Push/Pull (A Cultural Exchange in Havana)

I just wrote a conversational piece about my time in Cuba for Art in America’s online journal. Part of what I wanted to express in this piece about my time in Cuba was this question (buried at the bottom of the article): Should United States media/bodies/citizens continue to demonize Cuba’s human rights records as our own country is one of the leading human rights violators? Instead of the guilty throwing stones, why not try to be leaders, and mobilize our country’s military/corporate/educational complex to change?

Paraphrasing Cornel West here: Young people of oppressive regimes have to be willing to tell the truth. We need to refuse to live within an empire, a democratic experiment that does not treat other human beings with dignity and decency in our name.


Push/Pull: A Cultural Exchange in Havana

Installation view of Mary Mattingly’s sculpture Pull, 2014-15, in “Wild Noise” at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, 2015, as part of the 12th Bienal de La Habana. Photo Mary Mattingly. 

For the past eight years, I’ve focused on co-creating sculptures that address public food, energy production and cyclical water use. These works have almost entirely been created for people in the United States. My most recent sculpture, Pull,  was created through a cultural exchange led by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana and the Bronx Museum of the Arts as a collective effort alongside the 12th Bienal de La Habana, titled “Between the Idea and the Experience.” The artwork consists of two mobile, inhabitable spheres that contain living ecosystems. One of the spheres of Pullcurrently functions as a temporary autonomous zone in Havana’s Parque Central, while the other half is stationed inside the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes as part of exhibition “Wild Noise” (through Aug. 16).

I tracked international news on Cuba throughout my formative years, mythologizing the country that created a local resilience plan based on barter, large-scale urban farming and public service to survive everything from trade embargos imposed by the United States to the economic collapse of the Soviet Union during the Special Period. In my ongoing studies of resilience, Cuba features prominently.

In preparation for the project I spent over two months in Cuba this past spring, working closely with a collaborative team of art students, architects, organizers and teachers based in Havana to create the structures and internal living systems. Inside the spheres’ wide, hollow and netted walls, water is collected to grow plants that support fish, songbirds and insects. We carried the two parts of Pullfrom Havana’s Playa neighborhood by truck, van and bike. On May 17, we dragged them through the Malecón and to various sites in Old Havana, before reaching Parque Central via Paseo del Prado in a procession that attracted a crowd as we walked.

Pulling a large sphere full of precarious ecosystems to Havana’s Parque Central in order to create an autonomous zone first required maneuvering within the local government. To date, the physical route of Pull across the city has trailed a laborious, protracted series of permits. Without a clear procedure in place we repeatedly presented offices with written testimonies from multiple parties involved in the project, along with our request. Returning to the offices every few days, we would learn about additional requirements, fulfill them and return later to the same news. As with navigating New York City’s layered and overlapping governmental agencies, which all subscribe to the “C.Y.A.” (cover your ass) methodology, we learned to map out each physical location according to potential necessary permits and apply for them all. I believe that patient and persistent attempts to maneuver through the Kafkaesque cyclical maze of urban regulations and policies can be an effective way to work toward policy change. In the end, our group’s endurance gained us permission to install the first temporary artwork in nearly a decade on the Parque Central.

Many of the materials that comprise the sculpture Pull have painful histories. Partially constructed from U.S. army surplus materials transformed into tools for interdependent ecosystems, the sculpture proposes a nonmilitary economy. In two trips, parachute netting turned into translucent walls and air hoses turned into watering devices were carried from the United States in the form of excess baggage by Minnesota-based charter Sun Country (well known for their many charters that supported Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s). The bulk of supplies, meanwhile, was sourced within the network of Cuba’s informal markets, and we redesigned the structure based on what we could locate. In a country where cars and homes are more commonly traded than bought or sold, bartering could be easier than using cash.

If you see something in a store and have the means, buy it,” the logic goes, because you know someone who needs it, or because you won’t be able to find it when you need it. While this rang true consistently for me, I quickly adopted the everywoman inventor mentality, realizing that searching for plumbing glue is never as practical as fitting a scrap of hard foam into a crevice and sealing it with paint.

