Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rare Earth – the Evolving Drama (Final Post)



Rare Earth – the Evolving Drama (Final Post)

In recent years quite a big number of publications touches the rare earth elements (REE) developments. Both mining gurus and newsmen exchange various ideas, make their valuations and projections.  What is the drama per se? In my opinion – who will be the first to challenge the market after the well-known announcement from China? In no way I am pretending to be one of gurus or pundits, but I do hope that some of the resources that I list may help anyone interested to obtain information for whatever purposes it is required. So, this final post on the theme I am making in a sort of Q&A narration.

I. What are the sources of comprehensive information on REE?
1. Quite obviously, the latest being Technology minerals. The rare earths race is on! April 2011 by Ernst & Young. These are the issues that are examined:
  •  What are the short- and medium-term expected demand  trends for rare earths?
  • What is the global stakeholder response to the rare earths supply issue: from the governments to the explorers and the end users?
  • What factors are critical in analyzing a rare earths project?
  • What sources of funding are available to develop a rare earths project?
  • What challenges, risks and issues are inherent in exiting a rare earth project?
2. Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain by the U.S. Congressional Research Service - Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress  - analysis of US policy related to rare earth. Major highlights:       
  • What Are Rare Earth Elements?
  • Major End Uses and Applications
  • Demand for Rare Earth Elements
  • The Application of Rare Earth Metals in National Defense
  • Rare Earth Resources and Production Potential
  • Supply Chain Issues
  • Role of China
  • Rare Earth Legislation in the 111th Congress
  • Possible Policy Options
  • Challenge China on Its Export Policy
  • Establish a Stockpile
 3. USGS publications.
3a. A list of all REE deposits (about 150 pages) was compiled in 2002 by USGS: REE Mines, Deposits and Occurrences
3b. Another fresh USGS publication:
  • The Rare Earth Elements
  •        Basic Geology of Rare Earth Elements
  •        Mineralogy of United States Deposits
  •        Current Sources and Domestic Reserves
  • The Principal Rare Earth Elements Deposits of the United States
  • Phosphorite Deposits in the Southeastern United States
  • Placer Rare Earth Elements Deposits

II. Any latest information on investment in REE?
1. A rather comprehensive source of information on REE is this Website: REE-Investor . According to Alexa there is not much Internet traffic to the site over the last three months, although it has an updated new page and what I consider the most valuable – a collection of 36 various reviews by the REE Guru Jack Lifton . Indeed, if you want to have a comprehensive picture of this industry segment – just read these comments! Beside that: The list of rare earth companies ; Under Company reviews:  Avalon Rare Metals,  Rare Elements Resources. There is no information on who runs that site – but I have a suspicion that it is Mr. Jack Lifton himself?
2. Another list of REE companies is in Investing in rare earth elements with updated REE news
3. Discussion on Seeking Alpha Why Investors Should Be Cautious of Rare Element Resources and comments

III. Is there any latest practical information for businessmen, starting REE venture?
1. The cited above E&Y study
Funding and other practical issues, including suggested business models are in detail described in
What sources of funding are available to develop a rare earths project? and in Appendix 3 — What models have been used in practice to develop a rare earth project
 2. Reading The Principal Rare Earth Elements Deposits of the United States—A Summary of Domestic Deposits and a Global Perspective you may pay attention to the section Developing a Rare Earth Elements Mine, that besides other various useful information has this table:

This concludes my foray into REE; and I hope that this may bring some value to general information exchange in mining industry over the Internet.

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