China undiluted rule for Ge and Ga exports; Chinese attacked in Myanmar; China okays thorium reactor; Serra Verde commission mine operation; Pensana change plans; BYD subsidies US$1 bio/year?;
Rare Earth 5. July 2023 #124
Today another very long piece, because a lot is happening.
It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens.
Ronald Reagan, 1981
The Beijing branch of the party's disciplinary arm, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, announced on June 25 it had expelled former state assets supervisory official Zhang Guilin for "serious violations of discipline and law," paving the way for a criminal prosecution.
"The investigation found that Zhang Guilin's political awareness was weak, and he kept and read books and periodicals with serious political issues," the commission said in a statement reported by state news agency Xinhua, which didn't elaborate on the nature of Zhang's chosen reading material.
Will we next see book-burning events at prominent locations in China?
The echo-chamber at the top of the CCP is now being extended to the medium ranks.
We have been thinking about tit-for-tat quite a lot lately, particularly as the U.S. and China engage in a decades long, high stakes, increasingly brutal game, elbowing one another to gain and maintain advantage across several technological and manufacturing capabilities. This tit-for-tat has most recently led to sweeping legislation in the U.S., such as the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to stymie China’s technological innovation and dominance over supply chains, especially for advanced products that are crucial for modern economies and warfare.
These efforts are viewed by the West as retaliatory, made in response to China stealing U.S. tech and IP to keep China from innovating its way to military parity. China’s reactions to U.S. policy were front and center at the recent G-7 talks in Japan.
Now, in addition to policies directly responding to the CHIPS and Science Act that include investigations into chip manufacturers, China’s Ministries of Commerce and Technology announced that they would consider “prohibit[ing] or limit[ing] exports of alloy tech for making high-performance magnets derived from rare earths” later this year.
The Nikkei article referred to here is of April 6, 2023. We had carried this subject 2 months earlier on February 3, 2023:
China tightens export ban of SmCo/NdFeB and RE know-how; China's RE and RE magnet exports 2022; VAC sign with General Motors; India starts exports of NdPr;
As ex-China investments add supply and processing capacity for various critical minerals, China appears to have a shrinking timeframe to execute a deliberate supply disruption. In fact, the use of the Defense Production Act and similar policies to diversify supply chains away from China may actually force such a decision by China for fear of not having that leverage in the future — a “use before you lose it” mentality.
Having seen the concept “politics trump economics” being applied in China by completely reality-disconnected “dynamic zero COVID policy”, there may well be the “use before you lose it” thinking in China.
Suspense keep building.
“More than 95 percent of rare-earth materials or metals come from, or are processed in, China. There is no alternative,” defense giant Raytheon chief Greg Hayes warned this week. “If we had to pull out of China, it would take us many, many years to reestablish that capability either domestically or in other friendly countries.”
From submarine sonar to aircraft disk drive motors, the U.S. military is almost wholly reliant on China’s extensive rare-earth value chains. Every Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, for example, is built with 920 pounds of rare earths; an Aegis destroyer requires around 5,200 pounds. The Mongols’ great weakness was the lack of siege engines; America’s problem is that they are made by its rival.
This is an over-simplified stereotype. There are no workers with helmets and overalls shovelling piles of blueish or yellowish powder into an F-35 or a destroyer warship.
The Muppet Show that preceded Trump’s executive order you can watch here (22 May 2020):
Lets be “TRUTH Social”
Trump’s administration knowingly and willingly allowed China to take de-facto control of Mountain Pass, after Xi Jin Ping’s visit to Trump’s Mar a Lago in 2017. The administration was warned over and over again not to allow this to happen.
In full text, for pre-empting stereotypes and hyperventilation
Announcement No. 23 of 2023 of the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs on the Implementation of Export Control on Gallium and Germanium Related Items
In accordance with the relevant provisions of the "Export Control Law of the People's Republic of China", "Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China", and "Customs Law of the People's Republic of China", in order to safeguard national security and interests, with the approval of the State Council, it is decided to implement export controls on items related to gallium and germanium. The relevant matters are announced as follows:
1. Items meeting the following characteristics shall not be exported without permission:
(1) Gallium-related items.
