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The global rare earth element exploration boom: An analysis of resources outside of China and discussion of development perspectives


  • Paulick, Holger
  • Machacek, Erika


This paper analyzes the mineral resource definitions from the exploration boom that followed the rare earth element (REE) price peak of 2011, and finds that1.the delineated REE mineral resources outside of China reached a total of 98 Mt contained total rare earth oxides in 2015 with the majority located in Canada (38 Mt), Greenland (39 Mt) and Africa (10.3 Mt), representing a fivefold increase between 2010 (16.5 Mt combined) and 2015 (87.3 Mt combined).2.a large portion of these resources contain REE bearing silicates as dominant ore mineral which have a higher heavy REE to light REE ratio than conventional carbonate-mineral REE resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulick, Holger & Machacek, Erika, 2017. "The global rare earth element exploration boom: An analysis of resources outside of China and discussion of development perspectives," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 134-153.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:134-153
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2017.02.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mancheri, Nabeel A., 2015. "World trade in rare earths, Chinese export restrictions, and implications," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P2), pages 262-271.
    2. Hoenderdaal, Sander & Tercero Espinoza, Luis & Marscheider-Weidemann, Frank & Graus, Wina, 2013. "Can a dysprosium shortage threaten green energy technologies?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 344-355.
    3. Barteková, Eva & Kemp, René, 2016. "National strategies for securing a stable supply of rare earths in different world regions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 153-164.
    4. Packey, Daniel J. & Kingsnorth, Dudley, 2016. "The impact of unregulated ionic clay rare earth mining in China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 112-116.
    5. Hayes-Labruto, Leslie & Schillebeeckx, Simon J.D. & Workman, Mark & Shah, Nilay, 2013. "Contrasting perspectives on China's rare earths policies: Reframing the debate through a stakeholder lens," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 55-68.
    6. Massari, Stefania & Ruberti, Marcello, 2013. "Rare earth elements as critical raw materials: Focus on international markets and future strategies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 36-43.
    7. Schlinkert, Dominik & van den Boogaart, Karl Gerald, 2015. "The development of the market for rare earth elements: Insights from economic theory," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P2), pages 272-280.
    8. Zhü, kèyù & Zhao, Shuang-yao & Yang, Shanlin & Liang, Changyong & Gu, Dongxiao, 2016. "Where is the way for rare earth industry of China: An analysis via ANP-SWOT approach," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 349-357.
    9. Machacek, Erika & Fold, Niels, 2014. "Alternative value chains for rare earths: The Anglo-deposit developers," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 53-64.
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    Cited by:

    1. Riesgo García, María Victoria & Krzemień, Alicja & Manzanedo del Campo, Miguel Ángel & Menéndez Álvarez, Mario & Gent, Malcolm Richard, 2017. "Rare earth elements mining investment: It is not all about China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 66-76.
    2. Schmid, Marc, 2019. "Mitigating supply risks through involvement in rare earth projects: Japan's strategies and what the US can learn," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-1.
    3. Fernandez, Viviana, 2017. "Rare-earth elements market: A historical and financial perspective," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 26-45.


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