Rare earth discovered in Norway, the consequences for markets

Raw materials

Posted by MoneyController on 12.06.2024

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A deposit of rare earths has been discovered in Norway: considering the European Union's objectives in this regard, this is good news.

The discovery of Rare Earths Norway

Perhaps it is still too early to speak of a turning point in the supply of crucial raw materials. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that the Swedish company Rare Earths Norway has discovered the largest deposit of rare earths in Europe. As Sam Meredith (CNBC) writes, it is possible that 8.8 million tonnes of rare earths could be extracted from this deposit, of which 1.5 million tonnes could be used in the production of electric cars and wind turbines.

A step forward for the Critical Raw Materials Act

This discovery is good news if one considers the strategic plan launched by the European Union, the European Critical Raw Materials Act: the EU's goal is to mine at least 10% of rare earths within the EU's borders, a goal to which - as representatives of Rare Earths Norway stated - the new discovery in Norway can hope to contribute.

The use of rare earths and the Chinese near-monopoly

Today, the issue of rare earths is important from two points of view. The first is that it is a crucial raw material in the energy transition, since it is used in technologies such as electric cars and renewable energy infrastructure. The second point of view is of a geopolitical nature: today China has a near monopoly on rare earths, as it holds 70% of the world's extraction and 90% of the processing.

New exploration for mining purposes planned in Norway

The discovery of the rare earth deposit in Norway follows the discovery of another small rare earth deposit in Sweden last year. Today, however, there is still no rare earth mining activity in the European Union. Rare Earths Norway's discovery took place in the Telemark region, about two hundred kilometres southwest of the capital Oslo. However, the mining company has indicated that it intends to continue exploration in the area.

Read also:

Why are rare earth prices rising so fast?

Rare earths, a critical resource: what are they and where are they found?

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