Minor Metals May Be Next Up for the ETF Treatment | ETF Trends

Demand for rare metals will continue to increase as our technology needs increase. But the limited supply of these metals has countries positioning themselves for the future. Soon, you may be able to capitalize on the uber-rarity with exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Reflecting increased investor interest in minor metals, Steve Dew of Index Universe reports that Van Eck Global has filed with the SEC to start a new ETF that will track the Minor Metals Index. The ETF does not yet have a ticker, but it will be called the Market Vectors Minor Metals ETF. The fund will hold 30 companies involved in the mining and production of such metals.

Global X also has a lithium ETF in registration, and the world’s first minor metals ETF is already up and running in Switzerland.

It’s clearly an area that investors want in on, and the ETF providers know that. Minor metals, for the uninitiated, are rare metals like gallium, mercury, selenium, silicon, bismuth and cobalt. They’re industrial metals that typically are not traded on exchanges because of their low trading volume.

According to Nikki Tait and Joshua Chaffin of The Financial Times, a high-level expert group will recommend, in response to warnings of future supply risks, that “Europe should support mining exploration and improve recycling of critical minor metals such as antimony, cobalt or rare earth elements.” [5 ETFs to Play a U.S. Recovery.]

However, unlike in the United States, the group will not recommend stockpiling the minor metals that are deemed most likely to be in shortage.