Bit of a pity here. Someone’s just written a book on how terrible the environmental damage is of getting all those metals for renewables. At which point we get told this:
As these rare elements are distributed in tiny quantities, vast piles of ore need to be dug up, processed and refined to produce minuscule amounts. For a single kilo of gallium – used in energy-efficient light bulbs – 50 tonnes of rock needs to be excavated, according to Pitron.
They mean LEDs but. The actual amount of rock dug up to gain a kg of Ga is zero. Because no one at all goes mining for Ga. It would be a very silly thing indeed to do.
What you actually do is go collect Ga. Bauxite is the ore for alumina, the extraction method is to boil in caustic. Sorta. As part of that process the Ga in the bauxite comes out into solution and can be collected by a doohickey on the side of the tank.
You don’t process bauxite for Ga, you process it for alumina. Whether or not you collect the Ga you’d still be boiling the bauxite. So, the amount of bauxite boiled to gain gallium is zero.