Rare earths supply chains: current status, constraints and opportunities

Golev, Artem, Scott, Margaretha, Erskine, Peter D., Ali, Saleem H. and Ballantyne, Grant R. (2014) Rare earths supply chains: current status, constraints and opportunities. Resources Policy, 41 1: 52-59. doi:10.1016/j.resourpol.2014.03.004

Author Golev, Artem
Scott, Margaretha
Erskine, Peter D.
Ali, Saleem H.
Ballantyne, Grant R.
Title Rare earths supply chains: current status, constraints and opportunities
Journal name Resources Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4207
Publication date 2014-09-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.resourpol.2014.03.004
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Start page 52
End page 59
Total pages 8
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 3312 Sociology and Political Science
2002 Economics and Econometrics
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
3308 Law
Abstract The unique properties of rare earth elements (REEs) and lack of alternatives for their application in modern technologies, especially electronics and fast growing green technologies such as renewable energy generation and storage, energy efficient lights, electric cars, and auto catalysts, as well as specific military and aerospace applications, underpin their strategic status. The absolute domination of China in the production of REEs, aggravated by a significant reduction in export quotas since 2010, raised severe concerns of securing REE supply in the USA, Japan, European Union and other countries. In 2010–2012 it resulted in skyrocketing prices and supply deficit for most REEs, leading to numerous new REE start-up companies around the world, with allocation of large investments in additional geological explorations and technology development. At the same time, the supply difficulties enforced the downstream users of REEs to invest in the development of recycling technologies and reuse options for these elements. The main focus of this paper is to overview existing and emerging REE supply chains outside of China up to date (end of 2013), define their environmental constraints and opportunities, as well as reflect on a broader range of technical, economic, and social challenges for both primary production and recycling of REEs. A better understanding of these factors could help to optimize the supply chain of virgin and recycled rare earths, minimise the environmental impacts arising from their processing, and be used as a prototype for a broader range of critical metals and commodities.
Keyword Rare earths
Rare earth industry
Supply chain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 72 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 87 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 08 Apr 2014, 21:18:47 EST by Diep Tran on behalf of WH Bryan Mining and Geology Centre