Toward a Global Rare Earth Industry Association

About us

Rare earths elements (REEs) are vital components in a vast number of domestic and industrial devices, and they are particularly crucial components in our sustainable technologies. Currently, there is no association representing the rare earth industry in Europe or world-wide. This proposal aims to build an intelligence network, that is, a permanent rare earth association based in Europe.

Rare earth elements are essential for the transition towards sustainability. However, rare earths, are critical metals and only one country, China, dominates the entire supply chain with its own domestic pitfalls such as environmental pollution, illegal mining, impacting international market. As highlighted by the European Rare Earths Competency Network, boosting supply security through enhanced cooperation among stakeholders should receive top priority. However, enhancing collaboration between the REE supply chain is a major challenge because unlike many other types of metals and elements, there is no REE industry association who gathers stakeholders together. The reason an association like this does not exist is not because it is not needed. On the contrary, the REE industry faces numerous obstacles such as inefficient recovery of rare earths from end users/end products, high environmental impact from production and processing, high volatility of the raw material prices and low competition from countries outside China. To combat these issues, GloREIA, concurrently gathers (1) key supply chain actors currently already on the global market and (2) share and create information which leads to an innovative REE industry of the future.

Objectives and Scope

In accordance with EU Critical Materials Report objectives to strengthen the European REE skills and knowledge base, and create a basis for informed decision making on REEs, GloREIA will first cultivate and develop strategies to gather information which covers the global value chain – from REE extraction and processing (and manufacturing) in China and Japan (manufacturing) to use and disposal in Europe.

GloREIAs second ambitous goal is to develop a more synergistic REE supply chain; aiming to reduce the deep fragmentation known in this sector and apply the knowledge gained from EU projects, research and members to generate an economy wide impact. The GloREIA consortium assembles the best European manufacturers and academic expertise on REEs, together with global associations such as the Chinese Society of Rare Earths (CSRE) and Association of China Rare Earth Industry, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and EIT RawMaterials so that research and policy activities in the area of Rare Earth Elements can be streamlined, integrated and mutually strengthened for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The main objectives of the GloREIA project are to

  • GATHER the key REE stakeholders, best practices and, most importantly, life cycle data to state a common vision for for developing a Circular Economy in the Rare Earth Industry
  • CREATE operational synergies, methods, based on best practices, reports and data from previous projects and evaluations
  • SHARE vision, ambitions and objectives through collaborative research efforts, data and publications.

By implementing this project, an EU-based institution of international key experts and stakeholders is created, and is related to the entire rare earth value chain.

This platform will complement and work together on unpacking the current complex maze of existing raw material related initiatives. One of the major resource risks for REE industry stakeholders is uncertainties with regards to general availability, supply and pricing of REE products outside of China, and the major supply

chain inefficiency is extremely low recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing rates. Thus, REIA members could benefit from the REIA academic society. The REIA academic society will, among other, provide research on product redesign for economically viable recovery processes, something evaluated of great value to the REIA members.

Work Packages

There are 4 work packages (WP) in the project. Each work package is broken down into a list of tasks, deliverables and milestones in the corresponding WP images.

This work package will coordinate and perform the typical project management tasks, which includes organizing the Consortium meetings, coordinating the reporting and managing the advisory board. All participants are required to adhere to the project management procedures.

Task1.1 Management and Reporting

Task 1.2 Management of the Consortium, the Advisory Board (KU Leuven, M1 – M18)

The management of the consortium and the Advisory Board will run for the duration of the project and consist of:
  • Organize Kick-off meeting, closing meeting (pilot event) and Management Committee meetings
  • Finalization of Advisory Board member composition and adoption of terms of reference (governance).
This work package will lay a solid foundation for the expert and stakeholder platform by introducing the topic, briefly summarising the sense of urgency and its current challenges. This work package will develop a criteria for prioritising actions to make sure that all objectives of REIA will be met and will identify which are most pressing areas of actions. This will lead to a profound understanding of the existing landscape and form the basis to identify relevant key stakeholders.

Task 2.1: Identification of data gaps to measure REE activities

Task 2.2: Calibration of international initiatives, stakeholders and available data

Based on the reports of WP2, this WP3 will gather stakeholders to present and discuss findings, collect feedback and updates. The objective is to get to know stakeholders‘ needs, expand the network and explore synergies with relevant projects, initiatives, actions, policies or strategies and the demonstrate the relevance of a REIA.

Task 3.1: Setting up and organising the Stakeholders Panel

Task 3.2: Consulting and creating ownership

Based on the findings of work package 2 and in parallel with the mobilization and structuring of stakeholders in work package 3, this work package sets the stage for launching the organisation by defining a Business Plan and its strategic positioning. With support of the GloREIA Advisory Board and by engaging the Stakeholder Network this work package will be developed in a highly participative process.

Task 4.1: Creating a Business Plan

Task 4.2: Defining a roadmap to Launch REIA

Task 4.3: Organising pilot event and non-profit launch

This activity has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation