This research report presents an in-depth analysis of the production, market, development, applications, and trends for rare earth elements (REE). The 17 different rare earth elements are used extensively in a wide variety of applications to make technologies lighter, stronger, more efficient, and easier to use. Product applications run the gamut from the very technical to the mundane. For example, REEs are used to make super strong permanent magnets that increase the efficiency of wind generators while significantly reducing their weight. They are used extensively in electric vehicles to increase battery capacity and reduce weight (and they are also essential in producing catalytic converters for gasoline powered automobiles). REEs are used in medicine for small, portable X-ray devices as well as lasers that can treat glaucoma and other conditions. In some instances REE directly treat some forms of cancer. They make the phosphors that give color to television sets and LED lighting as well as flints for cigarette lighters. These are but a few of the many current uses of rare earth elements and new applications are being developed on a routine basis, such as for the treatment of water and for magnetic refrigeration.
Contrary to their name, rare earth elements are no so rare. They are found in abundance worldwide and are more common than tin in some cases and almost as abundant as copper. All rare earth elements are far more abundant that silver or gold. However, to date only a relatively few deposits have been found with sufficient REE concentrations to make mining them economical. The United States produced most of the world’s REE up until about 1985, at which time China began to become a major supplier. Today, China produces about 97% of the world’s rare earths. Problems stemming from this (virtually) single source include supply constraints, reduced shipments and outright embargos, environmental problems, and rising prices. Since the 1950’s there was very little exploration for new REE sources (except in China) but many countries and mine operators are now actively seeking new REE deposits and developing existing ones.
This report provides a comprehensive assessment of rare earth element production, demand, applications, and economic and cost considerations that have limited production and exploration for new sources, their growth over the past several years, potential opportunities for additional growth, and an assessment of developing technologies, alternatives, and market trends. Projected REE growth through 2020 is provided including discussion of economic conditions, environmental impacts, business demand, stakeholder concerns, and government activities as they affect growth rates. The report also profiles producers of rare earths and the strategies they have adopted to maximize growth and profitability.
Scope and Methodology
This report includes both primary and secondary research. Secondary research data have been obtained from government sources, trade association publications, business journals, and company literature. Statistical data are included for industry revenue, on a global, regional, and country-level scale. The market size for rare earths is projected from 2011 to 2020.
Potential applications, development trends, environmental issues, government behavior, and business considerations are also reviewed and analyzed. Market size estimates and forecasts are based on government and secondary sources, and the impact of factors such as health and environmental concerns, economic considerations, and business demand for rare earth oxides and metals.
How You Will Benefit from this Report
If you drive a car, invest in energy (alternative or otherwise), design electronic systems, work in healthcare, manufacture lighting systems, play sports, or analyze satellite photography you are affected by rare earth elements. Their use in myriad everyday products affects virtually everyone to one degree or another. The quest for alternative energy systems, particularly wind generation systems and battery storage, are highly dependent upon the use REEs. Space technology, defense systems, computer memory, DVD players, and other advanced electronics are also reliant on REEs. Whether you are a manufacturer trying to plan future production requirements, an electric utility or independent power generator planning for the use of alternative energy and the Smart Grid, an importer, exporter, or retailer of consumer electronics, or a small business that could be impacted by the supply and use of rare earth elements, this report provides a comprehensive package of information and insight about rare earth element production, supply, and future growth that are not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of why rare earths are necessary, what technologies are most affected by their use, and how to make sense of a market dominated by a single source but looking to diversify at a breathtaking rate. You will also gain a thorough understanding of technology trends, particularly as they apply to alternatives to REE. Projected rare earth market growth through 2020 is also presented.
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