ABOUT RARE EARTH
Rare Earth Metal Importer In India (“REEs”) or rare earth metals are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically the fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium. Scandium and yttrium are considered rare earth elements since they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties.
Despite their name, rare earth elements (with the exception of the radioactive promethium) are relatively plentiful in the Earth’s crust, with cerium being the 25th most abundant element at 68 parts per million (similar to copper). However, because of their geochemical properties, rare earth elements are typically dispersed and not often found in concentrated and economically exploitable forms. The few economically exploitable deposits are known as rare earth minerals. It was the very scarcity of these minerals (previously called “earths”) that led to the term “rare earth”. The first such mineral discovered was gadolinite, a compound of cerium, yttrium, iron, silicon and other elements.
Rare earth elements are heavier than iron and thus are produced by supernova nucleosynthesis or the s-process in asymptotic giant branch stars. In nature, spontaneous fission of uranium-238 produces trace amounts of radioactive promethium, but most promethium is synthetically produced in nuclear reactors.
Rare earth elements change through time in small quantities (ppm, parts per million), so their proportion can be used for geochronology and dating fossils.
Rare earth pricing
Rare earth elements are not exchange-traded in the same way that precious (for instance, gold and silver) or non-ferrous metals (such as nickel, tin, copper, and aluminium) are. Instead they are sold on the private market, which makes their prices difficult to monitor and track. The 17 elements are not usually sold in their pure form, but instead are distributed in mixtures of varying purity. As such, pricing can vary based on the quantity and quality required by the end user’s application.
ELEMENTS RARE EARTH
|Atomic Number||Symbol||Name||Selected applications|
|21||Sc||Scandium||Light aluminium-scandium alloy for aerospace components, additive in Mercury-vapor lamps.|
|32||Ge||Germanium||Optics, Electronics, Semiconductor detectors|
|39||Y||Yttrium||Yttrium-aluminium garnet (YAG) laser, yttrium vanadate (YVO4) as host for europium in TV red phosphor YBCO high-temperature superconductors, yttrium iron garnet (YIG) microwave filters.|
|49||In||Indium||Dental amal gam alloy, nuclear reactor, electronic industries, solar cell, electrical component, low melting alloy|
|57||La||Lanthanum||High refractive index glass, flint, hydrogen storage, battery-electrodes, camera lenses, fluid catalytic cracking catalyst for oil refineries|
|58||Ce||Cerium||Chemical oxidizing agent, polishing powder, yellow colors in glass and ceramics, catalyst for self-cleaning ovens, fluid catalytic cracking catalyst for oil refineries, ferrocerium flints for lighters|
|59||Pr||Praseodymium||Rare-earth magnets, lasers, core material for carbon arc lighting, colorant in glasses and enamels, additive in didymium glass used in welding goggles, ferrocerium firesteel (flint) products.|
|60||Nd||Neodymium||Rare-earth magnets, lasers, violet colors in glass and ceramics, ceramic capacitors|
|62||Sm||Samarium||Rare-earth magnets, lasers, neutron capture, masers|
|63||Eu||Europium||Red and blue phosphors, lasers, mercury-vapor lamps, NMR relaxation agent|
|64||Gd||Gadolinium||Rare-earth magnets, high refractive index glass or garnets, lasers, X-ray tubes, computer memories, neutron capture, MRI contrast agent, NMR relaxation agent|
|65||Tb||Terbium||Green phosphors, lasers, fluorescent lamps|
|66||Dy||Dysprosium||Rare-earth magnets, lasers|
|68||Er||Erbium||Lasers, vanadium steel|
|69||Tm||Thulium||Portable X-ray machines|
|70||Yb||Ytterbium||Infrared lasers, chemical reducing agent|
|71||Lu||Lutetium||PET Scan detectors, high refractive index glass|