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Rare earth products
without them nothing works

Among GTS's core products are rare earths, particularly lanthanum. By virtue of long-standing business relationships and steadily rising exports, our quantities of goods from China are secure.

Without these rare earth products, nothing in our life works anymore: There would be no computer, no battery, no hybrid vehicle, and no cell phone. Rare earth metals are indispensable to our high technology, be they in wind turbines, camera lenses, automotive catalytic converters, energy-efficient light bulbs, or DVD players.

This group of special metals includes the chemical elements belonging to group 3 of the periodic table (except for actinium) and the lanthanides

i.e. a total of 17 elements:

  • scandium (atomic number 21)
  • yttrium (39)
  • lanthanum (57)

 as well as the 14 elements following lanthanum:

  • cerium (58)
  • praseodymium (59)
  • neodymium (60)
  • promethium (61)
  • samarium (62)
  • europium (63)
  • gadolinium (64)
  • terbium (65)
  • dysprosium (66)
  • holmium (67)
  • erbium (68)
  • thulium (69)
  • ytterbium (70)
  • lutetium (71)

The group’s name stems from the time when these elements were discovered: They were first found in rare minerals and were extracted from these as oxides (previously called "earths").

Rare earth

Today, lanthanum and other rare earth metals are washed out of boreholes with the aid of acids – an expensive production method. China extracts the largest quantity of these precious mineral resources (120,000 metric tons per year), followed by India. Other potential mining areas are in Greenland and Canada, but they have not yet been tapped. For years, the Chinese have controlled their exports to the world market, partly in order to keep the production of key technologies in their own country in the long term.

This dominant position underscores the critical importance of GTS’s steady and reliable contacts in China.

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