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Explore the Elements: Rare Earth Elements

By Robert Pell

Welcome to Minviro's 'Explore the Elements' Series – your guide through the intricate world of raw materials. Our first report focuses on the critical role of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in advancing technology and driving sustainability. Immerse yourself in our exploration of their geological origins, production processes, and the importance of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for sustainable development.


The outline

What are Rare Earth Elements?

Rare Earth Elements (REE), a series of 17 indispensable materials, are foundational to high-tech and eco-friendly innovations. Despite their prevalence, their low-concentration deposits present unique extraction challenges. Our report outlines their properties, uses, and the global significance of sustainable sourcing.

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This specific white paper is focused on Rare Earth Elements (REE).

Rare Earth Elements in Permanent Magnets

Rare Earth Elements such as neodymium play a crucial role in the manufacture of permanent magnets, which are fundamental components in various modern applications. These magnets are central to the functionality of electric vehicles, motors, and wind turbines, contributing significantly to the advancement of sustainable transportation and renewable energy solutions.

The Geology of REE Deposits

Our report offers an extensive examination of the geological formation of REE deposits, including the predominant types like carbonatites and ion-adsorption clays. It highlights the distribution of global deposits, the environmental considerations impacting extraction, and the significance of these elements to the tech industry.

Pathways to Sustainable REE Production

The report delves into the REE supply chain, detailing the steps from extraction to final product delivery. It emphasizes the metallurgical techniques employed and underscores the industry's drive towards minimizing environmental impacts through the adoption of sustainable practices and innovative technologies.

Environmental Sustainability in REE Extraction

Addressing the environmental challenges posed by REE mining and processing is essential. This section covers the industry's evolution towards more eco-friendly extraction methods, emphasizing responsible waste management and the growing importance of REE recycling to reduce ecological footprints.

The Impact of LCA in the REE Sector

Life Cycle Assessment is a critical tool for understanding the environmental implications of REE projects. The report underscores the importance of LCA in guiding industry stakeholders towards more sustainable practices, ensuring that environmental impact considerations are integral to decision-making processes.


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Minviro's 'RARE EARTH ELEMENTS' poster, January 2024, with a crystalline structure and a section of colorful banded minerals. It highlights a series on the elements' impacts and applications.

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