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JUST MEANS reports that 386 Honda hybrid vehicles damaged beyond repair in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan prompted the vehicle manufacturer to institute a new process at Japan Metals & Chemicals (JMC) of extracting oxides containing rare earth metals from used nickel-metal hydride batteries. The new process makes it possible to extract more than 80% of the rare earth metals which include neodymium, cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium at 99% purity, similar to mined rare earths. Honda is not stopping at the damaged vehicles, but plans to commercialize the process: Starting early March, the extracted rare earth metals are being supplied from JMC to a battery