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Boron

The United States is the leading world producer and consumer of boron-containing minerals and chemicals.For several years, the U.S. output has been enough for domestic requirements as well as a large share of foreign markets.U.S. reserves of boron minerals are more than adequate for long-term production at the current level (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).However, future growth in demand in the United States and abroad will require other sources to supply a greater share of the market.The country with the highest potential for increased export production is Turkey.The few Asian and South American countries with boron minerals may also be expected to increase output (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).The unique characteristics of the borate component of the boron compound are responsible for their importance in manufacturing applications, particularly in highly industrialized nations such as the United States, the European Community, and Japan (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).Fo!
r Example, the glass-forming properties of the borate component of commercial boron minerals and refined chemicals accounts for half of total U.S. consumption of these products, specifically in the manufacturing of specialty glasses, and insulation and textile-grade glass fibers (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).Inorganic chemicals composed of a borate anion in combination with either a metallic action or hydrogen display chemical properties applicable to industries ranging from agriculture to ceramics, to chemical metallurgical processing, and to laundry products (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).Recently, use of borates to flameproof cellulosic materials became a major category of U.S. demand. U.S. production of boron minerals and chemicals in 1979 reached a record high level of 248,000 short tons2 of boron content (Bureau of Mines 1980, 105).Domestic consumption of 127,000 tons of boron declined only slightly from the 1978 peak level of 128,000 tons (Bureau of Mi…

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