As the chart below demonstrates commodity prices are driven by different factors. The precious metals prices have been the hyperbolic driver of headline commodities news relative to the broader based commodities index and oil. The latter two are more geared to industrial use as gold’s commercial use is limited. The chart highlights the divergence in the components of the commodities index. iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG) tracks 24 different commodities including energy (67%), industrial metals (16%), livestock (7%) and precious metals (3%).
Rare Earth Mining News
Advances in energy and agriculture are creating demand for previously ignored metals such as scandium, tellurium and indium. In this exclusive interview with The Energy Report, Mining Analyst John Kaiser, editor of Kaiser Research Online, explains the science that could exponentially increase the value of overlooked stocks.
While China continues to make asset driven economic decisions and now looks like a traction control experiment where the economy is like a car that is driving on ice that doesn't yet know it, QE2 ignited the bunsen burner for commodity price speculation. Last I checked, Ben Bernanke has decided to continue on with QE2 but has decided that QE3 is probably a bad idea because the true positive impact of additional money coming into the economy would be more than offset by inflation. In my opinion he's making the right call, but this call is likely going to put downward pressure on commodities and other assets.
QE, of course, only happens when interest rates hit the zero bound, so it’s impossible to disentangle the effects of QE from the effects of G3 interest rates all coming down to 1% or lower. But the effect of all these investment flows is clear: if you look at commodities as an asset class, total commodity assets under management have risen from just over $150 billion at the end of 2008 to over $400 billion today.
After sitting idly by and watching China monopolize the industry – the country is responsible for upwards of 95% of global supply – a rush to bring rare earth mine to production is on: There are now 251 rare earth projects being undertaken by 165 different companies in 24 countries. While prices have been rising rapidly, rare earth production is an expensive and complex undertaking. Very few projects can be developed for under $1bn and as the rest of the world shuttered rare earth mines metallurgical skills languished along with it.
United States Magnetic Materials Association: Defense bill calls for a competitive, multi-source rare earth inventory plan
The United States Magnetic Materials Association (“USMMA”), a trade association dedicated to restoring a competitive, secure, end-to-end rare earth supply chain to support the domestic manufacturing of rare earth permanent magnets, welcomes the inclusion of important and timely rare earth-related language in the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1540) that was passed by the House Armed Services Committee last night. The USMMA lauds the leadership of Representative Mike Coffman (CO-6), whose amendment recognizes current supply-chain vulnerabilities, focuses the Department of Defense on establishing an inventory of required materials, and encourages domestic manufacturing in this critical area.
Soaring demand for rare earth metals - used in the production of everything from smart phones to computer hardware to energy-efficient lights - is generating new but risky opportunities for mining companies in Canada and around the world, Ernst & Young says. "Rare earth metals are feeding the production of high-tech and green products. Demand is expected to jump more than 60% in the next five years alone," says Zahid Fazal, partner and leader of Ernst & Young's mining practice in Quebec. "The problem is China accounts for virtually all rare earths production, and their export restrictions are driving prices higher. What's more, Chinese domestic consumption of rare earth materials is predicted to outpace supply between 2012 and 2015."
Colorado Rare Earths reports analytical results delivering high contents of heavy rare earth elements
Colorado Rare Earths announced today that initial sampling during claim staking has returned high levels of the Heavy Group Rare Earth Elements (HREE). The results, based on grab samples from the Company’s claims at Iron Hill, a.k.a. Powderhorn, and Wet Mountains locations in Colorado, were analyzed by Actlabs, www.actlabs.com, of Ontario, Canada. A United States Geological Survey report, released in December 2010, “The Principal Rare Earth Elements Deposits of the United States,” identified the Iron Hill Complex and Wet Mountains Area as the only two rare earth elements deposits located in Colorado.
The Montreal Gazette reports on an Ernst & Young report released this week that points to opportunities for rare earth companies in Canada and elsewhere, as a result of REE export restrictions imposed by China: China’s clampdown on exports of rare earth metals used widely in smartphones and other electronic products, is opening up huge opportunities for the Canadian and international mining industry, consultants Ernst & Young said Wednesday.
The Canadian province of Quebec plans to develop its huge frozen northern reaches into a powerhouse of mining and renewable energy, targeting C$80 billion ($83 billion) of private and public investment. Quebec's 25-year "Plan Nord," launched on Monday, envisages funding for infrastructure, mines and the development of renewable energy, taking advantage of an improving investment climate as the earth warms and polar ice melts.
