Rare Earth Metals

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Definition: Rare Earth Metals


Rare Earth Metals


Full Definition of Rare Earth Metals


Rare earth metals are a term used to describe 17 chemical elements in the periodic table of the elements: scandium, yttrium, and the 15 lanthanides. The so-called rare earth elements are used in many technological devices.

Here’s the full list of the rare earth metals, preceded by their symbols: La lanthanum, Tb terbium, Ce cerium, Dy dysprosium, Pr praseodymium, Ho holmium, Nd neodymium, Er erbium, Pm promethium, Tm thulium, Sc scandium, Sm samarium, Yb ytterbium, Eu europium, Lu lutetium, Gd gadolinium, and Y yttrium.

Certain of the rare earths are used to manufacture high-performance permanent magnets used in electric motors and generators. Hence, they are considered essential for some businesses like wind turbines used in wind energy projects.

Recent stories in the news report that China has become the low-cost producer and sole source of supply making it possible to limit access or possibly form a cartel. The Defense Department has announced plans to create a strategic reserve.

Rare earth deposits are quite numerous according to recent reports, and numerous penny stocks plan to develop some of these. Molycorp has a mine in California that was shut down several years ago, and that they now plan to restart. At this time of writing, none of these companies is profitable or producing products.

According to a March 2011, article in the Wall Street Journal, the rare earth mine being operated by Molycorp was previously owned by Chevron. Molycorp IPOed recently. They are producing products from the old mine but are still reporting losses. Modernization to meet permitting requirements is still two years away.

In April 2012, Rhodia announced an agreement with Tantalus Rare Earths AG to purchase the rare earth concentrate from their Madagascar mine.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Rare Earth Metals are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 29th November, 2021 | 0 Views.