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Critical Minerals Alaska 2020

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Solar and wind electricity generation needs rare earths graphite tellurium

High priority Alaska REE, graphite projects

Wind turbines, solar panels, and the batteries that store the electricity these renewable energy sources generate are creating new demands for an array of minerals and metals, many of... — Updated 11/19/2020 Full story

 
Chrome plated stainless steel chain

Irreplaceable chromium deposits in Alaska

While the United States consumes roughly 5% of the chromite mined globally, none of this chromium mineral comes from domestic mines. Instead, America relies on foreign sources for... — Updated 11/19/2020 Full story

 
Quantum computers using germanium transistors

The quantum realm of Alaska germanium

While Alaska is regarded as a geological storehouse of minerals critical to the United States, it is less renowned as a current globally significant supplier of germanium, a zinc... — Updated 11/19/2020 Full story

 
Tin solder soldering iron computer circuit board

Tin is the glue for the tech revolution

Cans, cups, roofs, and foil hats are likely the first things that come to mind when thinking about tin – none of which conjure images of a metal that should be considered critical to a... — Updated 11/12/2020 Full story

 
China US rare earths critical minerals trade strategies wars Chess graphic

COVID exposes chink in US metal armor

In addition to dealing a major blow to the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on a chink in the United States' economic and security armor – an overreliance on foreig... — Updated 11/12/2020 Full story

 
Lightweight heat resistant strong durable aerospace metal

Titanium demand is nearly all white

The United States imported more than 90% of the 1.4 million metric tons of titanium minerals it consumed during 2019. What the mass majority of this critical mineral was used for, however... — Updated 11/12/2020 Full story

 
Gallium is a technology metal used in smartphones computers tablets

A little gallium makes high-tech techier

A semiconductor that will melt in the palm of your hand and has the ability to convert electricity directly into laser light, gallium is a cool critical metal that is an important... — Updated 11/5/2020 Full story

 
Gold bars from 8 million ounce pour at Fort Knox

Gold – a pathfinder to critical minerals

Though gold is not considered a metal critical to the United States, this increasingly valuable precious metal could serve as a pathfinder element for several of the other minerals and... — Updated 11/5/2020 Full story

 
Tungsten metal in SpaceX Falcon rocket engine nozzles during launch

Tough tungsten at high supply risk in US

America's supply of tungsten, an extremely durable metal that is vital to a broad range of American industrial sectors, is at high-risk. A recent U.S. Geological Survey assessment to iden... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Extremely rare tellurium used for solar energy found in Alaska gold deposits

Solar powers demand for rare tellurium

Amongst the rarest of the stable elements on the periodic table and an important ingredient in the emerging thin-film solar panel sector, tellurium embodies what it means to be a... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Superalloy critical rhenium metal Pebble mine project Bristol Bay Alaska

Pebble hosts 90 years of durable rhenium

Rhenium is exceptionally resistant to heat and wear, characteristics that make it a vital ingredient in superalloys used in jet and industrial gas turbine engines. "The high-temperature p... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
EVs renewable energy require more copper than petroleum fueled power

Alaska set to deliver copper to green world

Considering the global shift to low-carbon energy and electric mobility, copper is the most vital metal not on the United States Geological Survey's list of 35 minerals and metals... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Vanadium flow batteries for large scale electrical storage

Beautiful energy side of brawny vanadium

Traditionally used to create stronger, lighter, and more durable steels, vanadium is emerging as a potential game changing element in the grid-scale batteries needed to store renewable en... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Alaska North Slope drill rig National Petroleum Reserve ANWR oil gas production

Barite weighs in on critical minerals list

The United States is heavily dependent on China and other foreign suppliers for its barite, a mineral critical to the petroleum sector. Barite derives from barús, the Ancient Greek word... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Indium 49 element periodic table technology metal touchscreens smartphones

Seeing through Alaska's indium paradox

While indium is not part of the everyday lexicon, if you are reading this article on your smartphone, computer or tablet there is a very good chance you are looking at (or more accurately... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Military tent treated with stibnite antimony fire retardant

Meeting America's strategic antimony need

Best known for its ability to resist heat and corrosion, antimony is in a wide array of consumer goods – from paints and plastics to batteries and wind turbines. This critical mineral... — Updated 10/28/2020 Full story

 
Medical imaging niobium supermagnets

Differing paths for critical twin metals

Niobium and tantalum are nearly identical critical mineral twins with unique personalities that takes them on separate career paths in the defense, energy, high-tech and medical sectors.... — Updated 10/26/2020 Full story

 
Platinum group element precious industrial metals Group 10

Exploring for Alaska-type platinum metals

The six platinum group elements – platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium – have one foot firmly planted in the realm of precious metals while the other is... — Updated 10/26/2020 Full story

 
In Alaska bismuth is associated with gold deposits such as Fort Knox

US stomachs bismuth import dependence

Would you consider drinking heavy metals to make your stomach feel better? A serum containing arsenic, cadmium, lead or mercury would only make matters worse and could be deadly.... — Updated 10/26/2020 Full story

 
Tesla EV powerwall lithium ion battery stationary electrical power storage

EV sector drives massive graphite demand

The rapidly accelerating expansion of the electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors is driving enormous new demand for graphite, a major ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. The... — Updated 10/21/2020 Full story

 
17 rare earth elements REES include dysprosium neodymium terbium europium

North to Alaska for rare earth elements

Due to their vital importance to American manufacturing and the fact that 100% of U.S. supply comes from overseas, primarily China, rare earth elements top the list of minerals and... — Updated 10/21/2020 Full story

 
Critical metal cobalt used in battery cells electric vehicles, renewable energy

Alaskan cobalt could supply EV demands

Whether it is the exponential growth in electric vehicles traveling global highways, the massive need for storing energy at solar and wind electrical generating facilities, or cutting the... — Updated 10/21/2020 Full story

 
USGS critical mineral supply chain risk tool methodology

USGS sorts critical mineral hierarchy

When you consider the 17 rare earths and six platinum metals individually, more than 50 of the elements on the periodic table have been deemed critical to the economic wellbeing and... — Updated 10/21/2020 Full story

 

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