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A call for action to extract REE’s in Europe

A hand full of a powdery substance

The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) has released its Action Plan to secure access to Rare Earths for European industry. It concludes that 95% of electric vehicles use rare earths in traction motors and that Europe does not have any rare earth extraction.

Entitled Rare Earth Magnets and Motors: A European Call for Action, the report outlines current and projected European demand for Rare Earth Elements and steps which should be taken to secure their supply.

Regional raw material sourcing is essential

“As a member of the Raw Materials Alliance, LKAB supports the focus on the entire value chain. The electrical vehicle industry is growing fast. Permanent magnets containing REE’s, are an integral part of the electrical motor and drive train. The report stresses that not having control of the upstream part, the REE production, brings a long-term risk to lose control of the downstream value chain we today take for granted, such as the drivetrain[GVB1]  development and production. The secure sourcing of regional raw materials is therefore essential,” says David Högnelid, Chief Strategy Officer, Business Area Special Products, LKAB.

The demand for high energy density rare earth permanent magnets is growing exponentially. They are vital for applications like wind power, electric mobility, and communications technology, making their supply crucial to the European Union’s stated ambition to transition to a green, digital economy. While the EU is a world leader in manufacturing electric motors, it is almost entirely import-dependent on rare earth permanent magnets, more than 90 % of which are produced in China.

Setting the new green standard for REE production

“In addition, the report highlights the environmental aspects of production. Here LKAB has the potential to set the new green standard for REE production, with the ReeMAP-project that aims to extract rare earth minerals from mine waste as a circular product,” says David Högnelid.

Read the full report Rare Earth Magnets and Motors: A European Call for Action.

European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA)

The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), which the European Commission announced in September 2020 as part of an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, brings together over 500 partners, including industry, governmental organisations, NGOs, trades unions and universities.

EIT RawMaterials

EIT RawMaterials provides a collaborative environment for disruptive and breakthrough innovations by connecting business with academia, research, and investment. It also invests in future generation of innovators for the raw materials sector through initiatives ranging from the education of school students to higher qualifications for industry professionals.