Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
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Assessing the global availability of by-product metals – The cases of Ga, Ge and InFrenzel, M.ORC
Recently, considerable concerns have been raised about the supply security of certain high-tech elements produced as by-products. To determine in how far these concerns are justified by the actual availability of these elements, a new method was developed to estimate supply potentials, including statistical uncertainties. This was applied to three relevant examples – Ga, Ge and In – to compare their global availability to current and historic production volumes. The assessment is based on detailed estimates of the amounts extractable from various raw material streams given contemporary market prices and technologies. The results show that the supply potentials of all three elements significantly exceed current primary production. However, the degree to which this is the case varies from element to element. Differences also exist in historic growth trends, with indium showing the fastest growth rate of production relative to supply potential at the time of analysis.
Keywords: By-products, Hi-tech metals, Supply security
USGS Eastern Competence Center on Mineral Resources - Seminar, 17.12.2019, Reston, VA, USA