Created: 7/20/1955

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Office of Current Intelligence


Office of Research and Reports CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY



Thc primary purpose of this report is to assess the adequacy of the supplies of mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc for consumption andtockpiling program.


A word of caution is necessary concerning the use of thehis report, which contain unusually wide ranges of ceror. Becauseack of specific data, the estimates established for production, trade, consumption, and stockpiling are in almost every instance based upon fragmentary evidence, general economic trends, and assumptions; they are not to be considered final or precise. These estimates,glve thc general order of magnitude of the various aspects of the mercury industry in the Sino-Soviet Bloc. They are believed to be adequate for thc purposes of this report but should be used with extreme caution in establishing conclusions on any questions other than those herein considered.




I. Introduction


Communist China and thc European Satellites


with the Free



2. Sino-Soviet ^





Aggregate Consumption


B. European Satellites and Communist China


2. European Satellites and Communist China' *

1. East Germany


TOP SKrnrr


C. Sino-Soviet 22

IV. 22

- A. 22

Direct 22

Deduced Data and Hypothetical Estimates ol


B. European Satellites and Communist 21

VI. Consumption of Related 24

Power, and

VII. Capabilities. Vulnerabilities, and

Appendix A. Free World Sources of Mercury



Appendix B.

- VI -

Appendix C. Gaps in 41

Appendix D. Source References 43


Estimated Production of Mercury in thc USSR, 6

Estimated Production of Primary Mercury in Communist

China and the European Satellites, 9

Production of Mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc.


Available Net Supply of Mercury in thc USSR.

4 ii

Available Net Supply of Mercury in the Sino-Soviet

Bloc. 13

Estimated Consumption of Mercury in the USSR. 15

Estimated Use Pattern of Mercury in the USSR.4 . 17

Estimated Use Pattern of Mercury in East Germany.


Consumption of Mercury by the European

Satellites and Communist China, 19

Total Consumption of Mercury in the Sino-Soviet

Bloc. 22

Stockpile of Mercury in thc USSR, . 24

- VII -



The production of mercury in tho Sino-Soviet Bloc has risen sharply from an8 to an0 flask* This increase was largely thc result of the reconstruction of thc Nikitovka Combine in the Ukraine, the development and expansion of Combinemeni Frunze in Central Asia, and the organization and expansion of the mercury industry in Communist China. Eighty percent of4 total was produced by the USSR;ercent by China; and the remainder by Czechoslovakia and Rumania.

Sino-Soviet Bloc imports of mercury from Free World sources84 are estimated to have rangedigh0 flasks5owlasks Future imports by the Sino-Soviet Bloc probably will decline because of the imposition of anby the Coordinating Committee on Export Control (COCOM) onrend which appeared in thc last quarter

Consumption of mercury by the Sino-Soviet Bloc is estimated to have increased0 flasks0 to0 flaskshe USSR and East Germany are the largest consuming countries. It is estimated that4 (he USSR0 flasks andlasks, the Utter ubing Urge quantities in its highlychemical industry. Although rumors of some new. highly strategic use requiring large quantities of mercury have appeared repeatedly in the US and foreign press, these rumors have not been confirmed, and

The estimates and conclusions contained in this report represent the best judgment of ORR as

One flask5 kilograms, net. FUsks are the standard unit of measure for metallic mercury.

Eur hixiici

there Ii no evidence of any unusual interest in mercury in the Bloc. Barring new developments requiring large quantities of mercury, it is anticipated that Bloc consumption will continue to rise slowly as the over-all economy expands.

It ia estimatedtockpile of0 flasks hasll of it in the USSR. In addition/it is estimated0lasks are in working inventories and in transit throughout the Bloc,otal reserve00 flasks,ears' supply at estimated current rates of consumption.

Under present conditions, production of mercury in tho Sino-Soviet Bloc is adequate to moot estimated consumption requirements;for the Blochole are not required. Thc bulk of the output, however, is concentrated within three areas: Central and South China, Central Asia, and the Ukraine. Two of these are long distances from the major consuming areas of the European USSR. East Germany, and Czechoslovakia. The European Satellites by themselves arevulnerable, being largely dependent upon imports from thc USSR and Communist China.