Dow Jones Newswires reports: Rare-earth mining company Molycorp Inc.'s (MCP) first-quarter loss narrowed due to higher sales volume and a jump in rare-earth prices, although the company's adjusted profit and sales growth missed analysts' expectations. Shares fell 5% to $63.13 in after-hours trading, after closing the regular session down 7.2%. The stock is up 33% this year through Tuesday's close.
Hudson Resources commenced its 2011 drill program at the company's Sarfartoq Rare Earth Element (REE) Project in Greenland. The objective of the program is threefold: (i) upgrade the resource at the ST1 Zone from the "inferred" category to the "indicated" category; (ii) expand the size of the ST1 deposit; and (iii) test several additional REE targets within the Sarfartoq Carbonatite Project.
Obviously, there has been one story front and center in the world of REEs this week, that of Goldman Sachs' analysis of the REE markets, and the financial medias rote recitation of said self-described analysis as fact. Judging by my inbox over the weekend, it's safe to say that Malcolm Southwood and his band of merry MBAs have rankled the geologists that be, to no discernible end. Reactions seem to run the gamut from disbelief to contention to naked outrage.
During our years in the resource investing business, we have developed a diverse client base. Many of our clients are in North America, with a majority of them in our home country, the United States […]
Independent technical report confirms IAMGOLD's niobium mine potential with a 691% increase in M&I resources and a net asset value up to $2 billion
IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG)(NYSE:IAG) today announced the results of an independently prepared NI 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") on the company's wholly-owned Niobec niobium mine in the province of Quebec, Canada. The PEA shows a significant increase in the measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimates at Niobec with the potential for a significant production expansion. The PEA examined the impact of changing the existing underground mine to an alternative bulk mining method. IAMGOLD technical personnel then compared the economics of the open pit scenario and a block caving scenario. The work done on the PEA and the study will be advanced in a 2011 pre-feasibility study to confirm the potential upside of Niobec.
Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp. (TSX-V:QRE) is pleased to announce the filing of an NI 43-101 resource report on the Elk Creek Carbonatite project in Nebraska. The report specifically deals with the core Niobium zone, and does not reflect results of any of the Rare Earth Element zones also located on the property. The report, prepared by Wardrop, A Tetra Tech Company ("Wardrop") will be available on SEDAR and the Company's website shortly. Image by Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp.
Japan's imports of rare earths from China rose 40 percent in March from the previous month, Ministry of Finance data showed, with some observers saying demand is so far unaffected by last month's devastating quake though the outlook remains murky.
Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:QRM) is pleased to report that its Board of Directors has approved funding for a pre-feasibility study of the Corporation's Strange Lake B-Zone rare earth element deposit, located in northeastern […]
Rare earths project developer, Lynas, reckons independent review of its proposed Malaysian processing facility will not pose a delay for project completion.
Geodex has acquired by staking the Jake Lee project covering approximately 3800 hectares located 80km south of Fredericton. Geodex will conduct an exploration program focused on the rare earth elements ("REE") potential with a secondary focus on gold and base metals based on the geology and supported by regional government sampling and assessment report data.
Demand for rare earth metals is likely to continue growing at double digit annual rates for the foreseeable future but, the supply side does not look quite as rosy. According to Molycorp CEO, Mark Smith, while a lot of production has been forecast from a number of small producers, very little of it is likely to come on stream in five years.
The commodity bull has shown little sign of running out of steam - until now. Prices began to stumble as soon as a note from Goldman Sachs, the American banking giant, whizzed around trading desks across the globe last week. The broker advised clients to close its profitable "CCCP" play, which involved investing in a basket of crude oil, copper, cotton, platinum and soybeans. The commodities team, led by Jeffrey Currie, argued that after gaining 25pc since December, the risks to the trade had changed.
Last Thursday, it was reported that China officially overtook the United States in wind power. While the U.S. added 5,116 megawatts last year (about half the amount of 2009), the mainland added a full 18,900 […]
Exploration Orbite VSPA has discovered the presence of high-value byproducts such as scandium, gallium and other important rare earth elements in its Grande-Vallée deposit in the Gaspé region of Quebec, all of which offer strong economic potential for the company and for Canada, the company believes.
Rare earth stocks have been hugely popular for the past few months. I remember one day when it seemed like CNBC suddenly started talking about Molycorp (MCP) and other rare earth stocks so frequently that it made me wonder if they had a motive.