Magnets: Manufacturing Industries

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 19th May 2021.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to develop an industrial magnet industry in the UK.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government recognises the importance of industrial magnets in a range of advanced manufacturing applications, including as key components in zero emission vehicles and in wind turbines. The UK magnet industry can therefore play a significant role in our plans for green growth, levelling up across our country and driving emissions to net zero by 2050.

We are investing in R&D and capital projects to develop and embed the next generation of technologies in the UK. For example, through the Automotive Transformation Fund, Less Common Metals (Cheshire) has secured funding for two studies that will look at the feasibility of, and the requirements for, a rare earth permanent magnet plant in the UK. Our Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge is investing £80 million in electrification technologies, including projects relating to the recovery and recycling of rare earth elements, and activities to facilitate the development of rare earth magnet supply chains in the UK.

In addition, the Department for International Trade and other departments are working with UK and overseas mining companies and host Governments, to support and enable UK investment in the extraction, processing and refining of the raw materials required for magnet manufacture. This includes supporting investment in projects to process and refine these materials in the UK.

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