The United States Geological Survey (USGS) published in 2017 the report “Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply” edited by Klaus J. Schulz , John H. DeYoung Jr. , Robert R. Seal II , and Dwight C. Bradley.
This comprehensive book presents resource and geologic information on the following 23 mineral commodities currently among those viewed as important to the national economy and national security of the United States: antimony (Sb), barite (barium, Ba), beryllium (Be), cobalt (Co), fluorite or fluorspar (fluorine, F), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), graphite (carbon, C), hafnium (Hf), indium (In), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), niobium (Nb), platinum-group elements (PGE), rare-earth elements (REE), rhenium (Re), selenium (Se), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and zirconium (Zr).
Their research provides an enlightening overview of the occurrence of these critical minerals throughout the world and helps in understanding the geostrategic importance of some of them.
Link to website with extensive reports on all 23 minerals
The very recommendable North American online publisher visualcapitalist.com put it nicely in an insightful infographic.
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Australia: Up to 99.2% of cobalt can be ‘economically recovered’ from spent lithium batteries thanks to a new technology developed by Australian firm Neometals. The construction of a pilot-scale hydrometallurgical plant at its laboratory in Montreal, Canada, is now underway.
Neometals reports that it has filed three US provisional patent applications associated with its innovative technology. The company is confident the 100 kilograms per day pilot plant in Canada will accelerate the commercialisation of the battery recycling solution.
A sum of US$ 4.5 million will be invested in the modern-day facility, which will be in operation for at least 10 years, during which time plant revenue will total US$ 233 million. The average net operation cost is said to be US$ 4.45 per pound of cobalt (US$ 9 852 per tonne), with the payback period being less than one year.
The pilot programme is scheduled to be completed in the September quarter and test recoveries of cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper from nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode lithium batteries typically used in electric vehicles.
‘We will continue our disciplined evaluation of the technology through piloting before undertaking an engineering cost study to satisfy the industry demand for a commercial, environmentally and ethically responsible, end‐of‐life solution for lithium batteries,’ comments Chris Reed, managing director of Neometals.
For more information, please visit: www.neometals.com.au
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American Manganese Inc.’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process is able to extract almost 100% of lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and aluminium from rechargeable batteries. This sounds promising, given that the worldwide lithium-ion battery market alone is worth over US$16.5 million a year.
A recent testing programme conducted in collaboration with Kemetco Research has confirmed that all the commonly used rechargeable electric battery cathode materials can be leached using American Manganese Inc.’s special hydrometallurgical process.
‘The valuable metals can then be recovered by either discrete product or co-product precipitation, depending on which flowsheet is being used,’ comments Larry Reaugh, president and CEO of American Manganese Inc.
‘The test work is proceeding on schedule and on budget, and the results to-date are in line with our expectations,’ adds Norman Chow, president of Kemetco Research Inc. He expects the patent for this process will be submitted by November this year.
For more information visit www.americanmanganeseinc.com