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Norway's rare warths Norway confirms Europe's largest deposit

7/06/2024, 09:00
Norway's rare warths Norway confirms Europe's largest deposit
The image shows the rock type that contains rare earth elements in the Fen field. The rock is commonly called rauhuagite, but the technical name is iron-dolomite-carbonatite (FDC). Photo: Tor Espen Simonsen
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The independent estimate, conducted by global consultancy WSP in accordance with JORC standards, shows an inferred mineral resource of 559 million tonnes averaging 1.57% total rare earth oxides (TREO) down to 468 meters below sea level. This represents a total of 8.8 million tonnes of TREO, including 1.5 million tonnes of neodymium and praseodymium oxides critical for permanent magnets in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

“We have now had it confirmed by a third party that we possess a significant resource. It’s a milestone that could become extremely important for the local Nome community, but also for Norway and Europe for generations to come,” said Trond Watne, Chief Geologist at REN.

The resource dwarfs Europe’s next largest known REE deposit fivefold, giving REN the potential to meet a significant portion of the continent’s rare earth self-sufficiency goals in the foreseeable future as it develops the world’s most sustainable mineral extraction.

“We aim to contribute to a complete and compact European value chain with low climate and environmental footprints – from mineral extraction to permanent magnet production,” said Alf Reistad, REN’s CEO.

REN continues mapping activities at Fensfeltet with new drilling campaigns planned for 2024, alongside a preliminary economic assessment of the project. It is collaborating with partners across nearly 20 countries on R&D programs, including establishing a pilot plant in Nome to test new technologies in cooperation with the local high school.

Investigations point to the deposit extending even deeper, with previous drilling showing mineralization down to at least 1,000 meters. REN expects developing new mining technologies will further increase future resource estimates.

Backed by the EU, EIT RawMaterials, ERMA and Norwegian research funds, the rare earths project aims for an investment decision around 2030 to begin production covering 10% of Europe’s needs in line with EU targets.

The translation was written by an AI system, though the original text was authored by a human.

#norway #wsp