1. Gallium metal (single substance) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 8110929010, 8112929090, 8112999000).
2. Gallium nitride (including but not limited to wafers, powders, scraps, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2850001901, 3818009001, 3825690001).
3. Gallium oxide (including but not limited to polycrystalline, single crystal, wafer, epitaxial wafer, powder, scrap, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2825909001, 3818009002, 3825690002).
4. Gallium phosphide (including but not limited to polycrystalline, single crystal, wafer, epitaxial wafer, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2853904030, 3818009003, 3825690003).
5. Gallium arsenide (including but not limited to polycrystalline, single crystal, wafer, epitaxial wafer, powder, scrap, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2853909026, 3818009004, 3825690004).
6. Indium gallium arsenic (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2853909028, 3818009005, 3825690005).
7. Gallium selenide (including but not limited to polycrystalline, single crystal, wafer, epitaxial wafer, powder, scrap, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2842909024, 3818009006, 3825690006).
8. Gallium antimonide (including but not limited to polycrystalline, single crystal, wafer, epitaxial wafer, powder, scrap, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2853909029, 3818009007, 3825690007).
(2) Items related to germanium.
1. Metal germanium (single substance, including but not limited to crystal, powder, crushed material, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 8112921010, 8112921090, 8112991000).
2. Zone-melted germanium ingots (refer to customs commodity number: 8112921090).
3. Phosphorus germanium zinc (including but not limited to crystal, powder, crushed material, etc.) (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2853904040, 3818009008, 3825690008).
4. Geranium epitaxial growth substrate (refer to customs commodity number: 8112921090).
5. Germanium dioxide (refer to the customs commodity number: 2825600002, 3818009009, 3825690009).
6. Germanium tetrachloride (refer to customs commodity numbers: 2827399001, 3818009010, 3825690010).
2. Export operators should go through export licensing procedures in accordance with relevant regulations, submit an application to the Ministry of Commerce through the provincial commerce department, fill out the application form for export of dual-use items and technologies and submit the following documents:
(1) The original of the export contract or agreement or the photocopy or scanned copy consistent with the original;
(2) Technical description or test report of the item to be exported;
(3) Certificate of end user and end use;
(4) Introduction of importers and end users;
(5) The identity certificates of the applicant's legal representative, main business manager and handler.
3. The Ministry of Commerce shall conduct the review from the date of receipt of the export application documents, or conduct review together with relevant departments, and make a decision of approval or disapproval within the statutory time limit.
For the export of items listed in this announcement that have a major impact on national security, the Ministry of Commerce, together with relevant departments, shall report to the State Council for approval.
4. If the license is approved after review, the Ministry of Commerce shall issue a dual-use item and technology export license (hereinafter referred to as the export license).
5. Procedures for application and issuance of export licenses, handling of special circumstances, and storage period for documents and materials, etc., in accordance with Order No. 29 of 2005 of the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs ("Administrative Measures for Import and Export Licenses for Dual-use Items and Technologies") implementation of relevant regulations.
6. The export operator shall present an export license to the customs, go through the customs formalities in accordance with the provisions of the "Customs Law of the People's Republic of China", and accept the supervision of the customs. The customs shall handle the inspection and release procedures with the export license issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
7. If export operators export without permission, export beyond the scope of permission, or have other violations, the Ministry of Commerce or customs and other departments will impose administrative penalties in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. Constitute a crime, be held criminally responsible.
8. This announcement will come into force on August 1, 2023.
Ministry of Commerce General Administration of Customs
July 3, 2023
Typically, such measure announcements would be done with a brief one-liner and the details would be in a downloadable PDF or DOC file. Putting the full text into the announcement is not so common. Doing so is probably meant for wide publicity and maximum hype.
This seems to be a a tit for tat, as germanium and gallium are used in semiconductor production and China-containment efforts have been centered on withholding state-of-the-art semiconductor equipment from China.
See China Daily’s exquisitely elaborate editorial:
Those doubting China's decision could ask the US government why it holds the world's largest germanium mines but seldom exploits them. Or they could ask the Netherlands why it included certain semiconductor-related products, such as lithographic machines, into its export control list. It is they that challenge the world supply chain, and the blames that belong to them should never be shifted to China as it's defending its own legal national interests in this rather uncertain world.
and an exclusive of China Daily
Former vice-minister of commerce: China has more tools for countermeasures against US export controls
China's export restrictions on gallium and germanium is just the beginning, and the country has more tools for countermeasures if Washington plans tougher technology restrictions on Beijing, said Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce.
Wei said in an exclusive interview with China Daily that the decision to restrict the export of industrial products and materials containing gallium and germanium has been made after thoughtful consideration, which will not only cause panic in certain countries, but also exert heavy pain in them.
We have seen it before: Carefully selected *former* vice minister, so the government has always the option to deny, claim misunderstanding and a whole lot of other excuses.
Here a more chilled assessment from the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean:
Constantine Karayannopoulos, chief executive of Neo Performance, said it would be difficult to meet market demand without gallium supplies from China, but it could be a workaround if the government introduced "the right industry incentives."
He added that controlling the export of gallium and germanium is probably the least impactful measure China can take, and it is not as harmful as other options.
There are no quantity limitations as yet, so there is nothing to complain about.
Yahoo Finance carries a comprehensive piece about the general situation.
We looked a bit more into who is potentially impacted.
For germanium metal, Russia has been among the top 3 importers from China in 2021 and 2022. January to May 2023 Russia has moved to the top spot and became the number one importer of Chinese germanium metal.
In terms of Russia and the ongoing war in Ukraine, one can’t help but fully support the China government’s introduction of dual use certification.
From 2021 to May 2023 there has been no volume growth worth mentioning in Chinas’ overall exports of germanium and its compounds.
In gallium metal and gallium compounds there was a significant increase of Chinese exports in 2022.
Overall, export quantity restrictions in both products will mostly hit Japan, Germany and Korea, while the US is not among the major customers for direct China exports of these products, in our humble view.
Rare earth stock market impact
Some “sophisticated investors” have been buying Lynas’ shares on the germanium/gallium news.
No offence, but this is like stocking up on toilet paper during COVID.
If it is rare earths and rare earth permanent magnets in combination with gallium, indium, rhenium, tantalum, niobium, and hafnium, one should go for Neo Performance Materials. Neo recycle gallium and produce gallium chloride.
Meanwhile, Down Under
On Monday, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved Chinese investor Shanghai Decent Investment Group’s US$270 million investment in Australian-listed nickel product producer Nickel Industries.
The raised funds will go towards Nickel’s acquisition of an Indonesian nickel project.
Shanghai Decent is a subsidiary of the world’s largest stainless steel producer, Tsingshan [itself a massive direct investor in nickel in Sulawesi, Indonesia] , based in China’s Zhejiang province.
The FIRB approval of Shanghai Decent’s investment comes after Treasurer Jim Chalmers, on advice from FIRB, blocked China’s Yuxiao Fund from increasing its stake in one of Australia’s key rare earths producers, Northern Minerals, in March.
This way the Chinese nickel investment in Indonesia becomes an Australian investment.
Similar to Shenghe acquiring shares in Peak Rare Earths.
An armed ethnic group has been accused of attacking a vehicle convoy carrying Chinese military personnel, according to the Myanmar junta on Saturday. The Chinese convoy was travelling to a meeting on border security when the alleged attacks took place.
"We can confirm that (Kachin Independence Army) (KIA) members attacked the convoy," junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun was quoted as saying by AFP.
The vehicle carrying Chinese military representatives and Myanmar counterparts was on its way to Myitkyina in northern Kachin state when it came under heavy fire. According to the junta, a vehicle, second in line was shot five times but fortunately, no one was wounded or killed.
Notably, this is not the first time that anti-junta rebels have attacked a Chinese convoy or China-funded projects. In May, days after the Chinese foreign minister visited the war-torn country, another resistance group named Natogyi Guerrilla Force (NGF) attacked the China-built oil and gas pipeline in the Mandalay region.
Last year Chinese workers refused to return to Myanmar because of fear of COVID infection. This year fear of getting shot at?
Chinese scientists turn to artificial intelligence as potential 1,000km seam of rare earth minerals found in Himalayas
Chinese geologists recently discovered a huge potential reserve of rare earth minerals in the Himalayas that could significantly strengthen China’s position as the leading global supplier.
