Minor metals

Indium (In)

Indium was named after the blue-indigo color in its spectrum. The metal is not found in its native state, but is associated with lead and zinc in many ores. In the form of indium-tin-oxide (ITO), over 70% of indium consumption goes to transparent conductive coatings used in flat panel displays such as LCD-televisions, smart phones, laptops and tablets. Other applications include low melting point alloys, control rods for nuclear reactors and additives for zinc powder alkaline battery products.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining produces a crude In(OH)3 (Indiumhydroxide) for further refining. It has a a capacity of 50 tonnes of indium contained products per year.

Selenium (Se)

Selenium is often present in copper ore and is predominantly recovered from tankhouse slimes. Selenium is used as a glass coloring agent, pigment and animal feed additive, and as an additive in steel industry. It is also a semi-conductor with an electrical resistance that decreases with exposure to light, a property that made it ideal for photoelectric cells in the past.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining has a production capacity of 300 tonnes per year, under various qualities and forms.

Tellurium (Te)

Tellurium is a rare element, obtained mainly as a by-product of copper and lead metallurgy and is recovered mainly from tankhouse slimes. It is used in metallurgical and thermo-electrical applications, as well as in cadmium telluride solar cells. It is also used in rubber vulcanization and catalyst applications.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining has an annual production capacity of 150 tonnes, under various qualities and forms.

Antimony (Sb)

Antimony can be found in nature, either in the form of oxides and sulfides, or in association with other metals. It is employed in alloys or in the form of oxides. It is mainly used as a flame retardant in textiles and plastics, or as a fining and decolouring agent in glass.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining has an annual production capacity of about 6,000 tonnes of sodium antimonate. It is produced as a dried or non-dried powder.


For more information, please contact preciousmetals@umicore.com.