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'Simply implausible' for rare earths production to keep up, warns Adamas

Kitco News

The current slow pace of rare earth development risks a huge mis-match in supply and forecast demand, wrote Adamas Research in a report released Monday.

Adamas Intelligence forecasts that the value of global magnet rare earth oxide consumption will rise five-fold by 2030, from USD $2.98 billion this year to USD $15.65 billion at the end of the decade.

"If the global industry continues to operate myopically – preparing, anticipating and investing only for a three to five-year outlook – the rate of demand growth for magnet rare earths will soon reach ‘escape velocity’; a point at which annual demand growth becomes so great (i.e. >6,000 tonnes per annum) that it is simply implausible for the already-lagging supply-side to catch up and keep up," writes the reports authors.

The research firm said "...a flood of investment is imminently needed to develop new sources of supply and downstream value chains to convert that supply into metals, alloys, magnets and other materials used by high-tech industries globally."

Adamas forecasts an under-supply of neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium oxide from 2022 onward. Global shortages of NdFeB alloy and powder will amount to 48,000 tonnes annually by 2030 – roughly the amount needed for some 25 to 30 million electric vehicle traction motors.

Also neodymium, praseodymium and didymium oxide demand will collectively rise to 16,000 tonnes in 2030, an amount equal to roughly three-times Lynas Corporation’s annual output, or three-times MP Materials’ annual output, of neodymium and praseodymium oxide (or oxide equivalents).

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