Positive Supply/Demand Fundamentals Create Opportunities for New Tin Production
Demand for tin has been growing rapidly in recent years due to its increasing use in consumer electronics to make lead-free solders for circuit boards. This relatively new application now accounts for 55% of global tin demand, following the 2006 ban on the use of lead in solders due to health and safety issues created by lead toxicity. Now often referred to as the "Green Metal", tin provides a low-toxicity, economical and reliable alternative to lead, with no loss of performance.
At the same time, tin supplies are increasingly constrained with declining production from traditional sources in Indonesia, South America and Malaysia. China is the largest tin producer but, as is the case with heavy rare earths, domestic production can no longer keep pace with rapidly growing domestic tin demand. Meanwhile, a recent ban imposed by the government of Indonesia on exports of unprocessed metals, including tin, has further exacerbated an already tight supply picture.
Predictably, the supply/demand imbalance is putting upward pressure on tin prices, which have been recently quoted on the London Metal Exchange at US$23,500/tonne or approximately US$10.60/lb. this compares with US$4.50/lb as recently as January 2009 and roughly US$3.00/lb when tin production at East Kemptville ceased in 1992.
Indium, another rare metal with growing demand in electronics, also occurs at East Kemptville. Indium is used to produce Indium Tin Oxide ("ITO") for flat-screen display panels. It is also alloyed with gallium in Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide ("CIGS")-type solar power panels. Indium prices have also been rising in 2014 and are now quoted in the range of US$700-750/kg.
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About Avalon Advanced Materials Inc
Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSE:AVL) (OTCMKTS:AVLNF) (formerly Avalon Rare Metals) is a Canadian mineral development company specializing in niche market metals and minerals with growing demand in new technology. The Company has three advanced stage projects, all 100%-owned, providing investors with exposure to lithium, tin and indium, as well as rare earth elements, tantalum, niobium, and zirconium. Avalon is currently focusing on its Separation Rapids Lithium Project, Kenora, ON and its East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project, Yarmouth, NS. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones.
Avalon Advanced Materials Inc