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REE Facts | HREE Facts | LREE Facts | Rare Metal Resource
LREE : 57 Lanthanum | 58 Cerium | 59 Praseodymium | 60 Neodymium | 61 Promethium | 62 Samarium | 63 Europium | 64 Gadolinium
HREE : 65 Terbium | 66 Dysprosium | 67 Holmium | 68 Erbium | 69 Thulium | 70 Ytterbium | 71 Lutetium | 39 Yttrium
Nodymium, Light Rare Earth Elements, LREE, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
Facts about the Elemental Twin and Light Rare Earth Element Neodymium
Tracy Weslosky, Editor, InvestorIntel
Source: REE Handbook

Neodymium, REE Collection, ProEdge Media Corp. “Like the twins, Castor and Pollux, from Greek mythology who possessed special powers and strong bonds, so are neodymium and praseodymium, the elemental twins, that were difficult to separate and possess a multitude of special properties.” James Hedrick

Neodymium is a light rare earth element (LREE) with the symbol Nd and atomic number 60. Many chemists in the world believed didymium was a mixture of elements, but were unable to figure out how to separate them. So finally, when a chemist announced he had accomplished the separation in front of the Vienna Academy of Sciences on June 18, 1885, many were skeptical. That chemist was Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach who used multiple fractionations of ammonium didymium nitrate and his discovery resulted in two new elements: neodymium and praseodymium. The more abundant new earth was neodymium, from the Greek neos didumous, meaning new twin.

Interesting facts on neodymium, is that neodymium-iron-boron (Nd2Fe14B) high-strength permanent magnets are the strongest in the world. So for instance, a thumbnail size, high-strength NdFeB magnet is so strong that when placed on a refrigerator it cannot be removed by hand. Wind turbine generators create electricity and electric motors in hybrid “HEV” and electric vehicles “EV” use high-strength neodymium magnets to power the car. When switched to ‘vibrate’ mode, a miniature NdFeB magnet causes cell phones to vibrate when a call is received and high-end audio headphones and speakers use NdFeB magnets to accurately reproduce sound and base across a full spectrum. Medical applications include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI’s) which may be used to obtain an internal view of the body without radiation.

Neodymium yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) are the most widely used lasers in commercial and military applications. It is used for cutting, welding, scribing, boring, ranging, and targeting. YAG lasers, for instance -- are used to remove tattoos.

Neodymium is a silvery-white metal that is moderately reactive and quickly oxidizes to a yellowish color in air. The metal is soft and ductile. It has a hexagonal structure, a density of 7.004 gm/cm3, a melting point of 1024 °C, and a boiling point of 3027 °C. Neodymium oxide, or neodymia, occurs as a sesquioxide with the formula Nd2O3. The oxide is a pale white powder with a specific gravity of 7.3 gm/cm3, a melting point of 2272 °C, and a formula weight of 336.48.

Large resources of neodymium are contained in LREE-enriched minerals. Neodymium occurs in the Earth’s crust at an average concentration of 28 parts per million. The primary source of neodymium is from carbonatites and the LREE-mineral bastnäsite. Bastnäsite deposits in China and the United States constitute the largest percentage of the world’s rare-earth economic resources. Monazite deposits are located in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States in paleoplacer and recent placer deposits, sedimentary deposits, veins, pegmatites, carbonatites, and alkaline complexes.

Neodymium is mined from a variety of ore minerals and deposits using various methods. Bastnäsite is mined in the United States as a primary product from a hard-rock carbonatite. The deposit is mined via bench-cut open pit methods. In China, bastnäsite and lesser amounts of associated monazite are also mined from a carbonatite. The ore is recovered as a byproduct of iron ore mining by hard-rock open pit methods. After crushing the ore is separated from the iron ore by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate and a bastnäsite-monazite concentrate (Special thanks, James Hedrick, www.REEHandbook.com).

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