Nanotechnology and rare earth elements
Nanotechnology is the latest of evolutionary science technology. It is the science of manipulating materials at the molecular level (Drexler, 1992). The concentration of REEs (Rare Earth Elements) production in U.S raises the main issue of a supply susceptibility. REEs are used for various business applications including new electronic devices, national security applications, automobiles, and energy technologies. The current objective of U.S. mineral policy is to support a reliable, adequate, and stable supply of materials for economic well-being, industrial production, as well as U.S. national security.
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Minerals are utilized as inputs for the production of services and goods. Consumers do not have a direct need for the commodity itself as a consumer good, thus the demand for REEs is derived from the manufacture of their finished products, such as catalysts, automobiles, and flat panel displays to name but a few. Consequently, the demand for REEs depends on the demand strength of the end products for which they are inputs. In future, a demand increase for the final product finally will lead to an increase in demand for REEs correspondingly.
Drexler, K. E. (1992). Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computatin. New York: John Wiley & Sons
Gary A. C. (2012). Theory of Mineral Demand, Economics of the Mineral Industries, American Institute of Mining