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Thread: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

  1. #1
    DMac
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    Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    Submitted by madhedgefundtrader on 05/03/2010 23:58 -0500

    Interest in Rare Earths is starting to heat up in a dramatic fashion, and it something you should keep on your radar. So named because they were hard to get in the 18th and 19th century, these once obscure elements have suddenly become the focus of several converging trends in the global economy, as they are the key ingredient of magnets. There are 17 in all, divided into light (cerium, Ce, lanthanum, La, and neodymium, Nd) and heavy (dysprosium, Dy, terbium, Tb, and europium, Eu).

    It turns out that you can’t build a hybrid or electric car, a wind turbine, thin film solar, LED’s, high performance batteries, or a cell phone without these elements. One Prius uses 25 kilograms of the stuff. You also can’t fight a modern war without rare earths, being essential for radar, missile guidance systems, navigation, and night vision goggles.

    That’s where things get interesting. China now produces 97% of the world’s rare earth supplies, much of it coming from small mines operating by criminal gangs where it is safe to say, concerns about environmental considerations are nil. Last year China announced that it may start restricting rare earth exports, possibly banning several, it is thought, in order to force foreigners to buy more of their downstream electronic products. Such a ban could begin as early as 2012.

    The world market for rare earths is tiny now, amounting to only $1.4 billion a year. But Toyota intends on doubling its production of Prius’s from one million to 2 million units in the near future, while China and South Korea want to boost their combined electric and hybrid production by 1 million units by the end of next year. Demand for wind turbines is going off the charts, thanks to massive government subsidies in Europe and the US.

    America was once the world’s largest producer of these elements, until it was undercut on prices by China (see chart below), and all US production ceased. The threatened Chinese export ban has prompted a group of investors to reopen Molycorp’s Mountain Pass California mine, a jackrabbit ridden, rattlesnake infested pit an hour southwest of Las Vegas. The mine was the world’s largest producer of cerium and neodymium, and provided the europium that was used to produce the first color televisions. The group has filed with the SEC for an IPO that seeks to raise $500 million to reopen the mine and a nearby refinery.

    Now congress wants to get involved, proposing a rare earths strategic stockpile for the military, and offering subsidized loans to fund it. Remember what that did for oil? Every peak in oil prices in the last 30 years coincided with the government topping up its strategic petroleum reserve.

    Rare earth prices have already started to move, with cerium doubling to $4/pound since 2007, and neodymium up 500% to $23/pound during the same period. Rare earths don’t have any futures or ETF’s to trade that I know of, so the only way to get involved is through the miners themselves, which involves an added element of risk. Take a look at the established players, which include Avalon Rare Metals (AVARF.PK), Great Western Minerals Group (GWMGF.PK), Rare Earth Metals (RAREF.PK), Lynas Corp (LYSCF), and Molycorp, after it goes public.

    To see the data, charts, and graphs that support this research piece, as well as more iconoclastic and out-of-consensus analysis, please visit me at www.madhedgefundtrader.com . There, you will find the conventional wisdom mercilessly flailed and tortured daily, and my last two years of research reports available for free. You can also listen to me on Hedge Fund Radio by clicking on the “Today’s Radio Show” menu tab on the left on my home page.


  2. #2
    DMac
    Guest

    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    Quote Originally Posted by speculator @ ZH comments
    on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 07:05

    A quick search of our mining stock database shows 25 companies with REE or heavy minerals. Here are a few off the top, in alphabetical order:



    Acme Resources Inc | ARI, ARIZF, 34IA : TSX.V

    American Manganese Inc | AMY : TSX.V

    Avalon Rare Minerals Inc | AVL : TSX

    Azimut Exploration Inc | AZM : TSX.V

    BHP Billiton Ltd | BHP : ASX

    Bolero Resources Corp | BRU : TSX.V

    Commerce Resources Corp | CCE : TSX.V

    Consolidated Abaddon Resources Inc | ABN : TSX.

    Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc | CGP : TSX.V



    To see the full list, go here and use the Minerals filter to select "REE" and "heavy minerals" :

    http://miningalmanac.com/filters/

    I don't mean to spam -- I read ZH every day and just happen to have a mining database site.

  3. #3
    DMac
    Guest

    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    I am actively waiting for the IPO of Molycorp Minerals:


    http://www.molycorp.com/

    They are set to be the US's largest Rare Earth mineral mining firm, out of California.

    I think this sector has a very bright future.

  4. #4
    DMac
    Guest

    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare


  5. #5
    Palladium
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    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    IMHO, rare earths are a good place to park speculative cash.

    Good thread.
    The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth.<br />-- Alan Blinder, former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve

  6. #6
    Book
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    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    America was once the world’s largest producer of these elements, until it was undercut on prices by China (see chart below), and all US production ceased.


    No real scarcity. Shipped to China like our factories due to cheap labor.

    After the worldwide crash there will be little demand for a Prius or any other esoteric high-tech gizmo.

    o-->

  7. #7
    DMac
    Guest

    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare

    Quote Originally Posted by Book
    America was once the world’s largest producer of these elements, until it was undercut on prices by China (see chart below), and all US production ceased.


    No real scarcity. Shipped to China like our factories due to cheap labor.

    After the worldwide crash there will be little demand for a Prius or any other esoteric high-tech gizmo.

    o-->
    Hey Book,

    Agree and disagree, respectively.

    Agreed about shipping the production via slave wage costs to China.

    Disagree with the lack of demand post crash. Rare earth metals are vital to the MIC. After the crash the MIC is going to be quite busy and a busy military means a lot of bomb and other gizmo production.


  8. #8
    Iridium
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    Re: Rare Earths Are About to Become a Lot More Rare


    China Freaks Out The World By Announcing Restrictions On Export Of Metals Crucial For National Defense


    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chine...#ixzz0pnUkD9mT



    China appears to be making moves that several folks had been fearing for some time: It is considering stricter limits on the export of so-called rare-earth metals.

    The metals, which are most abundant in China, are used in a range of high tech industries including green energy and defense, which is what most concerns the US government.

    Claiming that the mining of rare earths has been bad for the environment, the government is moving to restrict unauthorized wells, which may be exporting their goods illegally at too-low prices, according to NYT.

    This move will surely be good news for the one major domestic player, Molycorp, which is based in California, and has IPO plans. Any restrictions coming out of China can only mean an easier time with regulations, and more subsidies, especially given the defense implications.

    We've put together a presentation on what you need to know about rare earths. The first part is a presentation from Avalon Rare Metals, explaining what they're all about, and the second lists key countries to pay attention to.

    Click here to learn about this crucial industry >


    Slide show: http://www.businessinsider.com/chine...#ixzz0pnUtldGE
    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint - Isaiah 40:31

    Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. ~
    Matthew 7:7


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