing in office buildings, schools, and hotels. It is widely used in hospitals to block X-ray and gamma radiation and is employed to shield against nuclear radiation both in permanent installations and when nuclear material is being transported.

A major problem with lead in some uses is its toxicity because accumulation of even minute quantities in the aqueous system of the body can cause permanent brain damage and/or central nervous system disability, liver and kidney damage, and even death. Even the use of lead shot for hunting geese, ducks, and other migratory waterfowl is declining because of lead's toxic effect on the marine life chain.

Besides being a major user of lead, the United States is a major mine producer and by far the world's leading metal producer. Missouri is by far the main producing State. Because of the great number of scrap batteries that become available each year, recycled lead supplies more than 60% of our annual demand. The leading foreign mine producers, with output about equal to that of the United States, are Australia and the former U.S.S.R. The leading foreign metal producers are the former U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan. These four countries, together with the United States, account for about one-half of the world's refined lead production.

Lead's toxicity presents problems in producing it as well as in using it, and emissions from lead smelters and refineries are closely regulated, as are worker blood-lead levels and inplant permissible exposure limits in all lead and lead oxide producing, lead-acid battery manufacturing, and other lead products plants. This adds to the cost of producing lead but is necessary to protect both the general public health and the health of lead industry workers. Early in 1991, after 2 years of intense study, the Environmental Protection Agency completed a long-range, multimedia pollution prevention strategy, which will result in significantly stricter regulations being imposed on both the producing and consuming sectors of the lead industry during the next several years.

  • Table 1.--Salient lead statistics
  • Table 2.--Lead supply-demand relationships
  • Table 3.--U.S. primary lead refinery production
  • Table 4.--Stocks of lead at consumer and secondary smelters in the United States, December 31
  • Table 5.--Average annual price of lead
  • Table 6.--U.S. imports for consumption of lead, by country

 

Lime Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Lime Statistics and Information page.

Lime is a basic chemical that ranked fifth in total production in the United States in 1990. Its major uses are in steelmaking; pulp and paper manufacturing; construction; and the treatment of water, sewage, and smokestack emissions (flue gas desulfurization).

Lime is manufactured by calcining (burning) high-purity calcitic or dolomitic limestone at temperatures ranging from 980° C to 1,320° C. It is never found in a natural state. The calcination process drives off the carbon dioxide, forming calcium oxide (quicklime). The subsequent addition of water creates calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime). The term "lime" refers primarily to six chemicals produced by the calcination process followed by hydration where necessary. They are (1) quicklime or calcium oxide (CaO), (2) hydrated lime or calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2], (3) dolomitic quicklime (CaOùMgO), (4) type N dolomitic hydrate [Ca(OH)2ùMgO], (5) type S dolomitic hydrate [Ca(OH)2ù;Mg(OH)2], and (6) dead-burned dolomite. Lime can also be produced from other calcareous materials such as aragonite, chalk, coral, marble, and shell.

The last 20 years have witnessed three major market shifts and a tremendous increase in prices. The synthetic soda ash industry disappeared, decreasing annual lime consumption by more than 3 million metric tons. The steel industry expanded in the 1970's reaching a peak consumption rate of more than 8 million metric tons per year, but then shrank in the 1980's, causing a dramatic drop in consumption to current levels of about 4.6 million metric tons per year. Passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970 created the flue gas desulfurization market, which has grown steadily until it is the second largest market for lime in the United States. The large jump in prices during the 1970's was the result of the energy crisis. Fuel is generally the largest cost of operation in a lime plant utilizing rotary kilns.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient lime statistics
  • Table 2.--Time-value relationships for lime (NOT AVAILABLE)
  • Table 3.--Destination of shipments of lime sold or used by producers in the United States, by State
  • Table 4.--Lime sold or used by producers in the United States, by major use

 

Magnesium Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Magnesium Statistics and Information page.

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and the third most plentiful element dissolved in seawater. Magnesium and magnesium compounds are recovered from seawater, well and lake brines, and bitterns, as well as from minerals such as magnesite, dolomite, and olivine.

The United States has been the world's largest producer of metallic magnesium since World War II, and, in most years since then, it has been a net exporter of magnesium. Magnesium's principal use is as an alloying addition to aluminum, and these aluminum-magnesium alloys are used in products such as beverage cans, automobiles, aircraft, and machinery. Magnesium alloys also are used as structural components of automobiles and machinery. In recent years, magnesium has become an important material used for desulfurization of iron and steel.

Aluminum beverage cans have become a significant component in the supply-demand relationship for magnesium. In the mid- 1970's, aluminum alloys began to be used in substantial quantities for beverage cans, and they have garnered nearly 100% of the beverage can market. This had a marked impact on magnesium consumption because aluminum cans contain about 2.5% magnesium. The advent of the aluminum can also had a significant impact on secondary magnesium. As aluminum cans were recycled by the consumer, some of the magnesium content also was recycled; consequently, recycled magnesium has become an essential portion of U.S. supply.

Magnesium compounds, primarily magnesium oxide, are used mainly as a refractory material in furnace linings for producing iron and steel, nonferrous metals, glass, and cement. Magnesium oxide and other compounds also are used in agricultural, chemical, and construction industries. Because on average about 75% of the magnesium compounds in the United States is used as refractories, overall production and demand for magnesium compounds are influenced heavily by trends in the consuming industries, particularly the iron and steel industry. The change from open-hearth to electric arc and basic oxygen steelmaking furnaces created a demand for higher quality refractories, and the actual tonnage of refractories consumed per ton of steel produced declined. At the same time, production of steel throughout the world declined, also reducing the need for refractory furnace lining replacement. These two factors contributed to a decline in the production of magnesium compounds in the United States. Also in the mid-1980's, less costly imports supplied a more significant portion of U.S. demand for magnesium compounds, replacing a portion of U.S. production.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient magnesium statistics
  • Table 2.--Magnesium recovered from scrap processed in the United States,by kind of scrap and form of recovery
  • Table 3.--U.S. consumption of primary magnesium, by use
  • Table 4.--U.S. exports and imports for consumption of magnesium
  • Table 5.--Yearend primary magnesium prices
  • Table 6.--Magnesium: World primary production, by country
  • Table 7.--Magnesium: World secondary production, by country
  • Table 8.--U.S. historical salient magnesium compounds statistics
  • Table 9.--U.S. magnesium compounds shipped and used
  • Table 10.--U.S. exports and imports for consumption of magnesium compounds
  • Table 11.--Yearend prices of magnesium compounds
  • Table 12.--Magnesite: World production, by country

 

Manganese Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Manganese Statistics and Information page.

