17 October 2012 22:15 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--International producers and users of rare earth elements (REEs) on Wednesday formed an alliance to develop “a healthy and competitive global market” for those increasingly critical substances amid tightening supply conditions.
Other members include Arnold Magnetic Technologies; Avalon Rare Metals; Boulder Wind Power; Colorado School of Mines; Global Tungsten & Powders; Great Western Minerals Group; ?xml:namespace>
The group will be housed and managed at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) in
ACC spokeswoman Marie Francis said that the council was hosting RETA because “rare earth elements are deeply interconnected with chemicals producers, and RETA will benefit from ACC resources and management and connections with ACC members”.
The availability and cost of rare earth elements have become an increasing concern among
That is because
The 17 chemical and mineral substances known as rare earths are crucial to refining, petrochemicals production and other industries, such as manufacture of weapons and space systems, lasers and fibre optic communications.
Despite the name, rare earth elements are not actually rare – most of them are found in almost any soil around the world.
However, rare are those areas in which REEs can be found in concentrations that make mining them commercially feasible.
At present, there are only two places in the world other than
Legislation pending in the US Congress would accelerate permitting and other federal and state authorisations to renew domestic production of rare earth elements.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has warned that the tightening supply of REEs will force still more US manufacturing to relocate overseas.
Other critical applications for rare earth elements include renewable energy products, magnets, refrigeration systems, defence applications, consumer electronics, hybrid car batteries and many more.
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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