China’s Hunan Chuangda halts tungsten operations, switches focus to vanadium

Date: Mar 4, 2019

Hunan Chuangda, one of China’s largest ferro-tungsten exporters, has halted its tungsten operations and is switching focus to vanadium, a source at the company told Fastmarkets.

“It is our normal strategy to change priority of production from tungsten to vanadium [and] we have no further plans to produce ferro-tungsten after the Chinese New Year holiday lull. We only have around 200 tonnes of ferro-tungsten left in our warehouse,” the source said, adding that company will entirely halt ferro-tungsten export activities once its stocks are depleted. 

The company exports approximately 100-200 tonnes of ferro-tungsten per year, according to the source.

The source told Fastmarkets that the switching of focus from tungsten to vanadium comes as the company seeks a more stable supply of raw materials by utilizing its own upstream vanadium operations.

“We have a mine, which is expected to start production this September, and we will gradually rely on our own mine production thus improving our self-sufficiency,” the source said.

The mine is expected to process 300 tonnes of ore per day and produce 4 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide per day after it goes into production. This translates roughly to a monthly capacity of around 150 tonnes of contained vanadium, Fastmarkets understands. 

“Our downstream consumers prefer to have stable upstream supply, particularly downstream steel mills which pay more attention to the stability of raw material supply. Therefore, in order to carry out stable and reliable production, we need to ensure our own stable source of raw materials,” the source said, adding that utilizing the company’s own mine provides greater security than sourcing the material elsewhere.

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