Value of REEs

How rare are Rare Earth Elements?

Despite their name, Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are found as commonly as many other metals. The challenge lies in extracting and concentrating them in a way that makes economic sense. With a patented metallurgy process, Search Minerals is set to deliver production at a low cost, yielding higher value for our investors and offtake partners.

Another challenge is that REEs often occur alongside radioactive materials, leading to additional safety costs and potential environmental impacts. Search’s mine sites are low in radioactive content, meaning we can avoid these risks and maintain low-cost production.

What determines Rare Earth Elements’ value?

Like any commodity, the value of REEs fluctuates depending on how much demand there is for industrial uses and how much supply exists to meet that demand. At present, demand is growing due to several trends including government-led initiatives, while supply is not expanding fast enough to meet this demand.

By 2030, there is expected to be an annual deficit of 16,000 tonnes of Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr). Search expects to produce 1,600 tonnes of these elements annually, helping to reduce the deficit and power the future economy.

These trends converge to create a positive outlook for REE value growth. According to one market assessment from Adamas Intelligence:

"The outlook for rare earth demand from 2020 through 2022, and beyond, is exceptionally promising. This period reveals that for many of today's most publicized rare earth end uses, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, and many others, the rate of annual demand growth is poised to rapidly accelerate from 2020 through 2025, steering global rare earth demand to unfathomable heights."

The growing deficit in REEs is already contributing to rising prices. For example, the price of Neodymium has more than quadrupled over the past year.

Which types of Rare Earth Elements are the most valuable?

The most valuable REEs are those that can be used to make powerful permanent magnets. These magnets have widespread use in green technology, electronics, and medical devices, and demand for them is increasing every year. As shown in the diagram below, magnetic REEs represent a minority of the overall REE group, but over 80% of the value.

Search Minerals’ mine sites feature strong profiles of Neodymium, Praseodymium, and Dysprosium, three of the main REEs used in permanent magnets. Rare earth magnets represent about 60% of the $13 billion magnet industry (link to Grandview research page), and with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 9%, this market will continue to expand at a rapid rate. With our strong REE profile and focus on delivering value and environmental sustainability, Search will be well-positioned to support this market long into the future.

Next: learn more about trends in the REE market