This question is more complex than it seems at first glance. Many factors such as recycling possibilities, substitutability or the recycling rate have an influence on availability. But supply risks due to trade restrictions or regional concentration of raw materials must also be taken into account. An overview.
RESERVES Deposits that can be mined economically using current state of the art technology.
RESOURCES Deposits that are available but cannot yet be mined economically.
RESIDUAL AVAILABILITY Indicates how long the reserve or resource would last at the current annual production rate.
Due to the high concentration of the largest producing countries, the chrome supply is classified as critical.
Copper is easy to recycle. However, its unique electrical conductivity makes substitution difficult.
Phosphorus recycling is possible in principle, but cannot be substituted in the main area of agricultural use.
Due to new applications in high-tech products, an increasing demand for titanium is predicted.
Recycling is a growing complement to zinc production, but cannot replace it in the foreseeable future.
EXAMPLES OF USE
CHROME Alloys for corrosion and heat protection
COPPER Wires, cables and conductors
PHOSPHORUS Fertilisers and animal feed, Corrosion protection
TITANIUM Paints and lacquers, plastics
ZINC corrosion protection, in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
Describes how much of the processed raw material can be recovered and recycled.
Provides information on how well a raw material can be substituted without a loss in quality and satisfaction of needs.
TOP 3 OF THE PRODUCING COUNTRIES
Illustration: Elisabeth Deim Sources: Remondis, 2015; German Raw Materials Agency