The Elements

The fifteen REE can be grouped into light and heavy lanthanides. The light REE are lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium and europium. The heavy REE are gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium. Scandium and yttrium are not true REE but are often categorized as such since they are often co-located and have similar properties.

R&D Survey

THE PURPOSE OF THIS INQUIRY IS to update and expand a 2012 inventory of research in Canada regarding rare earth elements (REE). The inventory is part of the work envisioned by the new Canadian REE Research Network to support and advance this sector. The content of the inventory, to be maintained by NRCan, will be made available to all members of the network.


OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS, research and knowledge have evolved regarding the characteristics and uses of rare earth elements such that many of these materials have become indispensible in the manufacture of advanced technological equipment with a particular focus on clean-energy applications such as wind turbines and hybrid/electric cars.

About US

WELCOME to the Canadian Rare Earth Elements Network, or CREEN. The CREEN website is hosted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM). The purpose of this website is to act as an information clearinghouse for research, development and demonstration projects involving rare earth elements.

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Mines to Markets

REE Updates

It takes a remarkable amount of time, money and energy to find minerals, develop deposits, attract investors, perfect mineral processing and metallurgical flow sheets, build mines, extract the raw materials and eventually bring products – be they mineral or metal – to market.

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Global Use of REE's

Global Use of REEs, 2010

Over the course of twenty years, when global production of REE became concentrated in China, science unlocked the unique characteristics of these minerals by demonstrating their invaluable use in high technology products, electronics miniaturization and energy efficiency applications.

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Global REE Production

Global REE Production

China's dominance in the international rare earth supply chain is a result of decades of market forces and changing global economics that saw resource production and many manufacturing activities move from high cost to lower cost regions.

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"China's early recognition of the value of rare earth elements and keen forward-thinking ability enabled the country to change its resource advantage into a competitive advantage. It has built a strong foundation focused on the study and research and development of rare earth elements and their application to achieve economic superiority."

— The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Economic Policy Series, April 2012

"Rare earth elements are a crucial component of our everyday lives, but many of the companies unearthing them are still learning to navigate the supply chain. Those that can master the dance of metallurgy and end-user relationships will find success."

— Ms. Luisa Moreno, Senior Research Analyst, Euro Pacific (Toronto), April 2013

"I am certainly encouraged to see the high level of interest in Canada's research efforts related to rare earths. Our objectives in developing these research projects are quite transparent. We want to enhance Canada's mining industry’s ability to produce rare earth elements, we want to support development of alternative global supply channels for these valuable materials and we want to make a positive contribution to the significant research efforts being conducted by other countries within the Rare Earths International R&D Consortium."

— Mr. Serge Dupont, Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, June 2012