Arguably, tantalum should have been included in our Best Of Conflict Minerals post, as it is one of the officially classified conflict minerals; and tin is a key non-ferrous metal that is not all that minor, especially as it also fits into the conflict minerals rubric.
Nonetheless, we figured this tripartite of most-read posts fit best into a “minor metals-attracting-major-news-in 2011” sort of category. So here they are.
One of our best-read posts this year (3rd overall), this tantalum post gets into some rules of thumb when it comes to sourcing the highly prized metal.
Not surprisingly, tin reached record highs, and then dropped off. But tin supply is still an issue going into 2012.
“It is widely available in the earth’s crust; the US, for example, has vast reserves as a result of old rare-earth mining waste and Norway has so much it is contemplating research as a second renaissance once oil and gas runs out.” The next big thing in nuclear energy?