Indispensable for production of cell phones, wind turbines and electric vehicles, rare earth elements (REEs) have rocketed in importance as demand for electronics and EVs continue to surge. In addition, rare earths play an essential role in national security and commercial applications. For cell phones to vibrate or EV motors to provide power, they need powerful magnets, and REEs are critical to the manufacture of these powerful permanent magnets.
However, serious supply chain concerns have arisen with REEs, because China has a stranglehold on global supply. This is of particular concern due to the need for REEs by the military. The typical F-35 fighter contains nearly 1,000 pounds of rare earths. The United States used to be a large producer of REEs, but Chinese REE producers gradually drove U.S. mines out of business; China now controls more than 80% of world production and dominates nearly every stage of the global REE supply chain. Reliance on China jeopardizes U.S. national security, and growing demand has EV makers on edge.
Pensana plc (LON:PRE) explores and mines neodymium, praseodymium, and rare earth minerals. The company is looking to establish the world’s first fully sustainable magnet metal rare earth oxide producer at the Saltend Chemicals Park in the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership Yorkshire, UK.