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Mineral Imports

Volume 934: debated on Monday 27 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage of the United Kingdom's mineral imports of antimony, vanadium, manganese, platinum and vermiculite come from South Africa; and what other sources of supply are available.

South Africa is the most important United Kingdom supplier of these minerals. With permission, I shall circulate in the Official Report the detailed percentages and a list of other main sources.

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that Western Europe is almost wholly dependent on Southern Africa for the supply of key minerals?

Does not this explain the Russian drive to replace Western influence throughout that area?

The degree of dependence on minerals from Southern Africa varies considerably. I suspect that there

Percentage of imports during year 1976 consigned from South Africa (by weight)

Other main sources

OresNot available*Chile, Bolivia, China, USSR and Pakistan.
Vanadium (including metal content of pentoxide,ashes and residues and ferro-vanadium)30Finland, USSR and Chile.
Ores42USSR, Brazil, Ghana, Gabon. India and Australia.
Ferro-manganese and ferro-silico manganese 39
Platinum group metals:
OresNot available*USSR and Canada.
Metal (including scrap)13
Vermiculite (including perlite and chlorite),unexpanded99USA.

* The details are not available as they would disclose confidential commercial information.