The global demand for tantalum
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Information about global demand for tantalum according 2016
It is projected that the total demand for tantalum until the end of 2017 will grow by 3.3% and will steadily increase up to 2026. The capacitors were and remain the largest consumer of this metal in the world, but demand growth in this segment will be below average. Main constraints of growth of demand are the increase of functionality (the"equipment" apps) of smartphones and the constant reduction of the size of the capacitor. It is expected that the sales of smartphones will rise by 3% to 2026. The demand for tantalum in the solid alloy will have a higher growth rate due to consistently high demand for commercial aerospace sector.
Sputtering targets, TotalStorage chemicals and mill products have a wide range of practical applications, and this diversity provides some protection from fluctuations in individual markets end use. Demand in these segments is also expected to have above-average growth. The use of tantalum carbides will decrease slowly.
The total number of new supply could increase by 37% between 2017 and 2026 years. A significant portion of the increase in production will be obtained from conventional mining, and the expansion of mining is expected to mine, Mindanao Takaka in Petite, which does not produce tantalum concentrate. In the coming years, the industry could witness significant changes, since the increase in material comes as a by-product due to the large expected growth in production of metals in Australia.
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The geography of world production of tantalum and forecasts
The production of tantalum in Australia, which at the end of the last century amounted to 60% of global supply, by the end of 2000-ies has fallen to almost zero since the low prices made conventional mining there unprofitable. At the same time increased the rate of extraction of tantalum in the Great lakes region (East Africa) and in Central Africa. It helped to fill the gap in supply.
Traditionally in Australia a small amount of tantalum is produced from rocks, extraction of lithium as a by-product. However, it is expected that by 2026, Australia’s ability to supply the world market to 20% of the total volume of the tantalum.
In 2016, 19% of deliveries were from South America, from two major mines in Brazil.
Production technology of tantalum in this country is to develop niobium mineral columbite, and of slags, which are formed in the process of smelting tin. Mining in Brazil is constantly increasing, and by 2026, South America can provide up to 24% of the global supply of tantalum.
In 2016, about 63% of the reserves of ore deposits of tantalum are in Africa.
Most of this raw material was produced in the handicraft way from the mines located in the area of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In recent years, this region provides from 45% to 55% of world production. Since consumers can potentially choose a less expensive feedstock, the proposed Australian manufacturers, it could reduce the current dependence of the world’s leading consumers from artisanal suppliers. So by the end of the forecast period offer for tantalum from the Great lakes region may significantly decrease.
The company Electrocentury-steel offers to purchase tantalum at prices from the manufacturer. The supplier arranges the delivery of products to any destination specified by the customer.