The future of Rare Earth Materials
They are called rare earth elements and will be the driving force of the future economy. Metals like gallium, cobalt, and yttrium are true gold mines for the production of batteries and technological tools. China is the undisputed master of the rare earth market, accounting for 95% of the total production. According to the European Commission, the demand for rare earths in the Old Continent will increase by six times by 2030 and seven times by 2050. This analysis comes from Davide Chiantore, Head of Research at Abalone Solitaire.
Rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements with extraordinary properties, such as their magnetic and conductive properties. They are used in the production of high-tech devices, including electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines, and smartphones. With the increasingly widespread use of these products, the demand for rare earth elements is set to skyrocket.
In recent years, China has dominated the market for rare earth elements, thanks to its abundant and accessible resources. However, this monopoly has raised concerns about the security of supply for the rest of the world. In response, some countries are exploring new sources of rare earth elements, such as mining in the deep sea and recycling.
Europe is one of the regions most affected by China’s dominance of the rare earth market, as it relies heavily on imports to meet its needs. However, the European Union is taking steps to reduce this dependence and secure its supply of rare earth elements. This includes investing in research to identify alternative sources and recycling methods.
In conclusion, rare earth elements are set to become an essential resource in the global economy, and their importance will only increase in the coming years. While China currently dominates the market, other countries are making moves to secure their supply and reduce dependence on a single source. It’s clear that the future of technology and innovation will depend on the availability of these rare but essential elements.