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Minerals (Industrial Reserves And Requirements)

Volume 958: debated on Thursday 16 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what steps he is now taking to build up strategic reserves of key minerals for British industry; from information available to him what has been the value and weight of tungsten, vanadium, chromium, nickel, molyodenum and cobalt consumed or

Tungsten (tonnes)
Ores and concentrates8,7704,0093,3553,8293,365
Tungsten content4,0482,1451,8122,0971,860
Unwrought and worked metal61126224153208
Total cif value(£10·9m)(£10·8m)(£11·7m)(£20·0m)(£27·6m)
Vanadium (tonnes)
Unwrought and worked metal*19111759
Total cif value*(£2·6m)(£2·8m)(£3·7m)(£4·0m)
Chromium (thousand tonnes)
Ores and concentrates199·2138·1144·4137·7197·6
Unwrought and worked metal0·10·40·20·10·1
Total cif value(£14·0m)(£23·0m)**(£38·4m)
Nickel (thousand tonnes)
Matte, speiss, etc.48·249·966·954·461·4
Unwrought metal23·924·223·920·721·5
Worked metal2·86·95·64·33·1
Total cif value(£82·1m)(£108·5m)(£138·9m)(£160·4m)(£189·3m)
Molybdenum (tonnes)
Ores and concentrates11,23410,56913,52813,61713,934
Unwrought and worked metal164196166133162
Total cif value(£12·3m)(£13·5m)(£20·9m)(£31·9m)(£43·2m)
Cobalt (tonnes)
Matte, speiss, etc.2392,8072,1682,2622,124
Unwrought and worked metal1,697
Total cif value(£6·4m)(£11·1m)(£11·2m)(£15·8m)(£19·9m)
* Information not available.

purchased, respectively, in each of the past five years; and what estimates he has made of requirements over the next five years.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 13th November 1978; Vol. 958, c. 53], gave the following information:Responsibility for ensuring sufficient supplies and stocks of raw materials lies primarily with industry. The Government keep the position under continuous review and will take such steps as the situation demands.Consumption of tungsten, vanadium, chromium, nickel, molybdenum and cobalt in the United Kingdom depends mainly on purchases from overseas, the only supplies from indigenous primary sources being small quantities of mined tungsten. Imports by weight and value in each of the last five years are given below. No comprehensive estimates of such imports over the next five years are available.