Since 2020, with financial support from the central government, a research team has been building AI that can automatically process nearly all raw data collected by satellites and other means to locate the rare earth deposit on the Tibetan plateau.
The scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources in the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan said the machine has achieved an accuracy rate of 96 per cent.
What the AI looks for is a unique form of granite that has a lighter-than-usual tone. This may contain rare earths such as niobium and tantalum, which are highly sought after for hi-tech products, but also significant amounts of lithium, which is vital for making electric cars.
High altitude mining is not as uncommon as one would think. You can find it in Argentine, Chile, Peru and China at altitudes even exceeding 5,000 m.
Having said that, Baidu claim this here is the area they are talking about regarding rare earth on the China-India border. Happy mining:
Of course the self-appointed Chinese online-patriots immediately start spinning theories of India going to war with China over this potential rare earth occurrence. Very tiring.
China gives green light to nuclear reactor that burns thorium – a fuel that could power the country for 20,000 years
China’s nuclear safety watchdog has issued an operational permit for the nation’s first thorium reactor, marking a significant milestone in the country’s pursuit of advanced nuclear technologies.
The reactor, a two-megawatt liquid-fuelled thorium molten salt reactor (MSR), is located in the Gobi Desert city of Wuwei in Gansu province and is operated by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The permit, issued by the National Nuclear Safety Administration on June 7, allows the Shanghai Institute to operate the reactor for 10 years and it will start by testing operations.
China has mountains of thorium from decades of monazite processing for rare earths in Hunan, Fujian, Guangxi, Guangdong, and Hainan. China banned monazite mining in 2016.
This TMSR project has been in the pipeline for more than 10 years.
As our recent in-depth monazite market research shows, China National Nuclear Industry Corporation has become an integral part of China’s monazite import processing chain during the past 6 years.
The objective is to extract thorium and uranium from the imported monazite and provide a safe raw material for China’s rare earth industry. No more illegal thorium discharge into the environment.
Rest of the world
India has had an experimental TMSR since 2006. A pilot reactor to be built in an undisclosed location has seen multi year delays since 2016. Originally India had not expected to turn out thorium at scale before 2040, but the granting of a mining license for HMS in Tamil Nadu after a 21 year wait to IREL suggests a slight change of schedule.
In the West the Thorium Foundation has been lobbying governments in earnest since 2016.
Of course only a baby in wet diapers appreciates a change, and the traditional nuclear energy lobby prefers to continue building the old-reliable super expensive reactors, which unfortunately include the likes of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Of course one still needs to be careful where to put a TSMR. There are downsides, also in terms of nuclear proliferation.
It may be really difficult to obtain weapons-grade material from TSMR.
But ‘difficult’ does not mean ‘impossible’.
According to the latest report by IMARC Group, titled “Rare Earth Elements Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2023-2028”, offers a comprehensive analysis of the industry, which comprises insights on the global rare earth elements market. The report also includes competitor and regional analysis, and contemporary advancements in the market.
The global rare earth elements market size reached US$ 9.5 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 20.9 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 15% during 2023-2028.
The competitive landscape of the market has been studied in the report with detailed profiles of the key players operating in the market.
Some of these key players include:
• Lynas Corporation Ltd.
• Arafura Resources Limited
• Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. [bankrupt 8 years ago]
• Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. [exited rare earth]
• Greenland Minerals Ltd [expropriated, renamed, explore only lithium]
• Alkane Resources Ltd [split off rare earth 3 years ago, now only in gold]
• Neo Performance Materials
• Iluka Resource Limited
• IREL (India) Limited
• Canada Rare Earths Corporation [only buy raw material for their ultimate controller in China, no exploration/mining]
The list of companies shows impressively, that the base of this report was compiled at least 8 years ago, consequently most certainly not up to date and therefore worth exactly nothing.
There is only a handful western companies who do serious, up-to-date research in rare earths, each with their own particular strengths.
In alphabetical order:
You can also buy reports from about a dozen companies in China.
However, rare earths evidently are a matter of national interest and national security in China. As such rare earths undoubtedly fall under China’s reworked Counter-Espionage Law covering "all documents, data, materials and articles”.
