Rare Earths: Estonia Draws Attention

Jan 2024

Australian mining group Hastings Technology Metals is looking into building up processing capacities.

Rare earths from Australia, processed in Estonia into components for the European automotive industry – that is the goal of Hastings Technology Metals. Next year, the Perth-based company will begin mining rare earths in the north of Western Australia and processing them into mixed concentrate, one of the first stages of processing this group of raw materials. This and other future steps could also take place in the Baltic region, as Hastings has announced (PDF) that it will carry out feasibility studies in cooperation with the Estonian government to set up corresponding plants. A non-binding letter of intent has been signed to speed up planning and approval procedures and explore the possibility of financial support from the state.

Hastings sees Estonia as a crucial building block for developing a supply chain tailored to Europe, from the mine to the magnet. Here, the Canadian company Neo Performance Materials operates the only plant separating rare earths in Europe. The construction of a magnet factory is planned, and Hastings, in turn, holds a 21.15 percent stake in Neo. Both companies have already signed a non-binding agreement to supply and process rare earths from Hastings’ Yangibana project in Western Australia.

Photo: iStock/xiao zhou

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