Project: Lanthanide Resources and Alternatives

Reference: SRT 7/5/23

Last update: 05/05/2010 12:32:54


To understand the potential risks associated with the perceived relative scarcity and geographical concentration of global lanthanide resources on the future mass-manufacture and use of electric vehicles and to identify means of mitigating these risks.


The Chief Scientific Adviser wishes to establish:
1. What is the best estimate of global lanthanide reserves (as refined metal, not ore), and potential production by region/country?
2. What is the best estimate of current and future lanthanide consumption by region/country?
3. What levels of lanthanide production are likely to be required for use in EVs and PHEVs based on a selection of global and UK EV/PHEV uptake scenarios (ranging from business as usual to extreme uptake)?
4. Are economically viable lanthanides reserves likely to be sufficient to accommodate these future EV/PHEV production scenarios?
5. What is the potential for establishing new sources of lanthanide production outside of China?
6. What are the estimated life-cycle environmental impacts of future global lanthanide production based on these demand forecasts?
7. What are the likely economic and environmental implications of lanthanide recycling?
8. Can lanthanides be substituted with alternative materials that are not subject to the same resource constraints in high efficiency magnetic motors?
9. Which institutions or individuals, in the UK and outside, are best placed to undertake longer term research studies on this topic?


Oakdene Hollins Ltd
Pembroke Court, 22-28 Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1RS
+44 (0) 1296 423915

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £50,000.00

Actual start date: 13 October 2009

Actual completion date: 31 January 2010


Lanthanide Resources and Alternatives
Author: Dr Hudai Kara, Dr Adrian Chapman, Dr Trevor Crichton and Peter Willis
Publication date: 31/01/2010
Final report
Source: Oakdene Hollins Ltd
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