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Rare Earth Supply

 

Global demand is expected to increase to approximately 200,000t per annum by 2015 leaving a significant opportunity for new sources of non-Chinese supply. Shortfalls are expected for certain rare earth oxides, particularly neodymium and heavy rare earths. According to Roskill projections, prices for the commonly traded, higher priced rare earth oxides are expected to show continued growth to 2015. In particular, europium, neodymium, terbium and dysprosium are expected to be in tight supply and their market prices will remain strong. Rare earth deposits with higher distributions of these rare earth elements are likely to have a meaningful commercial advantage. Western governments including the US, Europe and Japan are seeking to gain control of their own supply chains which are essential for their high tech industries. A forecast of the supply and demand to 2015 as forcast by Roskill is shown below.

 

Supply and Demand for 2015 from Roskill

Source: Roskill 2010

 

Supply Developments Articles/Links

 

30 May 2011: An article highlighting the tensions in Malaysia surrounding the radioactive content of Lynas’ rare earth plant. “The panel, formed by the IAEA, will meet with stakeholders until Thursday before beginning a month-long review to decide on the fate of the refinery and the risks of radiation pollution. Environmental groups, both local and in Australia, have criticised the Lynas rare earth project, saying that the corporation’s plans for waste storage and transport management from Western Australia to the Gebeng industrial zone were not clear.” Rivals nearly clash over rare earth project

 

30 May 2011: An article by proactiveinvestors on the the US Congress’s attempts to secure a domestic supply of rare earths. “Seventeen U.S. Senators, representing both Republicans and Democrats, Thursday introduced the Critical Minerals Policy Act, which seeks to "revitalize the United States critical minerals supply chain and reduce the nation's growing dependence on foreign suppliers.” U.S. Senators introduce bipartisan Critical Minerals Policy Act

 

24 May 2011: An article by Kidela Group about the vital role europium plays along with a chart showing the dramatic price escalation during 2011. Europium: A Rare Earth That’s Helping Light Up Our Future

 

6 May 2011: An article by Jack Lifton of Technology Metals Research pouring cold water on the projection by Goldman Sachs of a surplus of rare earths by 2013. “I guess that there’s no need now to worry about the future supply of the rare-earth metals. Earlier today the Wall Street Journal reported, in an article entitled “Rare Earths Grow Less Rare“, that Goldman Sachs says that although supplies will remain tight in 2011 and 2012 and prices will remain high, we can be assured (by Goldman Sachs analysts) that the rare earth supply shortage situation will end in 2013 as new supplies come on stream from outside of China. I sincerely wonder if this is even good nonsense.” In Xanadu Did Goldman Sachs Decree A Rare Earths Surplus For All To See

 

April 26 2011: An article by Kidela Group discussing the future shortage of dysprosium along with a chart of dysprosium prices since 2001. “Dudley Kingsnorth, executive director of Industrial Minerals Co. of Australia, maintains that a lack of supply from outside China in the short term could lead to a global shortage of dysprosium, terbium, europium and neodymium. “Dysprosium is the Rare Earth in which there will be the greatest shortage,” he says.” Dysprosium: An Aptly-named Rare Earth Element

 

8 March 2011: A presentation by John Kaiser of KaiserResearch.com on rare earths at the 2011 Critical Metals Emergency Conference, with slide 25 showing some supply-demand scenarios out to 2020. John Kaiser's Critical Metals Overview

 

8 February 2011: An article by Breitbart reporting on China’s decision to create a rare earth stockpile. “China is building up strategic reserves of rare earth metals in a move that could give it better control over the resource so indispensable to high tech products, the Wall Street Journal reported.” China creates rare earth strategic reserves

 

7 February 2011: An article by Rare Earth Investing News reporting on Europe’s attempts to tackle the rare earth shortage. “The European Union is also trying to devise their own strategy. The European Commission is hoping for industry to start recycling and stockpiling rare earths, which may dampen high prices and alleviate supply shortages.” Governments Discuss Strategic Minerals Policy as Rare Earth Supply Chain Tightens

 

22 January 2011: A presentation by the Japanese Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation on how Japan is going to secure supplies of rare earths, which include plans to stockpile. Jogmec's Role in Securing the Critical Minerals

 

11 November 2010: An article in China Mining highlighting the potential shortage of neodymium among other elements. "Currently, the most critical elements for the future are likely to be neodymium and dysprosium," Robert Mackay, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Stans Energy Corp., said in an e-mail in response to Bloomberg questions. "The most threatened, according to our statistics are europium, terbium, dysprosium, and yttrium. It is likely that high-powered magnets will be a rare earth leader in terms of future growth rates." Neodymium, Dysprosium Rare Earths May Grow Fastest on Hybrid Cars, Hi-Tech




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