News News
Contact us
  • Customer service number:64321087
  • Commercial service telephone:13918059423
  • Technical service telephone:13918059423
  • Contact person: Mr. Cui 
  • Service
  • Address: room 107, building 8, no. 100, guilin road, xuhui district, Shanghai

UK rare earth alloy producer LCM completes expansion

The date of: 2019-07-26
viewed: 15

source:Argus Media

UK-based Less Common Metals (LCM), the only rare earth alloy producer outside China and Japan, has started metal production — closing a gap in the magnet supply chain from separated rare earth oxide to metal to alloy to magnet.

'A co-ordinated approach and collaboration between companies and governments is needed for a fully integrated non-Chinese supply chain to be successfully established,' LCM managing director Ian Higgins said.

High performance permanent rare earth magnets are critical to the automotive sector, particularly electric vehicles, consumer electronics and wind power. The trade war between the US and China has raised concerns about security of supply and focused attention on the absence of a manufacturing scale supply chain outside China.

European manufacturing industries consume 12,000 t/yr of light rare earth neodymium-based magnets. But Europe only produces around 1,000 t/yr and these are mainly for niche applications, such as the luxury vehicle segment. The balance comes from China, which produces around 80pc of the world's rare earth materials and magnets.

Following a three-year expansion programme, LCM produces high purity rare earth metals and neodymium-iron-boron and samarium cobalt alloys for the permanent magnet industry at its plant in Cheshire, southern England. It also makes other rare earth alloys including hydrogen storage and master alloys such as yttrium-aluminium and lanthanum-nickel. All of its raw materials, including cobalt, are ethically sourced — a factor that is likely to gain in importance as the transition to electric mobility slowly gathers pace and environmental concerns become a factor in consumers' decisions. The company, which was initially established out of a joint venture with UK-based chemical manufacturer Johnson Matthey was bought by privately-held Indian Ocean Rare Metals in 2015 from defunct junior mining company Great Western Minerals Group.

'The key factor for enabling future growth is stable supply of rare earth oxide raw materials at realistic prices, and LCM is actively working to establish such a supply chain,' Higgins said.

Rare earths are also vital for defence applications and aerospace. Documents were signed in the US this week giving authority to fund the development of a US rare earth supply chain for defence from ore to metal to magnet.

The scale of the task of building a diversified rare earth supply chain that can weather political risks is enormous considering the size of the industries that rely on permanent magnets.

Hot News / Related to recommend
  • 2024 - 07 - 19
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source: Purdue UniversityPurdue University engineers have developed a patent-pending method to synthesize high-quality, layered perovskite nanowires with large aspect ratios and tunable organic-inorga...
  • 2024 - 07 - 18
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source:Innovation newsnetworkThe Analysis Center is developing innovative new materials-characterisation technology and expanding the suite of analytical techniques available regionally to support REE...
  • 2024 - 07 - 17
    Click on the number of times: 1
    source: Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryThe element actinium was first discovered at the turn of the 20th century, but even now, nearly 125 years later, researchers still don't have a good gr...
  • 2024 - 07 - 17
    Click on the number of times: 0
    source:Songshan Lake Materials LaboratoryResearchers at Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory have made significant advances in sodium-ion battery (SIB) technology by improving cycling performance of the...
  • Copyright ©Copyright 2018 2020 Shanghai rare earth association All Rights Reserved Shanghai ICP NO.2020034223
    the host:Shanghai Association of Rare Earth the guide:Shanghai Development and Application Office of Rare Earth the organizer:Shanghai rare earth industry promotion center