Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Moore, Christine M.
Rare-earth minerals and metals, pp. 735-742 PDF (915.0 KB)
STOCKS RARE-EARTH MINERALS AND METALS 737 and steel, other alloys, and mischmetal), 35%; ceramics and glass, 19%; and miscellaneous (including electrical, arc carbons, and research), 5%. Consumption of high-purity rare-earth oxides and chemicals increased during 1979, due to growing use of the rare earths in several recently developed appplications. The use of rare earths as phosphor materials in X-ray equipment and color television tubes as well as lighting equipment continued to grow. Bubble memories, which use small amounts of gadolinium, began to be used on a commercial scale. High-purity lanthanum oxide was used in optical fibers. Consumption of cerium continued to grow for use in glass and ceramic applications as well as metallurgical applications and, by yearend 1979, the supply of cerium was tight. Rare earths were used in several forms for metallurgical applications. ConsumpStocks of rare earths in all forms, held by 14 producing, processing, or consuming companies, increased 14% during 1978, and by an additional 25% in 1979. In 1978 and 1979, bastnäsite concentrate stocks held by the principal producer and four other processors, decreased. Yearend inventories of monazite increased markedly during both years. Stocks of mixed rare- The average declared value of imported monazite increased during 1978 to $209 per short ton and again in 1979 to $242 per short ton. The price per short ton of Austrahan monazite (minimum 60% REO including Th02), as quoted in Metal Bulletin (London), increased from A$223 to A$268 ($206 to $248) per ton at yearend 1978 to A$313 to A$357 ($282 to $322) per ton by yearend 1979. Quoted prices for Malaysian xenotime, an yttrium-rich rare-earth mineral, remained at $2 to $3 per pound, c.i.f. Prices of unleached, leached, and calcined bastnäsite containing 60%, 70%, and 85% REO increased from $.71, $.76, and $.86 per pound of contained REO, respectively, at yearend 1978 to $.85, $90, and $1.05 per tion of rare earths for this end use has increased dramatically in recent years. Production of mischmetal and rare-earth sihicide was increased to meet the demand, and imports of these materials supplemented the domestic supply. Metallurgical applications of rare earths include additives in iron and steel production, additives for magnesium castings, and alloying agents in high-strength low-alloy steel, and in permanent magnets. An estimated 165 short tons of samarium oxide were consumed in the production of rare-earth cobalt permanent magnets during 1978.2 Use of this kind of magnet in earrings and necklace clasps accounted for most of the sharp increase from approximately 55 tons of samarium oxide consumed in 1977. Samarium-cobalt permanent magnets were also used in traveling wave tubes, alternators and generators, line printers, and various missile applications. earth compounds nearly doubled over the 2year period, and stocks of purified rareearth compounds more than doubled in the same period. Stocks of mischmetal and other alloys decreased more than 10% in 1979 after a sharp increase in 1978. Rare-earth silicide inventories to yearend 1978 decreased 22% from the yearend 1977 level and then more than doubled during 1979. PRICES pound of contained REO at yearend 1979. The price of cerium concentrate quoted by American Metal Market remained at the yearend 1978 level of $1.15 per pound during 1979. The price of lanthanum concentrate increased from 85 cents per pound at yearend 1978 to 90 cents per pound at yearend 1979. Mischmetal prices, as quoted by American Metal Market, increased from $3.95 per pound at yearend 1977 to $4.20 per pound during 1978, where the price level remained during 1979. Chemical Div. of Rhône-Poulenc Inc., Monmouth Junction, N.J., quoted REO prices per kilogram (2.2046 pounds) f.o.b., New Brunswick, N.J., as follows at yearend 1979:
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