PubTalk 5/2011 — The Future of Rare Earth Elements
--Will these high-tech industry elements continue in short supply?
by Keith Long, USGS Mineral Resource Analyst
- Rare earth elements provide critical material for flat-panel display screens, cell phones, electric cars, windmills, etc.
- Although relatively abundant in nature, deposits of rare earth elements that are economic to mine are uncommon
- China produces 96% of the world's rare earth elements but severely restricts their export
- Can new exploration and development meet future high-tech industry needs for these materials?