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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)


Page 737

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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