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LS Eco Energy enters into large purchase contract for rare earth oxides to take lead in supply chain 2024-01-10

Photograph) A scene of officials taking a commemorative photo at the ‘Rare Earth Oxide Purchase Agreement Ceremony’ held at the Trade Representative Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Seoul on the 10th. From left, Koo Bon Kyu, CEO of LS Cable & System, Sang-ho Lee, CEO of LS Eco Energy, Phan Thanh Muon, Chairman of Hung Thinh Group, and Nguyen Viet Anh, Acting Ambassador to Vietnam

■ Signed direct contract with Vietnamese mining firm and began commercial production this year
■ Plans to expand supply and secure separation and purification technology through additional contracts with mining firms
■ LS Cable & System begins building value chain in earnest and cooperating with global permanent magnet firms

LS Eco Energy has begun the first large-scale rare earth oxide business in Korea.

LS Eco Energy (CEO Lee Sang-ho) announced on the 10th that it had signed a ‘rare earth oxide purchase contract’ with a Vietnamese mining firm.

The company’s strategy is to dominate and expand the rare earth supply chain by directly contracting with companies that own mines.

LS Eco Energy plans to supply neodymium and dysprosium refined by Vietnam's Hung Thinh Mineral to Korean and foreign permanent magnet companies. The company predicts that it will be able to supply over 500 tons per year from next year, starting with 200 tons this year.

Vietnam has recently emerged as a rare earth supplier to replace China, and discussions on government-led development are also actively underway. An official from the company said it has an advantage in securing a supply chain based on its 30 years of business experience and networking with Vietnam, and the non-ferrous metal refining technology of its parent company, LS Cable & System.

Sang-ho Lee, CEO of LS Eco Energy, said, “We will expand supply through additional contracts with other mining companies,” and added, “To this end, we also plan to secure technology to separate and purify rare earth oxides.”  

An official from LS Cable & System said, “This contract is meaningful as the beginning of building a rare earth value chain for LS Cable & System,” and added, “We are seeking ways to cooperate with global permanent magnet manufacturers.”

Rare earth oxides are essential raw materials for the permanent magnets used in electric vehicles, wind power generators, and robots. It has been reported that the Vietnamese government plans to expand rare earth production from less than 2% of reserves (22 million tons) at present to about 9% by 2030.