Leading Edge Materials was formed in August 2016 when Flinders Resources Limited acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Tasman Metals Ltd. via a plan of arrangement and changed the name in August 2016. With both companies working in critical raw materials in the Nordic region, synergies were identified and the benefits of a strong voice to customers and investors was captured.
The name Leading Edge Materials was chosen to reflect the focus of the company on supply of the value added materials required for the generation, storage and preservation of low carbon energy. The environmental challenges faced by society today, including climate change and pressure on natural resources, will not be solved relying on the thinking which caused the problems. New technologies based on new materials will be the cornerstones of this and the next generation.
Directors and management of LEM have been working in the Nordic region since the early 2000’s, and have developed deep networks in mining, government and research throughout Europe. We have found vibrant mining and innovation communities with excellent opportunities for long term investment. The region is both infrastructure and skills rich, with a focus on sustainable resource use and resource efficiency. Social and environmental sustainability is essential to the future of mining, and the Nordic region provides an excellent setting for LEM to invest in world’s best practice operations.
Our team has spent many years working in Sweden where our major assets are located. In the EU27, Sweden is the top gold, lead and iron producer; second largest zinc and silver producer; and third largest copper producer. The country has a transparent and modern Mining Act and low mining royalty rate of 0.20%. Sweden is supportive of clean energy industries and recognises the need for mining and recycling of critical raw materials to develop in concert. Sweden has a low tax rate of 22% and provides significant co-investment opportunities in research and development.
LEM is focussed on the sustainable supply of the materials needed for the generation, storage and preservation of low carbon energy. Lithium ion batteries require substantial amounts of graphite, Electric Vehicles do not function efficiently without rare earth magnets; and heat loss from buildings can be mitigated by including graphite, silica or nepheline in building products.
In addition to other projects, LEM owns outright one of the world’s largest heavy rare earth element (REE) projects, and Woxna Graphite which is a fully permitted and operational graphite mine and processing facility licensed to supply 10,000 tonnes per year of graphite. The current portfolio of LEM assets provides the opportunity for a diverse range of critical raw materials, and we are actively seeking investments in other assets and technology that are aligned with the company philosophy.
In LEM, we identify that a continual flow of new ideas will determine the growth trajectory of the Company. As well as adding value to our current pool of assets, we are engaged in a number of European Commission funded research projects that has opened the door to some of Europe’s strongest scientists. These initiatives position LEM to capture high growth opportunities in the emerging clean energy markets.
Opportunities in recycling of high value materials are actively sought by our team. Our existing operations and projects are exploring the commercialization of by-products to reduce the environmental footprint and offset costs.
The markets for specialty metals and materials are relatively opaque, in comparison to the major commodity metals. Commodity metals are traded in large volumes, with pricing set by global demand, regardless of the cost of production.
Trade in specialty metals is more modest, and most often direct between manufacturer and customer, with long term mutually beneficial relationships developed. Specialty metals like REEs have been described as the “salt and pepper of industry”, with the important role they play only acknowledged when they are not available.
LEM’s projects and operations lie in first world countries, where the highest commitment to environmental and social responsibility must be met. The company can be a “supplier of choice” for the low carbon energy industries, providing materials produced with the lowest possible environmental impact.