Rare earth elements
Cover of the thematic file.
Rare earth elements, a group of strategic metals
Contrary to what their name suggests, rare earth elements are actually more abundant in the earth's crust than gold or silver. They have been in common use since the 1970s and are now omnipresent in everyday objects that symbolise technological progress. From computers to cars, rare earth elements are used in the manufacturing process of many different products.
The geological origin of rare earth elements
Whether heavy or light rare earth elements, in surface or deep-underground deposits, easily accessible or difficult to extract, the science of geology tells us all about the world's major deposits.
Developing recycling to reduce shortages
Recycling rare earth elements is one of the ways to mitigate the Chinese monopoly in the market and reduce the environmental impact of treatment processes. BRGM is studying innovative solutions to speed up the development of an economy based on recycling.