On the basis of ore roserves. it is estimated that the Sino-Soviet Bloc is capable of increasing mercury production by one-third to one-half over the nextears, cepecially in Communist China andesser extent in Central Asia (Economic Region Xb).

On the basis of conventional uses, it ia probable that mercury is not. on theood indicator of intentions. Mercury has many military applications, somo of whicK arc strategic, but it is consumed in relatively small quantitiesery wide range of uses, for most of which readily available substitutes are known. For example, lead azide could be substituted for mercury fulminate in detonators foras has been done tn the US. Although some of the substitutes are less efficient and more costly, they are adequate to coveruses.


I. Introduction.

In thc Sino-Soviet Bloc, as elsewhere, the use of mercury isdiversified: its end uses, some of which are highly strategic, number more. Thc more important uses of mercurythe following: pharmaceuticals; dental preparations;insecticides; pesticides and fungicides; fulminate (usedetonator forcrmillion; antifouling paint; catalyst in the manufacture of chlorine, caustic soda, and the like; gold and silver amalgamation; general laboratory uses; electrical equipment such as vapor lamps, rectifiers, and oscillators; switches and dry cellfor communicationside variety of industrial and control instruments; mercury-vapor power plants; heat-exchanger equipment; and precision die casting.

In general, substitutes are known for most applications ofbut many are either less efficient or more costly. They are. however, adequate for emergency use. As adequate alternatehave been developed over thc pastears, tho use pattern of mercury has shifted radically throughout the world and new uses have appeared, but there has been no downward consumption trend anywhere. Therefore, it is not likely that substitution of otherfor mercury will decrease total Bloc requirements in the future.

In the USSR the production of mercury is under tho direction of the Ministry of Nonferrous Metallurgy, which was establishedecree of thc Presidium of the Suprftme Soviet of the USSRe At this time. Petr Fadeyevich Lomako was appointed Minister of Nonferrous Metallurgy. 2/ Previously, the ferrous and nonferrous metals industries had been combined under the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry. The mercury industry in the USSR is under the Chief Directorate of Rare Metals, which is subordinate

For serially numbered source references, see Appendix D.

to thc Ministry of Nonferrous Metallurgy. 3/ Two combines. Combinemeni Frunze in Central Asia (Economic Region Xb)nd the Nikitovka Mercury Combine in the Ukraineroduce nearly all of the output,

In Communist China the primitive industry of the pre-Communist era has now been organized under government control and direction with the aid of studies made by Soviet expertsnd the use of Soviet technicians and equipment. 7/ The government control extends from the Ministry of Heavy Industry at Peking, through the Heavy Industry Department of Central and South China to the Metal Mining Bureaus of the respective provinces. 8/

In Czechoslovakia, mercury isyproduct from minesiron and pyrites. The most important mercury producer is the Koterbachy (Rudney) Iron Ore Mine,nder the Ministry ofIndustry and Ore

The small Rumanian production is under the control of the Ministry of Metallurgical

II. Supply.

A. Production.

The USSR is by far the most important producer of primary mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc,4 production of mercury estimated to be aboutercent of the Bloc total. In addition, China produces important quantities of mercury, and small quantities are produced in Czechoslovakia and Rumania.


Nearly all of the Soviet output of primary mercury isby two combines: Combinemeni Frunze, located atE in Central Asia.nd thc Nikitovka

Mcrcury Combine, located atE, in ihe Ukraine./ The rest of the primary output comesumber of small scattered mines. The USSR also produces small quantities of secondary mercury.*

Combinemeni Frunze, which processes very large quantities of low-grade antimony-mercury oresr 6in Central Asia.s the most important producer of primary mercury in thc USSR. On tbe basis of4 production, about two-thirds of the Soviet production came from this combine.

u r>

The Nikitovka Combine, the only important producer ofin the USSR before World War II, was captured and destroyed by the German Army during the-/ Restored after the war, the Nikitovka Combine is estimated to have accounted for one-third of the Soviet primary mercury production

Additional production of primaryttributedumber of small scattered mines, is estimated to have been lessercent of the Soviet primary production Secondary mercury is estimated to have been lessercent of the total Soviet production (The consumption of mercury in small instrumentside variety of chemical compounds prohibits any large recovery of secondary metal.)

