Major world resources of vanadium are described in this summary report of information in the International Strategic Minerals Inventory (ISMI). ISMI is a cooperative data-collection effort of earth-science and mineral-resource agencies in Australia, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. This report, designed to benefit geologists and policy analysts, contains two parts. Part I presents an overview of the resources and potential supply of vanadium based on inventory information. Part II contains tables of some geologic information and mineral-resource and production data collected by ISMI participants.
Vanadium's greatest application is as an additive in steel. During 1984, for example, 90 percent of the vanadium produced in the world was consumed in steelmaking. The Soviet Union and China are the only major steel producers of the world that meet significant proportions of their vanadium needs from domestic sources, albeit from relatively low-grade ores. Reliable economically exploitable world resources total greater than 22 million metric tons of vanadium pentoxide. Deposits of the titaniferous magnetite type are the most economically important, and of these the Bushveld Complex of South Africa is the principal vanadium resource. The high-grade tenor of the Bushveld ore renders South Africa the world's leader in vanadium resources and production. Present (1990) major primary production is confined to only four countries: South Africa, the Soviet Union (low-grade ore), the Peoples Republic of China (low-grade ore), and the United States (partly from imported materials). This production trend is likely to continue for many years.
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International strategic minerals inventory summary report; vanadium