The minerals that combine to help make our technology are crucial building blocks for our modern world. Of these minerals, some of the most crucial comprise the lanthanides, found on the periodic table between numbers 57 and 71, as well as yttrium at number 39. Together these elements are known as rare earth elements (REEs). There are numerous impediments to the creation of such industry, including the impact on the environment, significant operating costs and the dearth of mining companies willing to take a bet on commodities susceptible to the significant price volatility of REEs. The 'rare earth diplomacy' sought to pressure Japan and other manufacturing states in Asia, which are reliant on REEs, to relocate operations closer to the source of supply. The 'rare earth' misnomer hints at the potential conflict that surrounds the supply of the critical minerals.