Rare Earth

Rare Earth Metals

Imperium Commodity Search services the global metals markets across all products and has experience dealing with niche products, traders and mining firms for the recruitment and hiring of exceptional talent from the rare earth metal markets. 

What are Rare Earth Metals (REM)? 

Rare Earth Metals or Rare Earth Elements are a group of 17 elements in the periodic table, largely made up of lanthanides, with high electrical conductivity.  Rare Earth Metals get their name not through their rarity in the earths crust, but their spread.  Unlike other metals, rare earths are spread across large areas and are not found in concentrated volumes like base metals or precious metals.   Rare Earth metals are commonly used in optics, laser, fibre optic, lenses and nuclear applications.  

The 17 rare earth elements/metals are: 

Cerium: A soft ductile light silver coloured rare earth metal.  Ceria is a widely used compound of Cerium and is used n industrial polishing applications such as optics and lenses.  Ceria is colloquially known as “opticians’ rouge” due to its application in lenses. 

Dysprosium: A metallic bright silver rare earth element with high conductivity and magnetic susceptibility which is commonly used in the production of control rods for nuclear reactors/power plants as well as in data storage due to its magnetic properties.

Erbium: A white-silver metal/rare earth used in lasers, commonly in medical applications.  Erbium, like Dysprosium, is also used in neutron-absorbing control rods for nuclear reactors.  

Europium: A highly reactive lanthanide rare earth with a soft and shiny white appearance.  Europium reacts very easily with air and oxidation happens quickly.  Europium has few commercial applications but is used in glass/laser products as well as a red light emitting element in screens.

Gadolinium: A highly magnetic, white-silver metal.  Used in radioactive therapies and medical applications such as neutron therapy.  Effective with nuclear absorption and used for shielding in nuclear reactors as well as in nuclear submarines for propulsion. 

Holmium: A soft, malleable silvery metal extracted via ion-exchange.  The highest magnetic permeability of all elements and used as polepieces of static magnets.  

Lanthanum: A ductile and soft silver-white metal which is very soft.  Lanthanum is most commonly used in the production of hybrid/electric cars and vehicles.  

Lutetium: A silver white metal which is chemically similar to other lanthanides.  Lutetium is often used as a catalyst, particularly in petroleum cracking/refinery.  

Neodymium: A hard silver metal which is particularly reactive to air and water with quick oxidation.  Used in fertilizer and rock studies/aging as well as for refrigeration purposes in cryocoolers. 

Praseodymium: A highly magnetic and conductive silvery and soft metallic element.  Used as a dye in ceramics and glass making as well as an alloy to produce high strength metals for specialist applications such as aircraft engines. 

Promethium: A radioactive rare earth element which is one of the rarest elements on earth with around 5-600 grams estimated to exist in the earths crust.  Primarily used for research purposes and sharing many properties with neighbouring elements, studies are taking place for its suitability for portable x-ray machines and power sources for space probes/satellites. 

Samarium: A hard silvery metal.  Used in certain magnets due to its high magnetization properties which are around 10,000 times higher than iron and the second highest of any element.  Similar to other lanthanides, it is also used as a catalyst.  

Scandium: A silvery-white rare earth metal element found in rare earth and uranium compounds.  Used as an alloy with aluminium for specialist applications of aluminium alloys. 

Terbium: A Silver-white rare earth metal which is soft and ductile.  Used to stabilise batteries and fuel cells at high temperatures as well as an alloy for specialist electrical applications such as sonar devices and sensors. 

Thulium: A soft silvery-white metal which is particularly malleable and ductile.  Most commonly used in laser and x-ray applications as well as superconductors. 

Ytterbium: A bright, silvery and ductile metal which reacts slowly with oxygen and water.  Primarily used in atomic clocks, x-ray machines and as a doping agent for stainless steel. 

Yttrium: Silver rare earth element / metal which is not found as a free element but with lanthanide elements in minerals.  Used in conjunction with Europium in ray tubes in screens to produce red colouring.  Recently found to produce a blue pigment when combined with indium and manganese. 

Largest Rare Earth Metal Producers:

Rare earth elements are spread vastly across the globe and are rarely found in concentrated quantities.  Despite this, there are many environmental and cost considerations when mining for rare earth elements and metals.  China is by far the largest global producer of rare earths.  The top 10 producers (in MT) are:

China (120,000)
Australia (20,000)
USA (15,000)
Myanmar (5,000)
Russia (2,600)

What is the Salary for Rare Earth Metal Trader? 

Because of the specialised markets which rare earth metals are traded into, the salary and structure for traders of rare earth metals and elements can vary greatly.  Most senior traders are paid on a similar structure to other metals traders, such as base/precious metal traders with a split between a base salary and % bonus or commission on margins or profit/PnL. 

Rare Earth Metals Recruitment from Imperium Commodity Search

Imperium Commodity Search provide recruitment and headhunter services to the metals markets globally.  Our consultants have had exposure to a range of niche and specialist metal products, including rare earth elements and even low background steel.  Whilst there are few that can claim to be experts in the rare earth markets, our knowledge of the metals markets and headhunting/recruitment techniques allow us to assist with even the tightest brief within the rare earth space. 

If you would like to discuss our exposure to the rare earth metal trading markets or find out how we recruit for metals trading positions, please call us on +44 (0) 203 927 5090 or register online here and one of our metals recruitment consultants will be in touch. 

To view our current metals brokerage, trading, operations and support vacancies click here or contact one of our consultants to discuss current careers / jobs in metals trading and discuss your needs in more detail. 

To arrange a consultation with a consultant to discuss your hiring needs / growth plans and where we can assist click here or contact one of our consultants directly here for a confidential discussion.

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