811.20 Defense (M)/1799: Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

347. The Department’s 93, April 21, 6 p.m. For Feis. Many thanks for your message. From preliminary information available manganese is reported to be approximately as follows: 40,000 metric tons 28% manganese, 190,000 tons 45 to 50%, and 300 tons 80%, the bulk of which is at the port of Abouzenima on the eastern side of the Gulf of Suez which has pier accommodations to load 10,000 ton vessels at the rate of 500 tons per hour. It is also reported that about 300 tons of higher than 80% manganese are available near Kosseir on the west [Page 302] side of the Red Sea which would have to be loaded from barges at a distance of 1500 metres off shore.

Tentative reports indicate that there is no tungsten actually available and only a few tons of wolfram concentrate as the mines have been closed because of the lack of a market. The existing mines, which are estimated to be able to produce about a hundred tons monthly with existing machinery, produce wolfram concentrate the better grades of which are said to run as follows: WO3 70%, FeO 10%, MnO 9%, CaO 2½%, SiO 25%.

Reports indicate that there are about 200,000 tons phosphate rock averaging 62% tri-calcium phosphate, the bulk of which is stored at Kosseir and Sofaga on the west side of the Red Sea. Twelve thousand ton vessels can moor at the latter port but loading at the former must be done from lighters. These phosphates may be needed in South Africa.

There are available for immediate shipment 12,000 tons of gypsum 98%, sulphate of calcium at Rasmaelap on the east side of the Gulf of Suez where loading from barges is necessary.

There is an enormous quantity of Egyptian cotton available for shipment if a decision is made, as mentioned in my telegram number 338, April 25 [26], 10 a.m.44 to ship it to central points in the Western Hemisphere. Its transport would require approximately 824,000 measured tons of shipping space.

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