Rare Earth Elements
key components for the green energy transition
Rare Earths are not so rare but are Critical Raw Materials !
Rare Earths belong to a group of 17 elements (Nd, Pr, Dy, La, Ce, etc…) and are considered as strategic materials...
In particular, Nd and Dy, which enter in the composition of magnets are listed as Critical Raw Materials for both technical and geopolitical reasons. Without any European production of rare earths, the EU Green energy transition mainly depends on China's dominance in mining and manufacturing.
Currently, in primary mines, 200 tons of waste and effluents are produced to extract 1 ton
of Rare Earths.
Rare Earth mining has high environmental impact: soils and waters are contaminated with acids and radioactive effluents, local populations are exposed to a deteriorated environment.
Rare Earth Elements are key components for many applications
Despite, Rare Earth Elements are used in a large range of applications including lighting, glass & ceramics industries, the number one application is for permanent magnets.
For the next decade to come, Rare Earth demand for magnets will increase at an annual growth rate of 9%.
Whereas less than 1% of Rare Earth Elements are currently recycled, it's high time to secure access to sustainable materials sources to enable the green energy transition.