The Clean Energy and Digital Technology sectors will place an ever-increasing demand on the Earth’s rare earth resources in the future. There is an ever-increasing focus on developing clean energy products that reduce fossil fuel consumption, are more efficient and have less environmental impact. Hybrid and electric vehicles, wind turbines and energy efficient lighting all rely on the properties of the rare earth elements. Many of the rare earths are also used in the electronics and popular technology industries including products such as flat screens, iPods, tablets, computers, and smart phones. These new technologies are being rapidly adopted across the globe, as electronic media becomes an essential part of personal apparel and business environments.
Rare earths also possess certain chemical and physical properties that make them indispensable in many high-tech applications. They are widely recognized as being among the most valuable and strategically important minerals for the continued development of a modern technological society. Among the key properties of rare earths are their high thermal and electrical conductivity, magnetism, luminosity, catalytic and optical properties.