World Mining Congress
Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of lanthanides elements which have been widely used in the electronic, petrochemistry, metallurgy, and defense industries. Their demand has increased sharply in the past decade with the boom in electronic device production. Some countries now consider them strategic metals for the future and it has been forecasted that REEs may become a dominant contributor to global economy. In the wake of REE exploration, mining and processing, concern has grown over occupational and community health issues and risks. A portion of available literature on this topic however is written in the Chinese language, and thus research information related to health and REE mining is not readily accessible to mineral development planners in countries such as Canada, where REE mining is now evolving. As REEs also represent an important commodity, primarily stemming from Chinese production, it is important to begin to understand the potential health costs related to this mining sector.
Keywords: REE; Health; mining; Production; rare earth element; Rare earth elements; Rare earths; Research; Dust;
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