The European Union (EU) faces significant challenges in meeting the ambitious goals outlined in its Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which aims to boost domestic production of critical minerals and reduce reliance on China. The CRMA targets that by 2030, the EU will mine 10% of its strategic mineral needs, process 40%, and meet 25% of demand through recycling.

Below are some key companies working on rare earths, with their production figures in metric tons per year. Norwegian companies are included as they are part of the European Economic Area.

Neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) are essential rare earths used in the production of permanent magnets.

MINING

Leading Edge Materials

  • Project: Norra Kärr, Sweden
  • Output: 5,340 tons of mixed rare earth oxides annually
  • Challenges: Environmental concerns; new application for a lease planned for early next year.

LKAB

  • Output: 2,000 tons of rare earth oxides annually, including 200 tons of NdPr oxides.
  • Plan: Extract rare earths from waste material starting between 2028 and 2030. Long-term development of the Per Geijer deposit, with a potential 10-15 year timeline.

Finnish Minerals Group

  • Project: Sokli, Finland
  • Potential: Supply about 10% of EU needs.
  • Timeline: Production targeted by 2035.

Quantum Minería

  • Project: Matamulas, Spain
  • Output: Up to 1,500 tons of NdPr oxides.
  • Status: Awaiting reversal of a regional government permit rejection; seeking additional exploration permits.

Rare Earths Norway

  • Project: Fen, Norway
  • Output: 2,000 tons of NdPr by 2031.

PROCESSING/MAGNETS

Solvay

  • Location: France
  • Current Output: 4,000 tons of rare earth oxides for auto catalysts and electronics.
  • Future Plans: Launch NdPr output by 2025 to meet 20%-30% of European demand.

Carester

  • Location: France
  • Future Output: Over 1,000 tons of rare earth oxides starting in 2026, mainly from recycled magnets.

Neo Performance Materials

  • Location: Estonia
  • Current Output: 3,000 tons of rare earth oxides, 25% of which are NdPr.
  • Expansion: Building a permanent magnet plant, ramping up to 5,000 tons capacity.

Vacuumschmelze (VAC)

  • Location: Germany
  • Expansion Plans: Seeking long-term commitments from automakers to expand in Europe.

GKN Powder Metallurgy

  • Location: Germany
  • Future Output: 4,000 tons of permanent magnets by 2030.

Mkango Resources

  • Location: Poland and Germany
  • Output: 2,000 tons of NdPr oxides and 50 tons of heavy rare earths by 2030. Developing a recycling plant aiming for 500 tons of magnets by 2030.

Orano

  • Project: Magnolia Project, France
  • Objective: Develop a process for recycling and manufacturing permanent magnets with 25% recycled content. Pilot line expected by end of 2024.

Magneti Ljubljana

  • Location: Slovenia
  • Current Output: 30 tons of permanent magnets.
  • Expansion Plans: Over 2,000 tons, sourcing raw materials from Phoenix Tailings.

MagREEsource

  • Location: France
  • Future Plans: Manufacture permanent magnets from recycled materials, ramping up to 1,000 tons by 2030.

Heraeus Remloy

  • Location: Germany
  • Current Output: 600 tons annually, with potential to double capacity.
  • Focus: Recycling electronic devices into rare earth magnetic alloy powders.

REEtec

  • Location: Norway
  • Future Output: 720 tons of NdPr starting in 2025.

Expanded Analysis:

Investment Opportunities and Market Impact

The EU’s push towards self-sufficiency in rare earths presents significant investment opportunities. Companies positioned to meet the CRMA targets are likely to see increased demand and potentially higher valuations. Investors can capitalize on these developments by targeting firms involved in the mining, processing, and recycling of rare earths.

Profit Potential

Investing in companies leading the rare earths industry could yield substantial returns, especially as the EU aims to reduce dependency on Chinese supplies. Firms that successfully navigate environmental and regulatory challenges will be well-positioned for growth.

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