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Iridium is one of the rarest elements in Earth's crust, with annual production and consumption of only

three tonnes.
Iridium is found in meteorites with an abundance much higher than its average
abundance in Earth's crust.
(ref: Becker, Luann (2002)."Repeated Blows"(PDF).Scientific American286(3): 7783.
RetrievedJanuary 19,2016.)
t is the only metal to maintain good mechanical properties in air at temperatures above
1,600C
It has the 10th highestboiling point among all elementsand becomes asuperconductorat
temperatures below 0.14K.[7]
Iridium forms compounds inoxidation statesbetween 3 and +9; the most common
oxidation states are +3 and +4
Iridium is one of the nine least abundant stable elements in Earth's crust, having an
average mass fraction of 0.001ppmin crustal rock;goldis 40 times more abundant,
platinumis 10 times more abundant, andsilverandmercuryare 80 times more abundant.
[5]
Telluriumis about as abundant as iridium.[5]In contrast to its low abundance in crustal
rock, iridium is relatively common inmeteorites, with concentrations of 0.5ppm or more.
[42]
The overall concentration of iridium on Earth is thought to be much higher than what is
observed in crustal rocks, but because of the density andsiderophilic("iron-loving")
character of iridium, it descended below the crust and intoEarth's corewhen the planet
was still molten.[21]

Within Earth's crust, iridium is found at highest


concentrations in three types of geologic structure: igneous
deposits (crustal intrusions from below), impact craters, and
deposits reworked from one of the former structures. The
largest known primary reserves are in the Bushveld
igneous complex in South Africa,[44]though the large
coppernickel deposits near Norilsk in Russia, and the
Sudbury Basin in Canada are also significant sources of
iridium. Smaller reserves are found in the United States.[44]
Iridium is also found in secondary deposits, combined with
platinum and other platinum group metals in alluvial
deposits. The alluvial deposits used by pre-Columbian
people in the Choc Department ofColombia are still a
source for platinum-group metals. As of 2003, the world
reserves had not been estimated.[12]
Iridium is also obtained commercially as a byproduct fromnickelandcoppermining and
processing. Duringelectrorefining of copperand
nickel, noble metals such as silver, gold and the
platinum group metalsas well asseleniumand
telluriumsettle to the bottom of the cell asanode
mud, which forms the starting point for their
extraction.[50]

Year

Consumpti
on
(tonnes)

Price
(USD/ozt)
[50]

2001

2.6

415.25

2002

2.5

294.62

2003

3.3

93.02

2004

3.60

185.33

2005

3.86

169.51

2006

4.08

349.45

2007

3.70

444.43

2008

3.10

448.34

2009

2.52

420.4

2010

10.40

642.15

The demand for iridium surged from 2.5 tonnes in 2009 to 10.4 tonnes in 2010, mostly because of
electronics-related applications that saw a rise from 0.2 to 6 tonnes iridium crucibles are commonly
used for growing large high-quality single crystals, demand for which has increased sharply. This increase
in iridium consumption is predicted to saturate due to accumulating stocks of crucibles, as happened
earlier in the 2000s. Other major applications include spark plugs that consumed 0.78 tonnes of iridium in
2007, electrodes for the chloralkali process (1.1 t in 2007) and chemical catalysts (0.75 t in 2007).[50][56]

Relative supply risk

7.6

Crustal abundance (ppm)

0.000037

Recycling rate (%)

>30

Substitutability

High

Production concentration (%)

60

Reserve distribution (%)

95

Top 3 producers

1) South Africa
2) Russia
3) Zimbabwe

Top 3 reserve holders

1) South Africa
2) Russia
3) USA

Political stability of top producer

44.3

Political stability of top reserve holder

44.3

http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/77/iridium

Geochemical studies of the infratrappean, intertrappean and bole beds within


Deccan Trap (red, green, yellow) from Anjar area of Gujarat to Jabalpur, Madhya
Pradesh. showed phenomenal spike in Ir-Os in the trap sediments. Iridium
concentration in the clay lattice found much higher in the rocks of Anjar than that
of Jabalpur where Mg-smectite was recorded in the clay. Sequential change in clay
mineral assemblages and concentration of important elements were recorded
within the K-T boundary intertrappean beds at Anjar.
Dr. N.P. Nathan, Superintending Geologist, SU: TNP presented work carried out for
PGE investigation in Tasampalaiyam block, Namakkal district, Karappadi Solvanur
block, Erode district, Tamil Nadu. PGE mineralization is in the form of sulphides and
tullurides of platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium within the
basemetal sulphides (BMS) and in chrome-spinel. Analysis of core samples of
Tasampalaiyam block indicate potential PGE mineralization. Resource calculation in
compliance with UNFC is under progress. He observed that beneficiation bulk
samples of PGE in collaboration with IBM or IMMT (Bhubaneshwar) is to be done to
study the ore characteristics and their amenability for beneficiation. He proposed to
co-opt Shri G.V. Rao, Scientist, IIMT to the CGPB Committee-II meetings. (Action:
SU: TNP and Member Secretary)
Minutes of the 4th Meeting of CGPB Committee-II (Precious Metals and Minerals)
(Gold, PGE, Diamond and Precious Stones) held at GSI, SR, Hyderabad on
22.12.2010
http://www.portal.gsi.gov.in/portal/page?
_pageid=127,979890&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

The use of Ir and its alloys in applications such as rocket combustion chambers, fuel containers for nuclear
power in space, radiation sources for medical treatments, engine ignition devices and crucibles for the growth
of electronic and photonic materials. Research on new methods for Ir processing, including novel powder
metallurgy and metal deposition techniques, may facilitate future applications such as the production of Ir
alloys as high-temperature structural materials.
Platinum Metals Rev.,2008,52,(3),186
doi:10.1595/147106708x333827
Processing of Iridium and Iridium Alloys
METHODS FROM PURIFICATION TO FABRICATION
K-T Boundary Clay.
The K-T boundary clay is is found in thin layers all over the world at sedimentary levels that
indicate it is the same age everywhere: About 65 million years ago. This is the boundary
between the Cretaceous (K for some reason) and the Tertiary (T for obvious reasons) periods,
and also the time at which there was a mass extinction.
That such a thin layer of similar material should be found all over the globe is strange, but
what's even stranger is that it is always highly enriched in iridium compared everything around
it. It's as if something dumped a huge quantity of iridium on the earth and spread it around in
some kind of giant explosion.
That something was almost certainly a large (ca. 10km diameter) chondritic meteorite, a type
known to contain very high levels of iridium compared to the earths crust. All the evidence
points to such an object hitting the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico a the same time the clay was