Did you know rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements used in various products such as alloys, batteries, and catalysts?
No readily available substitutes exist for most rare earth elements. Unless action is taken, the U.S. could face an annual shortfall of up to $3.2 billion worth of critical materials.
Some of these minerals are in limited supply and techniques for their extraction incur high environmental and financial costs. Given their necessity in a plethora of technological applications, concern exists over whether supply can meet the needs of the economy in the future. Material criticality is assessed in terms of supply risk, vulnerability to supply restriction, and environmental implications.