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Παρασκευή, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

Europe's REE: the EURARE project is completed (2013–2017).

 REE resources, deposits and occurrences in Europe recognised by the EURARE project. Resources are those deposits that have been explored in enough detail to have publicly available resource estimates. ©NERC.
Detailed mineralogy is essential for efficient neneficiation, kakortokite from llimaussaq, Greenland, ©NERC.
The rare earth elements (REE) are important constituents of a range of modern technologies, including electric and conventional vehicles, communication technologies, and production and storage of renewable energy. The growing demand for REE is, at the time of writing, driven particularly by their use in neodymium-iron-boron magnets, which are extensively used in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Since the 1990s, China has dominated global REE production, and continues to produce approximately 95% of the world’s REE (EC, 2017). Worldwide interest in the rare earths as a commodity intensified in 2010, when China introduced export quotas. This resulted in significant increases in REE prices, and led to an exploration boom. REE prices fell again from 2012, but the importance of an improved understanding of the REE supply chain had been demonstrated, paving the way for the development of research projects such as EURARE.
  EURARE was a project funded by the European Commission for the 'Development of a sustainable exploitation scheme for Europe's Rare Earth ore deposits'. The main goal of the EURARE project was to set the basis for the development of a European REE industry that will safeguard the uninterrupted supply of REE raw materials and products crucial for the EU economy industrial sectors, such as automotive, electronics, machinery and chemicals, in a sustainable, economically viable and environmentally friendly way.
The EURARE project included work packages on geological resources, mining and beneficiation, extraction and separation of the REE, and regulation. It began on the 1st of January 2013, and ran for five years . Its main goal was to set the basis for the development of a sustainable European REE industry. It aimed to safeguard the uninterrupted supply of REE raw materials and products crucial for sectors of the EU economy (including automotive, electronics, machinery and chemicals) in a sustainable, economically viable and environmentally-friendly way.
Second European Rare Earth Resources Conference in Santorini, Greece.

The EURARE project was co-funded by the European Commission (EC) under the 2012 Cooperation Work Programme for Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies and specifically the raw materials topic NMP.2012.4.1-1 ‘New environmentally friendly approaches in minerals processing’. The project brought together researchers from geological surveys, academia, consultancies and industry to deliver a holistic approach to the European rare earth supply chain.

The attached brochure summarises the different aspects of the REE supply chain, with a focus on Europe and the research carried out within the EURARE project.  It also describes the progress that the EURARE project has made in both improving the understanding of these deposits and processing the ores. The European value chain is also summarised, including uses and trade of the REE, and further reading suggestions are included.