Chromium

Chromium (Cr) a hard, brittle, silver-white metal (melting point 1875° C), is widely known for its use as decorative trim on home appliances and automobiles. However, its most important use is in the manufacture of stainless STEEL, which typically contains about 20% chromium. In its natural mineral form (chromite), chromium has heat-resistant properties which find application in various types of furnaces. Chromium readily forms various chemical compounds with a wide range of applications, such as pigments and tanning agents. Chromite, the only commercially important ore mineral of chromium, has not been produced in Canada since 1949, when small high-grade deposits in Québec's Eastern Townships were mined. These are periodically re-evaluated to determine if new production methods could render deposits commercially viable. There are currently no plans to develop Canadian chromium deposits. Most of the world's chromite comes from South Africa, Kazakstan, Turkey and India.