Volume 90 Issue 14 | pp. 14-15
Issue Date: April 2, 2012

Managing A Dearth Of Rare Earths

Chemical companies try various ways to adapt to rising prices and tight supplies
Department: Business
Keywords: rare earths, China, magnets, catalysts, lightbulbs, lasers

As if Andy Warhol’s saying that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame also applied to elements, rare earths have been in the news a lot lately. This family of obscure elements with far from household names is at the center of an international dispute over whether China, the world’s main producer, is unfairly discriminating against foreign buyers of rare earths by instituting export quotas.

While the trade dispute simmers, prices for many rare earths . . .

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