Manganese is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties. Currently, no practical approaches exist for replacing it with other materials or for obtaining the bulk of U.S. requirements from domestic sources. Strategic concerns of the United States for manganese largely apply also to Japan and Western Europe.

Ironmaking and steelmaking have steadily accounted for about 90% of manganese demand, so that the state of the manganese industry is largely determined by the level of activity in the steel industry. U.S. apparent consumption of manganese in the 1980's was significantly lower than that in the 1970's. This stemmed from the dual effects of technological change and/or economic factors that not only reduced domestic steel production but also lowered the rate of consumption of manganese in steel production. Manganese ore was the dominant form in which manganese was imported until 1977. In that year, a crossover occurred because of a declining trend in importing ore for domestic conversion into manganese ferroalloys and a related rising trend in imports of ferroalloys and metal. The actual price of metallurgical-grade manganese ore rose to record levels in the late 1980's, for which at least part of the cause was the importing by China and the former U.S.S.R. of substantial quantities of high-grade ore.

  • Table 1.--U.S. Government stockpile goals and yearend physical inventories for manganese materials
  • Table 2.--U.S. consumption and industry stocks of manganese ore,1/ by use
  • Table 3.--U.S. consumption and industry stocks of manganese ferroalloys and metal
  • Table 4.--U.S. exports of manganese ore, ferroalloys, and metal
  • Table 5.--U.S. imports for consumption of manganese ore, ferroalloys, metal, and dioxide
  • Table 6.--Manganese ore: world production, by country
  • Table 7.--U.S. manganese supply-demand relationships and prices

 

Nickel Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Nickel Statistics and Information page.

Nickel is vital to the stainless steel industry and has played a key role in the development of the chemical and aerospace industries. Furthermore, through the use of nickel, the sophisticated industrial complexes that provide our high standard of living and superior military technology and armament are made possible. Nickel's greatest value is in alloys with other elements, where it adds strength and corrosion resistance over a wide range of temperatures.

  • Table 1.--Salient nickel statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. reported consumption of primary nickel, by use
  • Table 3.--Reported U.S. consumption of nickel, by form
  • Table 4.--U.S. imports of unwrought nickel products, by class
  • Table 5.--U.S. exports of unwrought nickel products, by class
  • Table 6.--Average annual nickel prices

 

Phosphate Rock Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Phosphate Rock Statistics and Information page.

The principal commercial deposits of phosphate rock exist in Florida, North Carolina, and Idaho, and to a lesser degree in Montana and Utah. Production of phosphate rock in Tennessee ended in 1991. Phosphate rock is mined, beneficiated, and either solubilized to produce wet-process phosphoric acid or smelted to produce elemental phosphoric acid or smelted to produce elemental phosphorous. Phosphoric acid is reacted with phosphate rock to produce the fertilizer triple superphosphate or with anhydrous ammonia to produce the ammonium phosphate fertilizers. Elemental phosphorus is the base for furnace-grade phosphoric acid, phosphorus pentasulfide, phosphorus pentoxide, and phosphorus trichloride. Approximately 90% of phosphate rock production is used for fertilizers and animal feed supplements and the balance for industrial chemicals.

U.S. phosphate rock production increased from 18 million metric tons in 1960 to 35 million metric tons in 1970 and peaked at 54 million metric tons in 1980. Consumption in 1990 was 44 million metric tons. Increasing tonnage of phosphate rock is used to produce higher value phosphatic fertilizers for the export market. Phosphate rock exports peaked in 1980 at 14 million metric tons and has declined to 6 million metric tons in 1990. Phosphate rock imports have historically been a minor factor in supply; however, in addition to small quantities of low-fluorine materials, phosphate rock imports in recent years increased to the .5-million-metric-ton level.

Phosphate rock prices in the 1960's were in the $5 to $6 per metric ton range, f.o.b. mine, and increased to the $20 to $25 per metric ton range, f.o.b. mine, in the 1980's.

The demand for phosphate rock as a nutrient for food production will vary throughout the world. The overall demand is forecast to increase in the 1%-to-2%-per-year range; however, in the agriculturally mature countries, the increase in demand will be closer to 1% per year.

The supply of phosphate rock is forecast to decline in the United States as existing mines in Florida are mined out and unfavorable economics discourage new mine development. World supply will be maintained from quality deposits in North Africa.

  • Table 1 (TXT) -- U.S. phosphate rock historical data

 

Platinum-Group Metals Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Platinum-Group Metals Statistics and Information page.

The platinum-group metals (PGM) comprise six closely related metals: platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, which commonly occur together in nature and are among the scarcest of the metallic elements. Along with gold and silver, they are known as precious or noble metals. They occur as native alloys in placer deposits or, more commonly, in lode deposits associated with nickel and copper. Nearly all of the world's supply of these metals are extracted from lode deposits in four countries--the Republic of South Africa, the U.S.S.R., Canada, and the United States. The Republic of South Africa is the only country that produces all six PGM in substantial quantities.

PGM have become critical to industry because of their extraordinary physical and chemical properties--the most important of which is their catalytic activity. Since the mid- 1970's and continuing today, automobile manufacturers have used catalytic converters containing platinum, palladium, and rhodium to reduce automobile emissions. Similarly, the chemical and petroleum-refining industries have relied on PGM catalysts to produce a wide variety of chemicals and petroleum products.

