Leading Edge Materials CEO Mark Saxon joined the Investing News Network to discuss the future of the electric vehicle market.
According to Saxon, high strength permanent magnets manufactured from rare earth elements (REEs) are commonly used in electric vehicles (EVs). The REE permanent magnets enable weight reduction which delivers a positive effect on battery performance. Saxon believes that the lack of supply of REEs in Europe could cause future problems for the automotive and wind energy industries, as Chinese sourced REEs have an environmental cost that is not consistent with customer expectations.
In order to serve the European market with rare earth elements, Leading Edge is progressing the mining lease permitting of its Norra Kärr REE project in Sweden. The project was drilled out in 2015 in order to complete a resource calculation, conduct metallurgical test work and complete a prefeasibility study.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Leading Edge CEO Mark Saxon. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Do you believe that the current rare earth element (REE) supply pressure could affect EV roll-out?
Leading Edge CEO Mark Saxon: When considering the use of REEs in electric vehicles, it is high strength permanent magnets that play an important role. High strength magnets use the REEs neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and, to a lesser degree, terbium. Despite a significant research and development effort at the start of this decade to reduce REEs in vehicles, magnets remain critical in EVs due to the role they play in weight reduction, which has a major effect on battery performance. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of EVs today incorporate high strength REE magnets in…