Rare earth minerals refer to a group of 17 elements that are vital for the production of a wide range of technologies, including smartphones, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and defense equipment.
Despite their name, these elements are not particularly rare in the Earth’s crust, but they are often dispersed in low concentrations and mixed with other minerals, making them difficult and expensive to extract.
Rare earth minerals have unique magnetic, optical, and electronic properties that make them essential components in many high-tech devices. For instance, neodymium is used to make powerful magnets for electric motors in electric cars and wind turbines, while dysprosium is used in the production of high-performance magnets for military and aerospace applications. Other rare earth minerals, such as cerium, are used as catalysts in the production of petroleum products, while europium is used in the production of fluorescent lamps and computer screens.
Due to their importance in modern technology, the demand for rare earth minerals has been steadily increasing in recent years.