Trying to find bolts and self-tapping screws could often devolve into a several-hour challenge. We once went to the corner of Neptuno and Soledad to talk with the gentleman sitting in a chair in front of a shuttered storefront. He then directed us to a side street and told us to look for a man named David. David met us on the corner and directed us inside his home, which contained the leftovers of a hardware store as well as more recent stock. He sold us self-tapping screws for one Cuban peso each, and then asked if we needed any wiring while there. Thinking we could use wiring for something, we bought it then and there, because otherwise we feared we wouldn’t be able to find it when we needed it. We made sure we got David’s cell-phone number, hoping he could find something else for us if we were in a pinch and could pay.

Finding wood to build the spheres’ two bases, which imply flotation in their design, required dismantling discarded carpet-covered benches, dismembering ladders and stripping the side of an abandoned shed in Alamar. There was virtually no wood to buy, aside from the facade of a shipping crate being returned to Belgium, which we purchased through a back-door negotiation. Driving to harvest plant clippings from the Jardín Botánico Nacional, on the outskirts of Havana, we made our way through the unmarked streets in El Hueco (a neighborhood whose name is translated as “the gap”) and reached a worn-down cul-de-sac on the edge of the motorway Autopista Este-Oeste. Arriving at a half-hidden dirt road, we located a gas station where our car could be filled by hand with gas from Venezuela for a fraction of the price of anywhere else in the city. Of course we asked to purchase their empty 55-gallon drums. Our inability to find particular materials produced a clumsy ingenuity. I sifted through communal bins of discarded organic matter on my walks home looking for broken pottery, and spent a few nights trying to fit pieces together.

More straightforward was creating the regenerating habitats insidePull. Based on Cuba’s Organopónicos resilience strategy, the interiors of the sculptures fed themselves. We created small aquaponic systems with freshwater fish in tanks, a form of permaculture. Edible plants were abundant and easily obtainable. We were trusted to temporarily care for several songbirds—a common pet throughout Cuba, one laden with symbolic and nostalgic overtones—in a balcony-based aviary. Prior to the biennial’s opening, a friend dropped off two chickens. They nested beneath the sphere and laid eggs that visitors took with them.

While living and working in Cuba, I discussed personal and political struggles with artists and art workers. Sometimes artists described struggling alongside the socialist government as it works to stay afloat despite authoritarian global capitalism that robs the land, animals and people who share the planet. Others described struggling against a government that has unevenly distributed prosperity in the form of educational opportunities and material goods to a revolutionary cohort.

Yet, for contemporary artists in Cuba, the island can currently be a bubble. From a monetary perspective, after the tourist industry, art generates some of the largest influx of international currency. (With two separate currencies, residents navigate between the international CUC and the Moneda Nacional, or the Cuban peso). While there, I witnessed international blue-chip gallery directors soliciting recommendations for local artists in order to expand the appeal of their stable, while hundreds of U.S.-based collectors visited artists’ studios by the busload looking for something exceptional. It seemed the steps involved in making one’s way to Cuba (from visa to travel arrangements to affidavit) were inconvenient enough to convince even the stingiest collector to bring something home.

Of status similar to movie stars and professional athletes in the United States, artists are among the few groups in the country occupying such privileged societal positions. The government (well known for championing regime-supportive art) understands the potential power of cultural producers and therefore largely controls the media and many forms of public speech. Many Cuban citizens seem well accustomed to suppression of speech, and habituated to reading symbolic significance. Too many of the artists I met chose to make nonpolitical artwork, describing themselves as “ready to move on” from topics that have become “too easy” and “too expected,” while other artists I met, such as Wilfredo Prieto and Alexandre Arrechea, engaged with politics carefully or covertly. A smaller cohort of contemporary artists consider themselves activists.

For decades, international news organizations have reported cases of surveillance and silencing of politically active artists, including the still-incarcerated Danilo Maldonado (“El Sexto”) and the recently arrested Tania Bruguera. Yet conversations about Cuba’s lack of basic human rights always returned to a frustrated comparison with the United States government, a government also known worldwide for violating human rights, and one that has led a debilitating propaganda campaign against Cuba for more than 50 years.

Sometimes I believe we share very similar experiences. And at other times, I felt a mixture of astonishment and even awe over our divergent experiences. An archivist in Havana attempted to explain to me the artist’s place in Cuban society by recalling what her ailing father had said to her when she married a young artist: “I’m so proud of you, you are in the art world. I no longer have to worry about your future. Now I can die.”

