USGS: Need is Great for Non-Chinese Rare Earth Exploration

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A recent report from the US Geological Society has reiterated the importance of finding rare earth element supplies outside of China, especially for countries dependent on new technologies. According to Mineweb, countries such as Japan, the US and members of the European Union are trying to encourage the discovery and development of rare earth deposits outside of China.

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“In recent years, expert panels convened by research institutes and government agencies have issued reports suggesting that “a high potential exists for disruptions in REE supplies,” said the agency. “As a result, several expert panel analyses rank REEs high on the ‘criticality’ factor of raw materials, meaning they are of high technological and economic importance and have high supply side risk.”

Global exploration for economic REE deposits and efforts to bring them into production have increased substantially since 2000, says the report. More than 400 rare earth projects were in progress during 2012, including many advanced-stage exploration projects.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® was the price of praseodymium oxide, which saw a 2.3% decline to CNY 430,000 ($69,994) per metric ton. Last week marked the fourth in a row of declining prices for the metal. The price of terbium oxide rose 1.8% this week, closing out the third week at CNY 2,850 ($463.91) per kilogram. The price of neodymium oxide rose 1.5% to CNY 266,000 ($43,299) per metric ton after falling 4.7% during the previous week.

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The price of praseodymium neodymium oxide rose 1.5% to CNY 276,000 ($44,926) per metric ton after falling 2.9% during the previous week. For the third week in a row, the price of neodymium dropped, falling 1.4% to CNY 345,000 ($56,158) per metric ton. The price of neodymium dropped 1.4% this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at CNY 345,000 ($56,158) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 1,500 ($244.16) per kilogram for the week, dysprosium oxide rose by a slight 1.4%.

Europium oxide traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 1,900 ($309.27) per kilogram. Lanthanum oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 13,000 ($2,116) per metric ton. At CNY 25,000 ($4,069) per metric ton, the price of rare earth carbonate did not change since the previous week. Samarium oxide traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 17,000 ($2,767) per metric ton.

Terbium metal remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 3,800 ($618.55) per kilogram. Prices for yttria remained constant, closing the week at CNY 34,000 ($5,534) per metric ton. At CNY 270.00 ($43.95) per kilogram, the price of yttrium did not change since the previous week.

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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