Neodymium

Neodymium's powerful magnetic attributes are vital for strategic sustainable technological advancements

Neodymium (Nd)

Neodymium is a rare earth element (REE) mostly found in monazite and bastnaesite ores. Neodymium is a key component for the strongest permanent magnets, notably the neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnet. This is indispensable for green energy applications, as NdFeB magnets are used in the motors of wind turbines and many electronic products.

The main reserves of neodymium are in China, which is by far the world's largest producer. Demand for neodymium is expected to grow by as much as 300 percent in the next decade – this, along with strategic concerns over China’s supply chain dominance, will drive the development of new extraction projects. Current neodymium operations have a low exposure to ESG risks. This low perceived exposure is likely to be the result of neodymium’s obscurity and due to REEs often being treated collectively in media and NGO reporting. However, scrutiny over the environmental impacts of REE mining in China is likely to increase.

Main Uses and Attributes

Neodymium is a soft, silverly-white, ductile, sightly malleable and reactive material with a fast oxidation rate when exposed to air and moisture. It has moderate toxicity and is highly combustible. Neodymium has very strong electropositive properties.

Its principal industrial applications are in permanent magnets, particularly when mixed with alloys, such as iron and boron – creating one of the strongest magnets on earth (NdFeB). These permanent magnets are widely used in electric motors and generators, with applications in industries, such as renewable energies (wind turbines, electric generators), e-mobility (electric/hybrid cars, batteries) and electronics (computer, hard discs, head/earphones, microphones). Additionally, due to its varied and unique properties, neodymium has several applications in the ceramic and glass industries. It is used in glass dyes, light bulbs, crystals, welding goggles and filters, due to its colourful compounds in violet shades. It is also used in several types of laser devices.1https://mmta.co.uk/metals/nd/

Main Uses

  • Ceramics
  • Electronics
  • Magnets

Key Industries

  • Ceramics
  • Electronics and Communications
  • Energy
Top Producer China
Top Reserves China

Supply Chain Risk

TDi assesses Neodymium for key risks affecting the security of supply, and for its association with artisanal and small-scale mining.

Overall Supply Chain Resilience Risk
Strength of Association with ASM
Very Low Moderate Very High

Country Governance Risks

Neodymium's association with countries experiencing:

Violence and Conflict
Weak Rule of Law
Poor Human Rights
Poor Environmental Governance
Very Low Moderate Very High

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