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Rare Earths fact sheet

Year Level(s) Years 3-6 Years 7-10
Subject Area(s) Science SOSE Chemistry Earth & Environmental Science
Topic(s) Mining Rocks & Minerals Minerals Processing
Resource Type Fact Sheet

Rare earths are in increasing demand worldwide for use in many modern technological devices such as electric motors, magnets, lasers, batteries, computer and LCD television screens, iPods, mobile phones and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. They are also essential in energy efficient technologies such as low-energy light bulbs and hybrid cars and renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines. In this fact sheet information on the uses and some properties of the rare earth elements is provided. It describes where these elements are mined in Australia.

Educational value statement

    • Provides detailed information on the uses of the elements lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.
    • Can be downloaded as a PDF file


Key learning objectives

    • Students explain what the rare earth elements are, and explain their importance in high technology applications
    • Students give examples of how the uses of rare earth elements are related to their properties
    • Students describe the uses of particular rare earth elements



    • Science Understanding: Chemical sciences; Earth and space sciences
    • Science as a Human Endeavour: Use and influence of science


Australian Curriculum content statements 

Science:  AACSSU074 (4); ACSSU153 (8); ACSSU187 (10)

Rare Earths fact sheet

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