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Global Production Estimation of Rare Earth Elements and Their Environmental Impacts on Soils

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.38007    3,448 Downloads   4,374 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Due to high demand and limited availability of rare earth elements (REEs), Europe is unable to meet its industrial needs, especially High Tech needs, today for the manufacturing sector. Therefore, the EU has included them in the group of 14 critical minerals. China currently controls completely the mining activity, the enrichment technologies and metallurgy, and end-metal products of rare earths, resulting both Europe and the U.S.A. in full industrial dependency. The exploitation and wide use of REEs in fertilizers have led to accumulation of these elements in soils, resulting in an agriculture field pollution, which affects directly the soil microfauna with a toxic potential effect.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Charalampides, G. and Vatalis, K. (2015) Global Production Estimation of Rare Earth Elements and Their Environmental Impacts on Soils. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 66-73. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.38007.

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