REIA Conference on REE Sustainability and Criticality

DATE: 21 November 2019,

LOCATION: Thon Hotel, Brussels City Center

“How a sustainable supply chain can benefit your business”

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Location: Thon Hotels Brussels City Center, Brussels,

Time: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM CET

As the EU places greater emphasis on the ‘green technologies’, which are needed to meet its 2020 energy targets and circular-economy package initiatives, sustainability is considered to play a critical role in the competitiveness of rare-earth-element (REE) mining and processing activities. The issue has indeed become critical, as no industry-wide standard for socio-environmental reporting across the REE value chain has been developed yet.  As a result, when the REE industry and its consumers wish to involve in more environmentally friendly technologies and processes, they are facing a confusing range of methods for the evaluation of environmental impact.

In response to the reputation of REEs as being environmentally unfriendly, the REE industry should conduct a complete and thorough assessment on the REEs that they use. The efforts can be focused on optimising processes and creating synergies within the industry, as well as enhancing international cooperation in order to achieve a sustainable production pattern in both Eastern and Western countries. An industry-wide initiative should also improve communication with stakeholders in downstream industries. REIA partners will demonstrate an exemplary case study on this during our Conference.

REEs are critical materials for e.g. vehicle electrification. Electric vehicles will only unleash their full environmental benefit, when the electricity mix evolves towards a higher renewables content. As well car motors as wind turbines rely on REE-based magnets for highest efficiency and low-maintenance cost. 

Despite their unmatched technological benefits, REEs are considered to be complex to process, their extraction highly polluting, prone to high price volatility and supply-dependent on Chinese production. However, these perceptions do not entirely correspond to how the REE industry has evolved since the so-called ‘Rare-Earths Crisis’ of 2010-2011.

New producers, better technologies and a fast-growing demand show a very different picture that requires, more than ever before, a strong collaboration among the stakeholders in the REE industry, its industrial customers, research institutions and governments, to ensure that these materials can deliver on their vast potential to decarbonize energy and transportation.

Which also reflects the key objective of the newly created REIA (Rare Earths Industry Association).  This Conference brings together key decision makers in the technologies of vehicle electrification, REE producers, magnet makers, e-drives and vehicle manufacturers to review the current supply situation and to identify improvements to better satisfy the requirements of the industrial downstream customers.


21 November 2019
8.30-9.00 Registration
9.00-9.20 Chair: Gareth P Hatch, REIA, advisory board chairman
Welcome and Introduction: REIA-Rare Earth Industry Association, Badrinath Veluri, President, REIA
9.20-9.30 Q&A

Keynote speech: Amanda Lacaze, CEO Lynas Corporation
Sustainable processing of rare earth materials: Carlo Burkhardt, Susmagpro. EU  
10.10-10.30Sustainability and tracing your materials- cradle to cradle-live experience from the ground: Lynas-GQD-neoMagnequench-Grundfos
10.30-10.45 Q&A
10.45-11.15 Coffee break
11.15-11.35Chair: Gareth P Hatch, REIA, advisory board chairman
Criticality of REEs to Japan: Shimizu Kotaro, Mitsubishi-UFJ Research
11.35-11.55 Criticality of REEs: US perspective, Roderick Eggert, Colorado Schools of Mines
11.55-12.15 REE sustainability and transparency: What blockchain technology can do? YC Kim GREL Korea
12.15-12.30 Q&A
12.30-13.30 Lunch break
13.30-13.50 Chair: Jose Garcia Santamaria, REIA advisory board vice chairman
Sustainable supply: REE oxides to alloys, Less Common Metals (LCM), UK
13.50-14.10 Role of REE PMs in electric motors: (tbd)
14.10-14.30Technology trends in wind turbines: (tbd)
14.30-14.40 Q&A
14.40-15.00 Chair: Jose Garcia Santamaria, REIA advisory board vice chairman
Magnet recycling technology and market: Allan Walton, HyproMag & University of Birmingham
15.00-15.20 The lifecycle environmental impact of rare earths electric motors for automobiles, Valeo, Jean-Marc DUBUS
15.20-15.30 Q&A
15.30-16.00Coffee break
16.00-16.20 Chair: Karel Van Acker, REIA advisory board member
REIA LCA inventory database for rare earths, Gwendolyn Bailey, REIA
16.20-16.30 Q&A
16.30-16.40Wrap up & conclusion, Nabeel Mancheri, Secretary General, REIA
16.40-18.00 Networking drinks







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