China produces almost all of the world’s rare earth minerals. The aptly-named rare earth minerals are extremely difficult to find in batches that are economically feasible to mine. Once taken up from the ground, they’re used in such high-tech gear as fiber optic cables and laser guidance systems. These minerals are also used to develop various components of your smart phone.
C/net has created the below infographic that shows how these rare earth material are being used to develop the screens to glass to phone circuits of your phone. They have also produced a detailed report on the mines where the smartphones are made.
Some metals used to make smartphones and other electronic gadgets are sourced from war-torn areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This conflict mineral trade has been raised as an issue to many IT giants by various human rights organizations.
The Periodic Table of iPhones.