Rare Earths Stocks: 8 Biggest Companies in 2023
Rare earths are critical to the dawn of a new era in energy and technology. Learn more about the biggest rare earths stocks on the world's top stock exchanges.
Rare earths are essential in a wide variety of today’s technologies, from smartphone cameras to defense systems.
The group of critical metals, which includes neodymium and praseodymium, has also seen increasing demand from the electric vehicle industry. “The simplest engineering solution for a drive train on an electric vehicle is to use a permanent magnet synchronous motor, and those permanent magnets are made of rare earth elements (REEs),” Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital explained to the Investing News Network. "So as that trend continues, I expect the prices to remain high."
China is by far the world’s top producer of rare earths and holds the largest rare earths reserves. The country’s monopoly on the rare earths market has led other nations such as the US, Canada and Australia to incentivize rare earths mining, processing and the production of value-added REE products outside of China in order to bolster their own supply chains.
Below the Investing News Network profiles the biggest rare earths stocks by market cap on US, Canadian and Australian stock exchanges. Data was gathered on January 3, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener.
US rare earths stocks
The US is at the forefront in the race to secure stable supply of rare earths outside of China. While the nation has vast rare earths reserves and is the second largest global REE producer, the US is severely lacking in processing facilities. The US rare earths stocks looking to change that imbalance offer investors an opportunity to leverage the growth potential of this market.
Market cap: US$4.25 billion; share price: US$23.96
MP Materials is the largest producer of rare earths outside of China, with a focus on high-purity separated neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) oxide, a heavy rare earths concentrate and lanthanum and cerium oxides and carbonates.
The company went public in mid-2020 in a US$1.47 billion deal following the purchase of Molycorp’s California-based Mountain Pass mine, the only working US-based rare earths mine and processing facility.
Market cap: US$975.7 million; share price: US$6.19
Energy Fuels is best known as a leading US uranium company that supplies uranium products to major nuclear utilities. The company holds three key US-based uranium production centers: the White Mesa mill in Utah (the only conventional uranium mill operating in the country today), the Nichols Ranch in-situ recovery (ISR) project in Wyoming and the Alta Mesa ISR project in Texas.
Understanding the importance of REEs for a green energy future, Energy Fuels has been building out its REE production capabilities. In mid-November 2022, it announced plans to sell its Alta Mesa ISR project to enCore Energy (TSXV:EU,OTCQB:ENCUF) for US$120 million. The money will finance Energy Fuels’ uranium, REE, vanadium and medical isotope business plans for the next few years.
This includes financing the construction of Phase 1 REE separation infrastructure at the White Mesa mill, which will give Energy Fuels total rare earth oxide (TREO) capacity of 2,500 to 5,000 metric tons (MT) per year, including 500 to 1,000 MT per year of NdPr oxide or oxalate. It will also allow the company to advance the design, engineering and permitting of a planned Phase 2 crack-and-leach and REE separation facility with up to 15,000 MT of TREO capacity annually.
Canadian rare earths stocks
In December 2022, the Canadian government released its Critical Minerals Strategy, which includes US$3.8 billion in federal funding and "focuses on opportunities at every stage along the value chain for Canada’s 31 critical minerals, from exploration to recycling." Canada's critical metals list includes REEs, and the announcement follows the C$7.5 million in government funding earmarked for supporting the establishment of a REE processing facility in Saskatchewan.
Below are the largest Canadian rare earths stocks by market cap.
Market cap: C$279.45 million; share price: C$1.04
NioCorp Developments is developing its Nebraska-based Elk Creek project, a pure-play critical minerals project that the company claims hosts the highest-grade primary niobium deposit under development in North America; it is also capable of large-scale scandium production and is the second largest indicated-or-better rare earths resource in the US.
In May 2022, NioCorp released an updated feasibility study for Elk Creek. While the new model for mineral reserves and economics does not yet include any data on rare earths production, the report does feature a longer expected mine life, higher expected ore grades and tonnages and improved expected project economics for niobium, scandium and titanium production.
At its demonstration-scale processing plant, NioCorp is working to show that it can extract and separate REEs from ore that NioCorp expects to mine from the Elk Creek project site. The data is expected to help inform an updated Elk Creek project feasibility study that incorporates an economic analysis of separated rare earth oxide products and a simplified process flow sheet.
Market cap: C$53.8 million; share price: C$0.25
Mkango Resources is developing new sources of REEs, such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, for cleantech markets, including electric vehicles and wind turbines. Its main asset is the Songwe Hill rare earths project in East Africa's Malawi.
