Rare earth magnets based upon neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) are one of the most crucial components needed in high-performing and efficient products of European industries such as automotive, aerospace, e-mobility, wind power and consumer goods. However, less than 10% of current EU demand for NdFeB is met by EU production as mining of rare earths causes significant environmental damage and far more NdFeB magnets are needed than currently manufactured. Thanks to its vast amount of NdFeB resources, a single country in the world currently controls the market of rare earth materials and magnets; a quasi-monopoly which can result in high price volatility and supply risk. And demand is rising!
Check out this video by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) for an overview on the social, environmental and geopolitical challenges connected to Rare Earths!