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30/05/2024
Mining News

Franzefoss Minerals and REE Minerals to develop Europe’s largest deposit of light rare earth elements

Franzefoss Minerals invests in REE Minerals Holding to develop the Fen field, which contains large quantities of rare earth elements. These elements are indispensable in various technological products, including electric cars and wind turbines.

“Franzefoss Minerals has a history of over a hundred years within minerals and mining. It’s a fantastic vote of confidence that they invest, enabling us to intensify our efforts to develop REE Minerals,” says Thor Bendik Weider, Chairman of REE Minerals Holding AS.

Supported by

REE Minerals is working to establish the extraction of rare earth elements at the Fen field in Ulefoss, Norway.

Rare earth elements are a collective term for a group of minerals that are essential elements in the green transition, and the demand for these elements has increased significantly in recent years.

“Franzefoss Minerals has extensive experience investing in mineral extraction, and since 1919, we have focused on the use of limestone as a raw material in various critical activities. In 2014, we started to engage in the rare earth element deposits at the Fen field. The need for these raw materials to achieve global and national environmental goals is becoming increasingly apparent. We believe the time is right to increase our involvement in REE Minerals, with both expertise and capital, and we hope to contribute to realizing this important project,” says Hanne Markussen Eek, CEO of Franzefoss Minerals AS.

As a result of the capital injection, Franzefoss Minerals will join the board of REE Minerals.

Europe’s largest

A recent mineral resource report conducted for REE Minerals confirms the company’s belief that it holds Europe’s largest proven deposit of light rare earth elements. The report was prepared by the internationally renowned company SRK Consulting in collaboration with the Danish mining consulting company 21st NORTH.

Rare earth elements consist of 17 different chemical elements with unique properties: lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, scandium, and yttrium.

Several of these elements, especially praseodymium and neodymium, are crucial in products such as electric motors for electric vehicles and wind turbines, as well as various types of defence equipment and IT devices, among many other applications.

REE Minerals has been granted an extraction license for rare earth elements by the Norwegian Directorate of Mining. The company has conducted several drilling programs at the Fen field.

“Our analyses suggest that the Fen field alone will be able to cover significant portions of the needs of European industry for decades to come,” says Weider.

Dependence on China

Currently, the majority of rare earth element supplies come from China. This vulnerability has recently become a high-priority issue on the geopolitical agenda. The EU has recently adopted an ambitious strategy to significantly increase Europe’s supply and processing of rare earth elements.

“The current situation is strategically unsustainable, and policymakers have recognized this. This means we have strong political support, and we will do our utmost to contribute to making Europe self-sufficient in rare earth elements through our work at the Fen field,” says Thor Bendik Weider of REE Minerals.

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the investment.

 

Source: REE Minerals

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