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Rare Earth Metals Electrified by China’s Illegal Mining Clean-Up

Sept. 7, 2017, 12:00 PM

Rare earth metals are booming again as a clampdown on wildcat miners in China crimps supply in the world’s biggest producer, while the clean energy boom bolsters their use in everything from electric vehicles to wind turbines.

Prices for “light” rare earths, including neodymium and praseodymium, have exploded in recent months as traders and consumers snap up material that’s becoming scarcer. China’s shutting down illegal producers as the industry is swept up in the same kind of government clampdowns that have shaken other metals markets in 2017. Among many other applications, the elements are needed to make magnets used in ...

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