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Bismuth Production 2022

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Bismuth Production by Country 2024

Bismuth is primarily produced either by mining or as a byproduct of extracting other metals such as lead, copper, tin, molybdenum, and tungsten.

China is the world's largest producer of mined bismuth, contributing approximately 16,000 metric tons to the global supply in 2023. Other notable bismuth producers include Vietnam, Mexico, Japan, Kazakhstan, Canada, and Russia.

Bismuth Applications

Although sometimes confused with lead and tin due to their metallurgical similarities, bismuth is a unique element well-suited to various applications ranging from pharmaceuticals to metallurgy.

For much of human history, people have used bismuth to treat digestive disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, and burns. That’s right: if you’ve had an upset stomach in the past few decades, there’s a good chance you’ve had a brush with bismuth, as its compounds play a role as the active ingredients in popular remedies like Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.

Bismuth oxychloride is used in cosmetics and as a pigment in paint, continuing a tradition that dates back to ancient Egypt. During World War II, bismuth gained strategic importance because of its utility in soldering, creating fusible alloys, and even atomic research.

Today, bismuth's applications have diversified significantly. Because bismuth is considered non-toxic, it’s a key component of X-ray shields used in medical testing. It’s also used to create alloys used to cast dental equipment due to its ability to resist changes from melting or aging.

One drawback of Bismuth’s versatility is that it’s challenging to recycle, especially when used in medicines, paints, and cosmetics.

Bismuth Price

Bismuth’s price reflects its utility and versatility. In the early ‘70s, the bismuth’s price spiked alongside its use as a metallurgical additive to aluminum, iron, and steel. The combination of increased bismuth production worldwide and economic recessions in the 1980s briefly brought its price down. However, increased consumption in the United States and Japan led to a price recovery.

In the ‘90s, researchers focused on bismuth as a nontoxic replacement for lead in various applications, including ceramic glazes, fishing sinkers, and plumbing. Growth in these areas, especially after 2005, has led to ongoing price increases in recent years.

- Production data for the United States is often considered proprietary company information and withheld.

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Country
Bismuth Production 2022 (metric tons)
Bismuth Production 2021 (metric tons)
China16,00016,000
Laos2,0002,070
South Korea9501,000
Japan480500
Kazakhstan220230
Bolivia6060
Canada5050
Bulgaria5050
Mexico1010
showing: 9 rows

Which country is the largest producer of bismuth?

China produces the most bismuth from mines, with a total of around 16,000 metric tons.

Frequently Asked Questions