Rare Earth Elements: Our Green Energy Technology Future is in Its Mining
Vancouver, Kelowna, and Delta, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - September 8, 2022) - Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering mining and rare earth element stocks releases a special report on the rare earth elements market and the global demand for green energy technology including defense, electronics and batteries, featuring Defense Metals Corp. (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF).
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As per The Business Research Company's "Rare Earth Metals Global Market Report 2022", the rare earth metals market size is expected to grow from $5.72 billion in 2021 to $6.53 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1%. The global rare earth metal market share is expected to grow to $9.65 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 10.3%. According to the rare earth metals market analysis, an increase in the demand for electronics is expected to serve as a major driver of the market in the forecast period.
Defense Metals Corp. (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF) is a mineral exploration and development company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral deposits containing metals and elements commonly used in the electric power market, defense industry, national security sector and in the production of green energy technologies, such as, rare earths magnets used in wind turbines and in permanent magnet motors for electric vehicles.
Defense Metals recently announced that it has entered into a Mineral Exploration Agreement with the McLeod Lake Indian Band regarding its Wicheeda Rare Earth Element exploration project located 80 kilometres northeast of Prince George, Canada.
The Agreement addresses the immediate interests of the parties with respect to mineral exploration activities related to the project, and puts into place a framework for communication and cooperation going forward. In addition to providing McLeod Lake Indian Band with meaningful input into how these activities are to proceed, the Agreement provides current economic opportunities for the community and establishes a roadmap for potential future commercial involvement as the exploration activities advance.
"We are delighted to have the McLeod Lake Indian Band engaged with Defense Metals and the opportunities presented by the Wicheeda exploration project," said Craig Taylor, CEO of Defense. "We look forward to building a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with the McLeod Lake Indian Band through the implementation of this initial agreement."
"McLeod Lake Indian Band has always been open to working with companies that respect our rights, laws and interests in the protection of our lands, and that provide meaningful economic and commercial opportunities for our community," said Chief, Harley Chingee. "We are therefore pleased to have completed this initial agreement with Defense Metals, and look forward to its successful implementation."
The Wicheeda REE Project yielded a robust 2021 PEA that demonstrated an after-tax net present value (NPV@8%) of $517 million, and 18% IRR1. A unique advantage of the Wicheeda REE Project is the production of a saleable high-grade flotation-concentrate. The PEA contemplates a 1.8 Mtpa (million tonnes per year) mill throughput open pit mining operation with 1.75:1 (waste:mill feed) strip ratio over a 19 year mine (project) life producing and average of 25,423 tonnes REO annually. A Phase 1 initial pit strip ratio of 0.63:1 (waste:mill feed) would yield rapid access to higher grade surface mineralization in year 1 and payback of $440 million initial capital within 5 years.
Earlier in June, Texas Mineral Resources Corp. an exploration company currently targeting the heavy rare earths, technology metals and a variety of industrial minerals primarily through its 20% ownership interest in the Round Top Mountain project in Texas, reported that its joint venture partner USA Rare Earth Inc. announced its procurement and development of the first fully integrated US-based rare earth metal and sintered neo-magnet manufacturing facility, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
USA Rare Earth plans to invest more than $100 million in developing the manufacturing facility and will utilize its owned facilities and technology to convert rare earth oxides into metals, magnets and other specialty materials. These products have numerous applications, including electric vehicles, wind turbines, mobile electronic devices and military hardware. Initial production at the facility in Stillwater is expected to commence in 2023, with the project aiming to create more than 100 new jobs and generate over $6.6 million in wages once fully operational.
In 2020, USA Rare Earth acquired the only sintered neo-magnet manufacturing equipment in the western hemisphere. The company plans to have the necessary operating permits for all metal, flake, and magnet operations in 2022 with initial production to commence in 2023.
