Summary of Rare

The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth

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Rare book summary
Technology depends on rare metals, but finding and managing them has become a huge challenge.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


The majority of high-tech products contain circuits and chips made of rare earth metals. Most people can’t name these rare metals, but modern technology depends upon them. Science writer Keith Veronese’s informative book about the uses of exotic metals – including their political, military, geological and economic impact – covers a fascinating aspect of the future of technology. Veronese includes many little-known facts about geology, topography and rare metals, including their uses as poison and medication. Despite his sometimes distracting, sometimes intriguing, topical meanderings, getAbstract recommends this unusual report to amateur geologists, high-tech industry strategists, investors, entrepreneurs and science junkies.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How exotic metals became essential to modern technology;
  • How chemistry, economics and politics drive the supply and demand of rare metals; and
  • What the toxic impact of rare-metals refining and recovery means for the future.


Scarce Metals
Humans have used metal in some form for more than 6,000 years. Some metals are less common than others, but they all share certain traits. Metals are efficient conductors of electrons, so they are good conduits for electricity and heat. Metals are easy to shape and, except...
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About the Author

Keith Veronese writes for Gawker Media, particularly for its science website, He also wrote Plugged In: Comics Professionals Working in the Video Games Industry.

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