The law is in effect since 1 July 2023.
It is quite possible that China-based market research companies can henceforth only provide rare earth reports and related corporate details with one leg in prison.
We’ll know for sure, once the China government has made an example of the one or the other Chinese rare earth market research company.
Investors can be unwilling to wait for returns from small companies with long lead times before they can be made profitable, according to industry participants.
“The longer explorers aren’t able to do any exploration, the less product that’s going to be available, and therefore, the higher the price will go.” said Harshaw.
In view of recent price interference by the China government, we are not sure about the price point. But the less rare earths are in the West, the more value chains will have to move to China.
While it goes without saying that most of the metals for renewable energy and electric vehicles are much more volumous and exchange-traded in the West, at this time you can completely forget about renewable energy and electric vehicles if there are no rare earths.
The sub-US$9 billion/year rare earth business drives global industrial output in the trillions of dollars. One highly qualified expert once put the number at US$11 trillion, while our very conservative assessment of only permanent magnet related industries is US$3 trillion, a leverage of 300 times.
Every even so stupid startup concept can get funding, but rare earth resources can wait. Fabulous “wisdom of the market”.
Lagos-headquartered multilateral the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has set out its stall as a financier and partner for the continent’s energy transition, with a strategy to support renewable energy and critical minerals projects around the continent, as well as the development of battery manufacturing supply chains.
More details on Africa Finance Corporation at their website. Some prospective rare earth countries are members of AFC.
During a summit meeting with Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng on Friday, President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is on a state visit to Vietnam, agreed to build a "core mineral supply chain center" to help develop Vietnam's rare-earth elements.
Korea, which relies on China for 52.4% of its total imports of rare-earth elements, will begin cooperation with Vietnam to reduce its dependence on China by diversifying its supply chain. In order to expand economic cooperation with Vietnam, President Yoon greatly increased the size of the economic delegation (205 companies) compared to the size of that (122 companies) for his visit to the U.S. in April.
The European Union is poised to support and benefit from the extraction of rare earth metals in Kazakhstan as part of its effort to diversify supply sources and reduce reliance on China, the EU ambassador to the Central Asian republic said Tuesday.
Two Japan projects for rare earths in Kazakhstan failed unceremoniously.
The EU also intends to contribute to improving and speeding up all processes for the transport of extracted raw materials along the Trans-Caspian corridor, Jankauskas noted.
Jankauskas probably means in this case:
Logistics-wise it looks like good, clean, wholesome fun! Although there is basic agreement on the Caspian Sea as such among the bordering nations since 2018, national border lines are yet to be drawn.
Russia operates a powerful navy on the Caspian Sea, that even joined bombardments of Ukraine from it’s remote location. Russia also controls the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia, as well as much of the Black Sea.
As long as China and Russia enjoy their “unlimited friendship”, nothing happens on this “Trans-caspian Corridor” without their agreement, in our humble opinion.
“Bolivia, together with two other countries of the expanded Mercosur, have the largest lithium reserves in the world, and together with the Amazon countries we have large deposits of rare earths,” said the president at the forum held in the Argentine town of Iguazú, province of Missions.
During the current year, the Government of Bolivia signed two agreements with companies from China and Russia for the industrialization of lithium from the salt flats of Pastos Grandes and Uyuni, department of Potosí, with direct extraction technology with an investment of at least two billion 800 million dollars.
“Our region is seriously affected by the restrictions and regulations imposed by the US financial system, which limit financing options and the possibilities of access to international markets (…),” said Arce.
He argued in his speech that, for this reason, it is necessary to reduce dependence on the US dollar and “diversify our economic and commercial relations.”
Yes, right, swap the fully convertible US-dollar for a non-fully-convertible currency like the RMB a.k.a. ”overseas yuan”, whose exchange rates are set at will by a nation with a heavily restricted capital account.
President Arce is a banker by profession, so he should really know better.
It is perfectly acceptable to pursue a socialist approach, but also socialism fundamentally requires economic growth, not fundamentally flawed deals.
