Tungsten is a metal with unique properties making it an essential industrial metal. Critical properties include the highest melting point of all metals (3,410°C) and the highest tensile strength, very high density, hardness close to diamond, thermally and chemically stable, excellent conductor, and environmentally benign.
Tungsten’s most important use is as tungsten carbide in hardmetals. This is essential to industrialisation as it allows for the high-speed drilling, cutting, pressing, and/or moulding of all types of material. Other uses are in aerospace, electronics, military and specialist steels/super alloys.
China accounts for over 80% of world tungsten primary (mine) production. Production from sources outside of China is limited, leading to Tungsten being considered a strategic commodity.
- The EU categorize tungsten as a “critical raw material”.
- The global primary tungsten market is estimated to be 75,000 tons tungsten metal per annum.
- Growth in tungsten demand is closely correlated with global GDP.
- Global demand for tungsten is forecast to grow by ~1,3% annually over period 2019-2029.