Rare Earth Metals Production: Possible Political Implications for National Security

Rare earth elements have many important applications, particularly for defense and national security, so problems in their supply may have political implications. Mr. Matt Zolnowski, from J.A. Green & Company, comments on this issue.

Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are the lanthanide elements of the periodic table – in the Figure on the side, these are the two lines at the bottom. Yttrium (Y) and scandium (Sc) are also considered rare earths.

The importance of these elements for technological applications is well known; the development of several green technologies, for instance, is heavily dependent on the use of rare earth metals.

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