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Critical Metals Handbook

Gus Gunn (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-75521-1 January 2014 American Geophysical Union 456 Pages


Mankind is using a greater variety of metals in greater quantities than ever before. As a result there is increasing global concern over the long-term availability of secure and adequate supplies of the metals needed by society. Critical metals, which are those of growing economic importance that might be susceptible to future scarcity, are a particular worry.  For many of these we have little information on how they are concentrated in the Earth’s crust, how to extract them from their ores, and how to use, recycle and dispose of them effectively and safely.

Published with the British Geological Survey, the Critical Metals Handbook brings together a wealth of knowledge on critical metals and provides a foundation for improving the future security and sustainability of critical metal supplies. Written by international experts, it provides a unique source of authoritative information on diverse aspects of the critical metals, including geology, deposits, processing, applications, recycling, environmental issues and markets. It is aimed at a broad non-specialist audience, including professionals and academics working in the exploration and mining sectors, in mining finance and investment, and in mineral processing and manufacturing. It will also be a valuable reference for policy makers concerned with resource management, land-use planning, eco-efficiency, recycling and related fields.

List of Contributors, xi

Acknowledgements, xiii

1 Metal resources, use and criticality, 1
T.E. Graedel, Gus Gunn and Luis Tercero Espinoza

2 The mining industry and the supply of critical minerals, 20
David Humphreys

3 Recycling of (critical) metals, 41
Christian Hagelüken

4 Antimony, 70
Ulrich Schwarz-Schampera

5 Beryllium, 99
David L. Trueman and Phillip Sabey

6 Cobalt, 122
Stephen Roberts and Gus Gunn

7 Gallium, 150
Thomas Butcher and Teresa Brown

8 Germanium, 177
Frank Melcher and Peter Buchholz

9 Indium, 204
Ulrich Schwarz-Schampera

10 Lithium, 230
Keith Evans

11 Magnesium, 261
Neale R. Neelameggham and Bob Brown

12 Platinum-group metals, 284
Gus Gunn

13 Rare earth elements, 312
Frances Wall

14 Rhenium, 340
Tom A. Millensifer, Dave Sinclair, Ian Jonasson and Anthony Lipmann

15 Tantalum and niobium, 361
Robert Linnen, David L. Trueman and Richard Burt

16 Tungsten, 385
Teresa Brown and Peter Pitfield

Appendices, 414

Glossary of technical terms, 419

Index, 431

“In general, this is an excellent edition, with high quality figures, readable tables, clearly written texts, well-organized structure, and precisely aimed at a broad range of non-specialists in policy, environment pollution, remediation, and economy domains; but professionals and researchers working in exploration and mining sectors, including mining finance and investment, as well as in mineral processing and manufacturing, will be greatly satisfied to have this Handbook on their bookshelves.”  (Pure Appl. Geophys, 1 January 2015)

"This is a highly recommended volume for anyone with an interest in the economics of the critical metals and their basic geology and mineralogy; it also belongs in any major earth sciences library. As these commodities have grown in importance during the past decade, bits and pieces of relevant material have been made available in various articles and government reports, but this is the first volume out the door to comprehensively bring all this material together, and it is a welcomed, well-produced, and data-rich book." Economic Geology, July 2014