Rare Earth Metals

The Earth contains a group of 17 chemical elements also known as rare earth minerals. On the periodic table, their atomic numbers range from 21 to 39 and 57 to 71. Some of these elements are Scandium, Cerium, Samarium, Holmium, Yttrium, and Lanthanum. The abundance of these elements is scarce and placed with a high value. The location of rare earth minerals varies all over the world.
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Where Rare Earth Metals Are Located

Rare earth elements are a very hard thing to find, which the title of rare points that out very well. These are not items that we have in abundance but we use them for a lot of technology that we have today. These elements are also not a cheap thing to harvest or harness. Most of the rare earth elements that the whole world receives come from China, but some are found in other parts of the world such as U.S., and Congo, but mostly they are found in China. China holds about 97% of the rare earth elements. Due to all the profit going to China, and being the country that produces most of these elements, they hold a lot of power.

These elements are so hard to find and mine, that is why few countries produce these metals. They are highly expensive to recover and very dangerous to mine. Mining in the U.S. and elsewhere fell off several years ago, in part of environmental concerns. Australia's Lynas Corp. U.S.-based Molycorp Inc. and other companies are ramping up operations. (online.wsj.com)

Baiyun Obo mine, Mongolia
Baiyun Obo mine, Mongolia
Baiyun Obo mine: This is located in Mongolia. More than 77% of rare earth elements for the world come from this mining site.

What Are Rare Earth Elements Used For?

Rare earth elements are essential to the world today. They are 17 elements grouped together on the periodic table. They are essential to the uses of people all over the world. Without rare earth elements some of the things that we have today wouldn’t be so advanced. Rare earth elements have been used to make cell phones, and defense equipment.
Electronic devices such as cell phones, is in high demand and rare earth elements are needed to continue the making of cell phones. There are advanced phones being made called smart phones. These phones are touch screen and do things regular phones can’t do. Without rare earth elements, smart phones would not be able to continue to be produced and work efficiently. These elements have helped manufactures make smaller phones with more capability. Not only do we need rare earth elements for our communication, but we also need them to keep us safe.
The United States military has a crucial need for rare earth elements to produce the high tech weapons that we need to fight the war. Rare earth elements are the reason why we have the modern weapons we have. These elements make it possible for the United States military to have night vision goggles and precision-guided weapons (www.geology.com). The military needs these weapons to accurately kill their targets and to see at night while fighting in wars. The same element that is used for guided weapons is also used for aircrafts, electric vehicles, missiles, and bombs (www. todaysdefense.com). Rare earth elements are used for everything that we need to survive on this earth, from communication to protection.