A prized few of the Earth’s marvels have had astonishing effects on world history, geography, discovery, economics and politics. Great reaches of the globe’s long, winding road from the past were built to gain access to gold and silver, spices, silk and oil.
In like manner, the years ahead will be marked by the pursuit of rare earths.
Rare earths are a group of 17 natural elements whose properties meet growing needs in the 21st century. Rare earths have strange old names and strange new uses. They are vital for building high-tech military and green technologies.
Dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, neodymium, praseodymium and yttrium are used in cruise missiles, smart bombs, guidance systems and night vision technology.