Critical Rare Earth Elements are those hidden ingredients that provide the unique properties necessary to miniaturize electronics and develop green energy technology.

Critical Rare Earth Elements

Our Elements

The Port Hope Simpson Critical Rare Earth Element District of SE Labrador, including Search Minerals’ FOXTROT Deposit and its more recent discoveries at Deepwater Fox and Fox Meadow, all have relatively high quantities of those elements considered to be Critical Rare Earth Elements . More specifically, the FOXTROT resource contains economic quantities of Neodymium (Nd) Dysprosium (Dy), Praseodymium (Pr), and Terbium (Tb), all elements that are projected to remain in supply deficit.

Transformational Elements

Rare Earth Elements (REE) in general are considered transformational because in small quantities they can have a huge impact on the properties of the other materials they are blended with. For example, REE:

• radically improve the strength, heat resistance and heat dissipation capabilities of metals and glass

• can make magnets 40 times stronger

• are used in glass to filter out harmful light frequencies

• impact the color brightness of TV/computer monitors

• are used in catalytic converters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

These remarkable properties underpin industry’s ability to miniaturize electronics and make certain REE essential to development of permanent magnets and a variety of other components used in renewable energy, green technology automobiles, defence systems, medical devices (such as MRI) and a wide range of consumer electronics.

Critical Rare Earth Elements (CREE)

Identified as Neodymium (Nd), Europium (Eu), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy) and Yttrium (Y), this valuable subset of the complete series of seventeen (17) rare earth elements is considered critical due to high demand and/or constrained domestic supply. In a 2011 U.S. Geological Survey study, criticality was framed in two dimensions: importance to clean energy and supply risk. More specifically it referenced their use in permanent magnets found in wind turbines and electric vehicles and in phosphors used in energy-efficient

Source: United States Geological Survey

Strategic Supply

China produces 85- 90% of the world’s REEs. China’s economic development strategy has logically leveraged its REE market dominance by offering price incentives to companies that relocate their downstream manufacturing to China. As a result, Chinese industry currently consumes 65-70% of the world's REEs and that percentage is growing. This reality and the environmental challenges associated with REE mining in China, had raised some international concern regarding China’s market dominance. This concern was brought to new levels in 2010 when a boundary dispute between Japan and China resulted in the slowing of REE exports to Japanese industry which skyrocketed prices internationally. While prices have fallen back to more normal levels, because of growing market demand and their importance in military and green economy applications, there remains a carry-over concern regarding strategic supply.

Market Insights

For Search Minerals, the most important market impacting the demand for our elements is the permanent magnet market, more specifically NdFeB magnets also now as neodymium magnets. Because these magnets are essential components in such things as next generation wind turbines, electric automobiles, and a wide variety of industrial and consumer electronics they are now fueling much of the greening of every economy.

According to Industrial Minerals Company of Australia Pty Ltd (IMCOA) and the Curtin Graduate School of Business (CGSB) at Curtin University, Western Australia, magnet REE are 33% by volume and 80% by value in an overall REE market estimated to be worth between US$ 2-3B. They also state that the demand for the elements used in these magnets (Nd, Pr and Dy), is the primary driver of the imbalance between market supply and demand.

In their August 2016 report examining the permanent magnet market, Grandview Research noted that in a magnet market estimated to be worth US$13B in 2015, NdFeB magnets comprises 60% of that market. They also noted that looking at the drivers in key segments of the magnet market including: automotive, electronics, medical, aerospace, energy, and industrial, they project compounded annual growth rates (CAGR’s) greater than 9%.

A report released by Roskill Information Services in November 2016, stated “NdFeB permanent magnets are set to grow strongly with increasing uptake of electric vehicles. Rare earth producers will focus on maximising Nd yields but, even so, Nd prices will rise sharply as supply struggles to keep up with demand.”

The dynamic of supply and demand for critical rare earth elements are complex and forecasts offer a diversity of opinion on market drivers, growth and prices. Search Minerals has every reason to be optimistic about the future. What we can control are those variables that will enable us to become a strategic, low cost, environmentally responsible long-term supplier of critical rare earth elements . . . and that is our business focus.