Published On: October 10th, 2022
The total global demand for rare earth oxides is expected to increase from 208,250 metric tons in 2019 to approximately 304,678 metric tons by 2025. As of today, China is the world’s largest producer of rare earth elements, accounting for half of the total global rare earth mine production.
However, given the dominance and concern for restrictions on the global supply of rare earth, superpowers like the U.S. want to diversify the sources and suppliers of critical metals outside China. Moreover, the Australian Government announced AUD 500 million ($360 million) in funding for rare earth stocks earlier this year to boost critical minerals’ output and to diversify supply for its allies.
It is an advancement in the Australian rare earth market and expands opportunities for rare earth companies.
What are Rare Earth Elements?
The Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are 17 elements on the periodic table that include Fifteen lanthanides (La–Lu): Lanthanum (La), Cerium (Ce), Praseodymium (Pr), Neodymium (Nd), Promethium (Pm), Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Holmium (Ho), Erbium (Er), Thulium (Tm), Ytterbium (Yb), Lutetium (Lu), one Scandium (Sc), and one Yttrium (Y).
Rare earth elements, also known as Rare Earth Oxides (REOs), are soft, malleable, and react at elevated temperatures or when divided. Some REEs have unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrical properties, which is why they are used in various applications.
Today, REEs are used in high-tech devices, such as smartphones, digital cameras, computer hard disks and monitors, fluorescent and LED lights, flat-screen televisions, etc. Larger quantities of REEs are used in clean or renewable energy technologies like photovoltaic (PV) cells, Electric Vehicles (EV), and defence technologies.
Australia, being already the fourth-largest producer of rare earth, now has the possibility of scaling up the industry. Investors can spot more opportunities and expect higher-than-expected positive outcomes from rare earth stocks (metal) in Australia.
Also Read: Top 6 Spots for Lithium Mining in Australia
Top 3 Australian Rare Earth Stocks
Here are the top 3 ASX-listed rare earth stocks in Australia that investors need to consider.
1. Lynas Rare Earths Ltd
Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) is one of the largest rare earth processors outside China.
The company has its Lynas Mt Weld mine in Western Australia, considered one of the world’s premier rare earth deposits. Lynas operates the world’s largest single rare earth processing plant in Malaysia, exporting high-quality separated rare earth materials to manufacturing markets in Asia, Europe, and the United States. The company is building its new Rare Earth Processing Facility in Kalgoorlie as a foundation project for the Lynas 2025 growth vision.
Lynas has a market capitalisation of $7,041,466,462 and has issued 905,072,810 shares. The company was awarded $120m by the U.S. Department of Defence for the construction of a U.S. commercial Heavy Rare Earth facility located within an existing industrial area on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
2. Iluka Resources
Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU) is an Australian mineral sands company with expertise in exploration, development, mining, processing, marketing, and rehabilitation.
The company is currently building Australia’s first fully integrated rare earth refinery potential enough to produce both light and heavy rare earth oxides. The company’s rare earth refinery in Australia will provide an independent supply of rare earth oxides, which is currently in demand for electrification and decarbonisation.
3. Arafura Resources
Arafura Resources (ASX: ARU) is an Australian company producing rare earth products. The company is one of Australia’s rare earth metal stocks with promising project portfolios.
The company’s flagship project is the Nolans Project in Australia’s Northern Territory, underpinned by low-risk Mineral Resources potential enough to supply Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr).
Arafura Resources has a market capitalisation of $560,485,759 and has issued 1,724,571,565 shares. The company currently seeks to develop the Nolans project that will cover a significant proportion of global demand for the high-performance Sintered Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) permanent magnet market.
Australia has the world’s most reliable and sustainable resource industry, providing critical minerals and rare earth elements. With the necessary support from the Government and private investors, the country will soon become a global critical minerals powerhouse.
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