SHANGHAI, Feb 20 (SMM) — The first batch of tungsten ore mining quotas in 2021 totalled 63,000 mt, a 20% (or 7,815 mt) increase as compared to 2020, and is likely to alleviate the current tight supply situation.
According to the data released by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, quotas of tungsten concentrate (with 65% tungsten trioxide content) from direct mining is 46,890 mt, while quotas of composite utilisation (tungsten ore mining in other associated tungsten mines) stands at 16,110 mt.
SMM believes that the current increment of the tungsten ore mining quotas is the highest over the past three years. The increment of the quotas is to meet the growing demand in the downstream cemented carbide and the military industry. In addition, this can also alleviate the previous tight supply of some products.
From the perspective of the geographical distribution of tungsten ore quotas, provinces with rich and high-quality tungsten ore resources such as Jiangxi and Hunan will become a bigger contributor to the total tungsten ore output in the future, which is also in line with the economical concept of cluster production. On the other hand, China has not issued new tungsten mining licenses over the past three years, and this important strategic resource continues to be in a state of protective mining. The significant increase in composite utilisation quotas in Henan Province is mainly to better develop the rich tungsten and molybdenum mineral resources in Luanchuan, Luoyang.
The increase in tungsten ore mining quotas this year mainly comes from Jiangxi and Hunan. Among them, Jiangxi's main mining quotas have increased by 3,605 mt, while Hunan saw an increase of 2,090 mt as compared to a year ago.
The composite utilisation quotas of tungsten ore in 2021 has increased by 2,685 mt as compared with last year, and the increase will mainly come from Henan, Hunan and Jiangxi. Henan's composite utilisation quotas increased by 1,175 mt while Hunan increased by 410 mt, and Jiangxi quotas rose by 340 mt.