Almost 95% of global rare earth market production originates from China and is also in high demand from other rapidly expanding global industries. These include defence, aerospace, medical, computing, mobile phone and batteries for electrical vehicles. The 2015 annual production of the rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium, which are used in the manufacture of the rare earth magnets is estimated at 35,900 tonnes and 1,902 tonnes respectively (European Commission JRC, 2011). By contract ferrite magnets are made from iron ore, an abundantly available material. It is estimated that worldwide reserves of iron ore amount to 800 billion tonnes (Minerals Education Coalition).
High growth is forecast for the global offshore wind market, which is likely to create a strong demand for DD PMGs. To meet rising demand it is predicted that by 2025 DD PMGs could require a 35% of global rare-earth magnet production. This could potentially result in significant price hikes and long supply lead times, particularly if competing and more influential industries (e.g. defence) also require additional supplies of rare earth magnetic materials.
By using a low cost and abundantly available material capable of delivering an equivalent output at a comparable weight GreenSpur will significantly expand the future market for large scale DD PMGs.