  • Table 1.--Platinum-group metals recovered in the U.S. from secondary sources
  • Table 2.--U.S. exports of platinum-group metals
  • Table 3.--U.S. imports for consumption of platinum-group metals
  • Table 4.--U.S. platinum-group metals stocks
  • Table 5.--Platinum-group metals sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 6.--Platinum sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 7.--Palladium sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 8.--Iridium sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 9.--Osmium sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 10.--Rhodium sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 11.--Ruthenium sold to consuming industries in the United States
  • Table 12.--Average producer and dealer prices of platinum-group metals

 

Rare Earths Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Rare Earths Statistics and Information page.

The rare-earth elements are defined as a group of chemical elements composed of scandium, yttrium, and the lanthanides. The lanthanides are a group of 15 chemically similar elements with atomic numbers 57 through 71, inclusive. Although not a lanthanide, yttrium, atomic number 39, is included in the rare earths because it often occurs with them in nature, having similar chemical properties. Scandium, atomic number 21, is also included in the group, although it typically occurs in rare- earths ores only in minor amounts because of its smaller atomic and ionic size.

Rare-earths production is derived from the rare-earths ores bastnasite, monazite, xenontime, and ion-adsorption clay. Bastnasite is the world's principal source of rare earths and is produced in China and the United States. Significant quantities of rare earths are also recovered from the mineral monazite. Xenotime and ion-adsorption clays account for a much smaller part of the total production but are important sources of yttrium and other heavy-group rare earths.

In 1990, rare earths were produced by at least 14 countries. The United States was the largest rare-earths-producing country, followed by China, Australia, India, and Malaysia. Except for one primary mine in the United States, essentially all rare earths are produced as byproduct during processing for titanium and zirconium minerals, iron minerals, or the tin mineral cassiterite.

Domestic mine production of bastnasite during the 1970's and 1980's showed an overall increase. Most companies increased their ore and separated product capacities during the period to meet growing demand. Price increases during the two decades were tied primarily to adjustments for inflation and increased operating costs. In the 1980's, demand shifted away from mixed rare-earths products, such as mischmetal and mixed compounds, to higher value individual high-purity products. Consumption and production of rare earths decreased significantly in 1985 because of decreased demand for rare-earths-containing petroleum cracking catalysts. The rare-earths industry rebounded during the next 5 years as a result of stable demand in traditional markets and strong demand in new applications.

Principal uses for the rare earths are in petroleum fluid cracking catalysts; metallurgical applications; glass polishing compounds; glass additives; permanent magnets; catalytic converter materials; and television, lighting, and X-ray intensifying phosphors.

  • Table 1.--U.S. rare-earth mine production
  • Table 2.--Yearend rare-earth concentrate prices
  • Table 3.--U.S. imports for consumption of rare-earths
  • Table 4.--U.S. exports of rare-earths
  • Table 5.--Monazite concentrate: world production, by country
  • Table 6.--Apparent consumption of rare-earths by processors in the United States

 

Salt Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Salt Statistics and Information page.

The salt industry during the 1970's encountered several expansions, closures, and consolidations of salt operations. Higher energy costs because of the Arab oil embargo in October 1973 and the cost of implementing pollution abatement equipment to comply with antipollution legislation contributed to the closure of seven of the eight remaining synthetic soda ash plants in the United States that used significant quantities of salt brine. Small rock salt and solar salt producers were acquired by medium-sized companies in order to be competitive with the major salt companies, all of which had foreign subsidiaries to rely on to supply less expensive imported salt.

During the 1980's, salt was criticized by the environmental and medical communities. Several studies indicated that the excessive use of salt for highway deicing caused damage to roadside vegetation and contributed to high levels of sodium measured in ground water supplies. Salt also contributed to the corrosion of automobiles and metal bridge surfaces and road reinforcement rods. A nationwide campaign was initiated by the salt industry to educate snow equipment operators on when and how much salt to apply to highways. Salt was also reported to be the cause of hypertension in humans, and efforts were made to reduce the quantity of salt added to food by the food processing industry. Although salt for human consumption is only about 3% of total domestic demand, only about 200,000 metric tons of the 2.1 million metric tons used annually in food processing was lost because of changes made by the food processing industry. By the late 1980's, more thorough studies were made to show that only a small segment of the population was "salt sensitive" and that the balance of the population was not necessarily at risk. Rather than reversing their earlier findings, medical researchers took the position that anything in excess was unhealthy.

The environmental issue pertaining to using chlorine-base compounds began in 1990. Chlorine used in pulp bleaching and in treating municipal water supplies reportedly produced carcinogenic compounds. Its use in chlorofluorocarbons contributed to ozone depletion in the upper stratosphere. Because chlorine is produced from salt, the problem will reduce the quantities of salt used. The remainder of the decade will continue to emphasize concern for the environment.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient salt statistics
  • Table 2.--Salt production in the United States
  • Table 3.--Comparison of U.S. salt production and demand
  • Table 4.--U.S. exports of salt
  • Table 5.--U.S. imports for consumption of salt
  • Table 6.--Salt sold or used by producers in the United States, by State
  • Table 7.--Time-value relationships for various types of salt, 1970-90
  • Table 8.--U.S. Salt supply-demand relationships

 

Construction Sand and Gravel Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Construction Sand and Gravel Statistics and Information page.

Sand and gravel, as one of the most accessible natural resources, has been used since the earliest days of civilization mostly as a construction material. At the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. production of construction sand and gravel, the sand and gravel used mostly for construction purposes, was relatively small and its uses limited. Today, annual sand and gravel production tonnage ranks second in the nonfuel minerals industry after crushed stone, and sand and gravel is the only mineral commodity produced in all 50 States. The United States is, in general, self-sufficient in sand and gravel, producing enough to meet all domestic needs and to be a small net exporter mainly to consumption points along the United States-Canadian and United States-Mexican borders.

