The Future of Rare Earth Supply and Demand
Rare Earth Investing News - June 16, 2011
As prices for rare earth metals climb, many junior mining companies are anxiously anticipating the prospect of cashing in on filling the need for these critical materials. Though this could mean big opportunities for those who are able to meet a growing demand, among expert speakers at the Critical Metals Investment Symposium in Vancouver, BC there was little agreement about how the supply and demand will be sustained.
"These are projections, these are not predictions. These are only based on data from the marketplace," said Jack Lifton, co-founder of Technology Metals Research. "We're assuming that everyone's projections are exactly what will happen, which is not necessarily going to happen."
Rare earth elements do certainly have useful applications in increasingly important technologies including magnets for wind energy turbines, hybrid and electric vehicles, and batteries of varying sizes.
China Shakes Up Rare Earth Industry
Rare Earth Investing News - May 31, 2011
It is no secret that China dominates the production of rare earth elements. Over 95 percent of world production comes from China, and over the last few years the nation has tightened its control over the production and export of the 17 elements. Further controls over the industry have come out of the last few weeks. Included in these developments is a major shake up, the establishment of a rare earth exchange in Baotou, Inner Mongolia.
In April, China did increase this year's production quota of rare earths by 5 percent over 2010. However, the government further clamped down on illegal mining operations that, through the black market, have added significant tonnage to supply. The crackdowns on illegal mining have further exacerbated supply issues, as an estimated 30-40 thousand tonnes of rare earths are smuggled out of the country every year. Chinese officials also suspended new mining licenses until June, 2012, which will not help alleviate supply tightness.
China Still Bans Rare Earth to Japan
New York Times - November 10, 2010
The Chinese government is continuing to block shipments of crucial strategic minerals to Japan, according to industry executives, analysts and a Japanese official.
The blocked shipments of minerals known as rare earths, despite previous signals that China was lifting the ban, could increase tensions at the meeting of the Group of 20 leading economic powers, now under way in Seoul, South Korea. And it could place China at odds with Germany, which has been an outspoken critic of the rare earths policy but has recently been an ally of China's on a separate matter that is a hot topic for the G-20 — the weak United States dollar.
Rare Earths Stand Is Asked of G-20
New York Times – November 5, 2010
An unusually broad coalition of business groups in North America, Europe and Asia has sent a letter to the heads of state of the Group of 20 major economies, asking them to make a commitment at their meeting this month in Seoul that trade in crucial rare earths will not be interrupted because of industrial policies or political disputes.
The range of countries and industries whose business groups signed the letter underscores the level of worry in corporations around the world about recent export restrictions placed on rare earths by China, which mines 95 percent of such materials. The minerals processed from them are needed for products and processes like cellphones, cars, clean energy and the production of missiles and sonar.