The following is an excerpt from Halah Touryalai | April 2, 2012 | Forbes.com |
Few investors know that tungsten was the number one metals performer in the world last year, gaining 35% while most other metals declined in price.
Tungsten has retreated a bit so far in 2012 but the current price of about $425 per metric ton is still historically high. With demand increasing at a rate of about 8% a year and production declining,it’s likely that the price of tungsten is will rise over the next few years.
Tungsten is classified as a rare metal though it’s found in many countries. It is indispensable because of its many applications. It’s the second hardest material with the second highest melting point (diamonds ranks as first in both categories), and thus there are few materials that can be substituted for it. In the U.S. tungsten’s uses include tools and machinery primarily in the metal-working, construction, mining, and oil and gas drilling industries. It is estimated that 25% of the use is in light filaments and 10% for artillery and weapons.
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