Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre, Swakopmund, Namibia, Sandton, South Africa
Southern African Rare Earths International Conference 2021
The global demand for rare earth elements (REEs) and their alloys has increased enormously in the last few decades. REEs are critical materials in high-technology applications due to their unique chemical, catalytic, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties. In particular, REEs are used in emerging and niche technologies such as medical devices, electric vehicles, energy-efficient lighting, wind turbines, rechargeable batteries, catalytic converters, flat screen televisions, mobile phones. and disk drives. In fact, the 4IR-driven digital revolution will not be possible without the critical rare REEs.
The supply security of rare earth metals is of global concern. The need to diversify the supply of REEs thus creates significant opportunities for southern Africa to contribute to the global supply. In fact, as one of the regions with large REE resources, southern Africa can exploit this window of opportunity and significantly contribute to the sustainable supply of these high-tech materials.
The need to fully participate along the REE value chain has also inspired interest in developing downstream capacity for refining, through the Southern African Centralized Rare Earth Refinery (SACREF). Thus, in order to maximize value from the REEs industry in the region, further discussions on optimizing the REE value chain are needed. This conference, focusing on the optimization of the primary production and refining of rare earth metals, is designed to stimulate debate on growth, creating opportunities for the southern African rare earths industry.