Rare Earth Elements: Under Pressure, Global Industry Responds with New Solutions

Rare earth elements have transformed industry and consumer products. Smartphones and highly efficient jet engines, among other products, have become dependent upon hard to extract elements, almost all of which are exported from China.

This presents industry with very real problems. Not only are profitable reserves dwindling but supply is determined by the Chinese government, leaving many industries exposed.

However, alternative materials are being developed; recycling is becoming relevant; and means of not using rare elements are entering mainstream production. Despite the problems associated with rare earth elements, industry is undergoing substantial changes to solve the difficulties, heralding new and innovative ideas.

Key Questions Answered

- What progress has been made towards substitute materials?

- Can recycling have a major role to play in recovering rare elements?

- Can industry become less dependent upon rare earth elements?

- Will efforts to not use rare earth elements prove successful?

Scope

Higher demand is causing industry to find means of improving the security of supply, and several methods have emerged to help.

Now that is changing: industry is waking up to the benefits on offer to product disassembly. However, even successful efforts so far remain small in scale compared to the extent of consumption.

Big shifts in rare earth element use are emerging due to the development of substitute materials. Still in infancy, substitutes to metals such as indium are gradually creating possibilities that industry will be able to radically reduce consumption of these materials over the coming years.

Reasons to buy

- Explores the impact of rare earth elements on industry.

- Analyses overdependence of rare elements across major industries.

- Looks at the development of substitute materials.

- Assesses the impact of geopolitics on rare elements.

- Examines developments in recycling of rare earth elements.

Companies mentioned

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Overview 2

Catalyst 2

Summary 2

Rare Earth Elements in demand causing industry to seek improved security 6

Rare earth elements are ...

Table of Contents

Overview 2

Catalyst 2

Summary 2

Rare Earth Elements in demand causing industry to seek improved security 6

Rare earth elements are now critical to high-tech manufacturing, increasing dependence 6

Industry is seeking to improve security and partnerships with mining companies 7

Car industry racing to improve security of rare earth element supply as electric era dawns 8

Industry expands usage of rare earth elements, creating future problems 10

Demand in developing countries to raise competition for rare earth elements to new levels 10

Global air travel places greater strain on rhenium supplies as China catches up in jet engine manufacturing 11

Renewable energy continues to exhibit high dependency on rare earth elements 12

Recycling is a major development goal for users of rare earth elements 13

Apple is beginning to recycle and redesign, but progress has so far been limited 13

Recycling techniques for rare earth elements are improving at considerable speed 14

An end to shredding electronic devices is essential for recycling progress 15

Potential replacements to rare earth elements are emerging 16

Alternatives to touch-screens are being developed, placing pressure on traditional production methods 16

New electric motors free of rare earth elements are moving towards mainstream use 17

New materials offer promise in race to substitute rare earth elements 18

Geopolitics of rare earth elements is propelling substitute development 19

Chinese domination in ‘soft monopoly’ creates need for substitutes 19

Territorial disputes could become more common in wake of deposit discoveries 20

Conclusions 21

Role of rare earth elements in global industries is experiencing rapid developments 21

Appendix 22

Sources 22

Further Reading 22

Ask the analyst 23

About MarketLine 23

Disclaimer 23

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Top ten metal and mining industry values, 2016 ($bn) 19

List of Tables

Table 1: Top ten metal and mining industry values, 2016 ($bn) 19

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Number of smartphones in use in China (millions) 2011 to 2016 6

Figure 2: Global precious metal production 2010 to ...

List of Figures

Figure 1: Number of smartphones in use in China (millions) 2011 to 2016 6

Figure 2: Global precious metal production 2010 to 2016 (tons) 7

Figure 3: Global sales of hybrid and electric cars 2009 to 2016 (millions of vehicles) 8

Figure 4: Global number of smartphones 2012 to 2016 (millions) 11

Figure 5: Global renewable energy generation 2010 to 2016 (TWh) 12

Figure 6: Sales revenue of Apple iPhone ($m) 2010 to 2017 13

Figure 7: China, volume of waste (millions of tons) 2009 to 2016 14

Figure 8: Google, Project Soli concept 16

Figure 9: Honda Freed 17

Figure 10: Artist impression of graphene18

Figure 11: Disputed Kuril Islands/Northern Territories 20

    Pricing

Discounts available for multiple report purchases.

reportstore@marketline.com
+44 (0) 161 359 5817

Saved reports