Swale is in progress

Swale – A Floating Food Forest

Food forests are arguably the oldest form of gardening, generated through companion planting methods. These cultivated diverse arrangements of plants strengthen, support, and nourish each other while fighting pests and attracting pollinators. Edible forests re-integrate us with natural resources we need, and need to care for. They invite more interdependent living, and over time, provide inexpensive production of fresh food where it is lacking. Naturally regenerating, food forests are one of the most resilient agro-ecosystems and means for sustainable food production. Unlike traditional gardening and industrial agriculture, food forests grow to be stronger and more plentiful each year. Food forests on New York City’s land have been off-limits for almost a century for fear that a glut of foragers may destroy an ecosystem. Yet, a food forest built on the water can imagine a different set of rules.

Swale is a mobile, floating food forest that will dock at different piers around New York City’s harbor for months at a time. A 50 foot wide torus-shaped floating platform contains a gangway entrance, railings, walkways, and an edible forest garden. It is being planned through inputs from different groups and individuals citywide. The base layer of wetland plants on Swale is designed to eventually grow from the river when a permanent home is found, filtering and wicking water to edible plants.

Collaborating with a nautical engineer, gardeners, and landscape architects, the superstructure is made up of materials from the US Army’s longest war in history in order to reestablish a different material, economic, social, and conceptual pathway. The project will be introduced to local nurseries, environmental groups including the Project for Public Spaces, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and the New York Restoration Project, as well as additional schools around New York City through a series of design charettes and permaculture workshops.

After an initial year of planning sessions, organization, and building, Swale will function as a floating island, open to the public. People may visit, partake in the caretaking process, and collect fresh food on Swale. At once, Swale produces fresh food, connects people with the water, and with an entire ecosystem. Engaging with an ecosystem on the water creates a microscopic view into a macroscopic living system. When we are only able to see a part of a whole, we rarely have the chance to understand how the entire system works. On Swale all of the working parts will be seen, understood, and then reimagined.

In its formative stages, Swale has begun partnerships with organizations including the National Parks Service in Jamaica Bay, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in the Bronx, with preliminary permission to dock on the Bronx River, and in Jamaica Bay. Build-out space has been arranged through the North Brooklyn Boathouse on the Newtown Creek in Brooklyn, New York.

While working with city, state, and federal agencies is essential, the project plan needs to have local co-ownership. Swale will be introduced at community board meetings in neighborhoods near potential piers, to better understand needs and potential uses for each space and work these uses into the design. To spread knowledge about the project, it depends on these working in partnership with local organizations. Currently, Swale is being supported by “A Blade of Grass” a fellowship program that provides funding resources to assessment and pro-bono legal services.

Pull – Havana Biennale with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana and the Bronx Museum of the Arts



Push / Pull: The Art of Negotiation
It has been a privilege to collaborate with the Bronx Muse­um of the Arts, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in this special project in Havana at a time when the relation­ship between Cuba and the United States is changing. As it turned out, in the midst of planning this installation, President Obama announced a new policy of engagement between the two countries. Due to changes slowly accompanying this political conversation (of course large-scale changes never happen overnight), I was asked to extend a projected three-week stay into a two-month period. On a personal level, the time extension meant that I would have to establish deeper relationships with a wider group of possible collaborators, including architecture professors at the University of Habana, local art students, and artists, as well as architects, builders, conservators and the entire team at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Together, we have been able to complete a two-part sculpture that will not only be up through the Bienal but for some time after, used and shared by a growing list of places and people in Havana.

Pull is a Proposal
It has been a personal mission of the last few years to propose a transformation of supplies once used by the United States Army’s longest war in history into sculptures that can represent another way, and another world. The blue tubing that transfers extra water to other plants and fish is part of this proposal. Some of the fabric that covers the sphere was also once used in combat. I want Pull to ask how could resources be redistributed from the many military complexes into something that can potentially begin to re-contextualize and reverse the traumas incited through wars.

