Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition Page: 68
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MINERAL FACTS AND PROBLEMS, ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Murchison mines in Union of South Africa can
be shipped to New York for approximately
$42 per ton. Average gross value of a ton of an-
timony concentrates early in 1959 was approxi-
mately $135. Low-grade Mexican ore is shipped
exclusively by rail to the National Lead Co.
smelter at Laredo, Tex. Bolivian ore comes
to the United States from the Chilean port of
Arica and the Peruvian port of Mollendo, then
by sea freight to the port of entry. Union of
South Africa ore is freighted by rail to Lour-
engo Marques in Mozambique and by ship to
Liverpool, Portsmouth, and New York.
Research by the antimony producing indus-
try primarily concerns the development and
expansion of markets. In a project sponsored
by a domestic mining company, Battelle Memo-
rial Institute has recently done notable work
on developing indium-antimony and alumi-
num-antimony semiconductors and on the in-
frared transmission characteristics of antimo-
nial glass. Two domestic producers are now
experimenting in the production and character-
istics of superpure antimony metal for the elec-
tronics industry. The American Antimony
Committee, a group composed of domestic mine
owners and operators, is exploring treatment
methods on currently noneconomic domestic
ores as well as searching for new uses for the
metal and its derivatives.
Research by the consuming industry is more
specialized, being confined to developments that
meet a specific industrial need. American
Electroplaters Society, Radio Corp. of Amer-
ica, and others have recently published work on
electroplating of antimonial alloys. Several
chemical companies conduct continuous re-
search on the properties and applications of the
pigments, glasses, and glazes.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture has
done research for the military aimed at devel-
oping a more useful fire retardant. U.S. Naval
Engineering Experimental Station has recently
worked on improving antimonial-bronze bear-
The Bureau of Mines is conducting research
in the hydrometallurgy of antimony-bearing
ores of the Coeur d'Alene district, Idaho, in an
attempt to establish a more economical tech-
nique of recovering antimony from complex
ores. Alaskan mercury-antimony ores are also
being studied by the Bureau of Mines to deter-
mine the technology and economics of separat-
ing the two principal ore constituents by fluid-
ized-bed roasting of a bulk concentrate. In
this process the mercury content is volatilized,
and antimony is recovered from the residual
No major changes in the international flow
of antimony are anticipated during the next
several years. The United States will continue
to import metal and oxide from Europe in pro-
portion to the surpluses developed there. The
U.S. supply of ore will come chiefly from Mex-
ico, Bolivia, and Union of South Africa.
To the extent that antimonial scrap is avail-
able,- secondary production will displace im-
ports and domestic primary output. Relative
stability in the amount of antimony recovered
from scrap since 1945 suggests that about 23,-
000 tons will be recovered annually.
The uneconomic position of domestic anti-
mony mines discourages short-range hope for
significant domestic production. High mining
cost and low recoverable dollar value of domes-
tic ores preclude successful competition with
imports and domestic scrap.
Byproduct output of metal, oxide, and anti-
monial lead is relatively inflexible, being re-
lated more to smelter production of other
metals than to the price of antimony. There-
fore, the anticipated yearly output is estimated
to be the historical average quantity-2,300
Present peacetime industrial uses of anti-
mony appear to be stable. No factors indicate
basic changes in the use pattern in the near
future. The needed peacetime annual supply
of primary antimony will be approximately
14,500 tons, of which half will be used in alloy
products. Nonmetal, nonrecoverable products
will require the remaining half. Moderately
expanded uses of the oxide are expected owing
to its versatility.
Inscrutable factors make long-term forecasts
misleading. However, some general predic-
tions seem warranted. In an economic metal-
using society, the role of antimony will be dic-
tated by the following properties and consid-
1. Antimony's ability to impart hardness and
strength to alloys.
2. Its ability to form alloys resistant to chemi-
3. Its burning properties.
4. Its energy-transmitting and energy-absorbing
5. Its price.
Current emphasis in research suggests that
the energy-response characteristics of antimony
hold the greatest promise for expanded uses.
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United States. Bureau of Mines. Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition, report, 1960; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38790/m1/76/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.