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Like a number of other rare metals, the rare earth elements (REEs) are enablers; their use is essential in many aspects of modern technology, with unique properties that can have a profound effect on the performance of complex engineering systems. As demand for REEs has increased in recent years, so have efforts to find new sources of supply outside China, which currently dominates the production of these materials. This chapter looks at the supply and demand dynamics of the rare earths sector, how these materials are used and processed and where they occur. It also looks at the recent challenges posed by export restrictions from China and the effects that these challenges have had on pricing. It also looks at the development of new exploration and development projects and efforts to recycle these materials.

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