Why are rare earth elements so rare?

Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of 17 metallic elements that are essential for many modern technologies.

Despite their name, REEs are not actually rare. In fact, some REEs are more abundant than gold in the Earth's crust

However, REEs are difficult to extract from their ores, which is why they are considered to be "rare."

REEs are typically found in very low concentrations in their ores, and they are often chemically bound to other elements, making them difficult to separate

Additionally, REE ores are often found in remote and difficult-to-access locations, which further increases the cost and complexity of mining them

The mining and processing of REEs can also have a significant environmental impact.

As a result of all of these factors, REEs are relatively expensive and scarce materials

 REEs have similar chemical properties to each other, which makes them difficult to separate using traditional methods.

– REEs are also relatively insoluble in water, which makes them difficult to transport and process.