Dysprosium is a heavy lanthanide that helps to make electronic components smaller and faster. It is a soft metal with a silver luster and extremely high magnetic strength. Primary uses included ceramics, high-intensity lighting and as an additive to rare earth permanent magnets.When dissolved in mineral acids, it emits hydrogen. It has many other uses, including lasers, nuclear control rods, and magnetic resonance imaging. It is a component of the alloy Terfenol-D, which has the highest magnetorestriction of any alloy.
Dysprosiumís primary clean energy use is as an additive to neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets. The addition of either Dy or terbium (at approximately 5% of the magnetís weight) helps raise the increase the "Curie temperature" at which the magnet can operate before losing its magnetic field. Although used in relatively small quantities in magnets, it is crucial for magnets capable of high-temperature operations (particularly in vehicle drives). Demand for dysprosium will increase significantly with the growing market for electric drive vehicles in both the short and medium term. Substitutability Limitations: The only known substitute in permanent magnets is terbium, which is even rarer and historically more expensive. At the component level, there are substitute motor and generator technologies that do not use rare earth elements.
More than 90% of the global supply of dysprosium comes from China. Dependence on Chinese exports is expected to lead to a critical shortage of the element between 2012 and 2014. New mines are scheduled to come online in the medium term that could mitigate this constriction. China has instituted significant export quotas and tariffs on all REEs based on resource conservation and environmental regulatory reasons, though new mines in Australia, Canada and the United States will provide little additional supply and are subject to strict permitting processes and environmental regulations, which have the potential to delay production.
Demand is projected to increase significantly with minimal increased supply. By 2015, global production capacity is expected to increase by less than 15%. Emerging technologies exist but are unlikely to significantly increase demand pressure compared to current applications. Expanded uses could include magneto-mechanical sensors, actuators and acoustic and ultrasonic transducers, e.g. flat-panel speakers. Dysprosium has also been considered for use in diesel engine fuel injectors.
Found in relatively small amounts in new Western mines scheduled to begin production in the short and medium term. Mountain Pass will produce minimal amounts of dysprosium, and other new mines scheduled to begin production by 2015 will increase production by less than 15% over current levels
Great Western Minerals Group (CVE: GWG)
Avalon Rare Metals (TSE: AVL)
Molycorp - http://www.molycorp.com/ - Molycorp is a mining and marketing subsidiary of Chevron (NYSE: CVX) that produces dysprosium, in addition to molybdenum and other rare earth elements. Metall Rare Earth Limited - http://www.metall.com.cn/dy.htm American Elements - http://www.americanelements.com/dy.html - This rare earth supplier provides dysprosium metal, dysprosium oxide, dysprosium fluoride, dysprosium acetate, dysprosium bromide, dysprosium carbonate, dysprosium chloride, dysprosium nitrate, dysprosium oxalate, and dysprosium sulfate.
Tasman Metals (CVE: TSM) - Norra Karr heavy rare earth element project in Sweden
Alkane Resources (ASX: ALK)
Ucore Rare Metals (CVE: UCU) - Bokan-Dotson ridge rare earth elements property in Alaska
(wiki) - Dysprosium on Wikipedia
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2010-11-11 - (for) - Names you need to know in 2011: Alkane Resources, for really rare earths
2010-10-19 - (ph) - U of I physicist named Packard Fellow
2010-01-10 - (dm) - Inside China's secret unobtainium mine