Impact

Metals Fuel Innovations

September 25, 2023

As the backbone of the Industrial Revolution, metals and minerals were the essential building blocks for technological innovation, urbanization, and economic growth. The availability of these raw materials enabled new industries and transformed the way societies functioned, laying the foundation for modern industrialized nations. 

The crucial role of metals and minerals remains ever more critical today with the next generation of innovations only limited by our imagination: Making the impossible possible.

Metals Advance the Human Experience 

From everyday technologies at our fingertips to renewable energies, autonomous vehicles, and climate change solutions, Alaska is poised to lead the world delivering metals and minerals that inspire future innovations.

Did you know?

Prosthetics use Titanium, Copper, and Molybdenum

Restoring the ability to walk for those who have lost a limb is a modern miracle made possible by metals like Titanium:

  • Incredibly strong, lightweight and corrosive-resistant element 
  • Addresses load-bearing challenges connecting the bone and implant
  • Evenly distributes the skeletal load of the user
  • Allows form a more natural gait and overall improved maneuverability 

Automobile Safety and Gold/Silver

Your car airbag is a lifeline made possible in part by gold and silver metals:

  • Excellent conductors of electricity
  • Critical mechanism that deploys an airbag
  • Contribute to transportation safety — According to NHTSA, airbags saved 50,457 lives in the United States between 1987 and 2017. 

Renewable Energy and Metals

Metals play a crucial role making the transition to renewable energy sources possible. Alaska’s responsible development of its mineral resources, in particular silver, gold, copper, graphite, and zinc, have a significant role.

  • Solar panel require metals such as silicon, aluminum, silver, and copper
  • Wind turbines rely heavily on copper for wiring
  • Metals are vital in energy storage technologies
  • Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles and grid storage contain lithium, cobalt, nickel and other metals
  • Upgrading and expanding the electrical grid to accommodate renewable energy sources requires significant amounts of steel, aluminum, and copper

Industries

Mining makes the impossible possible. Metals fuel innovations in these industries impacting our lives today and tomorrow:

  • Renewable energies
  • Green technologies
  • General and high technology
  • Electric vehicles
  • Aviation
  • Transportation
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Semiconductors
  • National security
  • Space exploration
  • Medical devices
  • Medical equipment
  • Surgical equipment