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Why Does the World Need Tellurium

Rare Industrial - Metal - Tellurium

With just a quick glance at the technological and industrial developments in the world that are virtually taking over our lives – tablets, smartphones, and other indicators of modernity – you’ve probably surmised that a handful of important metals have made much of these advancements possible.

In fact, rare earth metals such as Gadolinium, Terbium and about 17 others are of increasing importance to the precise industries that are driving economic growth in the industrialized countries of the world. They are termed, for that reason, strategic elements – for two reasons, in fact: they are very important, and access to them is somewhat unstable (for various reasons; political, geographical, or other).

Tellurium: Not a Rare Earth Metal – But Rare

Tellurium isn’t specifically a rare earth metal; but it is a very rare metal that is proving essential important for future work in photovoltaics; with thermoelectrical applications. Because the abundance of tellurium is similar to that of gold, unless a particular country controls reserves, it may be difficult to come by in an industrial race centered on technology that is dependent on it. Furthermore, unlike other elements, tellurium can’t be produced inexpensively using technologies; whatever’s on earth is pretty much the quota. A few other uses:

  • physical properties that make it excellent for fiber optic cables in telecommunication
  • cadmium-telluride solar cells
  • rubber with markedly-improved heat resistance
  • thermoelectric and infrared instruments

Why Tellurium is Worth Investigating as an Asset

Although tellurium might be as scarce as the element gold, it is considerably cheaper – currently. This state is very important, because as high technology continues its unceasing march forward, and its products become subject to greater demand, you can expect the price to rise almost without bound. The solid state physics (think semiconductors, refrigeration, etc) of tellurium are truly unique, and are practically salivated over by physicists and material scientists for the considerable increases in efficiency it bestows devices made of it. This leads to less energy used for particular tasks, among other benefits.

Similarly to some of the more robust rare earth metals that are rising in importance, tellurium has a shot at reaching gold’s economic potential in some areas. Consider that the gold mined in the world today is used for jewelry, electronics, asset protection, etc.; tellurium probably won’t be attractive for use as jewelry – but the scarcity and importance may combine to make a very valuable metal indeed.

By far, though, the greatest demand for tellurium and reason for its growing worth would be the afore-mentioned technical uses. There are some things which today, simply can’t be done as effectively without employing tellurium alloys. Whosoever holds the key (or one of several keys, more likely) to amounts of this strategic rare earth metal “cousin”, stands to have their reserves much in demand. It finds use in the automotive industry and thermocouples as well, further adding to its growing worth.

An Investment Future

Ultimately, the landscape of asset protection strategies is shifting to the more long-term, assured instruments like the rare earth metals and tellurium. Their appeal and widespread necessity have fostered a niche for savvy investors to find an alternative means of making sure their wealth is secured; often in a steadily-growing (inevitably-growing, too) investment vehicle. Some figures put the presence of elements like tellurium at greater than 80% of all the electronics you see today; which is a figure that is sure to grow, given the rapid pace of development of those industries that depend on them. Their intimate dependence on supply and demand make them a great investment for a certain class of investor.


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