Gallium: Pentagon Turns to Industry

by | 27. Jul 2023 - 15:41 | General

The U.S. Department of Defense will contract domestic or Canadian companies to produce gallium later this year, according to Bloomberg (paywall). A Pentagon spokesman said the focus will be on extraction from existing production streams, not targeted mining. Gallium is extracted almost exclusively as part of the processing of ores, particularly bauxite, which is important for aluminum production. Since the refining of gallium is complex and cost-intensive, the components contained in the ore are often not extracted. In addition to numerous civilian applications, the technology metal is also used in military technology, for example in modern radar equipment. Unlike germanium, the Pentagon has no gallium reserves of its own, but in view of the export controls announced by China as of August 1, a rethink is apparently now taking place.

Photo: iStock/Phototreat

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