Long, Keith R. U.S. Geological Survey, Tucson, Arizona.
- REE mineral deposits
- Mining and mineral processing
- Separation and commercialization
- Environmental challenges
- Outlook for mine development
- Additional Readings
In industry, the rare-earth elements (REEs) comprise the 14 naturally occurring lanthanide elements, plus yttrium. These elements are generally unfamiliar but are essential for a large number of applications that affect the daily lives of most everyone (see table). Up until the early 1980s, the United States was the dominant global producer of REE ores and derived products but has since been displaced by China, even as global REE production has more than doubled. Recent restrictions on REE exports from China have raised concern over the reliability of China as a supplier of REE raw materials and stimulated exploration and new mine development activity for REEs outside of China.
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