The estimated production of mercury in the USSR84 is given in

2. Communist China and thc European Satellites.

After thc USSR, Communist China is the most important producer of mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc. The Chinese Communist industry is basedarge number of small deposits scattered widely over an area extending through Kweichow, Hunan, Szcchwan, Yunnan, Chekiang Provinces, and Hainan Island. pecific locations have been Important quantities of mercury

* Secondary mercury is mercury obtained from sources other than ores.

** ollows on p. 6.

Table I

Esti.nated Production of Mercury in thc USSR


Primary Production

Year Combine No.meni Frunze



Mercury Combine W Production^ Total


, ooo


range of error is plus or minusercent; all figures are roundedlasks. .

destroyed in Worldikitovka resumedeasonable time for full restoration, it isthat2 this plant had achieved0 rate of productionper year based7 output and the Third Five Year Plan

upon the analogous statistical relationship of secondary mercuryto total consumption in the US.

arbitrary estimate, less than the rounding error, to cover otherin the USSR producing mercury. "

upon an average monthly output obtained from reportedcattered months.

:. Estimated at lesslasks. Actual production figures, where known, are listed in footnotes to all tables.

g. Based upon an estimated monthly output obtained from reported production

in September and December raisedercent on the basis of shipments to state

Estimated Production of Mercury in the USSRContinued)

that quantities shipped or sequestered are approximately equalproduced, the average of quantities shipped or sequestered forwas used to estimate annual The large increaseas thc result, in part, of thc development of the Chauvay mine; whichoperating

line projection reduced on the basis of constant production offrom thc same ores by some of the same mines of this

have been produced for many years by an unorganized industry consisting largely of seasonal operations by farmer-miners working small mines and using vary primitive techniques and The peakin relatively recent yearslasks In the period5roduction averagedith the aid of Sovietnd the introduction ofhe Chinese Communists have made rapid progress inand developing their mercury industry. hinese production had increased toimes thatlthough total Sino-Soviet Bloc production4 was only slightly more8 Bloc production. Chinese Communist production, whichnlyercent of Bloc ^production, had risen to approximatelyercent of total Sino-Soviet Bloc production

The relative importance of Czechoslovak production has declined since the pre-World War It period. Czechoslovakia hasmercury for many years from three mines: Mernik, Koterbachy, and Gclnico. owever, Mernik, the most important mine, was closed because of thc exhaustion of theesult, Czechoslovak production decreased from an average oflasks a

year for Ihe period50 to an averagelasks per year for the period4 Czechoslovakia isto have produced onlyercent of the Bloc output of primary mercury

The production of mercury in Rumania is insignificant in the total Bloc supply position. umber of years, Rumania has been an irregular producer of small quantities of primary mercury from the Mina de Mercury Valea Dosului near melter was built hereapacity ofear.

The estimated production of primary mercury byChina and the European Satellites84 is given in Table

3. Sino-Soviet Bloc.

Estimated production of mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc84 is given in* The estimates are computed from the estimated production of all metal by the USSR and primary metal plus an estimate of secondary metal by thc European Satellites and Communist China.

B. Trade with the Free World.

Sino-Soviet Bloc trade in mercury with the Free World consists entirely of imports by the Bloc from the Free World. Theseeclined fromercent of the total Sino-Soviet Bloc mercury supply8 to less thanercent of Bloc supply It is estimated that4 imports werelasks less than3ttributable in part to the establishment of an embargo on sales of mercury to the Sino-Soviet Bloc on4 by the inclusion of mercury on COCOM International List

* ollows on p.* ollows onee Table.elow.

Table 2

Production of Primary

China and the European Satellites











of error is plus or minusercent.

rounded to the



of mercury by Satellites other than Czechoslovakia and Rumania is believed to be nonexistent.






on the basis of limited ore reserves andnature of

j. Rumania. Projected on thc basis of past production, adequacy of reserves, organizationevelopment of industry with Soviet aid. and reported discoveries of new deposits.

stimaied Production of Me

rcury in thc Sino-Soviet Bloc








The range of error

EuropeanCommunist China


rounaea to thelasks, b. See Table.bove.

