The development of the market of rare earth metals
To the rare earth elements are yttrium, lanthanum and 13 elements, lanthanides, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium. They are all connected by kinship properties, and usually coexist in the fields. Conventionally, they are divided into 2 groups: cerium (or light) from lanthanum to neodymium and yttrium the yttrium and lanthanides from samarium to lutetium. Yttrium group divided into 3 subgroups: the yttrium, middle rare earth (samarium to erbium) and heavy rare earth elements (thulium to lutetium).
Rare earth elements are scattered in the earth’s crust in minute concentrations, there is little available for production. The main mining concentrators of REE are bastnesite (CeCO3 F) and monazite (Gray4). These ores account for 70% of the production of REE. Most rich deposits of REE are bastnasite China and the United States, monazite Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA.
30% of the reserves of REE are concentrated in deposits of xenotime, ion-absorcion clays, loparite, Apatite, phosphorite, secondary monazite, eudialyte, etc. About 50% of all REE stocks have bastnasite ore two fields: bajun-OBO (China) and mountain Pass (USA), with accumulated reserves of yttrium according to experts from 0.5 to 1 million tonnes.
All rare earth elements and their derivatives with a valuable combination of rare properties that allow to apply them on the most advanced frontiers of modern science and technology. Without it modern electronics and petrochemicals, ceramic and glass industry, metallurgy and mechanical engineering. About 30% of world REE goes to production of catalysts for cracking of oil, synthesis of polymers, and catalytic filters, neutralizing exhaust gases. Naturally, the global demand for such filters for cars is growing at a faster pace. Among REE is now the most popular neodymium and dysprosium are used in permanent magnets (Nd2 Fe14 B), which is also characterized by steady growth.
Particularly promising from the point of view of profitability, is the use of REE in the manufacturing of phosphors. It is the largest sector of sales of europium, yttrium and terbium, essential in TVs, computer monitors, fluorescent lamps. Here also in the foreseeable future, the demand for REE will increase.
For mirrors, lenses and cathode ray tubes, these pastes are produced from the compounds of cerium. A new direction, mechanochemical polishing of the chips by using a powder of compounds of cerium. The need for such a powder is currently growing every year by more than 50%.
REE — no alternative material in the manufacturing of industrial electrical and electronic ceramics, the need for which is also growing every year in industrialized countries. Indispensable in a telecommunication network, ceramic filters, dielectric resonators and multi-layer capacitors are produced in ever increasing pace. A new use of re — Nickel-Misch metal-hydride batteries. They successfully compete with Li-ion batteries in terms of volumetric charge density.
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