Pull is an Ecosystem
Pull is made up of many human and nonhuman networks. Inside of the spheres, plants live with birds, fish, butterflies, and other insects. Plants depend on insects like butterflies, while the birds depend on seeds from the plants, and the fish depend on the rain and nutrients from the soil, and vice versa. People use the space to learn in, create in, convene in, live in, and be in. During my first weeks in Havana, I thought I heard a child wistfully calling his mother. I thought I listened him calling her every evening as I drew in my apart­ment in Vedado. One day a friend came over and told me it was a bird I was hearing, not a child crying. Bird keeping in Havana is tinted with symbolist (I know why the caged bird sings) and nostalgia overtones. Being here, I have become transfixed by the parrots, hummingbirds, and especially the songbirds of Cuba. This fascination has expanded the way I’ve described the ecosystem I’m building. I now realize that this was another component that I was often leaving for last; one that addresses nostalgia, loss, and love. The birds in Pull are as central to the ecosystem that I have created as the food that will lovingly grow over the next months in old juice containers, made by architects, students, and conservators. In a poetic way, the birds are an essential part of the team, together with the staff at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Ha­bana, the art students, Yoandy Rizo and Osmany Fuentes and their capable building team, and Ananda Morera and her extended team of city officials.

The Art of Bureaucratic Documents
I am aware that Pull can be seen as an absurd proposition, but my goal has been to inspire ways of being together, acting together, and with a larger world. At the core of this project is a performance in which the values of balance, strategy, and care hold central roles. Dragging large spheres full of precarious ecosystems to Havana’s Parque Central needed strategic maneuvering as well as a keen sense of bureaucratic tact. The trail of paperwork and permits necessary to allow the structure to be placed at different sites has been an important part of this process. Mirroring New York’s dizzying bureaucracy, this paperwork is the result of one attempt to navigate a Kafkaesque cyclical maze that makes up an organization, city, and country’s policies.

Pull – On Utopia
Art is a necessity. Without art there is less room for reflec­tion and evolution. Pull takes into consideration our bodies’ spatial relations, expenditures, daily movements and chores. In a social system in which the individual lacks security or place, Pull proposes a utopian zone in which the many aren’t governed by the few, but act as interdependent agents, relat­ing with each other and with the world. As the new policy of engagement between the United States and Cuba moves forward, there is a unique opportunity to learn from each other in many ways. With the collapse of entire cities like Detroit, which was dependent on one kind of industry, Americans could learn from Cubans about post-in­dustrial resilience. In Cuba, when sugar factories closed, and entire towns suffered from the lack of jobs, the govern­ment subsidized adults to return to school. During the period of the Green Revolution, when industrial farming was being promoted around the world, most Cubans relied on Organopónicos, a less aggressive farming practice that only now is catching up in the United States. Other ways are possible.

Wading Bridge in Des Moines


Our rivers determine our land, livelihood, and lives, and the rivers of Des Moines are a force. It is with respect, honor, and excitement that we ready to install “Wading Bridge” on the Raccoon River in the coming days. As humans it is easy to forget how very dependent we are on each other, and on the built and more natural worlds we inhabit. Bridges are monuments. Over borders difficult to cross, they bring us together. Yet some of the elements we see as borders may not need to be, and it may be time to redefine them. To explain “Wading Bridge” is to explain the Value of both perceptual and physical experience, and the important practice of re-seeing. Crossing “Wading Bridge” and getting our feet wet can allow us a momentary intimacy with the Raccoon river. For me, “Wading Bridge” is about living with tumultuous change. Sometimes our bridges may be under water, but in unexpected ways they will still bring us together.

Raw Notes

Mining Map – Layer 1

Chemicals and minerals:


Saudi Arabia, Afganistan, and:

Country Production Reserves[note 2]
World total 34,000 13,000,000
Chile 12,600 7,500,000
Australia 9,260 970,000
People’s Republic of China 5,200 3,500,000
Argentina 3,200 850,000
Portugal 820 10,000
Canada (2010) 480 180,000
Zimbabwe 470 23,000
Brazil 160 64,000

Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) is widely used in lithium ion battery cathodes. The material is composed of cobalt oxide layers in which the lithium is intercalated. During discharging the lithium intercalated between the layers is set free as lithium ion.[55] Nickel-cadmium[56] (NiCd) and nickel metal hydride[57] (NiMH) batteries also contain significant amounts of cobalt; the cobalt improves the oxidation capabilities of nickel in the battery.[56]


The main ores of cobalt are cobaltite, erythrite, glaucodot and skutterudite (see above), but most cobalt is obtained not by active mining of cobalt ores, but rather by reducing cobalt compounds that occur as by-products of nickel and copper mining activities. In 2005, the copper deposits in the Katanga Province (former Shaba province) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were the top producer of cobalt with almost 40% world share


This is list of countries by copper production is mostly based on British Geological Survey accessed in June 2008. Some 2013 updates are provided for the top 10 producers based on USGS[1]

Rank Country/Region 2006 Copper production (tonnes) 2013 Copper production (tonnes)
World 15,100,000 17,900,000
1 Chile 5,360,800 5,700,000
2 United States 1,220,000 1,220,000
3 Peru 1,049,933 1,300,000
4 China 915,000 1,650,000
5 Australia 875,000 990,000
6 Indonesia 817,796 380,000
7 Russia 675,000 930,000
8 Zambia 502,998 830,000
9 Canada 606,958 630,000
10 Poland 497,200 430,000
11 Kazakhstan 459,200 440,000
12 Iran 249,100 255,000[2]
13 Papua New Guinea 194,355
14 Argentina 180,144
15 Brazil 147,836
16 DR Congo 131,400
17 Mongolia 129,675
18 Mexico 129,042
19 Uzbekistan 103,500
20 Bulgaria 99,000
21 South Africa 89,700
22 Sweden 86,746
23 Serbia 80,000
24 Portugal 78,660
25 Laos 60,803
26 India 31,000
27 Turkey 30,000
28 Botswana 24,255
29 Burma 19,500
30 Pakistan 18,700
31 Armenia 17,800
32 Philippines 17,700
33 Nigeria 16,200
34 Georgia 14,600
35 Finland 13,000
36 Romania 12,179
37 North Korea 12,000
38 Vietnam 11,400
39 Spain 8,700
40 Macedonia 7,054
41 Namibia 6,262
42 Mauritania 5,031
43 Morocco 4,500
44 Tanzania 3,285
45 Zimbabwe 2,581
46 Japan 1,000
47 Cyprus 900
48 Saudi Arabia 604
49 Colombia 600
50 Albania 400


Photography used 30.98% of the silver consumed in 1998 in the form of silver nitrate and silver halides. In 2001, 23.47% was used for photography, while 20.03% was used in jewelry, 38.51% for industrial uses, and only 3.5% for coins and medals. The use of silver in photography has rapidly declined, due to the lower demand for consumer color film from the advent of digital technology; since 2007, of the 907 million ounces of silver in supply, just 117.6 million ounces (13%) were consumed by the photographic sector, about 50% of the amount used in photography in 1998. By 2010, the supply had increased by about 10% to 1056.8 million ounces, of which 72.7 million ounces were used in the photographic sector, a decline of 38% compared with 2007.[24]

Some electrical and electronic products use silver for its superior conductivity, even when tarnished. The primary example of this is in high quality RF connectors. The increase in conductivity is also taken advantage of in RF engineering at VHF and higher frequencies, where conductors often cannot be scaled by 6%, due to tuning requirements, e.g. cavity filters. As an additional example, printed circuits and RFID antennas can be made using silver paints,[7][25] and computer keyboards use silver electrical contacts. Silver cadmium oxide is used in high-voltage contacts because it can withstand arcing.

Some manufacturers produce audio connector cables, speaker wires, and power cables using silver conductors, which have a 6% higher conductivity than ordinary copper ones of identical dimensions, but cost much more. Though debatable, many hi-fi enthusiasts believe silver wires improve sound quality.[citation needed]

Small devices, such as hearing aids and watches, commonly use silver oxide batteries due to their long life and high energy-to-weight ratio. Another usage is high-capacity silver-zinc and silver-cadmium batteries.

The principal sources of silver are the ores of copper, copper-nickel, lead, and lead-zinc obtained from Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, China, Australia, Chile, Poland and Serbia.[7] Peru, Bolivia and Mexico have been mining silver since 1546, and are still major world producers. Top silver-producing mines are Cannington (Australia), Fresnillo (Mexico), San Cristobal (Bolivia), Antamina (Peru), Rudna (Poland), and Penasquito (Mexico).[51] Top near-term mine development projects through 2015 are Pascua Lama (Chile), Navidad (Argentina), Jaunicipio (Mexico), Malku Khota (Bolivia),[52] and Hackett River (Canada).[51] In Central Asia, Tajikistan is known to have some of the largest silver deposits in the world.[53]


A few plants produce resins with different compositions, most notably Jeffrey Pine and Gray Pine, the volatile components of which are largely pure n-heptane with little or no terpenes.


