What are Rare Earth Elements? (REE)

What are Rare Earth Elements? (REE)

Ashram Deposit of Rare Earth Elements from Commerce Resources
Ashram Deposit of Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Elements (REE) are important to the consumer electronics, green energy and telecommunication industries. These elements are very important due to their application in defence, but they are used very frequently in our everyday lives to power our home electronics (smartphones, laptop computers, and LED lights).

They have interesting names like europium and dysprosium. Their unique properties—the ability to absorb infrared light or emit red light—make them essential ingredients for lasers, solar panels, and hybrid-car engines. And yet, most of the world depends on China to supply these elements.

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that the United States will have to import 90% of its rare earth elements in the next 20 years. And this strong demand has driven prices up – a lot.

Did you know that over 90% of the Rare Earth Elements, or REE, in use today are used to make technology?

The Rare Earth Elements are one of the most important materials in our world. They make technologies that fuel our future – what would we do without television, smartphones or anything that plugs into a wall?

The majority of the world’s population relies on rechargeable batteries to keep their smartphones, laptops and other digital devices alive. Demand for battery-based technologies will only continue to increase over time due to the increase in the consumption of everyday products that use batteries from traffic lights to electric cars.

The demand and supply of rare earth elements are heavily dependent on the production of consumer electronics, and China has a monopoly in this market. The country controls 97% of the world’s market for these elements, which have found use in smartphones, flat-screen televisions, laptops, GPS navigation devices and hybrid power systems for electric cars.

China reported that its own REE reserves were at 15 million tonnes – twice as much as anyone else worldwide. But four years ago it revised that figure drastically downward to about three million tonnes after tens of thousands of Chinese children became sick from pollution created by illegal mining operations in Inner Mongolia (the specific location); there’s been no data from China since 2007 with regards to tons of quantity mined domestically every year – initial estimates put it around five thousand tonnes per year.

The global preference towards energy efficiency combined with China’s efforts to promote green manufacturing by cutting down its domestic rare earth production rate has thus forced the Chinese product manufacturers to seek alternative sources.

Follow Commerce Resources to learn more about our deposit of rare earth elements.

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