The demand for construction sand and gravel is determined mostly by the level of construction activity and therefore the demand for construction materials. U.S. production of construction sand and gravel recorded a significant growth in the last 40 years, from 320 million metric tons in 1950 to 810 million metric tons in 1971 and 826 million metric tons in 1990. The highest level of production was reached in 1978--874 million metric tons. Between 1950 and 1966, mainly because of the construction of the Interstate Highway System, the growth in the production of construction sand and gravel was almost continuous, paralleling the increased demand for construction aggregates. Following the reduction in the volume of work in the Interstate Highway Program in the late 1960's, the construction sand and gravel industry became more sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy. The 1974-75 and 1982 recessions are reflected by low levels of production of construction sand and gravel in those years. Future demand for construction sand and gravel will continue to be dependent mostly on the growth of construction activity.

Construction sand and gravel is a high-volume, low-value commodity. The industry is highly competitive and is characterized by thousands of operations serving local or regional markets. Production costs vary widely depending on geographic location, the nature of the deposit, and the number and type of products produced. Constant dollar unit values have been quite steady during the past 20 years. As a result of rising costs of labor, energy, and mining and processing equipment, the average unit price of construction sand and gravel increased from $1.10 per metric ton, f.o.b. plant, in 1970 to $3.57 in 1990. However, the unit price in constant 1982 dollars fluctuated between $2.64 and $2.71 per metric ton for the same period. Increased productivity achieved through increased use of automation and more efficient equipment was mainly responsible for maintaining the prices at this level. Constant dollar prices are expected to rise in the future because of decreased deposit quality and more stringent environmental and land use regulations.

Transportation is a major factor in the delivered price of construction sand and gravel. The cost of moving construction sand and gravel from the plant to the market often exceeds the sales price of the product at the plant. Because of the high cost of transportation, construction sand and gravel continues to be marketed locally. Economies of scale, which might be realized if fewer, larger operations served larger marketing areas, would probably not offset the increased transportation costs. Truck haulage is the main form of transportation used in the construction sand and gravel industry. Rail and water transportation combined account for about 10% to 20% of total construction sand and gravel shipments.

The industry also faces increasing competition from crushed stone that can substitute for sand and gravel in most of its applications. Stone operations are generally longer lived, can afford greater capital investment for higher efficiency, and are often located where competing land use pressures are less severe. The topographically rugged stone-bearing areas are usually less desirable for construction purposes than sand-and-gravel-bearing areas, which are generally flatter.

Although construction sand and gravel resources are widespread and in adequate supply nationally, local shortages exist. Land use conflicts and environmental problems associated with rapid urban expansion are major factors contributing to these shortages. Demand pressures, land use regulations, and the cost of meeting environmental and reclamation requirements are factors that will cause a rising price trend. Larger operations with more efficient equipment, more automation, and better planning and design will be the trend of the industry in the future. This will permit increased use of less accessible and lower quality deposits and will keep prices at competitive levels.

Construction sand and gravel remains an abundant material, and, despite environmental, zoning, and regulatory restrictions, no major shortages at the national level are expected to occur in the future. At the same time, shortages in and near urban and industrialized areas, which usually represent major markets, are expected to continue to increase.

(Note: Some tables require an 8 point font with a landscape orientation to be printed correctly)

  • Table 1. (TXT) -- U.S. historical salient construction sand and gravel statistics
  • Table 2. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by geographic region
  • Table 3. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used by producers in the United States, by State
  • Table 4. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by major use, 1971-73
  • Table 5. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by major use, 1974-77
  • Table 6. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by major use, 1978-80 and 1982
  • Table 7. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by major use, 1984 and 1986
  • Table 8. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel sold or used in the United States, by major use, 1988 and 1990
  • Table 9. (TXT) -- Transportation of construction sand and gravel in the United States to site of first sale or use
  • Table 10. (TXT) -- Construction sand and gravel production in the United States, by size of operation
  • Table 11. (TXT) -- U.S. exports of construction sand and gravel, 1971-75 and 1978
  • Table 12. (TXT) -- U.S. exports of construction sand and gravel, by continent, 1976-90
  • Table 13. (TXT) -- U.S. imports for consumption of construction sand and gravel, 1971-75
  • Table 14. (TXT) -- U.S. imports for consumption of construction sand and gravel, by continent, 1976-90

 

Silicon Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990.  For recent statistics, please go the the Silicon Statistics and Information page.

Silicon is a light chemical element with both metallic and nonmetallic characteristics. In nature, silicon combines with oxygen and other elements to form silicates. Silicon, in the form of silicates, constitutes more than 25% of the Earth's crust. The United States has an abundance of silica deposits for the production of ferrosilicon and silicon metal. Silicon is used primarily in the form of ferrosilicon for deoxidation and as an alloying agent in the production of iron and steel. Several grades of ferrosilicon are produced and sold in the United States. Most of the ferrosilicon consumed domestically is either 50%- or 75%- grade material, the majority being the 50%-grade. Domestic ferrosilicon production accounts for almost all of U.S. reported consumption of ferrosilicon. Most ferrosilicon products are consumed by the iron and steel industries. Silicon metal is used primarily in the aluminum and chemical industries. The products sold to these industries vary considerably in their specifications. The silicon industry, from mining and smelting to refining and manufacturing, involves a wide spectrum of producers from large companies with a broad product line operating several plants to smaller producers operating a single plant or active in only one phase of the industry.

  • Table 1.--Production of silvery pig iron, ferrosilicon and silicon metal in the United States
  • Table 2.--Producer stocks of silvery pig iron, ferrosilicon and silicon metal in the United States
  • Table 3.--U.S. exports and imports for consumption of ferrosilicon and silicon metal

 

Silver Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Silver Statistics and Information page.

Silver has been known and used for thousands of years. In ancient times, silver was used for jewelry, ornaments, utensils, and as a substance that could be bartered for other goods and services. This belief that silver had an underlying "value" led eventually to its use as the basis for monetary systems such as that of the Roman Empire and as a means of paying for international trade. The discovery during the 18th and 19th centuries of large silver deposits in the New World, however, resulted in the conversion of most monetary systems to the gold standard. Despite the loss of its status as the basis for the world's monetary systems, the belief in the value of silver remained.

