Recently, export policies in tungsten-producing countries have changed. While they were previously exporting it mainly as a raw material, with the advancement of technologies, these countries have started to consume it (and manufacture products using tungsten) domestically and in a bit to ensure domestic production, they have even gone to the extend of importing it. In addition, they have also increased its value by limiting export volumes which resulted in a sudden rise of its market price. With the worldwide consumption of tungsten increasing year by year, one of the major concerns is to have a stable supply for the future.
To extract tungsten from mineral, a process called "refining" is required, however, the ratio of tungsten in the mineral is less than 1%. On the other hand, tungsten content in a cemented carbide tool is approximately 85%. When the efficiency of refining is considered, you can easily understand that extracting it from cemented carbide scrap is much more "economical".
To make one insert, a volume of ores must be refined. Considering mining efforts and transportation energy, etc., you can see how economically it could be recycled from the cemented carbide scrap!
* Converted in 85% of content rate
Sumitomo Electric Group is ready for recycling the total volume of domestic sales of the cemented carbides internally. Allocation of raw materials domestically leads to a stable price and supply of cemented carbide tools.