Critical raw materials including lithium and rare earths are likely to soon be more important than oil and gas, as Europe aims for a zero-carbon future.
In Estonia, the small coastal town of Sillamäe in Estonia is home to the only commercial rare earth separation facility in the EU – Silmet, owned by Canadian group Neo Performance Materials. But what are rare earths and why are they integral to so many technologies?
Vasileios Tsianos, Director of Corporate Development, Neo Performance Materials explains: “Rare earths are the critical raw materials needed for the EU’s transition to green technologies.
“Case in point neodymium and praseodymium, two rare earth elements that we process at Silmet and then we will be using to make sintered rare earth permanent magnets that are energy saving and used in the drive train motors of electric vehicles, saving in some cases over 20% of the battery size needed for electric …