Today, sulfur is produced from petroleum, natural gas, and related fossil resources, from which it is obtained mainly as hydrogen sulfide. The resulting hydrogen sulfide from this process, and also as it occurs in natural gas, is converted into elemental sulfur by the Claus process. Owing to the high sulfur content of the Athabasca Oil Sands, stockpiles of elemental sulfur from this process now exist throughout Alberta, Canada.[27] Another way of storing sulfur is as a binder for concrete, the resulting product having many desirable properties (see sulfur concrete).[28]

The world production of sulfur in 2011 amounted to 69 million tonnes (Mt), with more than 15 countries contributing more than 1 Mt each. Countries producing more than 5 Mt are China (9.6), US (8.8), Canada (7.1) and Russia (7.1).[29] While the production has been slowly increasing from 1900 to 2010, the price was much less stable, especially in the 1980s and around 2010.[30]

This bubble map shows the global distribution of sulphuric acid output in 2000 as a percentage of the top producer (China – 24,270,000 tonnes). This map is consistent with incomplete set of data too as long as the top producer is known. It resolves the accessibility issues faced by colour-coded maps that may not be properly rendered in old computer screens. Data was extracted on 16th June 2007. Source – http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cdb/cdb_source_xrxx.asp?source_code=6 Based on :Image:BlankMap-World.png


1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Australia 41.7% 45.7% 56.1% 54.8% 71.5% 75.9% 71.0% 73.8% 42.4% 54.3% 45.3% 55.9% 63.9% 59.8% 56.4% 61.9% 54.9% 50.6% 46.8% 12.1%
Brazil 22.7% 17.6% 15.0% 16.1% 15.0% 13.9% 14.1% 13.4% 39.8% 25.6% 17.8% 17.8% 13.6% 15.6% 14.9% 15.7% 20.2% 20.6% 15.1% 26.9%
Canada 21.7% 19.5% 12.0% 8.1% 10.8% 9.1% 14.1% 12.0% 7.3% 8.4% 5.3% 6.5% 3.9% 4.3% 4.0% 4.6% 6.4% 5.2% 3.4% 3.7%
D.R. Congo 2.5% 3.4% 2.0% 1.9% 0.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 12.1% 5.1% 2.0% 1.2% 1.4% 2.4% 1.6% 8.1% 8.4% 13.0%
Africa. excl.DR Congo 11.4% 13.8% 14.8% 19.0% 2.4% 0.8% 0.8% 0.7% 10.5% 11.8% 19.4% 14.7% 16.5% 19.1% 23.3% 15.5% 16.8% 15.5% 26.3% 44.3%

Phenol: Phenol is also a recoverable byproduct of coal pyrolysis.


Chromium is mined as chromite (FeCr2O4) ore.[10] About two-fifths of the chromite ores and concentrates in the world are produced in South Africa, while Kazakhstan, India, Russia, and Turkey are also substantial producers. Untapped chromite deposits are plentiful, but geographically concentrated in Kazakhstan and southern Africa.[11]

RAW MATERIAL (used in several camera components)


