Rare earth is a group of 17 elements, sometimes found in minerals containing uranium, that are critical to high-tech products including smartphones, wind
turbines, electric cars and military equipment such as missile systems.
They are called “rare” not because they are necessarily hard to find, but because the extraction process is expensive and toxic. In the last two decades, China
has come to dominate global rare-earth production by investing in mining and processing without enforcing adequate environmental safeguards
See: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/sto ...