Neodymium's powerful magnetic attributes are vital for strategic sustainable technological advancements.
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/
Supply Chain Risk
TDi assesses Neodymium for key risks affecting the security of supply, and for its association with artisanal and small-scale mining.
Country Governance Risks
Neodymium's association with countries experiencing: