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Canadian Rare Earths Processor Buys Mining Rights in Greenland

Canadian Rare Earths Processor Buys Mining Rights in Greenland

The challenge to China’s domination of these resources begins.

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The last time we checked on Greenland, the region was being targeted by billionaire investors who hoped to develop rare earth mining capacity and access minerals critical for electric vehicle operation.

Now a Canadian company has bought the rights to explore a mineral deposit and challenge China’s domination of these resources.

The Canadian rare earth processor Neo Performance Materials plans to buy the rights to explore a mineral deposit in Greenland that contains the rare earth elements neodymium and praseodymium, which are used to make magnets for electric cars, wind turbines, and missiles.

This project is the company’s first step into mining and part of a strategy to create dual supply chains for magnets inside and outside of China. Neo hopes the mineral deposit will eventually supply its rare earth separation plant in Estonia.

“I think it makes all the sense in the world from an operating perspective to be looking to secure our upstream,” CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos said on an investor call earlier this month. The firm also wants to build a magnet plant in Estonia.

The US Geological Survey estimates that in 2021 about 60% of rare earth elements were mined in China. After they are mined, ores containing a mixture of rare earth elements are concentrated. The concentrated ore has to be separated into individual oxides and processed into rare earth metals. Finally, those metals are used to make magnets.

Officials for the company indicate that the goal is to have the mine running in two to three years.

It will be the company’s first major mining project. CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos said that by opening the mine, he hopes to shield the company from volatile rare earth prices, which have shot up in recent years due to supply disruptions and strong demand.

“We’re at the mercy of the market,” he said.

Karayannopoulos called it “business, not geopolitics.” But in recent years, rare earths have attracted the attention of policymakers in Washington, Beijing and other capitals given their importance to the global high-tech supply chain. The U.S., Europe and Japan call their dependence on China’s rare earths a “national security risk” and have sought to diversify their supply.

But such efforts have struggled, as mines in other countries have run into opposition or failed to get off the ground after fluctuating prices scared investors away.

Plans also include a new magnet manufacturing plant in Europe.

Neo is also pursuing plans to break ground on a greenfield rare earth permanent magnet manufacturing plant in Estonia that is intended to provide European manufacturers with the permanent magnets needed for electric and hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, and energy-saving electric motors and pumps.

The Sarfartoq Project also is a key element of Neo’s “Magnets-to-Mine” vertical integration strategy.


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2smartforlibs | August 28, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Shades of Uranium one.

    snipelee in reply to 2smartforlibs. | August 28, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    40 years ago I was a senior technician at a defense contractor working to find alternatives to “strategic materials” ie Cobalt, titanium, etc. 40 years later we are no further ahead due to left-wing policies.

      MattMusson in reply to snipelee. | August 29, 2022 at 8:41 am

      I read over the weekend that to achieve the Green Energy build out will require 40 Times more Lithium. That means the current mines, smelters and production facilities are less than 5% of what we actually need. Mining and refining that other 95% will be disasterous for the environment if it is even possible.

Probably a smart move. If China makes a move on Taiwan, we need to shut down all trade with them immediately.

    stablesort in reply to geronl. | August 29, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Taiwan is China and has always been China. The issue is that ROC, the exile government of China, fled to Taiwan after its defeat by the communists in 1949. This exiled government held itself to be the government of all of China including the mainland, but found itself with limited jurisdiction in Taiwan and some surrounding islands.

    Japan was ceded control over Taiwan by the Quing dynasty in 1895. After Japan’s defeat in 1945, Taiwan jurisdiction reverted back to China.

    “She said and he said” has been the issue ever since.

As badly as Canada is drifting toward ‘the dark night of Fascism’, this may or may not be much better than China as the source. At least a private enterprise can be a step better than a government in many cases.

Last Summer Joe Biden closed down the last nickle mine in the US because it was on public property.

The 1st day of the Ukraine war, Elon Musk flew to Canada to nail down nickle supplies which are crucial to keeping EV batteries from exploding.

Volkswagen is setting up a project where they are going to clear-cut the Indonesian Rainforest and strip mine nickle latterites that can be thrown into giant coal furnaces. That way they can replace the worlds most efficient diseil vehicles with EVs.

Trump wanted to buy Greenland.

    gonzotx in reply to alaskabob. | August 28, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    Lol I remember

    Say what you want to about Trump, he doesn’t Think Small. And he’s not as stupid as he likes to pretend. In some alternate reality – where Trump was less polite (hah!) and more ruthless in dealing with The Establishment – he’s currently in his second term, Gas prices are not doubled. So Russia didn’t have the extra money to go adventuring in sunny Ukraine. We did not Chicken Little our way into unnecessary economic shutdown that didn’t affect Covid results anyway. So no unnecessary recession coupled with unnecessary inflation. Oh, and if we couldn’t buy Greenland (aka Louisiana Purchase) he used that as a bargain start point to obtain mineral rights so Chiba didn’t have a rare earth monopoly anymore.

    I know, Nightmare Workd, right?

    diver64 in reply to alaskabob. | September 4, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    I was going to comment on that but you got it. Trump was an obvious troll as releasing a picture of Greenland with a Trump Tower in the middle dictated but like many other things, Trump had a point

A very recent (8/2022) trip report to another mineral locality in Greenland can be found at

It’s a bleak but beautiful land. Imagine trying to live there year around.

    gonzotx in reply to WashRep. | August 28, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    The Norwegian’s did, when they were real men
    Beasts, greatest sailors and warriors of their time

      Milhouse in reply to gonzotx. | August 29, 2022 at 1:17 am

      That was during the Medieval Warm Period, when Greenland actually was green.

        henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 3:36 am

        But during that period, Iceland was not particularly icy.
        Legend has it that they purposely misnamed both discoveries, to frustrate foreign opportunists.

          Greenland was named that to get people to go there and settle. The Vikings found a far better land to settle in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and southern Maine but didn’t realize it.

        diver64 in reply to Milhouse. | September 4, 2022 at 12:53 pm

        Dairy farms in the south of Greenland was an indication of this. When the weather turned colder they all left. That along with the constant attacks by Eskimos.

    diver64 in reply to WashRep. | September 4, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Wife’s dad was stationed at Thule. Loved it but very harsh and this is from someone raised in far northern New England with feet of snow and -30 a common winter temp

“The challenge to China’s domination of these resources begins.”

Head fake.
Madame Lazonga reminds you that Canada is basically North China.