U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 03-019
By W.C. Butterman and J.F. Carlin, Jr.
More than one-half of the primary antimony consumed in the United States goes into flame retardants. The remainder is used principally in glass for television picture tubes and computer monitors, in pigments, in stabilizers and catalysts for plastics, and in ammunition, cable covering, friction bearings, lead-acid (LA) batteries, and solders. It is used in the same applications worldwide, but its distribution among applications differs from country to country. Antimony is mined in 15 countries, but mine production is concentrated very heavily in China (85 percent of the world total in 2000); most of the remainder is accounted for by South Africa (4 percent), Russia (4 percent), and Bolivia (2 percent). With the closing in 2001 of the sole domestic mine, in which it was produced as a byproduct of silver, antimony is no longer mined in the United States. In 2000, world mine production was about 118,000 metric tons (t). In addition to primary (newly mined) antimony, there is a substantial flow of secondary (recycled) metal, nearly all of which is reclaimed from and returned to use in LA batteries. In 2000, in the United States, secondary antimony accounted for about 15 percent of the domestic supply of antimony. World resources are estimated to be from 4 million to 6 million metric tons (Mt) of contained antimony. The reserve base is estimated to be 3.2 Mt and reserves 2.1 Mt. China has nearly 60 percent of the world’s reserve base; the United States has about 3 percent. U.S. resources are mainly in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada.
Open-File Report 03-019 [835-KB PDF file]
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This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards (or with the Northern American Stratigraphic Code). Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
For questions about the scientific content of this report, contact J.F. Carlin, Jr.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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