Inside a Smartphone- A Look at the Precious Metals in Your Pocket

By: Ori Abramson Associate VP, Retail Sales

Every day technology simply wouldn’t exist without metals and minerals. With more than 1.53 billion smartphone units expected to be shipped in 2025 – the demand for digital technology is only increasing as it integrates into every component of our lives.

It takes more than 30 elements to build a single smartphone alone – many of which are integral in supporting the green energy transition. To achieve government transitional goals the precious metals industries are heavily leaned on.

But smartphones aren’t the only technology that relies heavily on the mining industry. Keep in mind the advancement and popularity of iPads, Smart TV’s, laptop computers, and wearable technology.

Let’s take an in-depth look into the world’s most popular piece of technology, and how these components come together

Screen: Made up of a combination of materials including indium tin oxide for the transparent film, aluminosilicate (mixture of alumina and silicate) in the glass, and a variety of rare earth element compounds.

Casing: Needs to be resistant to potential shock damage (such as a dropping your phone) and waterproof (increasing feature of newer smartphone models). This makes metals like aluminum, nickel, and magnesium the ideal materials for smartphone casing.

Electronics: A modern smartphone is a marvel of miniscule electronic parts from gold and tantalum for microelectrical components and microcapacitors, through to Gallium for semiconductors, Copper for wiring, and Zinc for circuit boards. These commodities are selected for their electrical resistance amongst other properties that make them ideal for microelectrical components.

Battery: The most important features of the phone and manufacturer’s are always looking to increase battery life for users. Nickel, Lithium, and Cobalt are prized metals for development of smartphone batteries with a long battery life.

Microphone & Speakers: The minerals used to create smartphone microphones and speakers are typically Nickel, Iron, Praseodymium and Gadolinium.



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