Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Fact Sheet 2014-3069

Conflict Minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Global Tungsten Processing Plants, a Critical Part of the Tungsten Supply Chain

By Omayra Bermúdez-Lugo

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.86 MB)Summary

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzes supply chains to identify and define major components of mineral and material flows from ore extraction, through intermediate forms, to a final product. Two major reasons necessitate these analyses: (1) to identify risks associated with the supply of critical and strategic minerals to the United States and (2) to provide greater supply chain transparency so that policymakers have the information necessary to ensure domestic legislation compliance. This fact sheet focuses on the latter. The USGS National Minerals Information Center has been asked by governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide information on tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (collectively known as “3TG minerals”) processing facilities worldwide in response to U.S. legislation aimed at removing the link between the trade in these minerals and civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Post beneficiation processing plants (smelters and refineries) of 3TG mineral ores and concentrates were identified by company and industry association representatives as being the link in the 3TG mineral supply chain through which these minerals can be traced to their source of origin (mine); determining the point of origin is critical to establishing a transparent conflict mineral supply chain. This fact sheet, the first in a series of 3TG mineral fact sheets, focuses on the tungsten supply chain by listing plants that consume tungsten concentrates to produce ammonium paratungstate and ferrotungsten worldwide.

First posted August 1, 2014

Revised August 15, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, National Minerals Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
988 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

Or visit the USGS Minerals Information Web site at

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). For best results viewing and printing PDF documents, it is recommended that you download the documents to your computer and open them with Adobe Reader. PDF documents opened from your browser may not display or print as intended. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge. More information about viewing, downloading, and printing report files can be found here.

Suggested citation:

Bermúdez-Lugo, Omayra, 2014, Conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—Global tungsten processing plants, a critical part of the tungsten supply chain (ver. 1.1, August 2014): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014-3069, 4 p.,


ISSN 2327-6916 (print)

ISSN 2327-6932 (online)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 05:25:51 PM