What is Wolframite?

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The name Wolframite is derived from the German “wolfram”, meaning tungsten. “Wolfram” is also the basis for the symbol W for tungsten as a chemical element. Along with scheelite, wolframite is the most important tungsten ore mineral. Wolframite deposits are often found with cassiterite, a tin ore, and occasionally with coltan, a tantalum ore. Tungsten (wolramite) is currently classified as a conflict mineral along with tin (cassiterite), tantalum (coltan) and gold.

Wolframite is highly valued as the main source of the metal tungsten, a strong and quite dense material with a high melting temperature used for electric filaments and armor-piercing ammunition, as well as hard tungsten carbide machine tools. Tungsten is also useful as a substitute for platinum in the manufacture of contact points. Sodium tungstate is used in fire-proofing cloth, to impregnate wood and render it fireproof, and as a mordant in the dyeing trades.

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