Bernhard von Cotta Prize awarded to Dr Max Frenzel

News of 1 December 2017

Max Frenzel

Dr Max Frenzel

Photo: HZDR/Scheufler | Förster Wissenschafts-kommunikation


At the annual general meeting of the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg on 1st December 2017, Dr Max Frenzel was awarded the 2017 Bernhard von Cotta Prize. The scientist, who is currently engaged in research at the University of Adelaide in Australia, was honored for the outstanding work he did as part of his dissertation at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) and at the Institute of Mineralogy of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. He is one of four awardees of this year’s Prize.

In his PhD thesis (The distribution of gallium, germanium and indium in conventional and non-conventional resource types ­– Implications for global availability), Max Frenzel investigated the geological and technical availability of by-product metals, specifically the high-tech elements germanium, gallium and indium.

He developed a novel method of forecasting the global availability of these and other key mineral resources. This shows that there is so much natural gallium and germanium that the global annual production of both resources could be significantly increased. The rare element indium, on the other hand, could become even more scarce: according to Frenzel’s calculation, supply is unlikely to keep pace with future demand for this particular metal.

Availability of valuable resources - more information:

Press release of 26 August 2016: Annual production of gallium and germanium could be much higher

Press release of 15 November 2017: Alternative energy sources likely to increase demand for critical metals


Dr. Max Frenzel
University of Adelaide, Australien
Tel.: +61 416 730 944 | E-Mail: |