LONDON, June 17 -- The Minor Metal Trade Association said on Tuesday it has set standards for contracts on rare earth metals such as lanthanum used to make rechargeable batteries for hybrid cars, because of growing interest.
The move reflects growing international trade in these metals, increasing consumption and political interest, the UK-based association said.
"The demand for rare earth elements is steadily growing as new applications utilising their unique properties are developed, especially in the areas of 'green' technology and
renewable energy," said Steven Munnoch, managing director at Avon Metals.
Munnoch leads the MMTA's contracts committee.
Rare earth elements and their compounds are used in a
wide range of products from permanent magnets and lowenergy light bulbs to rechargeable batteries in hybrid vehicles and catalysts in oil refineries.
Contract norms have been established for erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, praseodymium, praseodymium oxide, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium and yttrium.