C. Primary production plus estimated secondary production is based on total estimated consumption by thc Europeanand Communist China (see Table.bove, and Tableelow) and an analogous relationship of secondary recovery to total consumption in the US. In most instances secondary production is leas than the rounding error


C. gugplglanc.

The sstimatad available net supply of mucury in the IJZm< is given in Table 4.

Table 4

Estimated Available Net Supply of Mercury in" the USSR a/


















of srror ii

plus or minus



rounded to thc nsavj


able I. p. j,.lasks from. lasks exportedt41/

lasisc fromrom. 3sed onnslasks.

h. Estimated on the basis of known exports oflasks to Mast

romi,ed Chinese Contmu' met production less consumption


Table 4

Estimated Available Net Supply of Mercury in the USSR a/


j. Based13 figures and on large exports to

East Germany, whichotal oflasks

k. T0 flasks from;rom Communist China, based on estimated production in China less estimatedand exports to the European Satellites.

1. Basedinimum oflasks exported to East



m. From Communist China, based on estimated production less onsumption and estimated exports to thc European Satellites. Based on planned imports oflasks by East Germany, the bulk of which will come from the

2. Sino-Soviet Bloc.

Because the Sino-Soviet Bloc does not export mercury to the Free Wo.ld.ihe supply of mercuryhe Bloc consists ofplus imports. The estimated available net supply of mercury ino-Soviet Bloc84 is given in



1 - Aggregate Consumption.

Evidence relating directly to the consumption of mercury in the USSR is extremely scarce. Certain factors, however, may bc

ollows on


Tabic 5

Estimated Available Net Supply of Mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc







000 0


range of error it plus or minus 25 All figures are rounded to the nearest



figuresange of error ofercent. They are based on knownto thc Sino-Soviet Bloc from Freefrom agents of the Sino-Soviet Bloc,Free World traders and on shortages inmarkets4abulation ofmercury by the Sino-Soviet Bloc fromsources, sec

used to establish general trends in the rat* of consumption, and tentative estimates may be made by applying these trends to the timatcd pre-World War II rate.


In general, the trend of mercury consumption rose sharply from0 flasks0 to about0ear during World War II.* The rate of consumption74 is estimated to have risen steadily for the following reasons:

supply of mercury available for consumptionsharply (see

industrial productivity in thc USSRrobably accompaniedise in mercury consumption.

appears that use of mercury fungicides andis increasing in Soviet agriculture as it is in the requests fornin seed treatment to increase the percentage ofappeared.

general substitution of lead aside forin detonators and blasting caps in the US apparently hasparalleled in the

of the widespread use of mercury inequipment, mercury consumption in the electricalto follow closely changes in production levels. Duringperiod, production by the electric equipment industryso that4 production was approximately

Estimated consumption of mercury in the USSR84 is given in

* Sec Appendix B. ** P.ollows on p.


Tabic 6

Estimated Consumption of Mercur in the USSR






ercent, b. Based on the probable trend resulting from increases in supply, increases in general productivity, and increases in several specific mercury-consuming industrieslo prewar and early postwar consumption (see

2. Use Pattern.

Because of thc highly diversified nature of mercuryand because of the dearth of data regarding Soviet consumption, only speculative estimates can be made of quantities of mercurym thc various uses. otal estimated consumption0 flasksowever, some rough approximation based upon the following probabilities has been made:

.w J l industry is about

one-third the size of the US industry.nd the input coefficient of mercury for this industry probably is thc same.

. specially fungicides, are be-

agriculture,onsuminglasks The USSR uses mcVcury product.

cultural T "lSOViBt

cultural output, may be consuming half as much as the US.

i C- of mercury fulminate in detona

onsumption be-

cause of the subst.tut.on of lead aside in the US. Estimate, of Soviet consumption are based upon round, of ammunition produced, plus an arbitrary estimate to cover other

a d' ,ThC COnsumPtion of mercury in the production of caustic soda in the USSR is very .mall because of the limited use

Ctric tons oioda producednly0 metric tons requiring a

consumption ofla.k, of mercury came from mercury

. given^ USS*

B' European Satellites and Communist East

Large quantities of mercury are consumed in East


to thc USSRercury consumption in thc Sino-Soviet Bloc.

ollows on p.