In 1990, silver was produced by at least 55 countries. Mexico was the largest silver producing country, followed by the United States, Peru, the former U.S.S.R., Canada, and Australia. In essentially all producing countries, the primary source of silver is its recovery as a byproduct of copper, gold, lead, or zinc production.

During the 1980's, domestic mine production of silver increased to its highest level in nearly 50 years, and was due, in part, to a number of factors. During the early years of the decade, precious metal prices remained higher in constant dollars than they were during the previous decade. Additionally, during 1979-80, silver and gold prices were unusually high, while the prices of other base metals were relatively low. In response, companies spent their exploration budgets in search of precious metals. Many of the resultant discoveries were developed into producing mines. Later in the decade, rising prices for metals such as copper, lead, and zinc indirectly contributed to increased domestic silver production. The higher prices allowed some mines to reopen. Other companies increased the capacity of their operations. As noted previously, nearly all base metal mines contain some silver.

Silver has many uses, ranging from decorative to utilitarian. The most important use for silver is in the manufacture of photographic materials. Among the applications for silver are electrical and electronic products, including some types of batteries, brazing alloys and solders, catalysts, dental and medical products, jewelry, sterlingware, electroplated ware, bearings, and mirrors.

  • Table 1.--Silver: world mine production, by country
  • Table 2.--U.S. imports for consumption of silver
  • Table 3.--U.S. exports of silver
  • Table 4.--U.S. yearend stocks of silver in the United States
  • Table 5.--U.S. silver prices
  • Table 6.--U.S. refinery production of silver

 

Crushed Stone Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Crushed Stone Statistics and Information page.

Stone, in its multitude of forms, represents a very significant part of the Earth's crust and one of the most accessible natural resources. Stone has been used since the earliest days of our civilization, first as a tool or weapon, then as construction material, and later, in its crushed form, as one of the basic raw materials for a wide variety of uses ranging from agriculture and chemicals to complex industrial processes. At the beginning of the 20th century, the U.S. production of crushed stone was relatively small, and its uses limited. Today, crushed stone is being produced in 48 of the 50 States, and its annual production tonnage ranks first in the nonfuel minerals industry. The United States is, in general, self-sufficient in crushed stone, producing enough to meet most of the domestic needs. Small quantities of crushed stone, used mainly as construction aggregates, are being imported mostly by water from the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico to compensate for local shortages that exist in some areas of the country.

The demand for crushed stone is determined mostly by the level of construction activity, and, therefore, the demand for construction materials. U.S. production of crushed stone recorded a significant growth in the past 40 years, from 229 million metric tons in 1950 to 1.1 billion metric tons in 1990. The highest level of production was reached in 1988--1.13 billion metric tons. Between 1950 and 1973, because of the construction of the Interstate Highway System, the growth from year to year in the production of crushed stone was almost continuous, paralleling the increased demand for construction aggregates. Following the reduction in the volume of work in the Interstate Highway Program in the late 1960's, the crushed stone industry, while still growing, became more sensitive to the ups and downs of the economy. The 1974-75 and 1982 recessions are well reflected by low levels of production of crushed stone in those years. Future demand for crushed stone will continue to be dependent mostly on the growth of construction activity.

Most crushed stone is used for construction purposes, mainly as aggregate with or without a binder. Road base or road surfacing material, macadam, riprap, and railroad ballast are the major uses without a binder. Aggregate for cement and bituminous concrete in highway and road construction and repair and in residential and nonresidential construction are the major uses for aggregates with a binder. Other uses include cement and lime manufacture, agriculture, metallurgical flux, and fillers and extenders.

Crushed stone is a high-volume, low-value commodity. The industry is highly competitive and is characterized by thousands of operations serving local or regional markets. Production costs are determined mainly by the cost of labor, equipment, energy, and water, in addition to the costs of compliance with environmental and safety regulations. These costs vary depending on geographic location, the nature of the deposit, and the number and type of products produced. Despite having one of the lowest average-per- ton values of all mineral commodities, the constant dollar price of crushed stone has changed relatively little during the past 20 years. As a result of rising costs of labor, energy, and mining and processing equipment, the average unit price of crushed stone increased from $1.58 per metric ton, f.o.b. plant, in 1970 to $4.39 in 1990. However, the unit price in constant 1982 dollars fluctuated between $3.48 and $3.91 per metric ton for the same period. Increased productivity achieved through increased use of automation and more efficient equipment was mainly responsible for maintaining the prices at this level.

Underground operations are becoming more common, especially for limestone mining in the central and eastern parts of the United States, as the advantages of such operations are increasingly recognized by the producers. By operating underground, a variety of problems usually connected with surface mining such as environmental impacts and community acceptance are significantly reduced.

Transportation is a major factor in the delivered price of crushed stone. The cost of moving crushed stone from the plant to the market often equals or exceeds the sale price of the product at the plant. Because of the high cost of transportation and the large quantities of bulk material that have to be shipped, crushed stone is usually marketed locally. The high cost of transportation is responsible for the wide dispersion of quarries around the country, usually located near highly populated areas. However, increasing land values combined with local environmental concerns are moving crushed stone quarries farther from the end-use locations, increasing the price of delivered material. Economies of scale, which might be realized if fewer, larger operations served larger marketing areas, would probably not offset the increased transportation costs.

Although crushed stone resources are widespread and in adequate supply nationally, local shortages exist. Land use conflicts and environmental problems associated with rapid urban expansion are major factors contributing to these shortages. The local shortages that occasionally exist are caused less by a lack of stone than by urban encroachment or zoning regulations that force closure of operating quarries or prevent the development of new ones. Demand pressures, land use regulations, and the cost of meeting environmental and reclamation requirements are factors that will cause a rising price trend.

