Meteoric Resources and Neo Performance Ink Rare Earth Supply Deal

by | 2. May 2024 - 09:04 | Economy

Raw material from Brazil will be shipped to Estonia for processing and magnet production.

Canadian rare earth and magnet specialist Neo Performance Materials has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Australian-based mining company Meteoric Resources for the offtake of rare earth raw material from Meteoric’s Caldeira project in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The material will be shipped to Neo’s separation plant in Sillamäe, Estonia, for further processing, which will, in the future, supply the company’s sintered rare earth permanent magnet manufacturing plant that is currently under development in nearby Narva, Estonia. These magnets are cornerstones of high-tech fields such as electric vehicles or wind turbines.

Under the MoU, Neo purchases mixed rare earth carbonate containing 3,000 tons of rare earth oxides annually with the right of first refusal should Caldeira reach higher outputs later. According to Neo, this would yield approximately 900 tons of neodymium-praseodymium oxide and 30 tons of dysprosium-terbium oxide combined for magnet production. The latter two are so-called heavy rare earth elements, which are predominantly sourced from ionic adsorption clay deposits. These deposits form where ores are hosted in decomposed rocks formed by intense weathering and are primarily found in tropical and subtropical areas. Currently, these clay deposits are only mined in Southern China and neighboring Myanmar. However, multiple projects in Brazil seek to develop clay projects, which could make the Latin American country a major player in the industry. Meteoric’s Caldeira project is also a clay deposit. The company expects production to start in 2027.

Neo is not the only party interested in the Caldeira Project, however. Meteoric recently received a letter of interest from the Export-Import Bank of the United States to fund the project with $250 million in a push to diversify supply chains.

Photo: iStock/EvgenyMiroshnichenko

Starting Soon: Rawmaterials Newsletter

Subscribe now and stay up to date!

Subscribe Now!
Stay up to date with our brand new newsletter.
By subscribing, you agree that the data you enter will be transmitted to our e-mail tool rapidmail.