Industrial Use of Chromium
Chromium is the most abundant of the Group VIA family of metallic elements, comprising chromium, molybdenum and tungsten. At a concentration of nearly 400 parts per million in the earth’s crust as various minerals, it is the 13th most common element.
|Reserves & Mine Production|
At present consumption levels, the demonstrated reserves will last for several centuries, whilst less economical identified resources are sufficient to double that availability.
Active mining operations are widely dispersed: South Africa accounted for 48% of production in 2003, whilst Kazakhstan and India provided 19% and 15% respectively. Brazil, Finland, Turkey and Zimbabwe together contributed a further 12%, whilst some 11 smaller producer countries brought the balance of 6%.
There was an estimated 15 million tonnes of marketable chromite ore produced in 2003.
|Uses and Benefits|
Chromium is seldom used alone. It is the supreme additive, endowing alloys or materials with new properties: strength, hardness, permanence, hygiene, colour and resistance to temperature, wear and corrosion. This versatility has made chromium indispensable in countless everyday applications.
The primary commercial supply is in the form of chromite ore or ferrochromium for the ferrous and non-ferrous metals industries, the chemical industry and the refractories industry, which has a direct application for chromite as a heat conductive foundry moulding sand.
Within the total volume of ore and concentrates produced in 2003, 91.2% were metallurgical grade, 5.2% chemical grade and the balance of 3.6% were refractory and foundry grade