Hafnium is a shiny silvery metal that is resistant to corrosion. Its chemical properties are similar to those of zirconium, and the two metals are found together within the same mineral ores.
Hafnium is increasingly important for use in electronic equipment. Leading manufacturers IBM and Intel are gearing up towards production of hafnium insulators within microchips. It is not necessarily the case that hafnium will be used within electronic equipment in the longer term. Commercially exploitable reserves (mineral ores) are limited geographically, with Australia holding over half the world''s estimated reserves of hafnium. According to recent research quoted in New Scientist, World reserves could be exhausted as early as 2017.