Table 7

Estimated Use Pattern of Mercury in the USSR4


Electrical equipment Agriculture




range of error ia plus or minus

on the comparative sizes of USindustries.

on US consumption and Sovietincrease agricultural productivity.

on estimated consumption inplus an arbitrary estimate for

c. The difference between consumptionfor and estimated total consumption.

Estimates of consumption by use are based on allocations or on pro duction of mercury-consuming products and appropriate East German mercury-consumption The estimated use pattern of mercury in East Germany24 is given in Tabic

ollows on p. jg_


Table H

Estimated Use Pattern of Mercury in East Germany a/










Thc range of error

to totals) is


ercent. All detail figures are rounded to thelasks; all total figures are rounded to the nearestlasks.

2- European Satellites and Communist China.

The aggregate consumption of mercury in the other European Satellites and Communise'China is substantial. Estimates

of consumption for each country for the period04 are made on the basis of apparent consumption that is,

production plus imports. The estimated consumption of mercury by

thc European Satellites and Communist China04

is given in Table 9.

ollows on


Table 9

Estimated Consumption ol Mercury by the European Satellites and Communist China a/







range of error is plus or minusercent. All country figuresto thclasks and all total figures to the nearest Albania has no known production or imports, and consumption ibto bc negligible.

13 figures, assuming consumption to be constant.

1 importslasks from the

3 importslasks from the

on production (see Table, 9, 0 consumption is assumed to be constant.

g. 3 consumption ls assumed to be constant.


Table 9

Estimated Consumption of Mercury by the European Satellites and Communist ChinaContinued)

on the basis oi increased consumption0 through Based on9

k. Based on estimatedmportslasksumulative production oflasks andssuming that annual consumption equals annual available supplyistribution of thesupply overear period, assuming increases in consumption over9 planned level. mports were as follows: lasks fromJrom the3 fromrom the USSR.

1 . 3 consumption is assumed to ba

m. Derived from sourcend rounded to the nearestlasks. The

figuresange-of error of plus or minusercent.

n. 1 consumption assumed to be constant.

o. Based1 importslasks fromrom Swltaerland/O/

rom Trieste,rom Communist

p. Based2 imports oflasks from therom

rom Switzerland,romrom West

q. Based3 importslasks from the UK,rom Italy,nd

rom West

r. Baaed0 imports oflasks from

s. Based1 imports oflasks fromndrom th*. Based2 imports of (and assuming no dec rease,lasks fromrom the


C. Sino-Soviet Bloc.

The estimated total consumption of mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc04 is given in

Table 10

Estimated Total Consumption of Mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc






a. Based on Tableabove, and Tablebove. The range of error is plus or minusercent.

Stockpiling. A. USSR.

1. Direct Evidence.

There is available direct evidence to establish the following dataoviet stockpile of mercury:



stockpile of mercury exists in the USSR underof State

is stockedumber of depositsthroughout the country, including producingis established by specific shipments made by Combine No.Frunze and statements made by returning prisoners ofto have seen flasks of mercury in various

One depot, at Voycnnyi

, near Irkutsk,inimum oflasks ae

2" Deduced Data and Hypothetical Estimates of Quantity.

On the basis of the excess of supply over consumption during the war is estimated that6 the USSR hada stockpile oflasks. It is known thatof mercury were being added in The estimated stockpile of mercury in the USSR74 is given in

B- European Satellites and Communist China.

There is no evidencetrategic stockpile of mercury in Ihc European Satellites or Communist China. Where state reserves are maintained, as they are in East Germany, thc purpose isuch stocks must be considered as working inventories. On the basis of general practice in the Free World it is estimated00 flasks would be in workingand in transit throughout the Sino-Soviet Bloc. Adding this amount to0 flasks estimated in the Soviet stockpileotal reserve supply00 flasks.

See Appendix B. ** Table II follows on


Estimated Stockpile of Mercury in the USSR












The range of error is plus or minus 50


b. Represents the difference betweensupply (see Table. .U. above) and estimated consumption (see Table.bove).

f- Consumption of Related Resources. A. Ore.

