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Rare Earth Metal Prices
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    "Prices of the rare earths used in lasers and plasma televisions more than doubled in the past two weeks as China tightens control of mining, production and exports, according to market researcher Industrial Minerals.

    The cost of dysprosium oxide, used in magnets, lasers and nuclear reactors, has risen to about $1,470 a kilogram from $700 to $740 at the start of the month, Industrial Minerals said in an e-mailed statement. Europium oxide, used in plasma TVs and energy-saving light bulbs, has more than doubled.

    China, supplier of 95 percent of the 17 elements known as rare earths, has clamped down on rare-earth mining and cut export quotas, boosting prices and sparking concern among overseas users such as Japan about access to supplies. The government may further reduce export quotas, pushing prices higher, Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty said last month.

    “China has long said it will consolidate the industry but it’s moving more rapidly than many observers anticipated,” said Dudley Kingsnorth, a former rare earths project manager and now chief executive officer of Perth-based advisory Industrial Minerals Co. of Australia. “There might be an element of speculation but I think the price rises have been driven by people who are desperate for the product.”

    The world’s most populous nation will raise standards for exporters and won’t approve new project expansions in an effort to curb overcapacity, illegal mining and sales, the government said last month. The Ministry of Land and Resources said yesterday it wants to set aside some rare earth deposits. "

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  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • They have just started up mines again in canada and the US that were a major source of rare earth materials. I think South Africa and Australia have large reserves as well. Luckily most developed nations keep a huge stockpile of the stuff. I remember reading that Japan had a 2 year supply.

    I think what we are seeing now is a little bit of speculation and a lot of fear in the markets until more people are producing again. Rare Earth materials are not that rare, but the mining operations due cause a lot of environmental impact. Which makes it more expensive to produce in the US and Canada.

    No doubt that electronic goods will be more expensive but thats something we all need to start getting used to anyway.
  • I think otherwise.
    US and developed countries want to bluff.
    In good case they need good amount of money and time to start producing necessary amount.
    China position has some foundation.
    We just do not know this yet.
    I think of today as of 1939 year.
    Battle of the dogs under carpet.

    Before Ideal Storm comes.

  • You are both correct to some extent: there is speculation going on and China is acting to corner the market while other countries are scrambling. Of course the Hunts tried to do the same thing with the silver market in the 1970's and it blew up in their faces.
  • I hope that this time China wins :-)
    Just personal preference.
  • Why should anybody "win"? Isn't the world better off if no one country has a monopoly?
  • Japanese scientist found rare earth mineral/element on Pacific Ocean seabed

  • @andres

    Look at the date of the news.
    Plus this is PR project, as time and money required to get this metals are outstanding.
  • How about only one country? No competition.
  • >How about only one country? No competition.

    It is liberals dream.
    One country, no rights, pension till 95 years, no medicine as it prevents survival of the fittest.
    We are going this way, yeah.
  • +1. the rest are details. just one experiment after another. super powered by science and technology.
  • Rare earth's why the US is in Afganistan...
    And why the Soviet Union was there too!
  • @bubba
    As my understanding NATO remain in Afganistan to make and sell drugs around the world.
    Rare metals could be just small bonus.
  • Oh yeah! Poppy That and Oil in Iraq
    & pineapples in the kingdom of Hawaii