Rare Earth Elements (REE) are a group of 17 metals made up of 15 lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium. At the Copi Project the rare earths bearing minerals are found in the form of monazite and xenotime grains. Monazite is a primarily reddish‐brown phosphate mineral that contains both heavy and light rare earth elements. Xenotime is a separate rare‐earth phosphate mineral, the major component of which is yttrium orthophosphate.
REE are necessary components for a wide range of applications, especially high‐tech consumer products, such as cellular telephones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, and flatscreen monitors and televisions.
The global demand for REE has increased significantly in line with their usage in high‐end technology. Driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions.
Rare earth elements are the key ingredients required to produce rare earth magnets used in wind turbines and the electric motors for the next generation of road vehicles.
Rare earth magnets used in green technologies such as the manufacture of wind turbines and hybrid cars.
Used in televisions, computer screens and other devices that have visual displays that require materials that give off different colours.
Essential defence technologies — defence uses include for night‐vision goggles, precision‐guided weapons, communications equipment, GPS equipment.
Transforms primary pollutants in engine exhaust gases into non‐toxic compounds.
Rare earths are used to develop titanium metals used widely in medicine and dentistry, specifically surgical titanium instruments including orthopaedic titanium rods, pins and plates, as well as medical and dental titanium.