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|Rank||Country||World Mine Production, By Country (Metric tons of rare earth oxide equivalent)|
China sets up rare earth industry association (Resource Investing News, 19 April 2012)
China recently announced that it has set up a rare earth association to speed up the unification of the diverse industry, which has drawn criticism from what many overseas trade partners are calling unfair export quotas.
He also said that the project contains one of North America’s largest undeveloped niobium deposits in terms of grade and tonnage, and is the only primary niobium deposit under development in the US.
Dominating the World: China and the Rare Earth Industry
The rare earths are a relatively abundant group of 17 elements composed of the lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium.
Namibia Rare Earths files maiden Lofdal resource, confirms HREE
By: Henry Lazenby
Published: 26th September 2012
TORONTO (miningweekly.com) –
Namibia Rare Earths(NRE) had filed a maiden resource for its Lofdal rare earths elements project, confirming the presence of high levels of heavy rare-earth enrichment (HREE) in certain areas of the project.
The National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource estimate, covering Area 4 of the project located in the north-west of Namibia, pointed to “exceptional”
levels of HREE of between 75% and 93% HREE, depending on the cut-off grade, with corresponding total rare earth oxide grades (TREO) ranging from
0.27% to 1.26%.
What distinguishes the project from many other juniors that have entered the market in response to China’s reduction of exports over the past four years
– the country produces over 95% of the world’s rareearth’s supply – is its concentration of what are called heavy rare earths. “Given current rare-earth prices, over 90% of the value in this deposit lies in the four critical heavy rare
earths – europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium – with less than 2% of the value relating to lanthanum and cerium, the most common light rare earths,” NRE president Don Burton said in a prepared
Mining consultancy The MSA Group of South Africa prepared the estimate had identified the presence of an indicated resource, at a 0.3% TREO cut-off, of 900 000 t at 0.62% TREO, with 86% HREE, and an inferred resource of 750 000 t grading 0.56% TREO, with 85% HREE. The resource was drilled to a depth of 150 m and remained open at depth and along strike. At a low-grade cut-off of 0.1% TREO, the resource estimate provided for 2.88-million tons grading 0.32% TREO, with 76% HREE in the indicated category, and 3.28-million tons grading 0.27% TREO, with 75% HREE in the inferred category.
The company said it was still studying the most appropriate cut-off grade. NRE said a metallurgical study programme was also currently underway with Commodas Ultrasort, in Germany, and South African metallurgical specialist Mintek, to demonstrate the viability of extracting the rare earths from Area 4.
Burton also noted that subject to favourable outcomes on the metallurgy studies, the entire mineral resource at Area 4 could be upgraded from indicated and inferred to measured and indicated categories without any further drilling. However, there still remained substantial upside potential to increase the resource through further exploration of the 200 km2 Lofdal carbonatite complex.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company debuted on the TSX in April, after it raised C$25-million in an initial public offering, in preparation for undertaking the resource estimate.
The report states that Steenkampskraal hosted a resource of 131 500 t of rare-earth minerals in the indicated and inferred categories, with about 37 500 t of resources located in the upper and lower tailings dams.
GWMG said it had notified its escrow agent that it had satisfied the escrow release condition of the $90-million convertible bond financing and expects the remaining $10.8-million, earmarked to satisfy interest payments, to be released to the company in due course.
In order to satisfy the escrow release condition, GWMG had to confirm that at least 20 000 t of total rare-earth oxides (TREO) including yttrium, in the sum of the measured, indicated, and inferred resource categories are present at the Steenkampskraal property using a 1% cut-off grade.
The NI 43-101 report pointed to the presence of 13 823.64 t of TREO including yttrium under the indicated resource category and 14 147.76 t under the inferred resource category.
The aspiring integrated rare-earths producer on Wednesday said it had narrowed its first-quarter loss to $3.06-million when compared with the loss of $4.86-million in the same period a year ago.
- Aim-listed African Consolidated Resources (ACR) has signed a joint-venture (JV) agreement with an Australian-based exploration company Rare Earth International (REI) to explore ACR’s Nkombwa Hill rare-earths and phosphate project, in Zambia.
The 720-km2 exploration project was expected to contain a large potential phosphate resource, as well as light rare-earth elements (REEs).
REI would, in terms of the agreement, spend at least $750 000 over the next two years to define an inferred resource to a Joint Ore Reserve Committee- (Jorc-) compliant standard for the project, in order to earn a 30% stake.
It would then spend a further $600 000 over an 18-month period to define an indicated resource to Jorc-compliant standard, the completion of which would lead to an increase in its stake to 50%.
ACR would then have the option to cofund the completion of a prefeasibility study and a bankable feasibility study, with each party maintaining a 50% interest in the project.
However, if it decided not to provide cofunding for the feasibility studies, REI would eventually boost its stake in the project to 75% by providing all the funding.
Corporate finance services provider Ambrian Capital said in a research note that the signing of the JV partnership was a “savvy” move, as it would allow the company to diversify out of its primary country of operation, Zimbabwe.
Further, Ambrian pointed out that while the project’s focus would be phosphate, for which there was plenty of demand in Africa, it would also bring in more experienced partners to focus on the development of the more lucrative REEs.
“There is currently a significant focus on REEs following recent moves by China, the world’s largest supplier or REEs, to restrict exports,” it added.
China plans to allow only a few State-owned enterprises to mine rare-earth metals, as part of a campaign to combat illegal mining and to consolidate its reserves.
Worldwide demand for REEs, which are used in the manufacturing of hybrid cars, superalloys used in the defence industry, cellphones, large wind turbines, missiles and computer monitors, is on the increase, but the majority of the world’s supply, 95%, was still produced by China.
Global demand for REEs was expected to exceed 200 000 t/y by 2014, while a global shortfall of 40 000 t/y was expected by 2015, the US-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security pointed out in a March report.
This has led to companies relooking at old dormant REEs projects.
Australia’s Lynas Corporation was developing one of the largest REE projects outside China, namely the Mount Weld carbonatite in Western Australia, while US-based Molycorp Minerals had an interest in another large REE resource.
TSX Venture Exchange-listed Great Western Minerals Group also announced earlier this month that it had been granted new-order mining rights for the Steemkampskraal monazite project, in South Africa’s Western Cape province. (Source: miningweekly.com)