Indonesia is doubling down on its decision to ban exports of bauxite ore as part of a strategy to expand its domestic industry, but it might struggle to replicate the success it has had with the more lucrative nickel.
In 2022, Indonesia produced some 21 million tonnes of bauxite, according to data from the US Geological Survey, making it the world’s fifth-largest producer. Almost 85 per cent was exported overseas.
Widodo previously said that aside from bauxite ore, he also wanted to curb exports of copper, tin and gold, among others.
“Others” like heavy mineral sands, monazite and rare earth concentrate?
This new “Hot-roll Nano Neo Magnet” process produces a nanograin neodymium permanent magnet encased in stainless steel in a simple, commercially scalable process. This process is semi-continuous, compared to the batch processes currently used in industry, which makes it more cost and energy efficient.
According to Jun Cui, a scientist at Ames Lab, the biggest challenge of creating permanent magnets is increasing their resistance to demagnetization at high temperatures. He explained two ways to address this challenge. The first is to add dysprosium to the Neo magnet. However, dysprosium is listed as a critical material by the DOE and many other countries, which means it is available in very limited supply. The second way is to manufacture magnets that have small grain sizes by beginning the manufacturing process with much smaller particles of the magnetic material.
Cui mentioned several benefits of this new process. First, it does not require a vacuum furnace to protect the magnet materials from the air, because the stainless-steel tube is completely sealed. Second, they can make thinner magnets that maintain their structural integrity and magnetic properties. Third, it eliminates the coating step, since the materials remain in the stainless-steel casing throughout the process. Finally, instead of a batch process, “We can make very long magnets continuously, which can be sliced into numerous smaller magnets,” Cui said. “So now you are suddenly looking at a completely new way of making magnets that is cost effective.”
Sounds good, but what happens to applications that require different shapes of magnets and spheres?
6 months rare earth stock price developments
Share price from beginning January until end of June:
Meteoric Resources +286%. A gold miner focussing on an IAC deposit JOGMEC had given up on in Brazil. The company claims to have JORC compliant resource of ca. 1 mio t TREO, about 10 times the size of an average IAC deposit;
Atlas Lithium +206%. A lithium and gold focussed company with undefined rare earth potential, also in Brazil;
VR Resources +191%. A copper-gold-diamonds focussed company with some interesting drill results for rare earths in Ontario, Canada;
Lindian Resources +123%. Lindian succeeded in wrestling the Kangankunde, Malawi deposit from the Santer family, who had skinned Lynas a decade earlier. It is a monazite(Ce) deposit, with very high La/Ce contents, but reportedly negligibly low thorium/uranium contents. Proportional NdPr content of 20% is just normal;
Aclara Resources +87%. Aclara hold the small Penco IAC deposit in Chile. Based on a Chilean patent they acquired they want to produce a mixed rare earth carbonate.
American Resources Corp +48%. AREC are a coal company, holding a subsidiary whose aim is to extract rare earths from coal-based resources;
Shin-Etsu Chemical +47%. Shin-Etsu a PVC/chemical company and it also is a rare earth magnet company with rare earth-related operations and joint ventures in China, Vietnam and Japan;
Toyota Tsusho Corporation +46%. Toyotsu are a general trading company affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp. Toyotsu’s activities include a rare earth separation factory in India, which it acquired from Wako Trading around 2011. Toyotsu are also active in critical metal recycling;
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. +42%. Ucore are one of the rare earth dinosaurs. Holders of the small Bokan Dotson Ridge rare earth deposit in Alaska. For a decade Ucore focussed on acquiring various technologies for rare earth processing. The latest attempt is called RapidSX™, a solvent extraction process with less than half the columns needed for traditional SX processing. We can’t find any published actual test run results.
Southern Alliance Mining +40%. Focussed on iron ore, the company recently took possession of a China-Malaysia joint venture to operate an IAC deposit in Perak, Malaysia, with the objective to ship concentrate to China;
Geomega Resources Inc. +40%. Geomega focus on recycling or NdFeB magnets and extraction of valuable contents from bauxite/alumina processing waste, “Red Mud”. The company is recipient of several government grants;
Daido Steel Co., Ltd. +38%. Among other products, Daido are a rare earth permanent magnet company;
Ark Mines Ltd. +37%. A cobalt-copper-nickel-scandium company with a rare earth deposit attached, with also had been explored by JOGMEC before and given up.
