Life cycle inventory for average rare earth oxide;Rare Earth Elements (REE);Seven Southern Provinces (in-situ leaching);Rare Earth Elements (REE) containing ore

Unit processes/Materials production/Non-energetic raw materials
CN - China
Reference year: 2012 - 2014

The rare earth oxides (REOs) described in this dataset are intended for applications where high purity is critical. These may include the production of high-strength magnets, specialized alloys, ceramics, electronics, and glass polishing compounds. Since the dataset specifies a location in the 'Seven Southern Provinces' and mentions 'in-situ leaching,' it suggests the REOs are sourced using this environmentally-sensitive extraction method, characteristic of the region's mining capabilities. Users of this LCA dataset should follow the attributional approach to model the environmental impact of REO production accurately, keeping the mid-point impact categories in mind. When applying scenario sensitivity analysis, a contributional approach should be considered. The CML2002 method must be utilized for assessing life cycle environmental impacts. It's important to note that the dataset represents an average across multiple production chains within the 'Seven Southern Provinces,' thus individuals results for specific mines or methods may vary. Inclusion of recycling in the model should be considered cautiously, based on the latest practices and expert advice in REO recycling. For comprehensive results, users are advised to refer to detailed processes and LCI data available in supporting information S1 on the Web and to factor in the metal refining phase which is provided separately.


The LCA model was constructed using eBalance Professional 4.7 (IT & Knowledge for Environment, Sichuan, China). We chose to construct an attributional model because it aligned more with the aims of our research, although we adopted a contributional approach to the scenarios sensitivity analysis. Life cycle environmental impacts were assessed using the CML2002 method (CML 2015). Eleven mid-point impact categories were selected based on suggested LCA practice (Hauschild et al. 2013) and previously identified environmental harms in the industry.

Process type
LCI modeling approach
Multifunctional modeling
Aggregation type
Data provider
Review status
Tiangong LCI Data Working Group