Posts Tagged ‘rare earth metals’

Why All the Fuss over Rare Earths?

Why All the Fuss over Rare Earths?

rare earth elementsCourtesy of Doug Hornig,Casey’s International Speculator

Rare earth elements (REEs) have been the mystery metals of the mining world for years. Now, suddenly, everyone’s heard about them.

Before we delve into the reasons behind all the publicity, here’s the basic skinny on REEs: One, they are rare, at least sort of. Two, they are indispensable to modern technology. Three, the number of active, dedicated producers is tiny, with more than 90% of the world’s supply coming from China.

If you took high school chemistry, you probably remember the periodic table of the elements. But if you’re like most of us, even if you pulled a 95 on the chem final, you may not recall many of the details today. And there’s a better than even chance you never bothered to memorize the names of the REEs. It’s time to get reacquainted.

They’re generally clustered in a separate grouping at the bottom of the table, are known collectively as the lanthanoids, and these are their names, in order of atomic number (57-70): lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, and ytterbium. Yttrium (39) and lutetium (71) are also sometimes included.

Need to know, point 1: Rarity.

Fact is, we begin with something of a misnomer. These elements are not, strictly speaking, rare. Earth’s crust is full of them. True, they’re not as common as iron, carbon, or silicon, but are about on a par with nickel, copper, and zinc. Even the scarcest is way more abundant than gold, platinum, or palladium.

What is rare about them is that they’re widely dispersed. Very seldom are they found in economically exploitable deposits. Complicating matters further is that there are so many of them, and they clump together. They have to be separated first from the ore and then from each other.

Thus REE production comes primarily from other mines’ byproducts. The miner strips off the metal he’s really after, then sends the REE clusters to a specialty refiner.

Need to know, point 2: Applications.

It’s safe to say that life as we know it would be very different without the REEs. The more our technological accomplishments pile atop one another, the more crucial these metals become. Because of their unique properties, there are generally no substitutes for them.

Of all the REEs, the one people may have…
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Rare Mineral Security

Rare Mineral Security

rare earth metals Courtesy of Michael Panzner of When Giants Fall

As we’ve already seen and are likely to see more of in future, energy security and food security are key concerns. But that’s not the end of it. In a resource-constrained world, efforts to source, preserve, and protect supplies of all sorts of commodities will become increasingly commonplace. In "World Faces Hi-Tech Crunch as China Eyes Ban on Rare Metal Exports," The Telegraph‘s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard highlights one area that’s been getting a lot more attention lately.

Beijing is drawing up plans to prohibit or restrict exports of rare earth metals that are produced only in China and play a vital role in cutting edge technology, from hybrid cars and catalytic converters, to superconductors, and precision-guided weapons.

A draft report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs.

China mines over 95pc of the world’s rare earth minerals, mostly in Inner Mongolia. The move to horde reserves is the clearest sign to date that the global struggle for diminishing resources is shifting into a new phase. Countries may find it hard to obtain key materials at any price.

Alistair Stephens, from Australia’s rare metals group Arafura, said his contacts in China had been shown a copy of the draft — `Rare Earths Industry Development Plan 2009-2015’. Any decision will be made by China’s State Council.

“This isn’t about the China holding the world to ransom. They are saying we need these resources to develop our own economy and achieve energy efficiency, so go find your own supplies”, he said.

Mr Stephens said China had put global competitors out of business in the early 1990s by flooding the market, leading to the closure of the biggest US rare earth mine at Mountain Pass in California – now being revived by Molycorp Minerals.

New technologies have since increased the value and strategic importance of these metals, but it will take years for fresh supply to come on stream from deposits in Australia, North America, and South Africa. The rare earth family are hard to find, and harder to extract.


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Phil's Favorites

Artisan robots with AI smarts will juggle tasks, choose tools, mix and match recipes and even order materials - all without human help

 

Artisan robots with AI smarts will juggle tasks, choose tools, mix and match recipes and even order materials – all without human help

Factory robots could soon acquire a range of skills, including the ability to choose how to make things. studiostockart/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Courtesy of Glenn S. Daehn, The Ohio State University

Failure of a machine in a factory can shut it down. Lost production can cost millions of dollars per day. Component failures can devastate factories, power plants and battlefield ...



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Zero Hedge

It's Too Late To Avoid A Major Oil Supply Crisis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by David Messler via OilPrice.com,

There are a number of observable trends in oil supplies and by extension prices, presently. I am going to discuss one of them in this article. A lack of capital investment in finding new supplies of oil and gas. A favorite analogy of mine comes to mind, the ship is nearing the dock. In nautical parlance that means the time for course corrections is at an end. So we shall see if that is the case for oi...



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Biotech/COVID-19

A mix-and-match approach to COVID-19 vaccines could provide logistical and immunological benefits

 

A mix-and-match approach to COVID-19 vaccines could provide logistical and immunological benefits

One of this and one of that might be a good strategy to coronavirus vaccination. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Courtesy of Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology

While it’s now pretty easy to get a COVID-19 shot in most places in the U.S., the vaccine rollout in other parts of the world has been slow or inconsistent due to ...



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Chart School

Gold Seasonals and T Theory Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold tends to slump at the start of the US summer, and will Basel 3 make a difference this year?

Basel 3 has removed a large chuck of paper shorts off the LBMA, of course this is for the banks only, the hedge funds can continue to suppress gold with paper shorts. The true effect of Basel 3 may not be known for some month. 


A typical pattern in the metals is a smash down just before a major rally, consider this:


POINT 1: IRD recent post did say this

..."I’m wondering if the entire 'Kabuki Theatre' production is being staged to...



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Politics

The Ukraine Fallacies (with Victor Rud)

 

The Ukraine Fallacies (with Victor Rud)

Americans are confused about the history of Ukraine. That's just how Russia wants it.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL

Greg is the author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia 

...

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Promotions

Live Webinar with Phil on Option Strategies

 

June is TD Bank's Option Education Month, and today (Thursday, June 10) at 1 pm EST, Phil will speak with host Bryan Rogers about selling options and various option strategies that we use here at Phil's Stock World. Don't miss this event!

Click here to register for TD's live webinar with Phil.

 

...

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Digital Currencies

Crypto: Congress Dawdles as $1.7 Trillion Con-Game Goes Unregulated, Threatening Reputation of U.S. Markets

Courtesy of Pam Martens

If you want to get your hair cut outside of your home in the United States, the job has to be done by a licensed worker at a regulated business. The same thing applies to plumbers, electricians, home inspectors, real estate and insurance agents. They all require a license and are subject to regulatory scrutiny.

Likewise, commodities like corn, sugar, wheat, lumber and oil are all traded on regulated exchanges which are overseen by a federal regulator.

But, for reasons that have yet to be explained to the American people, when it comes to the $1.7 trillion cryptocurrency market – which is effectively a con-g...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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