As reported in Metals Bulletin, Malcolm Harrower of Indium Corporation recently addressed the topic of indium availability and supply as he told the delegates at the Minor Metals 2012 conference in Brussels that:
- there is no shortage in the supply of indium metal
- nearly 1,500 tonnes of indium was produced in 2010
- there are 50,000 tonnes of proven indium reserves in existing mines, a volume that will be sufficient to satisfy demand for the next 75 years,
Just 80 years ago, the potential for indium was just being discovered. An article that I found in the archives of Science News from 1932 indicated that 10 lbs. of indium was due to be produced that year and it would give scientists a chance to do some great research on the possible uses of indium. Twelve years later in 1944 another article was written on one of those uses which was to lubricate ball bearings to make them last longer (an application still in use today). That article stated that the output had reached 500,000 troy ounces (34,250 lbs).
Now 80 years after indium was first commercially produced, the yearly output has reached nearly 1,500 tonnes (3,300,000 lbs) per year, with about two-thirds of that being reclaimed and recycled material. The versatility of indium has certainly driven that growth into all kinds of applications including:
6) Solar panels
And as technology evolves, we expect to see more uses as time goes on. Learn more by visiting our web site at www.indium.com.