Texas Mineral Resources Corp.'s primary focus is to develop and commercialize, along with its joint venture operating partner USA Rare Earth LLC, the Round Top heavy-rare earth, technology metals, and industrial minerals project located in Hudspeth County, Texas, 85 miles southeast of El Paso, in which TMRC owns a 20% interest and USA Rare Earth owns an 80% interest. Additionally, the Company plans on developing other domestic mining projects in more traditional metals.
Lynas Rare Earths was established as an ethical and environmentally responsible producer of rare earth materials and is the world's only significant producer of separated rare earth materials outside of China.
The Lynas Mt. Weld mine in Western Australia is acknowledged as one of the world's premier rare earths deposits.
The Company just announced the signing of agreements with Japan Australia Rare Earths B.V.) which reconfirm our shared commitment to work together on future development opportunities.
JARE is a special purpose company established by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Sojitz Corporation. Lynas and JARE are parties to a long term senior loan facility, with a principal balance of US$141 million, an interest rate of 2.5% p.a. and a maturity date of 30 June 2030.
Under the agreements, JARE will provide a contribution of US$9 million to the exploration program at Mt Weld on the exploration target in the fresh carbonatite below the current Mt Weld life of mine design and ore reserve (announced on 1 March 2022). JARE's contribution will be made through a US$9 million subscription for ordinary shares in Lynas at a subscription price which will be the higher of the 5-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP) in the period immediately following this announcement and the last traded price immediately prior to this announcement.
Lynas' rare earth materials are used in many high tech and future facing applications, including electronics, wind turbines and hybrid & electric vehicles.
NioCorp Developments Ltd., another player in the sector announced this week that its demonstration-scale processing plant in Quebec, Canada is now processing ore samples from the Company's Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project. The demonstration plant project is intended to demonstrate that the Company can extract and separate rare earth elements from ore that NioCorp expects to mine from the Project site, subject to receipt of necessary project financing, and that its simplified process for potentially producing niobium, scandium, and titanium is technically and economically feasible.
NioCorp is developing a critical minerals project in Southeast Nebraska that will produce niobium, scandium, and titanium. The Company also is evaluating the potential to produce several rare earths from the Project.
Discussing their applications the company says, "Niobium is used to produce specialty alloys as well as High Strength, Low Alloy ("HSLA") steel, which is a lighter, stronger steel used in automotive, structural, and pipeline applications. Scandium is a specialty metal that can be combined with Aluminum to make alloys with increased strength and improved corrosion resistance. Scandium is also a critical component of advanced solid oxide fuel cells. Titanium is used in various lightweight alloys and is a key component of pigments used in paper, paint and plastics and is also used for aerospace applications, armor, and medical implants. Magnetic rare earths, such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium, and dysprosium are critical to the making of Neodymium-Iron-Boron ("NdFeB") magnets, which are used across a wide variety of defense and civilian applications."
American Resources Corporation, a next generation and socially responsible supplier of rare earth and critical elements, carbon and advanced carbon materials to the new infrastructure and electrification marketplace, reported at the end of August that it has sold its exclusive patent rights in carbon nanostructure and graphene technology to Novusterra Inc. for $16 million paid in all Class A common Novusterra shares.
From the news: Mark Jensen, Chief Executive Officer of American Resources Corporation commented, "We believe this transaction with Novusterra will enable us to unlock the value of these technologies for American Resources' shareholders as well as establish a platform and team for growing the business opportunity and maximizing the value of the technologies themselves. Graphene is one of the most exciting technologies in the market today given its wide array of applications in high-value products such as batteries and sustainable infrastructure materials."
With a combination of media hype and consumer and investor demand for a more green-friendly technologically dependent economic environment, the rare earth elements sector is poised for exponential growth.
As we see more rare earth mining development announcements, and as these companies begin to reach profitability, we are also seeing investor sentiment gain long-term resilience as this market transitions from a hypothetical state into reality in our modern lives. If we want technology to advance hand-in-hand with a green future, the rare earth elements sector will play an integral role.
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