The rare earth metals have their own advantages and specific uses. These metals are needed then to be able to have some products be manufactured. The rare earth metals have a low demand before the year of 1965 was reached. The mining areas are located in Brazil and India. These are the places that have the most produced but it changed to South Africa at the time of the 1950s. They have the deposits of monazites. Also in that time, there is the mine that is producing the rare earth oxides in little amount and that is the mine located in California, the Mountain Pass Mine.
With that small demand, there are not much who join into mining the rare earth metals because it is not applicable when it comes to the financial side. But the demand has been increased when they have invented the television in the colored version. The needed material so that colored television could be produced is the europium. The Mountain Pass Mine then have started to mine also and produced the needed metal. This was the time the mine have to achieve a good status as it became the largest of the producer of rare earth. It makes the United States the leading one in production.
But the time did not last forever as there is a competitor who entered the rare earth market. They have made the prices lower and that makes other mines who produce same metals decide to close and stop operation as they cannot already maintain their operation. The country of China has the hold of the market of rare earth metal. They are the largest producer but they are also the largest consumer. You can imagine the factories that exist in China that use the rare earth metals.