Are Rare Elements Not So Rare?

You've probably heard of rare earth elements because they pop up often in news headlines and political discussions. And when you hear that the elements are rare, you expect them to be, well, rare. But it turns out that rare earth elements aren't rare at all.

In fact, you could take a shovel to your yard and probably dig up many of the elements used in electronic devices as catalysts, meaning they are useful in various chemical reactions. Without rare earth elements, there are no smartphones and computers.

Although rare earth elements are more abundant in some places, they're easy to find. However, they typically make up only a small amount of the local soil composition.

Generally, to get a significant amount of rare earth elements, you must excavate huge quantities of Earth from vast open pits and process the soil to the rare metals. Refining rare earth elements can inflict serious damage on the environment and generate a lot of waste.

China has created enormous processing centers and is willing to bear the risks associated with digging up and refining rare earth elements. In 2022, China produced the most of any country, with 210,000 metric tons (MT); the United States and Australia produced 43,000 MT and 18,000 MT, respectively.


No comments

Post Your Comment:

Your email will not be published
Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.