Arizona: Once a Thriving Tungsten Producer

In an article for the Arizona Daily Star, William Ascarza looked at historic tungsten mining operations in the state, noting that the Boriana Mine was the largest producer of tungsten in Arizona during WWI.

As quoted in the publication:

Arizona’s most productive tungsten locality, the Boriana Mine in the Hualapai Mountains of Mohave County, 20 miles southeast of Kingman, yielded 149,000 units of tungsten trioxide (WO3) between 1915 and its closure in 1956.

Operated by the Yucca Tungsten Mining Co., which erected a 50-ton mill at the site, it was the largest producer of tungsten in Arizona during World War I. The Boriana Mining Co. acquired the mine in 1929. The Boriana Mine became the second-largest producer of tungsten in the United States in 1936-37, with a monthly output of 3,000 tons a month.

The author also noted that the U.S. has since become a net importer of tungsten:

The United States — the world’s largest tungsten consumer — stopped mining tungsten in 2000 with the closure of the Pine Creek Mine near Bishop, California, and now relies on imports or recycled scrap.

With a volatile geopolitical market coupled with new technologies in the 21st century, perhaps heightened domestic demand will renew exploration and exploitation of Arizona’s widely distributed tungsten deposits.

Click here to read the full Arizona Daily Star article.