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What are Rare earth elements (REEs)? REEs are critical components of many modern technologies, and their importance is only likely to increase as these technologies continue to evolve. Discuss.

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent);

1. What are Rare earth elements (REEs)? REEs are critical components of many modern technologies, and their importance is only likely to increase as these technologies continue to evolve. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Scientists from the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (IMMT), Bhubaneswar, have estimated the quantity of rare earth elements that can be recovered from a toxic byproduct of aluminium extraction that India produces in copious amounts.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of REEs.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining Rare earth elements (REEs) and why are they called rare.

Body:

Write significance of Rare Earth Elements (REE. Discuss its utility in terms of – defense, strategy environment etc. Global Uses and Production of Rare Earth Elements. Cite examples.

Next, write about the difficulties in extracting REE and recycling them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising.