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Rare Earth Supply Chain and Industrial Ecosystem: A Material Flow Assessment of European Union (REE Value Chain)
Start date: 01 Oct 2015, End date: 30 Sep 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe is the leading importer and consumer of rare earth minerals both in mineral and applied forms. Europe is almost dependent on others for imports of these mineral resources, despite the fact that engineering and manufacturing are backbone of many European economies. The criticality of these minerals were highlighted in European Commission’s Report of the Ad hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials published in 2010 as well as 2014. E.U’s primary end use application of REEs includes polishing, metal alloys, magnets, and catalysts. Highest demand growth is foreseen in high tech-electric/hybrid vehicle motors, magnets, phosphors and ceramics end-markets. Though these raw materials are fundamental to Europe’s economy, growth and jobs, the importance of these minerals to European economy has never been studied thoroughly. However, responses have been initiated in different nations, economic areas and companies, with the European Commission launching the “Raw Materials Initiative (RMI)”.European Commission has identified criticality of raw materials to boost the innovation capacity of the EU along with addressing entire raw materials value chain in the Raw materials part of the Societal Challenge 5 of Horizon 2020. Therefore an empirical study on rare metals including rare earth elements and its importance to European economy in terms total demand, the issue of stable supply, recycling capacity of European companies, value addition and value chain management become important aspects to study and applying an input-output matrix and network diagram, the study will trace the entire value chain of the identified minerals from mining to intermediate products to final products and calculate the value addition in each stage
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