Rare Earth Elements Markets Worldwide

Published: June 1, 2011 - 172 Pages

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Research Methodology
The Rare Earth Elements
Figure 1-1 The Period Table and the Elements
Table 1-2 Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements
Global REE Deposits
Figure 1-3 World Rare Earth Element Reserves by Country
Rare Earth Element Applications
The Rare Earth Market Today
Table 1-4 Rare Earth Element Energy Applications
Figure 1-5 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE), August 2010-February 2011 ($/kg - REO equivalent)
Figure 1-6 Rare Earth Prices - REEs Used in Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnets February 2009-February 2011 ($/kg - REO equivalent)
Figure 1-7 Chinese Rare Earth Quotas and Price Effects Metric Tons of REE, $/kg REO Equivalents (2005-2010)
Market Demand
Figure 1-8 Rare Earth Market Size, 2005-20010 ($ billions)
Figure 1-9 Rare Earth Uses, 2010
Figure 1-10 Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020
Figure 1-11 Rare Earth Production, 1956-2008
Market Supply
Table 1-1 Potential Non-China Rare Earth Operations, 2011-2020
Figure 1-12 Non-China Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020
Figure 1-13 Rare Earth Element Production, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)
Market Size
Figure 1-14 Rare Earth Market and Global Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020 ($ billions, thousands of metric tons)
Market Considerations
Rare Earth Growth Factors
Rare Earth Growth Inhibitors
Chapter 2 Market Definition
Rare Earth Elements
Figure 2-1 The Period Table and the Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Element History
Rare Earth Elements - Not So Rare
Figure 2-2 Abundance of Rare Earth Elements in the Earth’s Crust
Figure 2-3 Rare Earth Element Occurrence in the Earth’s Crust (parts per million - ppm)
Rare Earth Element Production
Figure 2-4 Global Production of Rare Earth Oxides
Table 2-1 REE Mine Production and Known Reserves by Country, 2009-2010 (tons)
Principal REE Deposits
Figure 2-5 World Rare Earth Element Reserves by Country
Rare Earth-Bearing Minerals
Table 2-3 Rare Earth Element Concentration in Mineral Sources Principal Mine Locations (percent)
Principal REE Deposits - China
Figure 2-6 Rare Earth Mines - China
Principal REE Deposits - United States
Table 2-4 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, United States
Figure 2-7 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, United States
Principal REE Deposits - Russia
Table 2-5 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, Other Countries
Principal REE Deposits - India
Principal REE Deposits - Other Countries
Common Properties of Rare Earth Elements
Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements
Table 2-6 Rare Earth Element Properties
Table 2-7 Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Element Applications
Table 2-8 Selected Rare Earth Element Applications
Rare Earth Applications in Alternative Energy Systems
Table 2-9 Rare Earth Element Use in Alternative Energy Systems
Rare Earth Element Processing
Figure 2-8 Rare Earth Mining Process
Chapter 3 Market Size and Growth
Market Volatility
Figure 3-1 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Minerals, 2005-2009 ($/kg REO equivalent)
Chinese Rare Earth Quotas
Figure 3-2 Chinese Rare Earth Quotas and Price Effects Metric Tons of REE, $/kg REO Equivalents, (2005-2010)
China-Japan Tensions
Soaring Rare Earth Prices
Figure 3-3 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE), 2005-2010 ($/kg - REO equivalent)
Figure 3-4 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE), 2005-2010 ($/kg - REO equivalents)
Market Size
Figure 3-5 Rare Earth Production, 2005-2010 (metric tons)
Figure 3-6 Rare Earth Market Size, 2005-2010 ($ billions)
Market Demand
Figure 3-7 Rare Earth Demand, 2005-2010 (metric tons)
Figure 3-8 REE Usage by Country, 2008 (% of REE use by category within a country)
Figure 3-9 REE Usage by Category2008 (% of REEs used by countries within a category)
Rare Earth Exports/Imports
Figure 3-10 Rare Earth Imports - United States and Japan, 2005-2010 (metric tons Rare Earth Oxide-equivalent)
Figure 3-11 Rare Earth Exports - United states and Japan, 2005-2010 (metric tons Rare Earth Oxide-equivalent)
Rare Earth Growth Factors
Figure 3-12 Rare Earth Uses, 2010
Figure 3-13 Magnet Strengths, (MGO)
Chinese Demand
Defense Systems
Japanese Demand
Factors Inhibiting Rare Earth Growth
