Germanium is rare commodity which plays vital role in U.S. military's capabilities as used in infrared sensors
When you hear the word 'germanium,' do you conjure up visions of flowers? If so, you're not alone as most people confuse this obscure metal with the flowering plant 'geranium.' Germanium is a commodity that is primarily mined and produced by just a handful of relatively large companies worldwide. War Eagle Mining, http://www.wareaglemining.com, based in Vancouver, Canada, competes in the germanium sector against global companies including Teck Cominco and Umicore.
While this minor by-product is obscure, germanium plays a significant role as a lifesaving commodity that is a vital part of the U.S. military's capabilities as well as important to the telecommunications (in the form of fiber optics) and semiconductor sectors.