Lanthanum and cerium make up the bulk of what China produces in the REE space, but they’re not the value-added metals. Metals like europium may enjoy better prices, but they’re a small part of the whole REE complex. China’s bread and butter comes from Bayan Obo, which is not a rare earth mine at all. It’s an iron ore mine that produces REEs as a byproduct.
The Chinese can’t stop producing REEs at Bayan Obo because they’d have to stop producing the iron ore as well. One of the intriguing things about REEs is that you can’t just take the ones you want and leave the others behind. You have to go through the whole chemical extraction process to get those with the biggest market or the best price. You can’t send a metal into the tailings pond because it doesn’t have a good price today. You have to do them all………………………………………..Full Article: Source