Showing life that hasn’t been seen since last July, the Rare Earths MMI® jumped in March to a value of 28, an increase of 7.7% over its 26 score in February. The flat-to-down market has risen five points from 23 in the last 3 months.
China opening the floodgates by ending rare earth export quotas has allowed end-users to purchase more computers, industrial magnets, cellular phones and other rare earths-powered products. China controls 90% of the not-so-rare elements, but the rally seems to be based on more than just China. There are new mines meeting demand capacity in India and a healthy Australian rare earths industry contributing, as well.
Molycorp, Lynas Corp Recover
Here in the US, Molycorp stock surged in price in February, although it’s still hovering around a dollar per share. The struggling RE miner seems to have at least shelved restructuring talks that started earlier this year. The company has doubled production at its Mountain Pass, Calif., facility, reporting that in Q4 2014 it completed 1,328 metric tons of rare earth oxide equivalent production. That compares to 1,034 mt in Q4 of 2013 and 691 mt in Q3 of 2014. Full year 2014 production totaled 4,785 mt, compared to 3,473 mt in 2013.
Lynas Corp. saw a similar stock price jump 18% in February. Granted, that only took its shares to 5.9 cents per unit, but it was a welcome shift for the struggling Australian miner.
New Rare Earths Separation Technology
On the technology front Ucore Rare Metals said it has secured the rights to a new minerals separation technology that has far-reaching potential for all future rare earths projects, in that it is able to separate the entire lanthanide suite, from lanthanum to lutetium, including yttrium and scandium.
COO Ken Collison said Ucore had entered into an agreement with IBC Advanced Technologies to acquire the exclusive rights to IBC’s SuperLig molecular recognition technology (MRT).
Exact Metal Price Movements: Rare Earths MMI®
With higher stock prices and promising new delivery advances, it should come as no surprise that our Rare Earths MMI is the exception the falling prices rule this month. The end of China’s export quotas is, of course, still the biggest story with REs.
Terbium metal reached $814.90 per kilogram after a 15.9% increase for the month. It was a strong month for dysprosium oxide. The metal posted a 8.4% increase, finishing at $287.61 per kilogram. Terbium oxide prices rose 5.3% to $639.14 per kilogram. Cerium oxide finished the month at $2,077 per metric ton after gaining 4.0%. After rising 3.3%, praseodymium neodymium oxide finished the month at $49,533 per metric ton. The price of neodymium oxide climbed 3.3% to $49,533 per metric ton. Europium oxide prices inched up 2.8% to $295.60 per kilogram. At $63,115, neodymium finished the month up 2.6% per metric ton.
At a price of $43.14 per kilogram, yttrium did not budge the entire month. Samarium oxide held pat last month at $2,876 per metric ton. Prices for lanthanum oxide remained constant this past month, holding at around $2,157 per metric ton. Last month was consistent for rare earth carbonate, which did not move from $3,995 per metric ton. Praseodymium oxide traded sideways last month, staying around $63,914 per metric ton. Yttria experienced a flat month, staying around $5,592 per metric ton.
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 over a 30-day period. 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.