Periodic table highlighting heavy and light rare earth elements

Heavy Rare Earth Elements (“HREE”) are critical to the global clean energy transition

Heavy Rare Earth elements Dysprosium (“Dy”) and Terbium (“Tb”), and Light Rare Earth elements Neodymium (“Nd”) and Praseodymium (“Pr”), have magnetic attributes and are critical components in the production of high-performance permanent magnets.

Neodymium-based permanent magnets (“Nd magnets”) offer superior performance as they are lighter and stronger, compared to other types of magnets, and have the ability to be engineered into any shape or size.

Incorporation of Dy and Tb into Nd magnets delivers enhanced operating performance by enabling them to operate at higher temperatures (magnets with HREE can operate up to 240°C as compared to 60°C for those magnets without HREE), without losing their magnetic properties (high coercivity).

Heavy Rare Earths in EVs

In permanent magnet motors, the slippage necessary in induction motors is eliminated, improving your heat efficiency. The inherent efficiency of a permanent magnet motor is higher than an induction motor.

In EVs, permanent magnets result in increased range autonomy, better use of space, lower weight and lower battery costs, the latter as a result of reduced lithium, cobalt and nickel content. According to Roskill, Nd permanent magnets are the permanent magnets that offer the best performance and optimization potential in electric motors, with 90% of EV models using them as part of their drivetrain, including Tesla’s Model S, Model X and Model 3. We expect growth in EV and wind turbine production to be exponential.

Heavy Rare Earths in wind energy

In wind turbines, Nd magnets are a preferred alternative to traditional geared systems to generate wind power, as magnets require less maintenance, leading to longer wind turbine operating lives with lower operating costs. This advantage is particularly important for offshore wind turbines.

Anholt Offshore Wind Farm is a Danish offshore wind farm. With a nameplate capacity of 400 megawatts, it is one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.

Demand for rare earth elements is further corroborated by the global transition of power grids to green energy

The chart below shows a 12% compound annual growth rate in offshore wind capacity additions from 2020 to 2030

Source: IRENA: Future of Wind, 2019

Concentrated production and processing of heavy rare earth elements (HREE)

The extraction and production of REE has been dominated by China. Abundant ion-absorption clay deposits and low cost of extraction owing to less stringent regulatory and environmental standards have historically been a competitive advantage for China.

Evolution (2013-2023e): Global DyTb Supply (Tonnes)

China's current domination of the global supply of Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements stems from its ionic clay deposits

Aclara’s objective is to become a strategic Chilean supplier of the critical HREE, Dy and Tb, as well as supplying the in-demand LREE, Nd and Pr, all of which are required to manufacture the permanent magnets that we believe are required to enable the widespread use of renewable energy technologies and the increased adoption of EVs globally. We aim to produce HREE carbonates with approximately 92% purity and a very low environmental and social footprint, underpinned by: minimal water consumption due to a high level of water recirculation, no tailings dams, and no use of blasting, crushing or milling. Consequently, Aclara will become a premium producer of HREE, providing a high-valued alternative for diversification to the supply chain of EVs, wind turbines and other green technologies.