The Rare Earths Monthly Metals Index (MMI) rose by 1.7% for this month’s reading.
We’re offering timely emails with exclusive analyst commentary and some best practice advice. Sign up here.
China consolidates trio of rare earths units
As Beijing has sought to control its domestic metals production in the form of state-directed company consolidation, it has also done so in the rare earths sector.
According to the state-run Xinhua, China established the China Rare Earth Group Co., Ltd. late last month in the country’s Jiangxi province.
Aluminum Corporation of China, China Minmetals Corporation and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group Co., Ltd. established the new company jointly.
Companies aim to develop REE-making technology
Last month, Energy Fuels Inc., the U.S.’s top producer of uranium, announced a memorandum of understanding with Nanoscale Powders LLC to develop novel technology for the production of rare earth element metals.
“We believe this Technology, which was initially developed by NSP, and will be advanced by the Company and NSP working together, has the potential to revolutionize the rare earth metal making industry by reducing costs of production, reducing energy consumption, and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Energy Fuels said in its announcement. “Producing REE metals and alloys is a key step in a fully integrated REE supply chain, after production of separated REE oxides and before the manufacture of neodymium iron boron magnets used in electric vehicles, wind generation and other clean energy and advanced technologies.”
Among its other operations, Energy Fuels produces mixed rare earth element carbonate. It also recovers uranium from natural monazite sands.
“The Company is also moving quickly toward producing REE Oxides at the Mill using proven solvent extraction technologies,” the firm added. “The Mill has over 40 years of experience producing uranium and vanadium oxides using SX technology.”
Companies, industry groups weigh in on Section 232 neodymium magnet probe
Last September, the Department of Commerce announced the initiation of a Section 232 investigation covering neodymium magnets.