Platina Resources Ltd. +36%. Platina is a gold company with a 20 t per year scandium project;
Canada Rare Earth Corp +33%. CREC is actually a raw material sourcing/trading company for its ultimate controller in China. CREC is the monazite customer of Auxico;
TDK Corporation +28%. TDK is a leading magnet manufacturer and user, now bases on the acquired the rare earth operations of Showa Denko in China and Vietnam;
Sojitz Corporation +26%. A traditional Japanese general trading corporation formed as a result of the merger of Nissho Iwaii and Nichimen. Sojitz are JOGMEC-financed Lynas’ rare earth sales agent to Japanese customers;
Eagle Plains Resources +21%. Eagle Plains is an exploration company (“project generator”) who is flipping deposits to developers. They currently hold four rare earth deposits in their portfolio;
Iluka Resources +16%. A heavy mineral sands company with a stockpile of monazite. With the support of a government investment of A$1.2 bio working on a full rare earth separation facility. Iluka have strategic agreements with other rare earth companies;
Lithium Corporation +13%. A lithium and graphite company with some potential for rare earth attached.
These were the double-digit share price gains, very few pure rare earth plays.
There are 52 mostly pure rare earth play western companies with double digit share price declines during H1 2023. Here the list of those, who lost 50% or more:
Ionic Rare Earths -69%. The home-made feasibility study and the scandalous developments around their leaderships involvement in a potentially competing project did not induce investor confidence;
Enova Mining -66%. Enova’s Charley Creek project has been around for ages. At 0.029% TREO this is basically perhaps an HMS project, but certainly not a viable rare earth project;
Caspin Resources -65%. Basically yet another gold-copper-nickel miner, who seeks attention by using some preliminary rare earth find at their Mount Squires Duchess East Prospect;
Search Minerals -61%. Their home-made PEA for their sub 1% TREO Deep Fox/Foxtrott deposits overestimates revenue by 2 times. No return of investment possible;
Hastings Technology Metals -61%. Basically the company is falling victim to its own excessive over-estimation of its success potential. For only 2 of Hastings 14 deposits there is a feasibility assessment, which the company changed into a hype executive summary with “additional targets” and fantasy revenue. Pretty much everything feasibility-related the company presents is vastly overblown;
Mount Ridley Mines -60%. The company is yet to declare a maiden resource for its Mount Ridley project;
ACDC Minerals -59%. This new, somewhat Medallion Resources-related company has yet to find a footing. Currently they look at HMS;
Medallion Resources -59%. One of the rare earth dinosaurs, concentrating on monazite processing know-how, which may be a hard-seller. No exploration or mining;
Vital Metals -52%. The entry of Vital Metals into rare earth was a brainchild of dismissed Vital MD Geoffrey Atkins, a former corporate affairs department manager at Lynas. The idea to shortcut costly exploration and documentation in order to go gung-ho hit a brick wall. Atkins was ejected and the company now tries to put the Nechalacho project on a more solid footing;
Auxico Resources -51%. Auxico made a number of colourful announcements about having secured rare earth deposits, claiming outlandishly high TREO. The company tried to generate cash-flow through trading whatever and was occasionally successful in doing so, albeit far below the self-generated expectations;
Dreadnought Resources -50%. Dreadnought and a number of other companies tried their rare earth luck around Hastings’ Yangibana region, wanting to benefit from the hype around Hastings. Now they are getting dragged down by the Hastings sell-off;
Meeka Metals -50%. Another gold miner testing rare earth as a share-price booster. Their IAC Cascade maiden resource of 98 mio t at 0.089% TREO around Esperance WA is yet to be further explored.
Monumental Minerals -50%. A lithium explorer, who tries to jockey on rare earths for a share price boost.
Mostly the misery of mee-toos wanting to hop on to the long-departed train of rare earth.
Pure rare earth junior miner stocks declined between up to 35%, along the rare earth price development, the only thing to hold on to for investors, apart from fake market reports.
Chinese rare earth share price declines in H1 2023 were in the single digits.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Rare Earth Observer to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.