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What is gallium?

Elemental gallium is a soft, silvery metal at standard temperature and pressure. It is used in high-tech applications and electroluminescent devices across the space, defense, medical and commercial industries.

Why is it critical?

China produces 98% of low-purity gallium and is the leading global exporter. Around 53% of gallium imported into the U.S. comes from China. This leaves the U.S. reliant on China for a smooth supply of gallium necessary to build high-tech and defense equipment. 

How is it extracted?

Most of primary gallium is recovered as a byproduct of processing bauxite and, the reminder produced from zinc-processing residues.

No domestic primary (low-purity, unrefined) gallium has been recovered in the U.S. since 1987.

However, some domestic zinc ores contain up to 50 parts per million gallium and could be a significant resource. 

High-purity gallium can be recovered from scrap and low-purity gallium metal. 

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