The tracking index contains companies primarily engaged in a variety of activities that are related to the producing, refining and recycling of rare earth and strategic metals and minerals, according to the fund’s prospectus.

“Rare earth/strategic metals are industrial metals that are typically mined as by-products in operations focused on precious metals and base metals. Compared to base metals, they have more specialized uses and are often more difficult to extract,” according to Van Eck.

“Strategic metals are used in a variety of technologies including jet engines, hybrid cars, steel alloys, wind turbines, flat screen televisions and cellular phones,” the ETF manager says. “Rare earth metals, a subset of strategic metals, are a collection of 17 chemical elements that are essential in many of today’s most advanced technologies, with particular applications in electronics.”

Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF