Antimony has been known since ancient times, its symbol deriving from the Latin word Stibium. Most of the time, it is found underground in sulfite form called Stibnite (Sb2S3). As a metal it is mainly used as a component for lead batteries.
From a commercial point of view, the main compound produced with antimony metal is the Antimony TriOxide (ATO or Sb2O3). In 2012, its worldwide production could be estimated at about 120 000 tons. The main consumption sector being the flame retardant application in the plastic industry (cables, automotive, building industry and wherever protection against fire is needed for the safety of people and installations)