Sand and gravel and to a lesser extent iron-blast-furnace slag are the predominant substitutes for crushed stone used as construction aggregate. Steel slag is another substitute for crushed stone in road bases and asphaltic concrete, but not in cement concretes because of chemical interaction. Blast-furnace slag is also used as a stone substitute in cement manufacturing.

Stone remains an abundant material, and, despite environmental, zoning, and regulatory restrictions, no shortages on a large scale are expected to occur in the future.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient crushed stone statistics in the United States (TXT)
  • Table 2.--Crushed stone sold or used in the United States, by kind (TXT)
  • Table 3.--Crushed stone sold or used in the United States, by region (TXT)
  • Table 4.--Crushed stone sold or used by producers in the United States, by State (TXT)
  • Table 5.--Crushed stone sold or used by producers in the United States, by use, 1971-83 (TXT)
  • Table 6.--Crushed stone sold or used by producers in the United States, by use, 1985-89 (TXT)
  • Table 7.--Crushed stone sold or used by producers in the United States, by method of transportation (TXT)
  • Table 8.--U.S. crushed stone sold or used by producers, by size of operation, 1971-76 (TXT)
  • Table 9.--U.S. crushed stone sold or used by producers, by size of operation, 1977-80 (TXT)
  • Table 10.--U.S. crushed stone sold or used by producers, by size of operation, 1981-87 (TXT)
  • Table 11.--U.S. crushed stone sold or used by producers, by size of operation, 1989 (TXT)
  • Table 12.--Exports of crushed stone, by destination and type (TXT)
  • Table 13.--Exports of crushed stone, by destination and type (TXT)
  • Table 14.--U.S. imports for consumption of stone, by type (TXT)

 

Soda Ash Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Soda Ash Statistics and Information page.

The U.S. soda ash industry consisted of several synthetic soda ash plants situated primarily in the South and East and natural soda ash operations located in the West. Most of domestic soda ash consumption was centered in the Midwest and East, providing the synthetic producers a geographic advantage over their natural competitors. The Arab oil embargo in 1973 and the enforcement of environmental legislation to reduce pollution caused the closure of all but one synthetic facility by 1979. Higher energy costs contributed to a higher selling price for synthetic soda ash. The energy crisis did not affect the natural soda ash industry as much, which permitted those producers to sell at below synthetic soda ash price levels.

In the 1980's, U.S. soda ash consumption was affected by the competition of glass containers with plastic, especially polyethylene terephthalate, and the increased use of cullet. Excess production capacity and stagnant domestic consumption contributed to a drop in the soda ash value for most of the decade. Soda ash exports began to increase with the formation of an industry export association. Most of the exports were to China and to several other developing nations that had expanding glass, chemical, and detergent industries.

Although the United States had become a major supplier of soda ash to the world, certain foreign investors regarded U.S. soda ash to be a stable business to be involved in. Worldwide concern regarding the environment prompted the shutdowns of a few synthetic soda ash plants that caused pollution. Trade barriers with certain countries were reduced or eliminated, thereby providing an opportunity for additional future U.S. soda ash exports.

  • Table 1.--Salient soda ash statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. imports for consumption of soda ash
  • Table 3.--U.S. Exports of soda ash
  • Table 4.--Soda ash supply-demand relationships
  • Table 5.--Time-value relationships for soda ash
  • Table 6.--World soda ash production

 

Sodium Sulfate Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Tin Statistics and Information page.

Sodium sulfate is obtained from natural deposits and as a byproduct from various manufacturing and chemical processes. Each process represents approximately one-half of domestic production. Since 1950, production from natural sources has been a marginal enterprise. Less expensive imports and an abundance of byproduct sodium sulfate have affected the natural sodium sulfate industry. Although there are several natural sodium sulfate deposits in the United States, the only economic resources are in California, Texas, and Utah.

Byproduct sodium sulfate recovery has been derived from the primary production of ascorbic acid, cellulose, flue gas desulfurization, hydrochloric acid, lithium carbonate, rayon, resorcinol, silica, and sodium dichromate manufacture. Virtually all the locations are in the Midwest, South, and the East. Sodium sulfate has been recovered as a waste product from these manufacturing processes and has competed with sodium sulfate produced from natural sources.

Historically, sodium sulfate has been used in pulp and paper, detergents, glass, textiles, and several other miscellaneous end uses. Imports, primarily from Canada, tended to be greater than exports.

Because synthetic sodium sulfate was a byproduct and considered a waste product, it was sold at any price to dispose of it. The smaller natural sodium sulfate industry, which was concentrated more in the West, based its price around the market price of synthetic sodium sulfate.

Sodium sulfate was mainly used in the Kraft pulping process throughout the 1960's and 1970's. However, around 1986, the trend reversed, with soap and detergents becoming the primary end use. In this sector, sodium sulfate was used as a filler in powdered home laundry detergents because of its whiteness. However, in the late 1980's, liquid detergents and superconcentrates, which do not use sodium sulfate in their formulation, became the preferred choices of laundry detergents. The pulp and paper industry strived to recycle as much sodium sulfate as it could and prevent any discharges to the environment from waste water effluent.

By 1990, the U.S. sodium sulfate industry had excess capacity to supply a declining domestic market. Several companies that recovered sodium sulfate considered modifying their technology to produce nonsodium sulfate byproducts that may have more market potential. U.S. sodium sulfate exports have increased to supply material to foreign textile and detergent industries that still manufacture powdered detergents.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient sodium sulfate statistics
  • Table 2.--Synthetic and natural sodium sulfate1/ produced in the United States
  • Table 3.--U.S. exports of sodium sulfate
  • Table 4.--U.S. imports for consumption of sodium sulfate
  • Table 5.--Sodium sulfate supply-demand relationships
  • Table 6.--Sodium sulfate: world production
  • Table 7.--Time-value relationships for sodium sulfate

 

Sulfur Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Tin Statistics and Information page.