Development Costs
Environmental Issues
Lack of Expertise
Rare Earth Element Mix
Table 3-1 Selected Heavy Rare Earth Element (HREE) Sources
Rare Earth Prices
Substitute Materials
Strategic Reserves
Acts of God
Market Growth 2011 to 2020
Rare Earth Element Demand
Figure 3-14 Light Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)
Figure 3-15 Heavy Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)
Rare Earth Magnets - The Dysprosium Problem
Figure 3-16 Dysprosium Demand vs Production, 2011 - 2020 (metric tons)
Rare Earth Element Production
Figure 3-17 Rare Earth Element Production, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)
Market Size
Figure 3-18 Global Rare Earth Production (less China), 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)
Figure 3-19 Rare Earth Market and Global Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020 ($ billions, thousands of metric tons)
Chapter 4 Emerging Rare Earth Developments
New Rare Earth Exploration and Development
Table 4-1 Kvanefjeld, Greenland Rare Earth Element Concentrations
Table 4-2 Hoidas Lake and Nechalacho Rare Earth Deposits, Canada
South Africa
Russia and Central Asia
United States
Other Countries
Mine Development Phases
Vertically Integrated Rare Earth Supply Chains
Table 4-3 Level of Development - Selected Potential Rare Earth Mines
Rare Earth Alternatives
Electric Vehicles
Magnetic Refrigeration
National Defense Considerations
Table 4-4 Rare Earth Uses in Military Defense Systems
Government Activities
South Korea
South Africa
European Union
United States
Minimizing Environmental Concerns
Radioactive Wastes
More Efficient Extraction Methods
Chapter 5 Competitive Profiles
Molycorp, Inc
Agreements and Partnerships
Patents, Trademarks and Licenses
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-1 Molycorp Company Information
Significant Events
Lynas Corporation Ltd
Agreements and Partnerships
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-2 Lynas Company Information
Significant Events
Great Western Minerals Group Ltd
Agreements and Partnerships
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-3 Great Western Company Information
Arafura Resources Ltd
Agreements and Partnerships
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-4 Arafura Company Information
Significant Events
Avalon Rare Metals Inc
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-5 Avalon Company Information
Significant Events
Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-6 Greenland Minerals and Energy Company Information
Frontier Rare Earths Ltd
Prospecting Right
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-7 Frontier Company Information
U.S Rare Earths, Inc
Mine Development
Table 5-8 Rare Earth Resource Estimates - Diamond Creek & Lemhi Pass, (Metric Tons - Rare Earth Oxide)
Company Performance
Table 5-9 U.S. Rare Earths Company Information
Special Events
Stans Energy Corporation
Agreements and Partnerships
Mine Development
Company Performance
Table 5-10 Stans Energy Company Information


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.

This report will help:

  • Research and Development Professionals remain abreast of emerging REE concerns, exploration initiatives, product applications, and the demand and development of REE alternatives.

  • Manufacturing production planners, alternative energy producers, and users of REEs understand where the REE market is headed, potential supply problems, political and geo-regional issues, and anticipated future REE costs. This report will provide an awareness of the REE market to help users react effectively to projected future market conditions by seeking alternative REE sources, modifying production processes and product composition, and projecting future requirements.

  • Advertising Agencies working with clients who manufacture products with REE, import or export products containing REE, or sell products using REEs to more effectively promote, inform, and market such products when faced with limited REE supplies and rising costs.

  • Retailers who sell consumer electronics, computer systems, sporting equipment, and other durable goods understand the potential effects on consumer demand should REE supply become problematic or if prices continue to increase.

  • Information and Research Center Librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers, and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for products made with REEs.

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