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Sustainability of Rare Earths—An Overview of the State of Knowledge
Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05401, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2013; in revised form: 16 August 2013 / Accepted: 3 September 2013 / Published: 10 September 2013
Abstract: Rare Earths (RE) have been the focus of much attention in recent years as a consequence of a number of converging factors, prominent among which are: centralization of supply (in China), unique applications in high-end technologies particularly in the low-carbon energy industry, and global demand outstripping availability. Despite this focus, RE supply chain sustainability has not been examined in depth or in any systematic manner. This paper provides an initial review of RE sustainability considerations at present, including current initiatives to understand the research and development needs. The analysis highlights a broad range of areas needing consolidation with future research and calls for collaboration between industry and academia to understand the sustainability considerations of these critical elements in more depth.
Keywords: rare earths; sustainability; social; environmental; energy
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MDPI and ACS Style
McLellan, B.C.; Corder, G.D.; Ali, S.H. Sustainability of Rare Earths—An Overview of the State of Knowledge. Minerals 2013, 3, 304-317.
McLellan BC, Corder GD, Ali SH. Sustainability of Rare Earths—An Overview of the State of Knowledge. Minerals. 2013; 3(3):304-317.
McLellan, Benjamin C.; Corder, Glen D.; Ali, Saleem H. 2013. "Sustainability of Rare Earths—An Overview of the State of Knowledge." Minerals 3, no. 3: 304-317.