When discussing critical mineral supply woes, Rare Earths are always the first minerals to come to mind. However, we at American Resources have consistently made the point that our mineral resource dependencies stretch far beyond the Rare Earths. Antimony is a case in point. A recent Resource Investing News piece argues that while not a “sexy” metal like Rare Earths, Gold or Silver, Antimony is making its way on people’s radar due mostly to an undersupplied market:
“While most people have never heard of antimony, it is without a doubt one of the most vital materials due to its primary use as a fire retardant. Compounded as antimony trioxide, antimony is used in fire-retardant bedding, children’s clothing, toys, aircraft and car seat covers — a sector that makes up about 60 percent of the antimony market. Antimony is also consumed in alloys for batteries, plain bearings and solders. Future applications include use as a component in phase-change memory, which could lead to a dramatic increase in computer transfer speeds… The British Geological Survey in 2012 named antimony the most at risk of a supply disruption due to the high concentration of production in one country: China.”
While the U.S. House of Representatives has the chance to take a step towards a strategic minerals strategy soon by taking up Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R, Nev.)” National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761) soon, this should serve as another reminder why a more strategic approach to minerals and mineral resource security is imperative.