USA rare earth imports and application of structural changes
According to the USGS report, in 2017, the United States did not conduct domestic extraction of rare earths, and imports from China, Estonia and other places met domestic demand.
Bastnite, a rare earth fluorocarbonite mineral, was previously mined as a main product in Mountain Pass, California and entered maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2015.
In 2017, the value of US imports of rare earth compounds and metals was estimated at US$150 million, a substantial increase from the US$118 million in 2016. Estimate the end-use ratio of rare earth:
2017 – catalyst, 55%; ceramics and glass, 15%; metallurgical applications and alloys, 10%; polishing, 5%; and 15%.
2016 – catalyst, 55%; ceramics and glass, 10%; metallurgical applications and alloys, 15%; polishing, 10%; and other 10%.
Compared with 2016, ceramic and glass applications increased by 5 percentage points, metallurgical applications and alloys decreased by 5 percentage points, and polishing applications decreased by 5 percentage points.