# Producing Nation 103bbl/d (2006) 103bbl/d (2007) 103bbl/d (2008) 103bbl/d (2009) Present Share
1 Saudi Arabia (OPEC) 10,665 10,234 10,782 9,760 11.8%
2 Russia1 9,677 9,876 9,789 9,934 12.0%
3 United States1 8,331 8,481 8,514 9,141 11.1%
4 Iran (OPEC) 4,148 4,043 4,174 4,177 5.1%
5 China 3,846 3,901 3,973 3,996 4.8%
6 Canada2 3,288 3,358 3,350 3,294 4.0%
7 Mexico1 3,707 3,501 3,185 3,001 3.6%
8 United Arab Emirates(OPEC) 2,945 2,948 3,046 2,795 3.4%
9 Kuwait (OPEC) 2,675 2,613 2,742 2,496 3.0%
10 Venezuela (OPEC) 1 2,803 2,667 2,643 2,471 3.0%
11 Norway1 2,786 2,565 2,466 2,350 2.8%
12 Brazil 2,166 2,279 2,401 2,577 3.1%
13 Iraq (OPEC) 3 2,008 2,094 2,385 2,400 2.9%
14 Algeria (OPEC) 2,122 2,173 2,179 2,126 2.6%
15 Nigeria (OPEC) 2,443 2,352 2,169 2,211 2.7%
16 Angola (OPEC) 1,435 1,769 2,014 1,948 2.4%
17 Libya (OPEC) 1,809 1,845 1,875 1,789 2.2%
18 United Kingdom 1,689 1,690 1,584 1,422 1.7%
19 Kazakhstan 1,388 1,445 1,429 1,540 1.9%
20 Qatar (OPEC) 1,141 1,136 1,207 1,213 1.5%
21 Indonesia 1,102 1,044 1,051 1,023 1.2%
22 India 854 881 884 877 1.1%
23 Azerbaijan 648 850 875 1,012 1.2%
24 Argentina 802 791 792 794 1.0%
25 Oman 743 714 761 816 1.0%
26 Malaysia 729 703 727 693 0.8%
27 Egypt 667 664 631 678 0.8%
28 Colombia 544 543 601 686 0.8%
29 Australia 552 595 586 588 0.7%
30 Ecuador (OPEC) 536 512 505 485 0.6%
31 Sudan 380 466 480 486 0.6%
32 Syria 449 446 426 400 0.5%
33 Equatorial Guinea 386 400 359 346 0.4%
34 Thailand 334 349 361 339 0.4%
35 Vietnam 362 352 314 346 0.4%
36 Yemen 377 361 300 287 0.3%
37 Denmark 344 314 289 262 0.3%
38 Gabon 237 244 248 242 0.3%
39 South Africa 204 199 195 192 0.2%
40 Turkmenistan No data 180 189 198 0.2%
41 Trinidad and Tobago 181 179 176 174 0.1%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Tungsten is found in the minerals wolframite (ironmanganese tungstate, (Fe,Mn)WO4), scheelite (calcium tungstate, (CaWO4), ferberite (FeWO4) andhübnerite (MnWO4). China produced 51,000 tonnes of tungsten concentrate in 2009, which was 83% of the world output. In the prelude to WWII China’s production of tungsten played a role as China could use this leverage to demand material assistance from the US government.[23] Most of the remaining production originated from Russia (2,500 t), Canada (1,964 t), Bolivia (1,023 t), Austria (900 t), Portugal (900 t), Thailand (600 t), Brazil (500 t), Peru (500 t) and Rwanda (500 t).[24] Tungsten is also considered to be a conflict mineral due to the unethical mining practices observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[25][26] Rising prices in 2014 have enabled works to reopen the disused Hemerdon Bal tungsten-tine mine in Plymouth in the United Kingdom.[27]

Cassiterite (tin):

Most sources of cassiterite today are found in alluvial or placerdeposits containing the resistant weathered grains. The best sources of primary cassiterite are found in the tin mines of Bolivia, where it is found in hydrothermal veins. Rwanda has a nascent cassiterite mining industry. Fighting over cassiterite deposits (particularly inWalikale) is a major cause of the conflict waged in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[5][6] This has led to cassiterite being considered a conflict mineral.

Cassiterite is a widespread minor constituent of igneous rocks. The Bolivian veins and the old exhausted workings of Cornwall, England, are concentrated in high temperature quartz veins and pegmatites associated with granitic intrusives. The veins commonly contain tourmaline, topaz, fluorite, apatite, wolframite, molybdenite, and arsenopyrite. The mineral occurs extensively in Cornwall as surface deposits on Bodmin Moor, for example, where there are extensive traces of an hydraulic mining method known as streaming. The current major tin production comes from placer or alluvial deposits in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maakhir region of Somalia, and Russia.Hydraulic mining methods are used to concentrate mined ore, a process which relies on the high specific gravity of the SnO2 ore, of about 7.0.


Rank Country/Region 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
World 1,351.3 1326.5 1,219.7 1,413.6 1,490.1 1552.9 1607.2
1 People’s Republic of China 494.9 500.3 573.6 626.7 683.3 724.7 779.0
European Union 210.2 198.2 139.3 172.8 177.7 168.6 165.6
2 Japan 120.2 118.7 87.5 109.6 107.6 107.2 110.6
3 United States 98.1 91.4 58.2 80.6 86.2 88.6 87.0
4 India 53.5 57.8 62.8 68.3 72.2 77.3 81.2
5 Russia 72.4 68.5 60.0 66.9 68.7 70.6 69.4
6 South Korea 51.5 53.6 48.6 58.5 68.5 69.3 66.0
7 Germany 48.6 45.8 32.7 43.8 44.3 42.7 42.6
8 Turkey 25.8 26.8 25.3 29.0 34.1 35.9 34.7
9 Brazil 33.8 33.7 26.5 32.8 35.2 34.7 34.2
10 Ukraine 42.8 37.3 29.9 33.6 35.3 32.9 32.8
11 Italy 31.6 30.6 19.7 25.8 28.7 27.2 24.1
12 Taiwan 20.9 19.9 15.7 19.6 22.7 20.7 22.3
13 Mexico 17.6 17.2 14.2 17.0 18.1 18.1 18.4 est
14 France 19.3 17.9 12.8 15.4 15.8 15.6 15.7
15 Iran 10.1 10.0 10.9 12.0 13.0 14.5 15.4
16 Spain 19.0 18.6 14.3 16.3 15.6 13.6 13.7
17 Canada 15.6 14.8 9.0 13.0 13.1 13.5 12.5 est
18 United Kingdom 14.3 13.5 10.1 9.7 9.5 9.6 11.9
19 Poland 10.6 9.7 7.2 8.0 8.8 8.4 8.0
20 Austria 7.6 7.6 5.7 7.2 7.5 7.4 7.9
21 South Africa 9.1 8.3 7.5 8.5 6.7 7.1 7.2 est
22 Belgium 10.7 10.7 5.6 8.1 8.1 7.4 7.1
23 Egypt 6.2 6.2 5.5 6.7 6.5 6.6 6.8
24 Netherlands 7.4 6.8 5.2 6.7 6.9 6.9 6.7 est
25 Malaysia 6.9 6.4 4.0 4.1 5.9 5.6 5.9 est
26 Vietnam 2.3 2.7 2.7 2.7 4.9 5.3 5.6
27 Saudi Arabia 4.6 4.7 4.7 5.0 5.3 5.2 5.4
28 Czech Republic 7.1 6.4 4.6 5.2 5.6 5.1 5.2
29 Argentina 5.4 5.5 4.0 5.1 5.7 5.0 5.2
30 Australia 7.9 7.6 5.2 7.3 6.4 4.9 4.6 est
31 Slovakia 5.1 4.5 3.7 4.6 4.2 4.4 4.5
32 Sweden 5.7 5.2 2.8 4.8 4.9 4.3 4.4
33 Finland 4.4 4.4 3.1 4.0 4.0 3.8 3.5
34 Thailand 5.6 5.2 3.6 3.7 4.2 3.3 3.5 est
35 Kazakhstan 4.8 4.3 4.1 4.3 4.7 3.9 3.3 est
36 Romania 6.3 5.0 2.7 3.9 3.8 3.3 2.9
37 United Arab Emirates 0.09 0.09 0.2 0.5 2.0 2.4 2.9 est
38 Indonesia 4.2 3.9 3.5 3.6 3.6 2.3 2.4 est
39 Belarus 2.4 2.6 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.3
40 Venezuela 5.0 4.2 3.8 2.2 3.1 2.4 2.3
Others[6] 30.7 (est.) 28.6 (est.) 23.3 (est.) 26.5 (est.) 29.9 29.5 28.4


Silver halide – A halide is made out of two parts, a halogen atom, (produced by a mineral or salt) and a less or more electronegative atom, to create for example fluoride or chloride.

Amoniac – Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen.

Gelatin – obtained from various animal products.

Alum – To obtain alum from alunite crystals it is calcined and then exposed to the action of air for a considerable time. During this exposure it is kept continually moistened with water, so that it ultimately falls to a very fine powder

Formaldehyd- is produced industrially by the catalytic oxidation of methanol.


Aldehydes India 1247, Sector-15,Faridabad, Haryana, (India)
Lanxess Formalin Facility, Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany

US: http://www.thomasnet.com/products/formaldehyde-31173800-1.html












Glyoxal prepared by the gas-phase oxidation of ethylene glycol (used in the manufacture of polyester fibers for for example PET bottles)

Saponin (plant-derived from for example the maple tree)




Phenol (from petroleum)








Thymol (organic from thyme oil)




Links: Military Spending


http://thescore.peaceactionwest.org/ – vote tracker – see how your politicians voted on particular issues





Published on Jun 3, 2013

Institute for Policy Studies’ Miriam Pemberton speaks with Rep. Keith Ellison, detailing Connecticut’s recent legislation to ultimately create green manufacturing jobs from defense industry manufacturing, May 21, 2013