SHANGHAI, Jul 26 (SMM) - Boosted by the rising price of rare earth and the rapid growth of downstream demand, the rare earth recycling industry is ushering in a new round of expansion. Some rare earth waste separation enterprises have plans to expand production.
Tight supply and strong demand boost rare earth recycling
The price of rare earths rose significantly in 2021, and the orders of downstream magnetic material enterprises are strong, and rare earth recycling volume also rose. In the past three years, the proportion of recycled rare earth in China’s total rare earth output has shown an upward trend.
China’s first batch of rare earth mining quota in 2022 was 100,800 mt, a year-on-year increase of 20%. Rare earth supply growth is limited, but downstream demand is growing rapidly. According to estimates by Essence Securities, the global praseodymium-neodymium oxide began to enter a state of imbalance between supply and demand in 2021, and the gap between supply and demand will widen. It is expected that there will be a supply gap of about 14,000 mt of praseodymium-neodymium oxide by 2025.
The recycling of rare earth waste is the process of extracting rare earth elements from the waste generated in rare earth production and from rare earth-containing products to generate rare earth oxides, which are then further processed to obtain rare earth metals. When compared with the production of similar products from raw ore, the recycling of rare earth waste has the advantages of shorter production process, lower cost, and less waste.
Since rare earths are non-renewable resources, it is generally believed that demand for rare earth recycling will continue to grow under the background of national control of rare earth production and the continuous expansion of downstream rare earth demand.
Major companies accelerate production expansion
Attracted by the high growth of downstream demand, rare earth recycling companies and magnetic material companies are also accelerating the pace of production expansion.