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Tellurium as an investment metal....Thoughts

ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 26, 2021 7:37PM in Precious Metals

I've been looking at tellurium but don't really know what to make of it yet.
Apparently, it's a rare earth metal that is inexpensive ($150/kilo) and about as rare as platinum.
It's used in photovoltaic cells that are suppose to be the next big thing along with an improved battery
In 2025, the energy department predicts a shortage.

https://investingnews.com/innspired/tellurium-market-renewable-energy/

Comments

  • RobMRobM Posts: 527 ✭✭✭

    The trick with a lot of these rare metals is how do you get exposure to the underlying price changes of the material? It's not as simple as buying ingots or a container full of powder (like PGMs) because you have to have someone willing to buy it from you in the future. You can buy powder intended for industrial use, but there doesn't seem to be any market at the moment to sell it back. And, if you do buy some physical representation, is it relatively close to the actual market price that industry would pay, vs. extreme markups on some ingot that may exist for rock collection enthusiasts. There is also the issue with investing in mining companies since most will be mining the tellurium as a by-product of copper or some other more common metal which inextricably influences (likely reduces) your returns if tellurium increases dramatically in price. Since newer copper mining techniques may leave tellurium behind, it might be best to look for miners that are focusing on the few places where the tellurium yields are higher. But keep in mind, these aren't likely to be US companies. Maybe consider something like an ADR in a foreign company like Boliden (BDNNY:US:OTC)?

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will stay with gold and silver.... already established there. Sure, there may be opportunities in tellurium and other rare earth metals.... but that will be a game for others. Cheers, RickO

  • blitzdudeblitzdude Posts: 5,297 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At $150 I'd speculate with a couple kilo bars if I could find at that price.

    Only one I can find is at RWM Mint (not sure if even legit) but they are asking $535 for a Kilo. Quite the premium.

    https://www.rwmmint.com/products/copy-of-tellurium-te

    The whole worlds off its rocker, buy Gold™.

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,329 ✭✭✭✭✭

    what do they use that for? just curious

  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    Tellurium is a brittle metalloid, and not one of the lanthanide 'rare earths'. I do not think that you could make an ingot out of it.

    image
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,205 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How easy is it to sell these exotic metals to your local coin shop? ;)

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 27, 2021 9:42PM

    @blitzdude said:
    At $150 I'd speculate with a couple kilo bars if I could find at that price.

    At 1/7th the price of silver and the rarity of platinum, this is interesting enough for me to take a chance.
    It looks like it might be very important for batteries & solar panels.
    I ordered 10 kilos to put in an old 50cal ammo can and forget about it.

    I got it here for $135/kilo
    http://strategic-metal.com/products/tellurium/

  • @ReadyFireAim said:

    @blitzdude said:
    At $150 I'd speculate with a couple kilo bars if I could find at that price.

    At 1/7th the price of silver and the rarity of platinum, this is interesting enough for me to take a chance.
    It looks like it might be very important for batteries & solar panels.
    I ordered 10 kilos to put in an old 50cal ammo can and forget about it.

    I got it here for $135/kilo
    http://strategic-metal.com/products/tellurium/

    Neat website! What was the minimum order?

  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    Be aware that some tellurium compounds are quite toxic. H2Te is notorious for being overwhelmingly disgusting smelling and equally as toxic. There is a famous anecdote, between the famous chemist Linus Pauling, and a student who would be working with him. Pauling suggested that he had some ideas for studying tellurium chemistry, and wondered if this student would be interested. Pauling warned that previous investigators of tellurium developed 'tellurium breath' which resulted in awful breath smell, to the extent that these investigators became socially isolated (since they smelled so disgusting), leading in some cases to suicide. The student in question decided not to study tellurium, but some biological chemistry instead :)

    I have a small sample of Te for my chemical element collection, but I would not want 10 kg of it, and I would not consider an ammo can as adequate storage.

    image
  • ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @element159 said:
    I have a small sample of Te for my chemical element collection...

    Interesting, knowing what you know, what would you guess to be the next rhodium?

  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    I have absolutely no idea. I am just happy that I got my nice Rh sample, an arc-melted pellet of perhaps 3-4 g, back when the price was reasonable. I'd be happy to have a few kg of rhodium lying around though. That element is no trouble to handle.

    image
  • RobMRobM Posts: 527 ✭✭✭

    @ReadyFireAim said:

    @element159 said:
    I have a small sample of Te for my chemical element collection...

    Interesting, knowing what you know, what would you guess to be the next rhodium?

    Iridium.

  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    Btw, I did find some discussion on an amateur science message board, and some of the posters there, who I know are knowledgeable about chemical hazards, were not really worried about a few kg of tellurium. The advice was to keep it in a well sealed glass jar, then maybe in a plastic bag, and keep the jars protected from breakage.

    I still would not make that investment myself, it will probably be really difficult to sell well, and I would not want any investment that would give me any worry about hazards, but that is just me.

    image
  • Hey ReadyFireAim, i say Go for it! Do what yoir heart and intuition tells you. That is how the great ones in history survive.

  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And a tin of Altoids.. you'll be fine

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • We are all wearing masks now anyways. I think the Altoids market is going down, along with Livesavers, Binaca, and Velamints! But hey, lets ask Derryb for all the answers and perhaps a reference or chart dating back to when peppermint was discovered and cultivated!

  • Do you remember when the coin and pawn shops would do chemical tests to verify metal content? Platinum and Palladium were very hard to trade. Today, XRF machines can analyze and confirm instantly. Future technology may give greater opportunities. Who knows what valuable metals will have liquid bullion markets, or what metals will be in demand? Bismuth looks very attractive at the moment.

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