Chromium – Shortages of Strategic Minerals and solution

The selected strategic mineral is Chromium.The country was anticipated to use approximately 5% of the globe chromite ore in different forms that include refractories, chemicals, and metals. Chromium is among the country’s most essential critical and strategic material. Its utilization in nonferrous, steel, and iron alloys facilitates resistance and hardenability to oxidation and corrosion. The utilization of Chromium to develop nonferrous and stainless steel alloys is among a number of its more essential applications. Chromium is also used in refractories, alloy steel, surface treatments, metals planting, catalysts, pigments, and leather processing.  It therefore makes a significant contribution to the economy of the country (, 2017).

The United States does not have any locally sourced Chromium. It highly depends on importation and recycling of the mineral. In 2016, about 42% of chromium consumed in the country was recycled from stainless steel scrap. The rest was imported from different parts of the world with the major source being South Africa. Other import sources include Russia, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Mexico. Chromium can be imported as chromite mineral, chromium primary metal, or chromium-containing scraps. Chromium contains no substitute in superalloys, leading end use, or stainless steel. In this regard, it is a mineral that must be used in a number of applications. Thus its shortage would be very costly to a number of companies that depend on it, which may as well impact the economy of the country.  To handle the shortage, the country must focus more on recycling steel scrap metal exhaustively to reduce the reliance on importation even further. It should also make long-lasting contracts with various Chromium suppliers, especially countries such as South Africa, Kazakhstan, and India who have high rate of production and more in their reserves (, 2017).

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