Renewable Matter # 13 / November-December

Rare Earth Elements: The Vitamins of Modern Industry

by Simona Faccioli, Enrico Cancila

As leader Deng Xiaoping said back in 1992 “There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China.” Technology metals are now essential for modern industry which uses 125,000 tonnes a year. However, the future is uncertain due to production monopolisation and lack of recycling. 

 

Demand is increasing. Production is almost completely dominated by China. Recycling margins are inadequate. This is the current context of the market of Rare Earth Elements (REE) or “technology metals” which are essential for a wide range of applications, from smartphones, to microphones, electric and hybrid vehicles, headphones, earphones and X-ray machines, to name just a...

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