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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.

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Recycling and Reusing Rare Earth Elements Worldwide

Presented by Lynas CorporationUntil recently, the rare earths industry has been dominated by Chinese companies. All but five percent of the production of rare earths has occurred within China, which also utilizes the vast majority of the rare earths it mines and processes in its own industrial applications. Because of increasing worldwide demand, alternative sources of rare earths must be identified, and many countries have sought ways to recycle these materials instead of mining them anew.

Current prices of rare earths have made the recycling of these elements economically feasible. The United Kingdom, for example, stands to make more than £15 billion from recycling rare earths from consumer electronics. Likewise, Japanese companies are currently exploring new technologies for recycling rare earth elements. Many companies, such as Hitachi Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp., are working to recover materials like base metals, cobalt, dysprosium, and neodymium from their products in order to safeguard against rising prices in the rare metals markets.

About Lynas Corporation: A fully integrated rare earths company based in Sydney, Lynas Corporation Ltd. has committed itself to utilizing cutting-edge technology in order to minimize the environmental impact of its actions. Lynas Corporation plans to begin full operations later in 2012.

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.