In this short series, the Investor Insight team takes a look at some of the critical elements of the periodic table, how they affect our lives today and into tomorrow and what our clients are doing in this exciting space.
The most important use for neodymium and praseodymium is as a variety of alloys, including those to make very strong permanent magnets—which has made it possible to miniaturise many electronic devices, and critically important for electric engines.
Neodymium and praseodymium, often referred to collectively as NdPr, are also components of didymium glass, a special glass for goggles used during glass blowing and welding because combined they filter out the yellow light and infrared (heat) radiation.
As electric vehicles and decarbonisation efforts continue to expand, the demand for NdPr is expected to grow 300% by 2030, according to UBS.
Although China has held historic supply dominance of rare earths, representing around 90% of the global supply, structural changes due to environmental and supply side reforms that will reduce the overall volumes and availability of spot material in the market have opened up the opportunity for companies tapping into Australia’s far-from-rare rare earths resources to enter the market.
Lynas Corp has long been the flagbearer – and only rare earths producer – listed on the ASX but the next generation is getting their collective skates on.
One of the companies maximising this opportunity is Hasting Technology Metals, which is preparing for a transformational 2022 as development of its world-scale Yangibana project in WA’s Gascoyne region gets underway in earnest.
Containing some of the highest NdPr:TREO ratios in the world – of up to 52%, or more than three times the world average – Yangibana is already covered with offtake deals with blue-chip customers predominantly from Germany while Hastings is finalising the debt component of the capital investment required.