The world of rare earth element mining is heating up as a result of China cutting exports of the minerals. Prices of rare earth concentrate, according to China’s Ministry of Land and Resource, have increased by 50 percent since June of this year most likely as a result of the restrictions on exports. Resource Investing News reports:
The Chinese government has also consolidated power in its rare earth mining sector. The Chinese authorities will give “Baotou Steel Group a monopoly to mine the resource by the end of this year,” the state planner said on Wednesday. The consolidation of the rare earth mining sector will most likely help cut back on illegal mining and environmental degradation, which has been cited as a major reason for the cutbacks on mining quotas. It may also drive up prices on the world market, helping upstart rare earth companies.
There are many projects in the works worldwide; a number of which have been covered over the last few weeks on Rare Earth Investing News. News coverage on these projects has flooded the wires over the last few months. The urgency to start these projects has been echoed by the US government as rare earth oxides are not only vital from an economic perspective, but also vital for national security. Many of the companies are actively engaged in initial public offerings as well as feasibility studies on their deposits to start mining as quickly as possible.
U.S. Rare Earths Inc., a private mining company, announced that new sensing studies on their deposits will be carried out with the help of aerospace company Boeing. The US Geological Survey has called the company’s deposits in Idaho, Colorado and Montana some of the most significant rare earth deposits in North America.
“”Boeing’s technology will greatly enhance our exploration capabilities and provide a competitive advantage for the discovery of new deposits,” said Edward Cowle, CEO of U.S. Rare Earths.
“Boeing will utilize a version of their remote sensing research technology on USRE documented mining claims in the Lemhi Pass, Diamond Creek and North Fork,” stated the press release.
The move makes sense for Boeing, a major consumer of rare earth oxides (REOs) in its production of military technology. Many other companies, such as Toyota, have been looking to secure their own supply of REOs as China cuts back exports.
Avalon Rare Metals (TSE:AVL) has announced a $30 million public offering to raise capital for its Nechalacho Rare Earth Element Project located at Thor Lake in the Northwest Territories, Canada. “The company will sell 9.24 million units at a price of C$3.25 per unit. Each unit will consist of one common share and one-half of one share purchase warrant,” according to Proactive Investors.
Avalon has also announced an update to the resource base at the Nechalacho deposit. “The winter drilling has increased the Indicated Mineral Resources in the key Basal Zone part of the deposit by 40% with an additional 5.97 million tonnes grading 1.57% TREO with 25.5% HREO/TREO,” stated the press release.
Avalon isn’t the only company working to grow its resource estimates. Commerce Resources (CVE:CCE) has recently announced further results from 2010 drill program on its Eldor Lake project. The second drill hole shows 1.95% total rare earth oxides (TREO) over 243.84 metres (2.53 to 246.37 m) including 2.40% TREO over 29.99 m (38.25 to 68.24 m) and 2.41% TREO over 28.32 m, according to the press release.
The Eldor lake project is one of the largest known Carbonatite complexes in the world, which hosts the rare metals niobium, numerous rare earth oxides as well as tantalum. News of the findings released on Sept. 15th help propel the share price up 12 per cent to a 52 week high.
Arafura Resources (ASX:ARU) has announced that in association with he Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation a mixture of rare earth oxides have been successfully separated. “Rare Earth Oxide separation is one of the key technology work streams in progress for the Nolans Project Feasibility Study. Separated middle rare earth oxides (MREE1) and heavy rare earth oxides (HREE2) have now been produced,” stated a report by Proactive Investors.
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