Tungsten Facts

Here are some facts about Tungsten for your perusal.

Mark Seddon: Why You Should Look Twice at an Ugly Duckling Metal

Tungsten just doesn’t have the sex appeal that made investors fall for the rare earth story. But maybe that’s its trump card, considering the boom/bust cycle that swept rare earths didn’t touch tungsten’s slow, steady price increases. Analyst Mark Seddon of Tungsten Market Research has long been watching the often ignored metal, and asserts that tungsten is a harder sell, but a better buy for investors. In this The Metals Report interview, Seddon outlines tungsten’s finer points and suggests miners are poised to reap rewards.

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Who’s Seeking to Sink Gold?

OCCASIONALLY it’s useful to be reminded that not everything in the metals markets revolves around China.

That country has an interest in lower gold prices (making it cheaper to buy up much of the world’s supply) but Beijing seems unlikely to have been involved in “unusual” events on Friday in New York. Out of the blue, just after the opening at Comex, there was placed a sell order covering two million ounces, an order so big it triggered an automatic 10-second trading interruption (and a $US30 an ounce fall in the metal’s price).

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Better Than Gold

As precious metals are becoming the only safe bet in the otherwise volatile investing markets,tungsten may be the word’s most precious metal of the century.

Aside from jewelry, tungsten is used for an array of other practical matters such as armor-piercing, light bulbs, oil drilling, rocket engine nozzles, and electric saws – just to name a few. As one of the world’s toughest hard metals, it is a resource that will not be easily replaceable when it comes to the various tasks it is needed for.

Not only would mining prove to be an impossible task without tungsten, but according to Nick Smith, manager of investor relations at Woulfe, “Without tungsten, Western manufacturing comes to an end.”

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Why Tungsten and Other Strategic Metals Could Prove Good Investments

At the other end of the spectrum there are some metals that are just as important to the economy as oil and gold. The value of the metal consumed each year may not be worth anywhere near $135 billion, but if supply stopped it could cripple an economy.

For example, the tungsten market is worth about $3 billion a year. It may be a small market buttungsten was one of the best performing commodities in 2011, gaining 35%.

Tungsten is used for hardening construction and drilling tools. It is also used in hardening bullets, and other military applications. There is no substitute.

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Tungsten enters the limelight with bullish fundamentals

The Metals Report: Tungsten is used in many applications—to make tools, drill bits, glass bottles, aluminum cans, steel and wire—because it has a high melting point and is very dense. It’s a very useful metal, but the British Geological Survey called it an endangered substance in a 2012 report. Why is that?

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Tungsten More “Critical” on Expected Supply Shortage

It certainly isn’t news to anyone that tungsten is a critical metal. However, it is important to note that tungsten is slowly making its way up the global critical metals list.

A metal is deemed critical when it is found to be economically important to the functionality of society, but has a high risk of supply disruptions. In 2011, The British Geological Society published a list of what it considers the 52 most critical metals in the world. The list was compiled based on global abundance, location of production, reserves and supply risk associated with the political stability in the jurisdictions where the metal occurs.

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