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Rare Earth Elements: The Basics, Economics, Supply Chain, and Applications


  • 1.RARE EARTHS 101THE BASicS, EconomicS, Supply cHAinAnd ApplicATionS

2. RARE EARTH BASicS3Li4Be40Zr41Nb31Ga32 Ge72 Hf73Ta39Y57La58 Ce59 Pr60 Nd61Pm62Sm63 Eu64 Gd65 Tb66 Dy67 Ho49In68 Er50 Sn69Tm70 Yb71LuOther Rare Metals Light Rare Earths Heavy Rare Earths37 Rb55 CsThe rare earth elements are the 15 lanthanides: lanthanum (La - #57) through to lutetium(Lu - #71), plus yttrium (Y - #39)REE are grouped as light rare earth elements (LREE) or heavy rare earth elements (HREE). Whilethey are not particularly rare in the earths crust, they are generally not concentrated incommercially viable ore deposits.LREE (Light rare earth elements)*Those in bold have been identified as critical rare earth elements by the U.S. Department of Energyc omm o n pRo pE R T i ES o F R A RE E ART H SSilver, silvery-white, or grayHigh luster, but tarnish in airHigh electrical conductivityOccur together in mineralsMany fluoresce strongly under UVlightingHigh melting and boiling pointsCatalytic, chemical, electrical, metallurgical,nuclear, magnetic and optical propertiesMost REE compounds are stronglyparamagneticLanthanum (La)Cerium (Ce)Praseodymium (Pr)Neodymium (Nd)Samarium (Sm)Europium (Eu)Gadolinium (Gd)Terbium (Tb)Dysprosium (Dy)Holmium (Ho)Erbium (Er)Thulium (Tm)Ytterbium (Yb)Lutetium (Lu)Yttrium (Y)HREE (Heavy rare earth elements) 3. RARE EARTH EconomicSChina continues to dominate the rare earths market in both production and consumption. It is forecastedthat in the next five to ten years, China may become an importer of heavy rare earths. China willcontinue to maximize value added supply chain within China, consolidate rare earth producers toimprove environmental practices, limit exports of rare earths, and start to stockpile.2008 2010 2011 2013 2020 ForecastEstimatedglobal demand 124,000 123,000 110,000 120,000-130,000 200,000-240,000(tonnes REO)Total value $1.25-2 billion $2.5-3 billion $10-15 billion $3-5 billion Not available(USD $)USD $/kg $15-20/kg $30-40/kg $140-180/kg $40-60/kg $40-60/kgREOTonnes rare 125,000 109,000 98,000 90,000-100,000 Not availableearth oxides% of global 97% 95% 94% 80-85% Not availablesupplyCHINA CONSUMPTIONNOTABLE EVENTSRare Earth oxide demandat 150,000-170,000 tonnesSupplyat 180,000-210,000 tonnesCerium 70,000 80,000Neodymium 25,000-30,000 30,000-35,000Europium 350-400 400-450Dysprosium 800-850 1,000Terbium 450-500 250-300Yttrium 9,000-10,000 7,000-8,000Source: IMCOA June 2013Forecast Supply and demand forindividual Rare Earths in 2016Source: IMCOA June 2013The Rare Earths market 2008-2013GLOBAL MARKET VALUECHINA PRODUCTIONTonnes rare 68,000 74,000 75,000 80,000-85,000 Not availableearth oxides% of global 55% 60% 68% 66% Not availablesupplyImportanceof rare earthsin moderntechnology isbeginning tobe recognizedChina reducesexport quotasby 40%Huge priceincreases of500-1,000%,significantsmugglingout of ChinaChina cuttingproductionstockpiling,consolidating,trying to set pricesSupply in 2020to be 240,000-280,000 tonnesREO with theheavy rare earthsstill a concern 4. RARE EARTHS liFEcyclERareMetalsMatter.comis a place to explore advances in rare metalmaterial science and applications.From smart phones to hybrid cards, windgenerators to medical technologies...rare metals certainly do matter!www.raremetalsmatter.com 5. nit iati l RGplobrtaing e ve I WKH*5, 6. V rsion e poGlo3n. 1also r. eAva rt man or e sr fonc peLQGLFDWRUVIURPWKH0LQLQJ$VVRFLDWLRQRIDQDGDVTow rd S usitnable a Mi ning guideline s.$YDORQV6XVWDLQDELOLW5HSRUWHQWLWOHGAlign. Optimize. Innovate., outn d cofnli an be neaSuSTAinABiliTy in minERAl dEVElopmEnTRare earth elements are key componentsfor modern green and clean technologies.Avalon prides itself on being a companywholly committed to the principles ofsustainable development and is devoted toensuring that economic extraction of the rareearths are done in a safe, environmentallyand socially responsible manner.Avalon has committed itself to reporting onand measuring sustainability in the frameworkof the Global Reporting Initiative (the GRI),Version G3.1. Avalon also reports on performanceindicators from the Mining Association ofCanadas Toward Sustainable Miningprinciples and guidelines.Avalons 2013 Sustainability Report entitledALIGN. OPTIMIZE. INNOVATE., can be foundonline at www.avalonraremetals.com.RARE EARTH ApplicATionSRare earth elements (REE) are non-toxic elements essential to a cleaner environment andreduced reliance on fossil fuels. They are the key ingredients in todays modern electronic,green and health technologies. World demand for REE in 2013 is estimated at 120,000tonnes and growing with the demand for these higher value applications.Source: Roskill Estimates, Nov. 2012lon va r lws..camwetwa rea om.Global demand for REEby End-use in 2012 7. RARE EARTH ApplicATionSOne of the most important applications of REEis high strength permanent neodymiummagnets (NdFeB) or neo-magnets. They areessential to many consumer products such asmicrophones, loudspeakers, headphones andcomputer hard drives. Higher value productsthat use large amounts of neo-magnets includehybrid and electric vehicles, industrial motors,air conditioners, electronic bicycles and windand tidal turbine generators. Demand forneo-magnets is estimated to grow by 6-8% peryear to 2016.Another very important application of REE,particularly yttrium, terbium and erbium, arelight emitting diodes, or better known as LEDs.The global LED market is estimated to beU$94 billion by 2020, representing approximately60% of the total lighting market. The compoundannual growth rate between 2010 and 2016 isestimated at 35%. (Source: LED Magazine)Color monitors for computers, consumerelectronics and televisions are dependent onREE phosphors for the colours red (europium),blue (europium) and green (terbium). Glassmonitors, and other glass applications such ascameras, also require cerium oxide as a polishingcompound.The use of REE in medical applications isincreasing due to new drug treatments,diagnostic techniques and medical equipment.Another main use of REE i s catalys t s ,specifically fluid cracking catalysts used in therefining of crude oil.


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