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How to Invest in Antimony (Updated 2024)

While the critical minerals narrative revolves largely around battery and energy commodities like lithium, copper and uranium, antimony, a by-product metal, is on the radar of a growing number of countries.

In fact, it's included on critical minerals lists in Canada, the US, the EU, the UK and Australia.

Antimony is traditionally used as a fire retardant, an application that accounts for 60 percent of annual demand. But it's also found in munitions, solar panels and wind turbines, as well as lithium-ion and molten salt batteries.

Antimony is typically extracted from the sulfide mineral stibnite, with lower grades concentrated by froth flotation and higher grades smelted. Like rare earths and graphite, most antimony is mined in China, specifically at the Xikuuangshan mine in the Asian nation's Hunan province. The site is one of the world’s largest antimony deposits.

In 2022 and 2023, China accounted for almost half of global antimony supply, producing, 40,000 metric tons (MT) of the material for both calendar years. However, that's lower than output of over 60,000 MT in 2020 and 2021.

“China’s antimony mine production has fallen significantly over the past several years. However, China continued to be the leading global antimony producer in 2023 and accounted for 48 percent of global antimony mine production,” the US Geological Survey's latest Mineral Commodity Summary states.

Tajikistan, Turkey and Russia are also major producers of antimony accounting for a combined 31,300 MT in 2023.

“The world’s leading antimony-producing mine was a gold-antimony mine with 23,000-ton per-year capacity in Russia. The mine had significantly reduced antimony production in 2021 through 2023 because gold production was maximized. The antimony price in 2023 decreased, and the estimated average price was US$5.60 per pound in the first 11 months of 2023 compared with the annual average price of US$6.18 per pound in 2022,” the US Geological Survey report also notes.

Antimony reserves stand at an estimated 2 million MT globally, with China having the largest at 640,000 MT.

What is antimony used for?

Despite its anonymity, antimony’s inclusion on critical minerals lists around the globe underscores its vital importance as a fire retardant, particularly when compounded as antimony trioxide. This compound is extensively utilized in various fire-retardant products, such as bedding, clothing, toys and automotive seat covers.

The brittle silvery metal is also seeing increased demand from other end use segments where it is used in alloy formulations for batteries, bearings and soldering materials. Antimony is also used in the memory cells of phase-change memory (PCM) technology, which is an important element for advanced computing.

Antimony is also utilized in munitions, enhancing lead-based ammunition and explosives by increasing their strength and hardness. This improves accuracy and effectiveness in bullets and shells.

Aside from that, antimony is found in molten salt batteries, which are gaining prominence in the energy storage sector. Molten salt batteries, also called liquid metal batteries, use molten salt as an electrolyte and have liquid metal electrodes. Operating at high temperatures, they offer high energy density and a long cycle life, making them promising for grid-scale energy storage. When used as an alloy material, antimony enhances molten salt batteries by improving their durability, stability and performance.

US-based energy storage firm Ambri is utilizing antimony electrodes in its long-duration energy storage technology. In 2021, Ambri secured US$144 million to advance its daily cycling, long-duration energy storage technology and establish a domestic manufacturing facility. Led by investors such as Reliance New Energy Solar and Paulson & Co., the funding round included contributions from major shareholder and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates.

During the same period, Ambri penned an agreement with Perpetua Resources (TSX:PPTA,NASDAQ:PPTA) to supply antimony produced from its Stibnite gold project for Ambri’s energy storge technology.

“As one of the largest economic reserves of antimony not controlled by China, the Stibnite Gold Project in Idaho will provide the US its only mined source of antimony and could satisfy about 35 percent of US antimony demand in the first six years of production and fulfill long-term US defense needs,” Perpetua’s website notes.

Pitfalls of by-product status

As mentioned, antimony is a by-product asset mined in conjunction with gold, silver and copper.

While higher antimony prices have made recovery attractive, gold’s ascent to record highs in 2024 could impede future antimony supply. As an unnamed source told Fastmarkets, “Miners with gold and gold-antimony mines were more likely to focus on the non-antimony mines when gold prices were high. But were likely to be producing at their gold-antimony mines when gold prices dropped, when they could make a profit from selling the byproduct.”

Short-term supply of the metal will likely be insulated by current production guidances; however, if the gold price remains at elevated levels, antimony supply could be impacted, the source said.

Future supply could also be fortified by increased production attributed to companies like Siren Gold (ASX:SNG), which is exploring and developing several projects in New Zealand’s Reefton Goldfield.

According to local media reports in May of this year, Siren’s CEO Victor Rajasooriar, asserts that the Reefton area could hold as much as 5 percent of global antimony reserves.

In North America, US-based Perpetua Resources was awarded additional funding totalling US$34.4 million through a modified Technology Investment Agreement under Title III of the Defense Production Act during Q1 2024.

In April, the company received an “indication of potential financing” for up to US$1.8 billion from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) to support the development of the Stibnite Gold Project.

The financing would have a 15-year repayment window and aligns with the EXIM’s Make More In America initiative.

How to invest in antimony?

Without a physical metals market, antimony investors must place their bets on mining equities.

In addition to Siren Gold and Perpetua Resources, investors can also gain exposure to antimony with these mining stocks which cover the full life cycle of antimony production.

  • Mandalay Resources (TSX:MND) operates the Costerfield gold and antimony mine in Australia, which it acquired in 2009. During Q1 2024, Mandalay produced 404 tons of antimony.
  • United States Antimony (USAC) (NYSE:UAMY) sells processed antimony, precious metals, and zeolite products in North America. USAC processes antimony ore to produce antimony oxide, antimony metal, and antimony trisulfide. According to its website, “USAC operates the only significant antimony smelter in the United States.”
  • Molten Metals (CSE:MOLT) is developing its West Gore antimony project in Nova Scotia, Canada. A portion of the West Gore license houses the past-producing West Gore antimony-gold mine, which operated in the 1920s. Aside from mining new supply, Molten Metals plans to capitalize on waste rock dumps at West Gore, which are believed to contain up to 570 tonnes of antimony and 2,500 ounces of gold.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2013.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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