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Strategies for More Effective Critical Materials Use 3 December 2010 Trans-Atlantic Workshop on Rare Earth Elements and Other Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future. Peter C. Dent VP Business Development Electron Energy Corporation 924 Links Avenue, Landisville, PA 17538

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Strategies for More Effective Critical Materials Use3 December 2010Trans-Atlantic Workshop on Rare Earth Elements and Other Critical Materials for a Clean Energy Future

Peter C. Dent

VP Business Development

Electron Energy Corporation

924 Links Avenue, Landisville, PA 17538

Real world views the purpose of a business is to serve a customer peter f drucker
Real World Views“The purpose of a business is to serve a customer” Peter F. Drucker

  • “Effective” – “Do the Right Thing”

  • Provide customer value

    • Fulfill a need

    • Better Performance

    • Lower Cost

    • Realistic expectations

  • Solutions MUST make sense commercially

  • Sustainable manufacturing & supply chains

  • Environmentally responsible


Eec s beginnings
EEC’s Beginnings

Marlin Walmer - innovator and pioneer in magnet materials Founded Electron Energy Corporation in 1970

First non-captured commercial Samarium Cobalt (SmCo) producer in the world

Last US Rare Earth magnet producer (Samarium Cobalt or Neodymium Iron Boron - NdFeB)

Marlin Walmer

1/11/29 – 12/12/99

About eec
About EEC

Landisville, PA – 40,000 sq ft single site

118 employees

Small Business

One Modern Manufacturing Site

Samarium Cobalt magnet producer

ISO 9001:2000 Certified

Compliance with DOD Domestic Preferences of Specialty Metals (DFARS 225.252-7003, 7008, 7009)

Defense Directorate of Trade Controls Registered

Real world view of magnet materials production
Real World View of Magnet Materials Production

Japan, US, European producers close plants, move production

WW Total Market Size $7B 2010, $15B by 2020

NdFeB magnets 72%

Alnico ½

SmCo 63%


Rare Earth Oxide Ore production 97%

Hard ferrites 66+ %

Rare Earth pure Metals nearly 100%


IVEC 2010


Crush into

~ 200 - 500 m

Ball milling or Jet milling

To m scales

Raw MaterialsSm, Co, Fe,Cu, Zr (SmCo)

Nd, Pr, Dy, Fe, Co, B (NdFeB)



Melting or co-reduction



Solution and

Heat treatment

Grinding, lapping, honing,

Or wire EDM



& Testing

Typical Manufacturing Process for Sintered

Rare Earth Magnets – Labor is predominant cost

Criticality matrix us national academies 2008
Criticality Matrix (US National Academies, 2008)

This matrix was devised by the U.S. National Academies and published in 2008 in Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy (2008). The matrix preceded by a detailed explanation of the conclusions from which it was created is (free) on the Internet at

-Increase use of periodic table of elements

-Semiconductors- 24 plus new elements used in 2000 and beyond

-11.3 Tons/year per person non-fuel minerals in USA, - ? T/yr developing world

-New inventions

-Changing demographics

Magnet sales worldwide
Magnet Sales Worldwide

Market is growing due to automotive & more uses, miniaturization

People pay lots more for better magnet performance ($5.4/kg Ferrite, $90/kg Nd)

Smaller magnets make smaller less costly systems

Lower systems costs will increase market

“More electric” means more magnets

Data courtesy of

Material usage
Material Usage

Perspective 30 years ago?

Mother nature’s gifts

Unique properties

Benefits vs. cost of replacement

Heavy Rare Earths (HRE’s)

Light Rare Earths (LRE’s)


IVEC 2010




Global Metal Production 2008 - Record Year

-A steel world

-Recycling effectiveness of large vs. small, mid size -expectations

-Large users volume, mature recycle

-Rare metals have high price and big incentives


Jack Lifton



Rare earth mineral production
Rare Earth Mineral Production

  • China REE worldwide reserves

    • 2 years ago over 50%

    • today substantially less

    • Reason, more discoveries

  • 100 plus potential sites for REE’s discussed for development worldwide

  • 5-6 new non-Chinese mining operations will likely be developed

  • Lots of investment is flowing to major REE producers

    • well funded

    • Downstream supply chain needs

    • Non-Chinese customers, OEM’s


Forecast Global Demand for Individual Rare Earths in 2014 (±15%)

(Im)balance of Supply-Demand

- Air Products O2, N2 -steel

-Reduce use of higher demand

-Increase use of lower demand (Ce, Sm) – unsold material = cost, wildcard


Source: Dudley J Kingsnorth

IMOCA 2009



IVEC 2010



Rare earth supply demand
Rare Earth Supply-Demand (±15%)

Source: Industrial Minerals Company of Australia



Rare earth prices
Rare Earth Prices (±15%)

-Fe, Co, Tb, Ce, Au, Re price comparisons

-REE price disparities ($3/kg-$500/kg pre July 8, 2010, $10-12/kg avg.)



Core issues
Core Issues (±15%)

What will be impact of new RE applications (wind power, Li vs. NiMH batteries, lighting, MCE refrigeration, To Be Invented) ?

1000’s of REE applications, how many can be helped?

Who will make it to market profitably & sustainably grow over time?

What will China do? –Wildcard factor, SEO’s

Can private sector fix problems alone?

Ree supply core strategies market driven
REE Supply Core Strategies (±15%)-Market Driven-

Stockpile raw materials – price/availability disruptions

Mitigate/Replace REE usage (short-medium term)

Incremental Process improvements (Kaizen – Japan NdFeB)

Better magnet technology (same flux with less material) => mitigate

Hi electrical resistivity NdFeB, SmCo (DOE)

Nanocomposites (NdFeB, SmCo) add 30% Fe

New magnet systems (non REE)

Leapfrog, disruptive technologies

Develop / Adopt Recycling with ROI

Develop applications for Ce, Sm, Pr and others in over supply – grow business

Secure long term reliable, sustainable supply

Develop & recruit people to innovate

Engage with US government to affect appropriate REE policies

Move from Studies => Resource Allocation & Action

Multi faceted, balanced, realistic public policy approaches & expectations




Peter c dent 717 459 1001 direct 610 349 5525 cell pcd@electronenergy com
Peter C . Dent (±15%)(717) 459-1001 direct(610) 349-5525


Electron Energy Corporation

924 Links Avenue

Landisville, PA 17538

(717) 898-2294