In 2021, Mkango reported that its subsidiary Mkango Polska has joined with Grupa Azoty Pulawy (WSE:ZAP) to develop a rare earths separation plant in Poland targeting 2,000 MT per year of separated NdPr oxides, as well as 50 MT per year of dysprosium and terbium oxides in a carbonate enriched with heavy rare earths.
Mkango Resources completed a definitive feasibility study for the Songwe Hill project in July 2022. The results highlight a mine life of 18 years with production expected to commence in February 2025 and full output capacity expected by July of that year. For the first five years of full production, output is predicted to average 5,954 MT of TREO per year.
The company’s subsidiary Maginito holds a 42 percent interest in UK rare earths magnet recycler HyProMag, which is developing a recycling plant in the UK together with the University of Birmingham, with first production targeted for 2023. HyProMag in turn owns 80 percent of its subsidiary HyProMag Limited, which was recently awarded grants totaling 3.7 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism Baden-Württemberg to help fund the development of a rare earths recycling facility in Germany; first production is slated for 2024.
Market cap: C$52.03 million; share price: C$0.31
Aclara Resources is developing its Chilean Penco Module project, which hosts ionic clays rich in heavy REEs. The company’s goal is to produce a rare earths concentrate through a proposed processing plant using an environmentally friendly extraction process that doesn’t require a tailings facility, uses minimal water consumption and contains no radioactivity in the final product.
In December 2022, Aclara released a mineral resource update for the Penco Module project. The mineral resource update is based on drill campaigns Aclara conducted in 2021 and 2022 that totaled 5,298 meters across 175 new drill holes. The work also led to the definition of a new resource area on the project, as well as an increase in mineral resources within the project area.
Aclara will incorporate these results into a planned feasibility study for the Penco Module project that is expected to be developed during 2023. Also on the calendar for this year, the company aims to submit an environmental permit application for the project in Q2 and bring its pilot plant online in Q3. Aclara is targeting Q1 2026 for the start of production at Penco Module.
Australian rare earths stocks
Australia is one of the world's largest rare earths producers and hosts the fifth largest rare earths reserves. The country is home to the biggest non-Chinese rare earths supplier, which is also the largest Australian rare earths stock by market cap.
Market cap: AU$7.1 billion; share price: AU$7.69
Lynas Rare Earths is the leading separated rare earths producer outside China. The company operates the Mount Weld mine and concentrator in Western Australia and sends mined material for refining and processing at its separation facility in Malaysia.
In 2021, the company received US$30.4 million in funding from the Pentagon to build a light rare earths processing facility in Texas, and earned another contract to build a heavy rare earths separation facility in the state. The project's completion will not only benefit Lynas, but also the rare earths industry in both Australia and the US. More recently, Lynas announced an investment of AU$500 million to fund its plans to boost production to 10,500 MT per year of NdPr products by 2025.
Market cap: AU$4.04 billion; share price: AU$9.42
Iluka Resources is working to develop its Eneabba rare earths refinery in Western Australia with a loan from the Australian government, which has made a significant commitment to increase its global share of the rare earths market through the development of the country’s largely untapped rare earths reserves.
The refinery will be fully integrated for the production of light and heavy separated rare earth oxides and will be capable of processing material from Iluka’s feedstocks, as well as from third-party suppliers. The company expects first production to commence in 2025. In October 2022, Iluka announced it has entered into an agreement with Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU) for the supply of rare earths concentrate from Northern Minerals' Browns Range project.
The company's Wimmera project in Victoria involves the mining and beneficiation of a fine-grained heavy mineral sands orebody in Victoria's Murray Basin for the potential long-term supply of zircon and rare earths.
Market cap: AU$923.795 million; share price: AU$0.45
Arafura Resources is another Australian rare earths company that has secured government funding to support project development. Arafura is developing its Nolans rare earths project in the Northern Territory.
The Nolans project is in the development phase with a definitive feasibility study, and contains all of the different rare earths; however, is highly enriched with neodymium and praseodymium. Arafura has secured a binding offtake agreement with Hyundai Motor (KRX:005380) and Kia (KRX:000270), in addition to a non-binding memorandum of understanding with General Electric Company's (NASDAQ:GE) GE Renewable Energy, to collaborate on the establishment of sustainable rare earths supply chains.
Arafura has plans for Nolans to be a vertically integrated operation with processing facilities on-site. An updated mine report from 2022 states that Nolans has a 38 year life at a capacity of 340,000 MT of concentrate production per year.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Aclara Resources and Energy Fuels are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
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