Metals powering our future

Since its launch in July 2010, the Rare Earth Elements Fund has built a strong portfolio positioning in the whole value chain of key sectors where innovations, sustainability policies and emerging market represent an additional leverage to an undervalued investment universe. Strengthened by its strategy, the fund has persistently outperformed its benchmark. 

Industry develops autonomous cars, robots and planes!

We are in the age of materials and energy efficiency. The world population is growing and is quickly urbanizing. Some metals have become critical as they have been recognized of economic importance, facing a supply risk and having a lack of substitutes.

Innovation

Over the last two decades, these metals have gradually and almost insidiously invaded our lives; both at the private and professional level, but also in relation to their essential roles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

At the dawn of industry 4, we are in the age of efficient materials, those which improve the requirements of a modern world of miniaturization, speed, mobility and sustainable energy.  

Modern Industry

The automobile, the telephone, internet and energy production have quickly evolved thanks to the specific use of these metals. Miniaturization in high speed computing was a major technological advance and it has changed our life, making us interconnected over the web and able to work with Terabytes of data from anywhere through a ‘cloud’.  Our cars have drastically lost weight and are full of electronics and servo motors. Autonomous cars will become safer than with us as a driver! Our bridges and buildings have also replaced cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials such as high-strength steel. 

Going forward, the smart automatization through robotics will also significantly impact the supply chain of critical metals. Our economies are changing, driven by sustainability policies, development of emerging countries, technological advances in the fields of energy, transport, high tech and materials science.

Drivers

The COP 21 in Paris might be seen as a catalyst for the demand of critical metals. The Conference of Parties (COP) has given the baselines to keep the schedule to limit the global warming. 'Made in China 2025' policy has listed ten priority sectors which need rare earths. 

Both initiatives will favor the increasing share of renewable energy in all developed and emerging countries, and consequently will boost the demand for:
REE (neodymium, praseodymium, terbium, dysprosium, and lanthanum oxides) and other specialty metals such as Lithium, Cobalt, Graphite, Vanadium, Manganese, Titanium, Niobium.

Drivers

  • Vitamins of the Modern Industry
    Critical Metals represent about 70% of the critical raw materials identified by EU Commission,  These metals are of economic importance, but face a supply risk with a lack of substitution.
     
    According to EU Commission Critical Raw Materials ('CRM') are linked to all industries across all supply chains.
  • Today life
    Technological progress and quality of life are reliant on access to a growing number of specific raw materials.

    The automobile, the telephone, internet and energy production have quickly evolved thanks to the specific use of these metals.
  • GHG Emissions
    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is  closely linked to the use of CRM's. 

    There are no Tesla cars without lithium, graphite and cobalt, nor offshore wind turbines without neodymium. 
  • Dependency
    • Some critical metals can become strategic when they relate to the use in Energy, Aerospace or Defense.  
    • China's dominant position has generated action plans in Europe, Canada and the United States (mining, processing, recycling) to overcome dependency on China.

A market in the making

Rare earth elements and other 'minor' metals such as lithium, cobalt have appeared more frequently in our media since 2010; although Deng Xiaoping said in 1992: "the Middle East has oil, China has rare earths".  

The Energy transition in which we are engaged have strongly influence the way we have to efficiently manage electrons activity and have brought forward the importance of controlling magnetization, where rare earths are indispensable
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Critical Raw Material (CRM)

Progress in Science of Materials bring tremendous advancement in using specialty metals for the benefits of energy efficiency, productivity, the way we communicate or how we store our data and soon our household energy. Those progress are today only possible by using what have become Critical Raw Materials.



1 country (China) supply 49% of CRM’s

China's manufacturing market share for permanent magnets
Total EU28 contribution to overall critical raw materials supply 
Medium speed geared permanent Magnet generators use about 200 kg per MW of NdFeB
  • Hybrid cars, wind turbines, and ultra-efficient lighting and appliances can’t function without REE's

    rapport Erecon V5 2015

  • Energy storage is set to grow 40 % per year in developing markets
    Team of researchers at the World Bank Group. 
  • As the world moves towards a cleaner, greener future, demand for rare-earths based materials will continue to increase. 
    Erecon report 2015