As the world seeks solutions to address the impacts of a changing climate, our transition to clean technology and renewable energy is critical.
Demand for energy solutions – electric vehicles, wind turbines and domestic appliances as part of the global transition towards cleaner energy sources – is increasing the demand for rare earths elements.
What are rare earth elements?
Rare earth elements are a group of 17 lanthanide elements essential to the production of many technologies including renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and electric vehicles, consumer electronics like mobile phones; as well as medical tools and aircraft engines.
Electric vehicles 20-39% per annum
Consumer electronics 10-20% per annum
Wind turbines 10-12% per annum
Overall rare earth market growth in next 10 years – 10% per annum
Strategically important, critical minerals
Essential to the production of clean energy technology, the already substantial market for rare earth elements is growing rapidly. Rare earth elements essential to the production of high-strength permanent magnets are in the highest demand.
Constituting 30% of the market by volume and >90% by value, rare earth permanent magnets (REPMs) are so powerful they are the heart of modern efficient motors that drive electric vehicles, wind turbines and appliances, reducing power consumption and thereby reducing GHG emissions. Rare earth elements have many other high tech applications, including in defence, medicine, aerospace, agriculture, catalysis and chemical industries. In Japan they are often referred to as the seeds of high technology.
AREL’s rare earths
AREL aim to separate and market the valuable clay-hosted rare earth elements discovered in South Australia and western Victoria to help secure a diverse and sustainable global supply of materials critical to our future.
Exploration of the Koppamurra region has shown it contains significant quantities of the rare earth elements:
Light Rare Earth Elements
Heavy Rare Earth Elements
Not only does demand for these four elements collectively make up the majority of global demand today; future demand is expected to grow faster than demand for all other rare earth elements, challenging the ability of the supply-side to keep up. Accordingly, currently our main focus is the production of these rare earths in a form that is readily marketable those end users seeking new independent long term supplies that can be integrated into complex supply chains.
Today, China produces over 90% of the global demand for REPMs which is considered unhealthy, similar to OPEC’s domination of the oil industry. Due to China’s large rare earth resources and advanced manufacturing technologies the country is likely to remain at the forefront of the industry. In the interests of sustainability the major end users, such as the automotive industry, are seeking more diversity of supply throughout their supply chains. AREL’s aim is to be a trusted participant in the new supply chains under consideration.
PRASEODYMIUM (Pr) & NEODYMIUM (Nd)
Praseodymium and Neodymium are the light rare earth elements, that are used to produce high-strength permanent magnets. They are commonly referred to as neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets.
The unique strength, light weight and reliability of these magnets are the key to their application in hybrids, electric vehicles and wind turbines
TERBIUM (Tb) & DYSPROSIUM (Dy)
Terbium and Dysprosium are the heavy rare earth elements (so-called due to their high molecular weight), that are added to Neodymium and Praseodymium to produce REPMs that retain their magnetic properties at elevated temperature.
Exploration of the Koppamurra region has shown it contains significant quantities of the rare earth elements: Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium and Terbium essential to the production of (REPMs).