This is a very useful metal for low-melting alloys and for electroplating. Otherwise its uses are limited. No ores are known; it is recovered as a by-product from zinc smelting.

Fractional Smelting

Cadmium distills over at a temperature considerably lower than zinc does; it thus can be concentrated in the first metal vapors which come off during zinc smelting. This first enriched material is distilled two or three more times, when a nearly pure metal is furnished. Most of the cadmium of commerce is recovered by this fractional smelting of German ores. All the Missouri zinc ores are said to contain 0.5 per cent of cadmium on the average; this practically never is recovered in this country, and the price of the metal usually is something under a dollar a pound.