Sulfur, through its major derivative sulfuric acid, ranks as one of the more important elements utilized by humanity as an industrial raw material. It is of prime importance to every sector of the world's industrial and fertilizer complexes. Sulfuric acid consumption has been regarded as one of the best indexes of a nation's industrial development.

Sulfur is one of the few elements that occurs in the native, or elemental, state. It also occurs combined with iron and base metals and sulfide minerals and with the alkali metals and alkali earths as sulfate minerals. In petroleum, sulfur is found in a variety of complex organic compounds and in natural gas as hydrogen sulfide. In coal, sulfur occurs in complex organic compounds and as "coal brasses" (pyrites-marcasite). Commercial production of sulfur in the United States is accomplished by a variety of methods dictated by the source of the sulfur.

The primary source of elemental sulfur is classified as recovered sulfur. It is recovered during the refining of crude oil and the purification of natural gas. The next largest type of elemental sulfur is Frasch sulfur. With this method, native sulfur is extracted through a hot water process that is named after its inventor. Sulfuric acid is recovered as a byproduct during the smelting of copper, lead, molybdenum, and zinc. Sulfur in other forms is also produced (i.e., pyrites, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfuric dioxide), but on a minor scale.

  • Table 1.--Salient sulfur statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. sulfur demand pattern
  • Table 3.--World sulfur annual production, sulfur in all forms
  • Table 4.--U.S. sulfur production and average value

 

Tin Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Tin Statistics and Information page.

Tin was one of the earliest metals known to humanity. Because of its hardening effects on copper, tin was used in bronze implements as early as 3500 B.C. Bronze, a copper-tin alloy that could be sharpened and was hard enough to retain a cutting edge, was used for the manufacture of construction tools and hunting and war weapons.

Today, most tin is used as a protective coating or as an alloy with other metals. Tin is used as a coating for steel cans, in solders for joining pipes or electrical conductors, and in bearing and other alloys for widely diversified applications. Tin is essential to an industrial society and in many applications for which there are no completely satisfactory substitutes.

Domestic reserves of tin are small, and significant domestic production has never occurred and seems unlikely to in the next few decades. Virtually all primary tin to meet U.S. requirements is imported largely from Southeast Asia and South America. This supply pattern has long existed and is expected to continue. About 35 countries are engaged in either tin mining or smelting and are dispersed widely throughout the world, in both free market and centrally planned economies. Most tin mining and smelting occurs in developing countries. Historically, it was typical for tin mining to occur in a developing country, and then the tin concentrates were shipped thousands of miles away to a developed country to be smelted and then used. Since the 1950's, however, tin mining and smelting have been typically performed in the same developing country, and the refined tin is then shipped to the industrialized countries to be consumed.

Following World War II and the start of the U.S. Government stockpile for wartime purposes, tin became a major factor in the stockpile and generally since then has been the largest nonfuel mineral in the stockpile based on value. Since 1960, sales of excess tin have been made from the stockpile.

From 1956 to 1985, tin was the subject of a unique world commodity pact called the International Tin Agreement (ITA). This was a complex agreement involving the world's major tin producing and consuming countries. Through mechanisms such as export quotas and its own tin buffer stockpile, it attempted to stabilize the supply and demand of tin. The ITA collapsed in late 1985 when it exhausted its credit trying to support the market price of tin. As a result of this situation, tin was delisted from trading on the London Metal Exchange (LME), and large lawsuits were brought by creditors against the ITA and the LME.

The United States is the world's largest user of primary tin. Domestically, scrap tin has long been an important factor in meeting domestic needs, supplying about 20% of total tin demand. Scrap tin originates both from detinned tinplate and, more importantly, from the various alloyed forms of tin.

  • Table 1.--Salient tin statistics
  • Table 2.--Tin: world mine production, by country
  • Table 3.--Tin: world smelter production, by country
  • Table 4.--U.S. imports for consumption of tin, by country
  • Table 5.--U.S. exports of tin
  • Table 6.--Department of Defense stockpile disposals of tin
  • Table 7.--Domestic primary and secondary consumption of tin
  • Table 8.--Tin prices
  • Table 9.--U.S. industry yearend tin stocks

 

Titanium Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Titanium Statistics and Information page.

Titanium is the ninth most abundant element, making up about 0.6% of the Earth's crust. It occurs in nature only in chemical combination, usually with oxygen and iron. Because of the high strength-to-weight ratio of its alloys and their resistance to corrosion, titanium metal is an important strategic and critical material and is used widely for high-performance military and civilian aircraft in both engines and airframes.

Mineral sources for titanium are rutile, ilmenite, and leucoxene, an alteration product of ilmenite. Rutile is 93% to 96% titanium oxide (TiO2), ilmenite may contain between 44% and 70% TiO2, and leucoxene concentrates may contain up to 90% TiO2. In addition, a high-TiO2 slag is produced from ilmenite in Canada, Norway, and the Republic of South Africa that contains 75% to 85% TiO2.

Only about 5% of the world's annual production of titanium minerals goes to make titanium metal. The other 95% of such production is used primarily to make white TiO2 pigment. Because of its whiteness, high refractive index, and resulting light- scattering ability, TiO2 is the predominant white pigment for paints, paper, plastics, rubber, and various other materials.

The United States has become highly dependent on imports of the minerals used to make titanium and TiO2, which primarily comes from Australia and Canada. In 1980, ilmenite import reliance, including high-TiO2 slag made from ilmenite, was 35% but increased to about 80% in the 1982-84 period because of cessation of production at two U.S. ilmenite mines. Ilmenite import reliance through 1990 has generally been in the 70% to 80% range. Import reliance for rutile declined from about 90% in 1980 to about 60% in 1983, and, in later years, it has remained in the 60% to 70% range because of increased production of synthetic rutile. However, this decline was at the expense of increased import reliance for ilmenite, because domestic synthetic rutile was made from imported ilmenite.

