What are “rare Earth minerals” anyway? They are in fact 17 elements located on the Periodic Table and are essential to the high-tech and clean energy industries.

The name is a little deceiving because rare Earth elements are relatively plentiful in the Earth’s crust. They are regarded as “rare” because deposits of these elements are generally not exploitable commercially. China controls one-third of the world’s reserves and controls 97% of the world’s supply.

Rare Earth metals are a geopolitical issue, which is an issue not only for companies, but also entire countries. The following infographic provides information about the complex chemistry and political debate about rare earth metals.

[Click image for full size version]

Rare Earth Metals