Peter K.Jensen Joins Deer Horn Metals Inc.

Deer Horn Metals Inc.(TSXV:DHM) announced the appointment of a new director to its board. Mr.Jensen's position...

July 25th, 2012

Solar Slowdown Eclipses Tellurium Producers

As the solar producers slow production, tellurium producers are feeling the crunch.

July 17th, 2012

Tellurium Market Update (July 18, 2012)

A brief overview of tellurium price developments, supply and demand, and significant market movers.

July 17th, 2012

Nyrstar Considering Reopening Port Pirie

Nyrstar announced it is in the early stages of investigating a potential redevelopment of the Port...

July 13th, 2012

China’s Control Of Tellurium

Business Insider reported on the 38 minerals China control production of including tellurium.

July 13th, 2012

Deer Horn Metals Announce Latest Company Updates

Deer Horn Metals Inc.(TSXV:DHM) announced its latest company updates. The Company wants to assure shareholders that...

July 3rd, 2012

Adroit Resources Announces 37 New Claims

Adroit Resources Inc. (TSXV:ADT,FWB:A7V,BER:A7V) announced it has staked an additional 37 new claims at its Nursey...

June 28th, 2012
Tellurium is unknown to many investors, but its importance is rapidly increasing. Technically a metalloid in elemental form, tellurium is used in rewritable optical discs (CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray), and for the new generation of RAM known as PRAM. However, it is in the production of solar panels that many investors see the most potential for tellurium. Tellurium works well in solar panels because when alloyed with a number of elements — such as cadmium, mercury, bismuth and zinc — it forms a telluride compound that furthers a material’s ability to conduct electricity; this ability is enhanced during exposure to light. Cadmium telluride in particular has become increasingly sought after as a source material for thin-film photovoltaic solar panels. Thin-film...

Tellurium is unknown to many investors, but its importance is rapidly increasing. Technically a metalloid in elemental form, tellurium is used in rewritable optical discs (CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray), and for the new generation of RAM known as PRAM.

However, it is in the production of solar panels that many investors see the most potential for tellurium. Tellurium works well in solar panels because when alloyed with a number of elements — such as cadmium, mercury, bismuth and zinc — it forms a telluride compound that furthers a material’s ability to conduct electricity; this ability is enhanced during exposure to light.

Cadmium telluride in particular has become increasingly sought after as a source material for thin-film photovoltaic solar panels. Thin-film panels have quickly pushed their predecessors to the backburner as they can be produced for a fraction of the cost.

That said, substitutes for tellurium do exist, with selenium, niobium and tantalum being a few; however, none of those materials possesses tellurium’s high-application qualities.

In terms of where tellurium is found, it’s generally discovered fused in telluride ores of gold, copper and silver. Currently, a whopping 90 percent of tellurium is produced as a by-product of copper mining and processing. That said, some gold, bismuth, silver and lead producers have also been able to extract the metal in small quantities.

Tellurium is mined primarily in the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that in 2014 Canada, Japan and Russia put out 10 MT, 45 MT and 40 MT of tellurium, respectively. The United States’ production information was withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary data.

The USGS estimates that worldwide tellurium reserves sit at just 24,000 MT.

Looking at pricing, the USGS states that in 2014, the metal’s price “continued to exhibit a seasonal price fluctuation … with the peak price occurring in the summer months due to China’s increased demand for thermoelectrics.”

In 2000, the tellurium price was around US$14 per pound for 99.5 percent purity. The price almost tripled from 2009 to 2011, reaching around US$400 per kilogram. However, it only took a year or so for the price to fall down to about US$170 per kilogram. Midway through 2015, the tellurium price was sitting at around US$60 per kilogram.

Moving forward, another USGS report states that the tellurium market will be driven not only by demand from the solar sector, but also by copper production, and to a lesser extent the production of gold, lead, nickel or zinc from sulfide ores.

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