Q&A Rare earth metals
Neodymium. Lanthanum. Dysprosium. Rare earth elements (REEs) such as these may not sound familiar now but they soon could be. These metals are increasingly being used in everyday components that are vital to the green economy – everything from parts in wind turbines, batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles to energy efficient lighting. Based on increasing demand for these high-tech and environmentally-friendly products, the majority of the rare or obscure group of metals may likely outstrip supply in the short term, at least through 2015. Short-term supply shortages are producing several challenges to producers and consumers of these metals.
The purpose of this Q&A briefing is two-fold: to highlight this class of metals and their importance to an ever increasing array of consumer and industrial products, and, to identify the challenges likely to be faced by rare earth metal explorers and developers in the next three to five years and possible solutions to these challenges.