1. USSR.

The ore mined by Combinemeni Frunze averages5 percent metallicnd by the Nikitovka Combine aboutnd the smallproduced by other scattered mines arc assumed to average aboutercent. The bulk of the mercury ores mined in the


USSR contain antimony. In order to eliminate antimony from themercury end product, it is thus necessary lo bencficiatc the ores by flotation before smelting,, mercury metal losses in beneficia-tion were reported to be aboutercent in ihe USSR. An additionalercent mercury metal waa reported lost in thc smelting/ew percent higher than in current US operations). aximum probable recovery ofercent in bene-ficiation. Therefore, it ia not likely that any great reduction in beneficiation losses has been achieved by the USSR

2. Communist China.

The ore reserves of Communist China average about 1metal content. There is no problem of removing antimony or other associated minerala, and in general there is no ore dressing other than hand sorting. Traditionally the ores were smelted in primitive retorts with losses of metal averaging aboutercent./ Some modern Soviet equipment ha* been introduced and3 over-all losses may be reduced to aboutercent. Estimated mercury ore mined in the Sino-Soviet Bloc84 is given in Tho USSR and Communist China produced aboutercent of the Sino-Soviet Bloc output of primary mercury Production in Czechoslovakia is byproduct in nature, and probably thc output in Rumania is also. The ore treated in these two countries is not considered-

B. Fuel, Power, and Labor.

Because fuel oil lends itself to better control of heat levels. It is generally used for smelting purposes by the major producers ofthroughout the world. In view of the relative proximity of the Soviet mercury plants to oilfields.s assumed that the bulk of thc fuel used in Soviet production of mercury is also fuel oil. In Communist China, many of the facilities arc veryiv.tivc. and thc fuel consumed probably varies widely,igh proportion being charcoal and wood. For the purpose of estimating quantities consumed, however, all figures

Tableollows on


imp rrr-nr-r

7 Able 12

Estimated Mercury Ore Mined in the Sino-Soviet Bloc a/

Thousand Metric Tons


Combine No.China

Year imeni$J Other SJ Tota.


a! Communist China and the USSR produced aboutercent of total Bloc production of primary mercury All figures are rounded to the0 tons. The margin of error it plus or minusercent.

b. Figures are based on estimated production of primary mercury, an average ore content5 percent, ore dressing recovery ofercent, and smelting recovery ofercent. C- Figures are based on estimated production of primary mercury, an average ore contentercent, ore dressing recovery ofercent, and smelting recovery ofercent.

are based on estimated total production of mercury, an average ore content ofmelting recovery ofercent,melting recovery ofercent.



are given in terms of fuel oil. The consumption of fuel, power, and labor in mercury production in Czechoslovakia and Rumania is not con Sidercd, because of the byproduct nature of the output and the small quantities involved. Estimated major input requirements and related production figures for the mining and smelting of primary mercury in the USSR and Communist China84 are given in

VII. Capabilities. Vulnerabilities, and Intentions .

A. Capabilities.

On the basis of ore re'scrves. the Sino-Soviet Bloc is capable of expanding thc production of mercuryyear period. The most promising area for increasing production is in Central and South China,reat number of small deposits occur over an areailes longiles wide, nn/ Despite extremely prim itive operations. Communist China has produced significant quantities of mercury in the past. The most pressing need is for modernand technological competence, both of which arc being supplied by the USSR.

Thc second promising area is in Central Asia of Lhe USSR (Economic Regionhere Combinemeni Frunze hasproduction rapidly0 to thc present. Currentare basedarge, low-gradeeposits. In addition to those deposits now being exploited, therearge numbe of smaller deposits in the area, some of which may be commercially exploitable./

The Nikitovka Combine in the Ukraine should be able tocurrent production for many years on the basis of ore reserves, estimatedo containlasks of metal./ Ore reserves in Czechoslovakia and Rumania are small and low in grade, and it will be difficult to maintain current output.

* Tableollows on

Table 13

Estimated Major Input Requirements and Related Production Figures for the'Mining and Smelting of Primary Mercury in the USSR and Communist China a/


Production (flasks) b/ Ore treated {thousand metricuel oil (thousand gallons) d/ Electric power (thousand kwh) e/ Labor {man-yeara)_f/

Communist China

" Production (flasks)re treated (thousand metric tons) cf Fuel oil (thousand gallons) d/ Electric power (thousand kwh) tl Labor (man-years) il




















he USSR and Communist China together produced overercent of the total output ofmercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc.

production by Combinemeni Frunze and the Nikitovka Mercury Combine (seebove) plus an arbitrary estimate, less than the rounding error, to cover small mines in the USSR.


