Antimony: A Mineral with a Critical Role in the Green Future
If someone asked you to name the first mineral that came to mind, odds are, it wouldn’t be antimony.
Yet, despite its lack of fanfare, it plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives. This graphic from Perpetua Resources provides an overview of antimony’s key uses, and the critical role it plays in the movement towards clean energy, among other uses.
What even is Antimony?
Antimony is an element found in the earth’s crust. Rarely found in its native metallic form, it is primarily extracted from the sulfide mineral stibnite.
It has a variety of uses and is found in everything from household items to military-grade equipment. Because it conducts heat poorly, it’s used as a flame retardant in industrial uniforms, equipment, and even children’s clothing.
|End Use||% of antimony consumption in the U.S.|
|Transportation and batteries||29%|
|Ceramics and glass||12%|
Its second most common use, according to USGS, is in transportation and batteries. Traditionally, antimony has been combined with lead to create a strong, corrosion-resistant metal alloy, which is particularly useful in lead-acid batteries.
However, recent innovation has found a new use for antimony—it now plays an essential role in large-scale renewable energy storage, which is critical to the clean energy movement.
Antimony’s Role in Clean Energy
Large-scale renewable energy storage has been a massive hurdle for the clean energy transition because it’s hard to consistently generate renewable power. For instance, wind and solar farms might have a surplus of energy on windy or sunny days, but can fall short when the weather isn’t sunny, or when the wind stops.
Because of this, mass storage of renewable energy is key, in order to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Recent research points to liquid metal batteries as a potential storage solution—and these batteries heavily rely on antimony.
But there’s a finite supply, and with China currently dominating antimony production and processing, the U.S. could be at the mercy of its economic rival.
|Country||Production in 2020 (tons)||Reserves (tons)|
In 2020, there was no domestically mined production of antimony in America—meaning the U.S. relied on other countries, primarily China, for its antimony supply.
In the past, China has imposed restrictions on the exports of antimony-based products to the U.S., which reduced availability and increased prices. Because of this, antimony was identified as one of the 35 minerals that are critical to U.S. national security.
Tapping into Domestic Supply
To decrease foreign dependence, the U.S. could tap into domestic resources of antimony and build up its local supply chain.
The only major antimony deposit in North America is located in the Stibnite-Yellow Pine Mining District of central Idaho. This site is the largest reserve in the nation and is expected to supply roughly 35% of U.S. antimony demand on average for the first six years of production.
Domestic production would not only allow the U.S. to reduce its import reliance, but it would also create jobs, providing economic support for the local community.
In the near future, antimony demand could soar as a result of its critical role in clean energy storage—and domestic production via the Stibnite-Yellow Pine Mining district could play a key role in meeting this rising demand.
Every Cannabis Product In One Graphic
The cannabis industry is growing by billions every year. This graphic provides an overview of cannabis products and ranks their popularity.
Every Cannabis Product In One Graphic
There are few markets experiencing growth quite like cannabis, which in 2020 had an additional 7,000 products hit dispensary shelves compared to the year prior. However, for novice cannabis consumers and investors, the different products and their uses can be overwhelming.
This sponsored graphic by Tenacious Labs provides an overview of cannabis products, and is part of a multi-part series that covers different factors affecting the future of cannabis.
Let’s break down cannabis products on the market today.
First, is cannabis flower, which is the ingestible part of the cannabis plant and is the most popular way to consume. It is cultivated, harvested, dried, and cured, as part of the preparation process before making its way to the end consumer. Due to its popularity, it also represents the largest component of the U.S. legal market.
In 2021, some $10.9 billion in dried herb or “buds” were purchased. In addition, pre-rolls generated $2.2 billion, which are pre-rolled products prepared by dispensaries. The psychoactive effects from consuming flower are felt almost instantly, which remains a key appeal.
2. Cartridges, Concentrates, and Extracts
Cannabis concentrates are a growing category which have taken the market by storm in recent years. They come in various forms including raw concentrates, cartridges, and extracts. Preparing them involves removing impurities form the plant, leaving only the desired compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes.
This highly concentrated form of cannabis results in THC levels of 80-90%, compared to the 10-20% range most commonly found in dry herb flower. Raw concentrates hit $2.2 billion in U.S. legal sales in 2021. And cartridges, which are products intended to be vaped and are typically paired with a battery accessory, were worth $5.1 billion.
