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Historical Articles

February, 1952 issue of Plating

 

EDITORIAL

More Metals

CHARLES E. WILSON’S fourth quarterly report to the President, “The Battle for Production”, contains much interesting information about what is being done to increase the military and economic strength of the United States and its allies.

Of special interest to platers are the attempts to raise the domestic production of nonferrous metals. Projects for mine, smelter and refinery production of zinc are expected to yield an additional 50,000 tons of zinc in 1952 and a further increase of 150,000 tons in 1953. That means a production in 1953 of 20 per cent above that in 1951. An increase in zinc production in French Morocco is in prospect and should serve to meet French needs and allow some export.

Government aid to the domestic high-cost-copper producers is expected to bring results in 1953 and 1954, and expansion projects in Chile, Peru and Rhodesia will add to the world supply in 1952. (According to Anaconda Copper Mining Company, two new Anaconda projects, one in the U. S. and one in Chile, will begin operations in the Spring of 1952 and produce 95,000 tons in 1953. The company estimates that beginning 1954, copper production in the U.S. and friendly countries will be about 205,000 tons per year above present production. The 1951 copper production has been estimated at 933,000 tons.)

Additional nickel is being developed in Canada and New Caledonia. The Nicaro project in Cuba will be back in production early in 1952 and is expected to add 15 per cent to our total nickel supplies in 1953.

Numerous small deposits of high-grade chromium ore are now being mined in Oregon. More important, transportation improvements will result in increased shipments of chromium ore from Southern Rhodesia late in 1952. Development of deposits in Turkey is also promising.

To overcome the competition for materials between the Western nations, an attempt is now being made to allocate supplies. To date, the International Materials Conference has made recommendations on copper, nickel, zinc and five other materials.

With increasing defense requirements, there is little hope for any easing of the strain during 1952. What happens after that unquestionably depends on how the international situation develops.

—Gustaf Soderberg



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