January 26, 2024

The Rare Earth Industry Association Announces the Publication of Product Category Rules for Rare Earths

Brussels, Belgium – January 26, 2024

The Rare Earth Industry Association (“REIA” or the “Association”) is pleased to report that EPD International has this week published a Product Category Rules (“PCR”) document on rare-earth concentrates, oxides, metals, and magnets. REIA developed the document in collaboration with Minviro, who moderated a committee of rare-earth-industry stakeholders, including REIA members, to formulate the PCR.

The PCR provides instructions for how life-cycle assessments (“LCAs”) should be conducted for rare-earth products, from mine to oxide production, oxide to metal conversion, and metal to magnet manufacturing. The goal of developing PCRs is to ensure consistency and comparability of LCA results for products within the same category, which allows for meaningful comparison between products based on their environmental performance.

It outlines the exact steps for conducting a thorough LCA of rare-earth products, ensuring that every factor is considered for a comprehensive and reliable EPD. With this, we’re setting a new standard for transparency and environmental responsibility in the sector.

Dr. Badrinath Veluri, President of REIA, commented, “I am very pleased that the hard work of the PCR team has finally come to fruition via the publication by EPD International of this document, with REIA’s Research Fellow Dr. Neda Bahremandi leading the Association’s efforts in this regard”. Dr. Veluri added that “this has been the first of its kind effort of the whole industry and I would like to thank especially REIA members who were part of the committee as well as the known industry experts and REE process specialists who contributed to the development of this standard”.

The development of the PCR for rare earths was an objective of the EIT RawMaterials-funded Circular System for Assessing Rare Earth Sustainability (“CSyARES”) project, which aims to develop a blockchain-based traceability circular system, to improve transparency and sustainability of supply chains involving critical and rare-earth materials. As part of its mission, REIA will offer the REE sustainability assessment service to its members.

REIA had an intensive consultation among the stakeholders, especially with REIA members. The objective was to determine what actions and tools, including research and standards are needed to help address the sustainability of rare-earth productions across the value chain. The consultation process with an international context helped to draw international best practices and provide a direction regarding the best tools for overcoming the rare earth sustainability assessment roadblocks.

The PCR can be found here.

About the Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA)

The Rare Earth Industry Association (“REIA” or the “Association”) is a global, Belgium-based not-for-profit organisation founded in 2019. REIA’s mission is to serve, promote and advance the sustainable development of the global rare-earth-element (“REE”) value chain. The Association’s more than 80 members are drawn from across the entire REE value chain, including public and private companies, research and academic institutions, government entities, policy makers and other stakeholders. REIA is currently developing a framework and guidelines to help standardise ESG reporting accepted by upstream, midstream and downstream participants. The Association provides its members with a platform for networking and benchmarking; for making their voice heard by policy makers, regulators and other key stakeholders; for finding potential partners and collaborators; for accessing and sharing data, information and best practices; and gaining visibility and highlighting their engagement towards a more sustainable supply chain.

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