First consortium to merge results of Rare Earth Elements research with wider society

Rare Earth Elements (REE) are essential for the transition towards sustainability. However, rare earth elements, 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 the international market.

Boosting supply security through enhanced cooperation among European end-users and other stakeholders should receive top priority.

European Rare Earths Competency Network (ERECON)

There are industry associations for nearly all metals, but Rare Earth metals (which are among the most contentious) have not found an association to promulgate them into a sustainable industry.

To fill this gap, representatives from around 40 mining, separation companies, metal, magnet manufacturers, automotive suppliers, NGOs, universities and EU institutions specialised in Rare Earth Elements gathered in Brussels on 29 March, 2018 to initiate and kick off innovation project GloREIA.

GloREIA’s objectives and impact

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 developing a sustainable Rare Earth Industry and Circular Economy.

CREATE operational synergies, methods, based on best practices, reports and data from previous projects and evaluations.  The project’s team will also set up and manage a database of life cycle inventories with and for industry members and scientists in the REE field.

SHARE & TRANSFER sustainability objectives through collaborative research efforts, data and publications.

GloREIA’s ambitious goal is to develop a more synergistic REE supply chain; aiming to reduce the deep fragmentation known in this sector. 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, Critical Material Institute (CMI) 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 direct impacts of the association will include the collective benefit of working towards more cooperation; thus, towards a conjoined and coherent approach to raw materials policies and investments. Impacts for the individual stakeholders will be increased knowledge and understanding of the issues at hand, better access to international networks including those of other stakeholder groups and other regions.

Innovation project and partnership

This project has received funding from EIT RawMaterials and is coordinated by KU Leuven and supported by Leiden University, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Kolektor Magnet Technology GmbH, NEO Performance Materials and Magneti Ljubljana as consortium partners. Lynas Corporation Limited, Rainbow Rare Earths Limited joined as external partners.

More information

Nabeel Mancheri, Project Manager, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University


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