The appeals associated with concentrates include a higher dose which results in stronger effects, plus a more discrete experience given they have little to no smell.
Next, are edibles, where the THC is metabolized by the liver and consumed through infused food and drinks. This leads to an different experience relative to inhaling. For example, the euphoric or psychoactive effects typically last much longer and can take 1-2 hours to kick in.
The legal U.S. edibles market is growing fast. It recorded revenues of $2.3 billion in 2021 but is expected to reach a value of $8.5 billion by 2027. These growth prospects have not gone unnoticed, in fact, the alcohol industry is betting big on cannabis. As of late, waves of investments and acquisitions are occurring targeting cannabis-infused beverages.
A key driver of growth comes from the health conscious consumer who may want to avoid the smoking process altogether.
4. Topicals and Others
Last are topicals and other products. Topicals are CBD-infused non-psychoactive products like lotions, balms, and oils. These are gaining notoriety for their wellness properties including the relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. However, the market remains relatively modest, with a market value of $200 million. Furthermore, the topicals market appeals to those not interested in any psychoactive effects, and is particularly popular amongst women and pet owners.
Other products include papers, pipes, batteries, and all other accessories, which also provide notable revenues and opportunities.
Measuring Market Share of Cannabis Products
With all these products in mind, let’s take a look at market share. Although edibles, vapes, and concentrates have risen tremendously in value over the years, flower still remains number one, representing 43% of legal sales, followed by cartridges at 20.3% market share.
|Product||Market Share (%)||Market Value ($B)|
Seasonality also plays a role in cannabis consumption. Since dry flower tends to be consumed outdoors, the data shows that it loses market share during the cold winter months.
The Next Chapter
Cannabis products have come a long way from their early days when variety was considered a choice between an indica or sativa strain. As the industry develops and more money is injected into the space, we should see product innovation accelerate even further.
Visualizing the Evolution of the Global Meat Market
The global meat market will be worth $1.8 trillion by 2040, but how much of that will plant-based alternatives and cultured meat command?
The Evolution of the Global Meat Market
In the last decade, there has been an undeniable shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to eating meat.
This is partly due to the wide availability of meat replacement options combined with growing awareness of their health benefits and lower impact on the environment compared to conventional meat.
In this infographic from CULT Food Science (CSE: CULT), we examine how meat consumption is expected to evolve over the next two decades. Let’s dive in.
Taking a Bite out of Meat’s Market Share
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive turning point for the meat industry, and it will continue to evolve dramatically over the next 20 years. Taking inflation into account, the global meat market is expected to grow overall by roughly 3% by 2040 as a result of population growth.
However, as consumption shifts, conventional meat supply is expected to decline by more than 33% according to Kearney. These products will be replaced by innovative meat alternatives, some of which have yet to hit the mass market.
- Novel vegan meat replacement: These are meat alternatives products made from plants that resemble the taste and texture of meat.
- Cultured meat: Also referred to as clean, cultivated, or lab grown meats, cultured meat is a genuine meat product that is produced by cultivating animal cells in a controlled environment without the need to harm animals.
Aside from new meat replacements, biotech will also transform adjacent industries like dairy, eggs, and fish.
The Future of Food?
Meat replacements and cultured meat could overtake the conventional meat market, with cultured meats reigning supreme overall with a 41% annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2025 and 2040.
New technologies for cultivating non-animal based protein will provide one-third of the global meat supply due to an increase in commercial competitiveness and consumers becoming more accepting of these kinds of products.
Meanwhile, conventional meat will make up just 40% of all global meat supply by 2040, compared to 90% in 2025. For this very reason, conventional meat producers are investing a significant amount of capital in meat alternative companies so they can avoid disruption.
Invest in the Revolution
The changing tides in the industry have sparked a variety of undeniable opportunities:
- Regulatory approvals: Singapore is the first country to legalize cultured meat for consumers, and many more will no doubt follow behind in the coming years.
- Lower production costs: Cultured meat and dairy have made quantum leaps in reducing production costs.
- Changing consumer ethics: Consumers are demanding a more ethical approach to factory farming and cultured and plant-based alternative products are becoming a more accepted solution.
CULT Food Science (CSE: CULT) is a cutting edge investment platform advancing the future of food. The first-of-its-kind in North America, CULT aims to provide unprecedented exposure to the most innovative start-up, private or early stage lab grown food companies around the world.
Will you be part of the revolution?
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