New technologies for strategic elements

Rare Earth Elements in Latin America

Summary: The current stability of international market prices for minerals combined with the political stability of the traditional mining countries in Latin America has awakened the interest of European, Asian and Canadian mining companies in investing in exploration and mining projects for rare earth elements in Latin America. Recently, the new trend has been for cooperation between technological universities and their respective governments in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, to develop new technologies in the different refining processes of these rare earth elements which are not only important but strategic for the future of the region.

Brazil

According to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Brazil is the country with the largest reserves of rare earth elements in the world, having approximately 3500 million tons (Figs. 1 and 2). In June 2013, the Brazilian government announced it would be investing US$ 5.5 million over the next four years in developing rare earth elements projects. The financing was approved by the Management Committee of the Mineral Resources Sector Fund, which is funded by the tax payments of the mining industry. US$ 1 million will be turned over to the Mineral Technology Center, a...

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