Gallium: Highest supply chain risk of any element

 By James B. Hedrick, U.S. Critical Materials

Discovery of Gallium

Its existence was predicted by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, inventor of the periodic table

Discovered by French chemist Paul E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, France

Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered it through a spectrascope seeing two violet lines in 1875

The sample was obtained by extracting 0.65 grams of gallium from 430 kilograms of zinc blend ore

The gallium was separated by electrolysis of gallium hydroxide in a potassium hydroxide solution

Gallium at Sheep Creek, Ravalli County, Montana

Based on the gallium content in the original samples of Ancylite-(Ce), it averages 692 parts per million (ppm)

Sheep Creek is one of the richest gallium deposits in the United States

The highest-grade gallium sample for Sheep Creek is 1,370 ppm

U.S. Critical Materials is researching an environmentally-sound process to recover rare earths, strontium, and gallium

Sheep Creek averages nearly 14 times the 50 ppm currently recovered for a profit as a byproduct of bauxite or zinc processing

U.S. Critical Materials is currently exploring Sheep Creek, Montana, over a 10 square mile area

US Critical Materials