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What are rare earth metals?

Rare earths, as the elements are called, were discovered beginning in the late 18th century as oxidized minerals—hence "earths." They're actually metals, and they aren't really rare; they're just scattered. A handful of dirt from your backyard would probably contain a smidgen, maybe a few parts per million. The rarest rare earth is nearly 200 times more abundant than gold. But deposits large and concentrated enough to be worth mining are indeed rare.

Rare Earth oxides price charts, click here

Rare Earth metals price charts, click here

Rare earth materials are valued for their:

    Magnetiс properties Medical application
    Luminescence High-tech application
    Application in military Clean-energy application

Technological applications

  • Scandium: Added to mercury vapor lamps to make their light look more like sunlight. Also used in certain types of athletic equipment — including aluminum baseball bats, bicycle frames and lacrosse sticks — as well as fuel cells.
  • Yttrium: Produces color in many TV picture tubes. Also conducts microwaves and acoustic energy, simulates diamond gemstones, and strengthens ceramics, glass, aluminum alloys and magnesium alloys, among other uses.
  • Lanthanum: One of several rare earths used to make carbon arc lamps, which the film and TV industry use for studio and projector lights. Also found in batteries, cigarette-lighter flints and specialized types of glass, like camera lenses.
  • Cerium: The most widespread of all rare earth metals. Used in catalytic converters and diesel fuels to reduce vehicles' carbon monoxide emissions. Also used in carbon arc lights, lighter flints, glass polishers and self-cleaning ovens.
  • Praseodymium Primarily used as an alloying agent with magnesium to make high-strength metals for aircraft engines. Praseodymium also makes up about 5% of Misch metal, a material used to make flints for lighters. Praseodymium forms the core of carbon arc lights which are used in the motion picture industry for studio lighting and projecter lamps. Praseodymium is also added to fiber optic cables as a doping agent where it is used as a signal amplifie.
  • Neodymium: Mainly used to make powerful neodymium magnets for computer hard disks, wind turbines, hybrid cars, earbud headphones and microphones. Neodymium makes up about 18% of Misch metal (used to make flints for lighters). It is also a component of didymium glass, which is used to make certain types of welders' and glass blowers' goggles. Neodymium is added to glass to remove the green colour caused by iron contaminants. It can also be added to glass to create violet, red or gray colours. Some types of glass containing neodymium are used by astronomers to calibrate devices called spectrometers and other types are used to create artificial rubies for lasers. Some neodymium salts are used to colour enamels and glazes.
  • Promethium: Does not occur naturally on Earth; must be artificially produced via uranium fission. Added to some kinds of luminous paint and nuclear-powered microbatteries, with potential use in portable X-ray devices.
  • Samarium: Mixed with cobalt to create a permanent magnet with the highest demagnetization resistance of any known material. Crucial for building "smart" missiles; also used in carbon arc lamps, lighter flints and some types of glass.
  • Europium: is the most reactive of the REEs. There are no commercial applications for europium metal, although it has been used to dope some types of plastics to make lasers. Since it is a good absorber of neutrons, europium is being studied for use in nuclear reactors. Europium oxide is widely used as a red phosphor in television sets and as an activator for yttrium-based phosphors.
  • Gadolinium: Used in some control rods at nuclear power plants. Also used in medical applications such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and industrially to improve the workability of iron, chromium and various other metals.
  • Terbium: is used to dope some types of solid-state devices and, along with zirconium dioxide, as a crystal stabilizer in fuel cells that operate at high temperatures. Terbium oxide can potentially be used as an activator for green phosphors in television tubes. Sodium terbium borate, another terbium compound, is used to make laser light.
  • Dysprosium: it easily absorbs neutrons and has a high melting point, dysprosium might be alloyed with steel for use in nuclear reactors. When combined with vanadium and other REEs, dysprosium is used as a laser material. Dysprosium oxide is combined with nickel and added to a special cement to cool nuclear reactor rods. Also used in certain kinds of high-intensity lighting, and to raise the coercivity of high-powered permanent magnets, such as those found in hybrid vehicles.
  • Holmium: Has the highest magnetic strength of any known element, making it useful in industrial magnets as well as some nuclear control rods. Also used in solid-state lasers and to help color cubic zirconia and certain types of glass.
  • Erbium: Used as a photographic filter and as a signal amplifier (aka "doping agent") in fiber-optic cables. Also used in some nuclear control rods, metallic alloys, and to color specialized glass and porcelain in sunglasses and cheap jewelry.
  • Thulium: The rarest of all naturally occurring rare earth metals. Has few commercial applications, although it is used in some surgical lasers. After being exposed to radiation in nuclear reactors, it's also used in portable X-ray technology.
  • Ytterbium: Used in some portable X-ray devices, but otherwise has limited commercial uses. Among its specialty applications, it's used in certain types of lasers, stress gauges for earthquakes, and as a doping agent in fiber-optic cables.
  • Lutetium: Mainly restricted to specialty uses, such as calculating the age of meteorites or performing positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Has also been used as a catalyst for the process of "cracking" petroleum products at oil refineries.

Cerium Oxide 99% min FOB China

Cerium Metal 99% min FOB China

Mischmetal La35% Ce65% FOB China