Rare Earths MMI®: Ocean Floor a Sustainable Source of Manganese?

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In recent years, economists and geologists have begun worrying that the world’s supply of rare earth metals will be outpaced by demand, driving up the prices of materials vital to the production of popular electronics like the iPhone and Blackberry.

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But a new study, published this week in the journal Applied Geochemistry, suggests humans could extract rare earth metals from the solid nodes of iron and manganese found strewn across much of the deep ocean floor. Could the bottom of the sea be the new rare earths breadbasket?

A 1.6 percent improvement on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® made neodymium oxide the week’s biggest mover, closing at CNY 325,000 ($51,924) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 328,000 ($52,404) per metric ton for the week, praseodymium neodymium oxide rose by a slight 0.9 percent. Following a steady week, prices for cerium oxide closed flat at CNY 21,000 ($3,355) per metric ton.

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Closing at CNY 1,650 ($263.62) per kilogram, dysprosium oxide remained unchanged for the week. Europium oxide prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 4,050 ($647.06) per kilogram. Europium oxide traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 4,050 ($647.06) per kilogram. Lanthanum oxide prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 20,000 ($3,195) per metric ton.

Following a steady week, prices for praseodymium oxide closed flat at CNY 580,000 ($92,665) per metric ton. Rare earth carbonate remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 25,000 ($3,994) per metric ton. At CNY 18,500 ($2,956) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for samarium oxide. Closing at CNY 4,600 ($734.93) per kilogram, terbium metal remained unchanged for the week.

Prices for terbium oxide remained constant, closing the week at CNY 3,200 ($511.25) per kilogram. At CNY 55,000 ($8,787) per metric ton, the price of yttria did not change since the previous week. Yttrium remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 290.00 ($46.33) per kilogram.

The Rare Earths MMI® collects and weights 14 global rare earth metal price points to provide a unique view into rare earth metal price trends. For more information on the Rare Earths MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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