Only four to six new producers might emerge outside of China to serve the demand for rare earth metals over the next five to ten years, according to analysts at a rare earth conference in China.
The Metal-Pages(TM) Minor Metals and Rare Earth Conference was held in Beijing, China on September 13-17, 2011.
The main reason cited for so few mines is the relatively small demand for rare earth metals outside of China. Most of the major electronic manufacturing resides within China.
Don Bubar, president of Avalon Rare Metals, said that the rare earth market in North America is so small that only the early movers, those who are mining and producing first, will win.
Avalon Rare Metals (TSE:AVL) is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company with a primary focus on the rare metals and minerals. Avalon's primary asset is the Nechalacho rare earth element deposit in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
"Much of the recent research commentary published on the rare earths industry does not discuss the importance of early mover advantage to the business opportunity nor highlight it as a risk factor for investors," said Bubar in an interview with BNN.
Bubar considers that an advanced project must have a positive pre-feasibility completed.