Where are the rare earth elements for future transportation needs?
Ronald W Thiessen, President & CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals says “a challenge looms on the horizon, threatening the future of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as many other nascent alternative energy technologies: an exploding market could lead to a critical worldwide shortage of rare earth elements (REEs), raw materials required for manufacturing. Lanthanum and neodymium, both REEs, are essential components in Lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries -the key technology enablers in the development of these vehicles. Cars also require some 2 kg of neodymium - another REE with production currently a mere 17,000 t/y. Even though hybrids and clean energy technologies consume a small fraction of worldwide output of these metals, we are already seeing strains on global supplies. A price hike caused by supply shortage could lead to prohibitive cost increases for hybrid purchasers. (more…)
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