Tungsten is the only element harder than diamond. It is 100 times stronger than steel and has one of the highest melting points of any metal: higher than nickel, iron, titanium and vanadium.

It is used in many heavy industries, including aerospace, manufacturing, automotive and military and in most applications it is not substitutable.

As a result, tungsten is a strategic metal that developed economies cannot operate without and many governments consider it vital to national security.

Given its unique and valuable properties, mainly as a strengthening agent, the European Union ranked tungsten as one of Europe’s most critical raw materials, with one of the highest supply risks of all materials on the list.

It is therefore a growing concern that the supply of tungsten is so heavily dominated by China, who control nearly 80% of global supply and consumption.

The Salau mine has the potential to provide French and other European industries with a secure, long term supply of tungsten thereby reducing dependence on China.

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An Essential Industrial Metal With Outstanding Properties:

  • Highest tensile strength and melting point (3,400°C) of all metals
  • Very high density and second strongest material after diamond
  • A strategic commodity: Critical for many industries including drilling, automotive, military and aerospace

Key Applications in Europe*

  • Cemented carbides used in drilling tools and wear-resistant parts (72%)
  • Other (11%)
  • Alloy steels and alloys used primarily in tools (9%)
  • Mill products (8%)

*International Tungsten Industry Association

European End-users Are Seeking Security of Supply Outside China

  • Tungsten is a highly strategic metal used in military, aerospace and other heavy industry
  • Rated one of Europe’s most critical raw materials by the EU
  • These dynamics point to potential favourable terms for long term supply contracts