Vinge has advised Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (publ) (“LKAB”) in connection with its investment in, REEtec Holding AS (“REEtec”). LKAB invests in the financing round, that totals NOK 1.2 billion, to become the largest shareholder of REEtec.
REEtec has developed an innovative and sustainable technology for the separation of rare earth elements and the new financing will be used to finance the construction of its first separation plant which will be located in Herøya, Norway. The REEtec process combines high efficiency with up to 90 per cent. lower carbon emissions.
The demand for rare earth elements, which is driven by e.g. production of electric cars and wind turbines, is expected to increase fivefold by 2030. As Europe is dependent on imports of these critical minerals, LKAB’s investment in REEtec is underpinning the European Union’s strategy to increase Europe’s self-sufficiency. The new separation plant in Herøya will have a production of 720 tonnes of the earth elements Neodymium and Praseodymium, equivalent to five per cent. of Europe's needs and the majority of the production will be sold to the car industry. A second plant is planned to be built in Herøya in 2026, which will also process material from LKAB’s extraction of rare earth elements from mine tailings, processed in the industrial park in Luleå that is planned for production from 2027.
Wiersholm acted as legal counsel to LKAB as to Norwegian law and PwC acted as financial advisor to LKAB.