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Germanium is a typical rare and dispersed element, associating with lignite, lead-zinc deposit and copper ore. Global proven recoverable deposits of germanium amount to 8,600 metal metric tons (MMT), which are mainly distributed in United States, China and Canada, with the first two accounting for 45.1% and 40.9% of the world’s recoverable germanium reserves, respectively.
In spite of abundant germanium reserves, America’s germanium output makes up only 2.6% of the world’s total, due to limited exploitation. By contrast, China, because of its massive exploitation, has become one of large germanium producing countries, with output hitting 87 tonnes in 2013, up 8.8% from a year earlier, accounting for 57.6% of global total output.