Appendix B. All figures are calculated from unrounded data and rounded to the nearest 1,

Appendix B. All figures are rounded to thewh.


Additional increases in productivity may be obtained through technological improvement. Metal losses in Communist China,at aboutercent in smelling, are excessive. Given modern equipment and competence, the recovery oi metal may approach standards in thc US, where recovory averages up toercent./ Less can be accomplished through technological advance in the USSR because of the beneficiation required by the presence of antimony. Recovery in ore dressing, however, may be raisedercent, and some small increase could possibly be achieved in smeltihgj

B. Vulnerabilities.

Under present conditions the production of mercury in the Sino-Soviet Bloc is adequate to meet consumption requirements;for thc Blochole are not required. Thc bulk of the output, however, is concentratedreas Central and South China, Central Asia, and the Ukraine f which arc remote from the major consuming areas of the European USSR. East Germany, and Thc European Satellites by themselves are particularlybeing largely dependent on imports from the USSR andChina.

It is probable that Soviet requirements could be reducedif necessary, by thc substitution of other materialsor example, lead azide for mercury fulminate in explosives. In East Germany, however, it would bc more difficult to reduceajor portion of the mercury consumed is used in thc manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda,hift to processes not using mercury would require substantial capital investment in new equipment.

C. Intentions.

On the basis of conventional uses, mercury is not, on iheood indicator of intentions because il is consumed insmall quantitiesery wide range of uses, both military



and civilian. Although mercury has many military applications, ol which are highly strategic, readily available substitutes in most uses are known. In many cases, however, the substitutes are less efficient or more costly, but they would be adequate in an cmergonc

ln the past the consumption of mercury fulminate inhasood indicator of military intentions. During World War II, however, the US substituted lead aziden someroduct superior to mercury fulminate. Although the Sino-Soviet Bloc apparently has not made the shift to lead azide in quantity, the change could be madeelatively short period of time.

Of interest is thc recent flurry of press comment concerning the possibility of some new. highly strategic, and highly secret use of mercury requiring consumption of large quantities. To date, these rumors havo not boen confirmed, although thc great activity in Froo World mercury markets4 may give some credence. Insofar as the Sino-Soviet Bloc is concerned, there is to date no evidence to support unusual interest in obtaining any exceptionally .large quantity. .

- JI -




Estimated import! of mercury by the Sino-Soviet Bloc from the Free World74 are ven Ln

Table 14

Estimated Imports of Mercury by the Sino-Soviet Bloc from the Free


9 0 1 2 3 4

b/ / / /



/ / / / J/ / /

Eastm/ / /

b/ ? r/ / / /

/ / /

b/ / a/ b/


* Footnotes for Tableollow on


Table 14

Estimated Imports of Mercury by the Sino-Soviet Bloc from the Free World a/


figures representnd probable shipments. They are based on fragmentary evidencebe considered minimal.



lasks from Italv nn/rom Yugoslavia./

rom Yugoslavia. /

flasks fromrnm TVUet* /

/ and

i .

Jflasks from Italv. androm Trieste.

rom Italy.

Iflasks from/rom Rotterdam, origin unknown. /

lasks fromrom Italy./



lasks from Switzerland and


flasks from Italy.rom Switzerland,rom Trieste./

rom Italy. rom Switzerland.rom Belgium,/


tfrom Y-



w. androm Italy. /





1. Consumpti

during the Worlderiod are establiahcd on the basis of apparenthat is. the supply available for consumption.


The supply available for consumption consisted of domestic production, imports and oxporte for the70 being negligible. Domestic production ia estimatedlasksnterpolatedroduction oflasks7lanned production under the Third Five Yearlasks Capacity to meet thc Plan was available at/


supply of mercury available for conaumption for thc150 flasks per year and consisted of imports from the wartime allies, including China, and some/ For the following reasons it is estimatedlaska of this supply went into reserves: t was the policy of the Soviet government to obtain aa much as possible of any given commodity under Lend-Leasc terms;ercury stockpile was known to exist in the early postwart leaat one Lend-Lease shipment of mercury is known to have gone directly into stale reserves./




The supply of mercury6 available for consumptionprincipally of domestic production which, on the basis ofbackwards from8 estimate given in Tableould belasks. This estimate is supported by the implication that the widespread destruction oT World War II would have reduced consumption below that oferiod of0ear.

