The Search for Tungsten Deposits

Author : K. F. G. Hosking
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 1-70
Volume Number : 5
Year : 1973

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 5, June 1973, pp. 1 – 70

The Search for Tungsten Deposits


It is pointed out that although now tungsten is a ‘feast or famine’ metal the time may not be far off when it will be in short supply unless immediate steps are taken to search for further deposits of it. It is held that realistic search for such deposits must be based, essentially, on an intimate knowledge of the tungsten minerals and particularly of their behaviour in the superficial environment. Furthermore, the nature of all types of tungsten-bearing deposits must be fully appreciated as must be the geo logic environment in which they occur. Knowledge of the tungsten distribution patterns in the accessible parts of the Earth is also of fundamental importance. On the other hand, views of the source of the tungsten in the primary deposits, of its mode of transport to the sites of primary deposition and of the chemistry of this deposition are of no consequence, and exploration programmes which owe their design, to an
appreciable degree, to consideration of such topics, are suspect, and likely to be of limited value. Because of the above views the writer has, in this paper, dealt in some detail with tungsten
distribution patterns, the tungsten species (and certain field tests for their identification), the nature of the tungsten deposits, the geologic environments in which they occur, and the
relationship between some of the primary ores and granitic bodies. He has also examined, at considerable length, the behaviour of tungsten in the surface and near-surface environments,
and whilst noting various aids to the search for deposits of the type under discussion, he has given prominence to geochemical ones, because of their special value. Finally, exploration programmes for tungsten are presented and their content is commented on.

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