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Lynas Corporation, Ltd.: Common Misconceptions about Rare Earths

A major presence in the market for rare earths outside of China, Lynas Malaysia maintains a processing plant in Gebeng in addition to Lynas’ concentration plant in Western Australia. In recent years, the company has made a concerted effort to dispel certain myths about rare earth element processing. Here is a short list of common misconceptions about rare earths.

Rare earths are rare: Despite what the name suggests, rare earths appear on every continent. Although China controls some 95 percent of all processing activities in the world, companies such as Lynas operate in multiple countries across the globe.

Rare earth element processing is dangerous: Throughout the years, rare earth element processing facilities have had very few problems adhering to high employee safety standards. As of mid-2012, Lynas Malaysia’s processing plant had clocked more than 8 million construction hours without a single safety incident resulting in lost time.

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Gadolinium: Neutron-Absorbing Rare Earth Element

Presented by Lynas Corporation

At number 64 on the periodic table that charts the known chemical elements, gadolinium is a member of the lanthanide series of rare earth metals. A lustrous silver-white in color, it is stretchable, malleable, and fairly stable when exposed to air. Gadolinium is naturally found as an admixture of half a dozen of its isotopes, in the form of salts, and as an oxide. It is the sole lanthanide element to exhibit ferromagnetic properties at a normal range of temperatures, being paramagnetic above 68 degrees Fahrenheit and extremely magnetic at cooler temperatures.

Through two of its isotopes, gadolinium absorbs neutrons more efficiently than any other known element. It has therefore been used in the rods that control reactions in nuclear power plants and as an additive to nuclear fuel because of its ability to modulate both the first rapid reaction and the subsequent burnout process.

In the latter part of the 19th century, two independent European chemists isolated the oxide of gadolinium. Its name honors Finnish scientist Johan Gadolin, who had discovered the first of the rare earth compounds a century before.

Lynas Corporation Ltd. operates a rare earth mining operation in western Australia and an advanced materials plant through its subsidiary, Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. The company aims to be a leader in providing a reliable, mine-to-market supply of rare earth metals and in social responsibility within its local communities.

Rare Earth Elements: Essential to Modern Manufacturing Public Service Backgrounder by the Staff of Lynas Corporation

posted at rareearthinvestingnews.com All Rights ReservedToday’s high-technology world runs largely on rare earth elements, and in coming years, the demand for resources may hinge not so much on supplies of oil and gas as on substances such as lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, and dysprosium. These and 13 other elements on the periodic table, most of them in the lanthanide series, are known as rare earths.

Life today for many people would be unimaginable without fluorescent lighting, photovoltaic cells, colored glass, catalytic converters, and digital devices. Emerging energy-efficient technologies, such as regenerative braking systems and the lanthanum-containing batteries in hybrid cars and trucks, depend on rare earths. Computer hard drives process information thanks partly to dysprosium, and wind turbines turn in part because of neodymium. Europium is essential to the manufacture of the red phosphors in color television screens. Many other industries also depend on rare earths, which have the potential to increase the efficiency of even commonplace items such as magnets.

Discovered in the late 1700s, rare earth elements are now in such demand that forecasts for 2015 predict that world industry will require 185,000 tons of them, an increase of 50 percent from 2010. Though far more abundant than gold, rare earths are rare because they are seldom found in large enough quantities, and in configurations easy enough to extract, to be commercially viable.

Since 2010, when China announced that it would cut back on exports of these elements, prices have soared sometimes hundreds-fold, and other nations have sought to increase their own production and develop new supply sources.

Australia-based Lynas Corporation aims to step into this void as a major, fully integrated mine-to-market supplier of rare earth minerals to the global marketplace.