2- Consumption of Other Resource Factors.

Estimates of Fuel Oil Consumption.


On the basis of standard practice in thc US and elsewhere,allons of fuel oil are requiredon of feed in smelting./ In the USSR the smelter feed consists of concentrates averagingercent metal. Metal losses in smelting are estimated atercent. Therefore, the quantities of fuel oil used in the smeller are established by thc following formula:

Gallons of fuelhe tons of mercury produced

. 15

The figure derived from thc above formula is multiplied by0 in order to cover other miscellaneous uses.

Fuel consumption in China is estimated as equivalentallons of fuel oil. allowing for the primitive nature of much of the equipment. The ore.ercent metal content, is fed directly into the smelter, in which losses are estimated ato/ No allowance is made for consumption in other miscellaneous uses, which is believed to be negligible.

* P.bove.


b. Estimate* of Electric Power Consumption.

The consumption of electric power in mining varies widely according to the method of mining, the means of ore transport, the quantity of water pumped, and many other factors. In the US. where the mined ore is smelted directly, power consumptionboutwh. per ton of ore mined'and./ 'Electric power consumptionodern furnace is aboutwh per ton of

feed, indicating that the power consumption in US mining alone9 was aboutwh per ton. An additional factor ofwh per ton of ore treated is allowed for beneficial ion. based upon general US flotation

practices./ Soviet plants have been built0 and areto be relatively modern and efficient installations, so that the

above factors were applied directly to estimated quantitiesre

re beneficiated.oncentrates smelted.

A rough estimate ofwh per ton of ore mined and smelted is used for the primitive operations and methods of China.

c. Estimate of Labor Requirements.

Information on labor requirements for production of mercury is sparse, but some information is available on antimony,oproduct in thc USSR. For example, the Khaydarkan and Kadamdzhay operations of Combinemeni Frunze produce both metals from the same ore. Tho ore yield per man-year in mining operations of the antimony industry for the period83 averagedons./ The labor requirements for mining mercury ore were obtainod by applying this factor to the oatimated'quantity of mercury ore mined (sea The additional labor for milling and smelting isby assuming that aboutercent more is required for millingercent more for smelting.



the ore vieldnn$eUborare derived by modifyin smanJI tP man-*ear toons because of the large number of



ercent oi labor is required for smelting.




A minor metal such as mercury, produced in relatively small tonnages and consumed in small quantities in overses, is the subject of far less information than the more common materials produced, consumed, and traded by the Sino-Soviet Bloc in greater quantities. The major deficiencies of information are as follows:

1. Production.

The most difficult problem regarding production is establishing country totals. For the USSR there has not beeningle total by country or by combine, either for any year during the postv World War II period orercentage changerevious time period. For Communist China, with the exceptionossibly true figureo total figures have been obtained during the period of the Communist occupation. Thereimilar lack of data on Czechoslovakia and Rumania.

I. Trade.

Information on shipments between countries of the Sino-Soviet Bloc is fragmentary, consisting almost entirely of movements from the USSR to East Germanv and. on occasion, to Other European

More information is available on exports to the Sino-Sovietthe Free World. The officially reported exports to the BlocWorld countries, except Italy, are not complete,4 no on such

trade. With thc useestimates

of the order of magnitude have been established.

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3 Consumption.

Reports of quantities of mercury consumed in any single pertinent category are not available except for East Germany. Derived estimates of mercury consumption on the basis of production of end products are very difficult because of lack of data on such production. Tho normal consumption of mercury is oy small quantitiesery wide range of usesany highly specializednd the pattern of consumption varies widely from country to country. Therefore, analogouson the basis of consumption in the US or other countries are weak.

4. Inputs,

Information on inputs is almost totally lacking. Therefore, any data on individual mines or plants would be of value. All estimates of such factora in this report were derived by indirect methods,


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