In Canada, we are blessed with a real abundance of natural resources. Not all countries are as fortunate. This is especially true in the case of what is commonly known as rare earth metals. Something which has featured prominently in the news of late.
Rare earth elements are a collection of chemical elements in the periodic table. They have uncommon names like Yttrium, Cerium, Gadolinium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium and Dysprosium.
Paradoxically, despite their description as ‘rare’, these elements are actually found in relatively high concentrations in the earth’s crust (the exception being promethium which is highly unstable). Cerium, in fact, is the 25th most abundant element, with a concentration similar to copper at about 68 parts per million