Importance of Rare Earths
Many technologically advanced products are dependent on rare earths and future demand for rare earths is expected to grow considerably in line with the accelerated global take up of such products and devices.
Demand for REEs has increased in recent years because of their wide and diverse use in high-technology applications. However, the global production is very concentrated. According to the EU Commission report (Report on Critical Raw Materials for the EU, May 2014) China produces 99% of HREE and 87% of LREE. In the report HREE and LREE have been ranked as the two raw materials with the highest supply risk out of a total of 20 raw materials that have been identified as critical for the European Union industry.