A major problem affecting the titanium metal industry is the wide fluctuations on demand caused by changes in requirements for both military and commercial aircraft programs. Titanium sponge producers have repeatedly increased capacity in response to anticipated demand and have then been left with excess capacity when these programs were canceled or cut back. The most recent example of such a fluctuation was the historic peak in demand and price reached in 1980-81 and the subsequent collapse in 1982-84. The sharp rise and fall of demand and prices were believed to be aggravated by overestimation of aircraft orders that did not materialize or were later canceled.

  • Table 1.--U.S. production of titanium materials
  • Table 2.--U.S. shipments of titanium materials
  • Table 3.--U.S. consumption of titanium materials
  • Table 4.--U.S. distribution of domestic titanium pigment shipments, titanium dioxide content, by industry
  • Table 5.--U.S. exports of titanium
  • Table 6.--U.S. imports for consumption of titanium
  • Table 7.--Yearend stocks of titanium metal (sponge)
  • Table 8.--Yearend prices of titanium concentrates and products
  • Table 9.--Titanium: world production of concentrates (ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, and titaniferous slag), by country
  • Table 10.--Yearend stocks of titanium concentrates and pigment in the United States

 

Tungsten Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. For recent statistics, please go the the Tungsten Statistics and Information page.

Tungsten, a silver-gray metal, exhibits important physical properties, including a high melting point and density, as well as good thermal and electrical conductivity, a low coefficient of expansion, and exceptional strength at elevated temperatures. It is consumed predominantly as the extremely hard carbide in cutting and wear-resistant components and as the metal or alloy for lamp and lighting filaments and electrodes, electrical and electronic contact surfaces, heat and radiation shielding in high-temperature furnaces and X-ray equipment, and electrodes in certain welding methods. Some nonmetallurgical applications of tungsten are as phosphorescent chemicals in pigments, X-ray screens, television picture tubes, and fluorescent lighting. Tungsten is also used militarily as a heavy-metal alloy in armor- piercing ordnance and tank shielding.

Tungsten appears in nature combined with calcium, iron, or manganese in four major mineral forms. Although found in numerous deposits throughout the world, nearly 42% of the world's tungsten resources are in China. Other significant tungsten deposits are in Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, North Korea, Peru, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the former U.S.S.R., and the United States.

The U.S. reliance on foreign sources of tungsten materials (table 1)has increased by nearly 40% since 1984 compared with the average for the previous 10 years. Much of this increase was the direct result of a steady decline in domestic mine production and an increase in the production of concentrate for the world market by the Chinese (table 4). Prices for concentrates reached record levels in the late 1970's amid strong demand for tungsten products, but then began to decline as a result of a gradual increase in supply over demand, attributed by many Western World consumers to an overproduction by the Chinese. By 1990, the estimated production of concentrate by China represented about 52% of the world market share compared with 25% in 1978. In addition to concentrate, the United States also imported a steadily increasing quantity of ammonium paratungstate (APT), most of it from China, during the period 1978 to 1987 (table 2). APT is a major intermediate material from which tungsten metal, carbides, and chemicals are produced. In 1987, the United States and China signed an Orderly Marketing Agreement limiting such imports during a period of 4 years.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient tungsten statistics
  • Table 2.--U.S. historical ammonium paratungstate statistics
  • Table 3.--Historical tungsten concentrate price statistics
  • Table 4.--World tungsten concentrate production, by country

 

ZINC Statistical Compendium

This publication includes data through 1990. 
For recent statistics, please go the the Zinc Statistics and Information page.

Zinc is the fourth most widely used metal after iron, zinc, and copper. Zinc is used as corrosion-protection coatings on steel (galvanized metal), as diecastings, as an alloying metal with copper to make brass, and as chemical compounds in rubber, ceramics, paints, and agriculture. It is also a necessary element for proper growth and development of humans, animals, and plants.

Zinc is mined in more than 50 countries and is produced as metal and compounds in about 40 countries. In 1990, the leading ore-producing countries were Canada, Australia, and the U.S.S.R., in order of mine production; the leading metal-producing countries were the U.S.S.R., Japan, and Canada, in order of primary smelter production. The United States accounted for only about 7% of world mine output and about 5% of world smelter production in the same year. This was not always so; during most of the 1900-70 period, the United States was the world's leading mine and smelter producer of zinc and, in the 1950's, accounted for more than one-half of world metal production. From the late 1960's to the mid-1980's, U.S. mine and smelter output declined by one-half and two-thirds, respectively. Mine production rose to former levels in 1989 and 1990 owing to the opening of a large zinc mine in Alaska. Smelter capacity, however, only marginally increased and, in 1990, was only about 40% of that of 1968.

The United States has been the leading world consumer of zinc since the early 1900's and currently consumes about one- seventh of world output. As a result of the substantial decline in domestic zinc smelter capacity, reliance on metal imports remains high. Ironically, the United States has become a major world exporter of zinc concentrate, but continues to be the world's largest importer of refined zinc.

  • Table 1.--U.S. historical salient zinc statistics
  • Table 2.--Mine production of recoverable zinc in the United States, by State
  • Table 3.--Primary and secondary slab zinc produced in the United States
  • Table 4.--U.S. production of selected zinc compounds, zinc content
  • Table 5.--Consumption of slab zinc, by industry
  • Table 6.--U.S. consumption of zinc
  • Table 7.--Yearend stocks of slab zinc in the United States
  • Table 8.--Average U.S., LME, and European producer prices for equivalent zinc
  • Table 9.--U.S. imports for consumption of zinc
  • Table 10.--U.S. exports of zinc
  • Table 11.--Zinc: World mine production
  • Table 12.--Zinc: World smelter production, by country
  • Table 13.--Zinc: 5-year averages of recoverable mine production and value, by region, 1907-91
  • Table 14.--Zinc consumption of new and old scrap in the United States, by type of scrap
  • Table 15.--Zinc recovered from scrap processed in the United States, by kind of scrap and form of recovery
  • Table 16.--U.S. imports for consumption of zinc, by four leading countries
  • Table 17.--U.S. zinc metal and mine refinery production, capacity, and capacity utilization 1967-90