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Despite the lack of known, stable supply, scientists and engineers have been working hard to develop new products incorporating the metal. Scandium’s potential in high-tech applications is well documented. Scandium can be used in the creation of stronger, corrosion- resistant, heat-tolerant and weldable aluminum alloys for lightweight aircraft and automobiles. Its outstanding electrical properties and heat resistance are valuable for solid oxide fuel cells, and unique optical properties for high-intensity lamps. Aluminum alloys present the largest of these potential scandium applications. If only a tiny fraction (0.1 percent) of the annual aluminum market absorbed scandium in alloy at a 0.5 percent level, it would represent 350 tonnes in annual global scandium demand. Many observers believe global demand could reach this level in a relatively short time. Some believe that there’s an enormous latent demand for scandium if it ever became available on a primary, scalable basis. Scandium International puts scandium oxide prices between $3,000 to over $5,000, depending on product quality and purity, among other things.

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