If you’ve ever read about rare earths elements (REE) before you probably already know that they’re not actually very rare – they’re in plants, oceans, soil and there could even be some inside our bodies.
What is rare, are concentrations of REE large enough to economically mine and extract. What’s special about them is that they are now classed as critical minerals in Australia, the US and EU because they’re vital for the transition to clean energy, modern communications and national security. One of their unique properties is that the 17 REEs occur together as a group, albeit in varying proportions across different deposits.
There are other unique characteristics of REEs and the market for them which we’ll explore further.