Peak elements – not exactly, but maybe more serious

The British Gelogical Survey has just published a “risk list” of elements that are of commercial importance but for which the supply is at risk. Two points caught the attention of GallonDaily’s editor:

1) many less well-known elements are important for production of electronic components required for today’s information technology; and

2) none of the most at risk elements are produced in commercial quantities in Canada, meaning that Canada will not benefit from the inevitable price rises that will follow from declining or more inaccessible supplies.

Among the most at risk elements are antimony, platimum group elements, mercury, tungsten, rare earth elements, niobium, and strontium.

The BGS reports on scarcity, production concentration, reserve base distribution, and political stability of producing areas. For those interested in environmental and social impacts of mining as well as the economic drivers for metal recycling, this report provide valuable information. It can be found at http://www.bgs.ac.uk/mineralsuk/statistics/riskList.html and follow the link to download the Risk list 2011 publication.

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