An accessible, informative guide to the widening world of strategic metals--more cautious and objective, and with greater depth of coverage, than the Sinclair-and-Powers entry (below). Strategic metals, by government definition, are non-fuel minerals not produced by the US in sufficient quantity to meet essential needs during a national emergency; called minor metals in the trade (to distinguish them from base metals like aluminum, or precious metals like gold), they range from antimony and beryllium through yttrium and zirconium. Wall Street, Posner and Goldberg note, profited little from the bullion surge in the Seventies, and seems determined to cash in this time; but ""no investment vehicles specifically designed for minor metals have reached full maturity,"" and unregulated markets remain the preserve of industrial merchants. The first hall of the text provides an overview of, among other things, both East/West competition for Third World resources and UN efforts to resolve North/South pricing conflicts by means other than OPEC-type cartels. A special focus is ""the Persian Gulf of minerals""--encompassing Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa--where geopolitics plays as important a role as geology in determining who gets what. Against that background, Posner and Goldberg review the investment possibilities, scrupulously emphasizing and illustrating the complex, often chaotic character of the marketplace. (Since most minor metals are byproducts, for example, cross-elasticity comes into play: if zinc quotes dip, the amount of germanium for sale is also apt to dip--generating upward price pressure.) Also discussed are risk-limiting acquisition techniques, the ABCs of warehouse receipts, the lack of reliable price data, the fluid state of the technology, and the distortive effects of stepped-up private speculation. Ideal for prospective investors, and of considerable interest to armchair strategists.