Front picture of Bayan Obo Rare Earth mine in the Gobi desert, Northern China
Rare Earth Elements aren’t actually that rare at all, some are more abundant than Lead, Copper, Gold and silver. They are generally coined rare as they are not found in economically mineable ore bodies, REE’s are generally scattered throughout the earths crust. They are not found as free metals, but more of a cocktail of the 17 elements and require an intense level of refining to be detached from each other for individual use. One of the largest rare earth mines is in the Gobi desert northern China it is 1000m deep and 48 square km in circumference.