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Understanding the Tungsten Extraction Process: Surface and Underground Mining

Understanding the Tungsten Extraction Process: Surface and Underground Mining

tungsten scrap

Tungsten is an extremely valuable metal for dozens of global industries, which is why tungsten scrap markets are currently expanding. Because this metal is both extremely durable and can be crafted into numerous alloys, it is commonly used in some of the most heavy duty mining machines on the planet.

Tungsten actually only appears naturally when it’s combined in four major mineral forms with manganese, iron, or calcium. But there are dozens of ways tungsten can be used.

So how is tungsten extracted?

Through mining, tungsten is acquired all across the world. The actual mining methods used during each job vary, depending on the chemical and physical characteristics of the actual tungsten. But the common extraction methods are surface mining and sub-surface mining.

Surface mining
Surface mining, also called open pit mining, is used if near-surface ore body is too large or if it occurs in steeply-dipping lodes, pipes, sheeted vein systems, or makes up the majority of the rock in question. The entire body of material is mined with no overburden being placed back into the void during the entire extraction process. With open pit mining, strip mining and dreading operations work as well.

Underground mining
Sub-surface mining (underground mining) is the way to go when the open pit mining operation becomes far too expensive. Mining companies decide whether or not to mine underground depending on the strip ratio of the land. If the ratio is too large, surface mining is too costly and sub-surface mining is the way to go.

Also, a combination of underground and open pit mining can also be done to gather large amounts of tungsten. The tungsten.

Why is the market for tungsten scrap growing?
With mining companies facing increasing scrutiny, and because of the high costs of tungsten extraction, there is a booming trade in tungsten scrap, which comes in a variety of forms. To reduce the need for new tungsten mining, companies that use tungsten alloys and parts usually sell leftover scrap to tungsten scrap recyclers that pay favorable tungsten carbide scrap prices. These services will purchase tungsten in virtually all of its forms: tungsten carbide scrap, tungsten powder, swarf, and more.

The tungsten mining process can be complicated but it’s an important aspect of many businesses. If you want to learn more about mining for tungsten, the scrap carbide recycling process, or current scrap carbide prices, contact Tungco today.

3955 Anton Rd. Madisonville, KY 42431 O: 270-825-0000 | F: 270-825-0889

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