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.
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.
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).