Rare Earths at Bear Lodge

The deposits at Bear Lodge contain 10 rare earth elements.  Of these, five are identified as "critical" in the Department of Energy, Critical Materials Strategy Report put out in 2011.  These five element plus praseodymiun, which we include because of its ability to be substituted for Neodymiun in high intensity permanent magnets, are expected to account for over 80% of the Project's projected revenues.  Please see below for a list of all the elements found at Bear Lodge and a brief descriptor on how the elements are used.



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Neodymium

  • Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy (Nd2Fe14B) makes the most powerful magnets in the world. These magnets are used in loudspeakers and computer hard drives to make them smaller and more efficient. Electric motors and generators rely on the electromagnetism these stronger magnets increase efficiency.
  • Used to color glass - included in welder's gogles to protect eyes.
  • Used in lighter flints.
Magnets
Lanthanum

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Lanthanum

  • Improves clarity in camera and telescope lenses.
  • Key component of batteries in hybrid vehicles, computers and electronic devices.
  • Used as an alloy with many different metals to improve performance characteristics.
  • Compounds containing lanthanum are used extensively in carbon lighting applications, such as studio lighting and cinema projection.
Filter
Cerium

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Cerium

  • Used in catalytic converters in cars, enabling them to run at high temperatures and playing a crucial role turning smog-causing molecules into carbon dioxide.
  • Often known as "optician's rouge" for its ability to polish glass and semiconductors.
  • Used in carbon-arc lighting, like those used on movie sets.
  • Used with La in cracking fluids to refine crude oil.
catalytic converter
Yttrium

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Yttrium

  • Most widely used to create white and grey colors in LED and high end lighting.
  • Increases shock resistance in glass and lowers degree of expansion.
  • Yttrium-iron garnets are used to filter microwaves, and as transmitters and transducers for acoustic energy.
  • Yttrium-aluminum is used simulate diamond gemstones.
  • Automakers are investigating use it in spark plugs as laser igniters. This new technology could lead to cleaner, more efficient and more economical combustion engines.
  • Used in a laser product marking system that applies barcoes to metals and plastics, resulting in an environmentally friendly process that consumes no inks or chemicals.
  • Used in medical treatments for arthritis, prosthetic devices, and cancer.
Vehicles
Praseodymium

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Praseodymium

  • Used as an alloy to create strong metals for use in aircraft engines.
  • A component of a special glass used to make visors to protect welders and glassmakers. Being introduced in high-end sun glasses.
  • Used as a doping agent in fiber optic cables to improve conductivity.
  • Researchers are investigating its use as a shark repellent because it interferes with the shark's natural electrical sensors.
Fiber Optic
Gadolinium

Gadolinium

  • Added to a number of different compounds to increase resistance to high temperature oxidization.
  • Used in X-ray, MRI scanning systems and television screens.
  • Used in shut-down mechanisms for nuclear reactors.
  • Key component in magnetic refrigeration systems currently being investigated for commercial use.
Xray
Europium

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Europium

  • Phosphor for red and blue in visual displays, including TVs and computer screens.
  • Used in control rods in nuclear reactors because of neutron absorption capabilities.
  • Creates the red part of white light and is a critical element of the energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Light.
Tablet
Terbium

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Terbium

  • Solid state devices use sodium-terbium borate.
  • Being investigated as an activator for green phosphors used in color TVs.
  • Combined with Neodymium for production of super magnets.
  • Acts as a crystal stabilizer of fuel cells which operate at elevated temperatures when used in combination with Zr02.
CDs
Dysprosium

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Dysprosium

  • Frequently used in the creation of laser materials, control rods for nuclear reactors, in infrared radiation, and in data storage, such as hard disks.
  • Can be substituted for Nd to increase coerciveness in the drive motors of hybrid vehicles.
  • Used in the production of fuel injectors, transducers, and mechanical resonators.
Laser
Samarium

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Samarium

  • Used in permanent magnets that are difficult to demagnetize and are used at high temperatures; military defense system applications.
  • Used in capacitors for microwave ovens.
  • Found in the cancer drug "Quadramet."
Qudramet