ENVIREE project is funded from ERA-MIN programme within the 2nd Joint Call
It focuses on study of recovery of REE from secondary sources
Multidisciplinary consortium involves 11 partners from 8 countries
Project planned for 2015-2017 and led by Chalmers University of Technology
Raw Materials Week in Brussels
The 2nd edition of the Raw Materials Week will take place in Brussels from Monday 6 to Friday 10 November...
ENVIREE Workshop in Pretoria announced
ENVIREE Workshop on the Status of the Circular Economy with respect to the recovery of REE in South Africa...
ENVIREE 5th Project Meeting announced
The 5th ENVIREE Project Meeting will take place in Pretoria on October 24-25.
ENVIREE International Workshop report
A short report from the ENVIREE International Workshop published.
Basics on REE
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are 17 elements including 15 lanthanides (La to Lu), scandium and yttrium. They share many of their properties, both chemical and physical and they naturally occur together in various types of mineral deposits. Rare earth elements are relatively abundant in the Earth’s crust, however they are usually not concentrated in economically exploitable ores.
Current estimates of available reserves exceed annual world production by three orders of magnitude.
Why we need REE
Historically the material group with the highest societal need is the metals. Many of them exist in abundance and in addition, for base metals like iron, copper etc., good recycling procedures exists.
However, even if this recycling was even more effective it would still not meet the demand.
Sources of REE
World resources are primarily coming from minerals bastnäsite and monazite. Bastnäsite ( China and USA) provides the largest percentage of the world's production. Monazite deposits (Australia, South America, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, and others) are the second largest. Other important REE-bearing minerals include apatite, cheralite, eudialyte, loparite, phosphorites, REE-bearing clays, spent uranium solutions, and xenotime.
In addition to the primary sources and leaving aside recycling of REE from end-of-life products as other source, tailings and other by-products from previous mining activities may also hold significant amounts of REE.