Pablum and BS, the US faltering, successful separations, bids, more bonds and a new CEO

Rare Earth 2020 Week 22

The overarching subject this week was the withdrawal of the US Department of Defense withdrawing awards from Lynas and MP Materials. US senators are lobbying for 100% domestic solutions for the rare earth issue. Understandable, that they don’t want to send US-taxpayer money to Australia or to China.

Is the US faltering in its attempt on rare earth? As one of our esteemed colleagues put it: “You can relay on the US to eventually do the right thing, after having tried everything else.”

Meanwhile in China the yearly plenum of the National People’s Congress ended, China’s legislature, where, apart from more or less controversial laws, this time 3.75 trillion yuan of local government bonds were announced for 2020. That is 1.6 trillion yuan more than last year. 75% of this is marked for infrastructure investment.

One of the 5,000 proposals presented to the plenum encouraged the build-up of a national reserve in rhenium.

Good news from China’s auto industry: Operating rate has returned to 97% in May, after 60% during March.

Dazhong Securities in China views rare earths and magnet companies as highly prospective investment, among others because all of these companies hold high rare earths inventory and their profits would rise on inventory re-valuation. We can’t wait to see more of such rigorously researched, high-quality investment advice.

Thanks for reading.


//Policy

‘You’re Peddling Pablum and BS!’: Lou Dobbs Erupts on WH Adviser Navarro Over Report on U.S. Approach to China

Navarro continued but Dobbs jumped in to say, “I’m not a guy, as you know, that puts up with B.S., when will we see the deficit with China in rare earths eliminated? When will we be no longer dependent on China? Give me a date and a rate.”

“It’s going to be a while,” Navarro said. “Come on, Lou.”

U.S. Falters in Bid to Replace Chinese Rare Earths

This month, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz became the latest lawmaker to introduce legislation meant to jump-start a domestic rare-earth industry by offering juicy tax breaks for new projects—and especially large tax incentives for end consumers who source finished products from American suppliers. Other lawmakers, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have pushed legislation of their own meant to spur U.S. development of rare earths. 

The U.S. Defense Department, meanwhile, is trying to throw money at the problem, putting rare earths at the center of the annual defense acquisition bill three years in a row, with plans this year to massively increase existing Pentagon funding for rare-earth projects. All that comes after a drumbeat of Trump administration moves, from a 2017 executive order seeking to ensure supplies of critical minerals to a 2019 Commerce Department report suggesting ways to do so.


//Companies

USA Rare Earth Successfully Completes Phase I Rare Earth Separation and Processing Test Work

NEW YORK, NY, May 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE – USA Rare Earth, LLC, the funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas, together with Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed its Phase I bench scale testing at Inventure Renewables, Inc.’s laboratory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This phase of work utilized feed solutions produced from pilot heap leach columns processing ore from Round Top. 

RareX identifies high-grade neodymium-praseodymium at Cummins Range rare earth project

After a review of historical data, RareX (ASX: REE) has confirmed an average 22.1% neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) within its wholly owned Cummins Range rare earths project in Western Australia’s Kimberley.

Ionic’s test work tweaks boost recoveries, could deliver high value rare earth product

The company noted that while initial metallurgical testing at the Makutuu project in Uganda had achieved recoveries of up to 75 per cent total rare earth elements less cerium (TREE-Ce), samples from three holes returned recoveries of less than 10 per cent TREE-Ce.

However, its more recent testwork using lower pH leaching conditions and allowing a longer leach time has significantly improved recoveries of higher-value critical rare earth elements (CREE) and heavy rare earth elements (HREE) from a composite sample of the low recovery samples.

Lynas on track in the US despite Department of Defence delays

Rare earths group Lynas Corp said its plans for expansion in the US are well advanced and remain unaffected by a political debate, which has held up potential project funding from the US Department of Defence (DoD).

"We are very confident that we have the resource, and we have the skills and knowledge to do this. And we’re also pretty confident we are the only ones who can put our hands up and say that.”

Comment: What is Lynas’ track record in separating heavy rare earths?

Medallion Resources names mining veteran Mark Saxon as new Chief executive Officer

Medallion Resources (CVE: MDL- OTCPK: MLLOF) Chief Executive Officer Mark Saxon joined Steve Darling from Proactive Vancouver with details about his new role with the company.

Comment: A one-fits-all solution would definitely be a game changer in rare earths.

Focus Graphite sells Kwyjibo stake for $7.2M

A 2018 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on Kwyjibo projected, with a $723.6 million investment, an underground operation with a mine life of 10 years that could produce 174,000 tonnes of concentrate at a grade of 7% total rare earth oxides (TREO) per year. The study projected a post-tax internal rate of return of 17.8% and a net present value of $373.9 million, using a discount rate of 8%.

Comment: A lucky strike for Focus.

Mkango Announces Launch of Innovative Project to Use Recycled Rare Earth Magnets in Electric Vehicle

Fundamental to the Project is a patented process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron (“NdFeB”) alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment named HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap), originally developed within the Magnetic Materials Group (“MMG”) at the University of Birmingham (“UoB”) and subsequently licenced to HyProMag.

Angola Announces Mining Public Tender Winners

The committee awarded phosphate concessions to Australian company Minbos Resources, Lda. for the concession in Cátata, Cabinda, and awarded one of Brazil’s leading national cement production companies Cimenfort Industrial, Lda, the Lucunga concession located in the Zaire province.

Impairment Pushes Kavango Resources To Deeper Full-Year Loss

The mining exploration firm's pretax loss widened to USD1.5 million in 2019 from USD534,242 the year before. This was largely due to a USD1.0 million impairment in 2019, with no such cost taken in 2018.

The impairment related to prospecting licenses that the directors have elected to relinquish. These licenses are located in the south of the Kalahari Suture Zone in Botswana, which the company has determined is "no longer an area of strategic focus" based on results to date.

“In addition, we are nearing completion of our first farm-out by selling a 51% interest in the Ditau project,” said Foster.


//Applications

IIT, North Texas varsity develop magnesium alloy which can replace steel, aluminium in automobiles

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, the University of North Texas and the US Army Research Laboratory have developed an engineered magnesium alloy which can replace steel and aluminium alloys in the automobile industry making vehicles more fuel efficient.

For the research, the scientists used a magnesium alloy containing rare earth elements like Gadolinium (Gd), Yttrium (Y) and Zirconium (Zr). The alloy was subjected to a thermo-mechanical processing technique (severe plastic deformation and ageing treatment) to obtain an ultrafine-grained version of this magnesium alloy.

Dad's touching Millionaire Hot Seat win

Lutetium is used for managing metastatic prostate cancer when other therapies are poorly tolerated or have failed.

How Elon Musk exploits the crisis of German automotive companies

At the end of April Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess (61) wanted to know whether the world's largest car manufacturer is an even match for the California upstart. He invited his electric vehicle celebrities to a "Mission T" workshop. The new Audi boss Markus Duesmann (50) and his head of development Hans-Joachim RothenPlayer (62) joined the video conference, as well as several VW board members, software manager Christian Senger (46) and many more.

How far is Tesla, the American electric pioneer, with his cars? And where is Volkswagen?

That was the question, the result is devastating. Tesla's Model 3 uses almost 10 percent less electricity per 100 kilometers than Diess' flagship project, the ID.3 announced for the summer; the Model S, which has been sold since 2012, is almost 20 percent more efficient than the Audi e-tron. Tesla's drivetrain costs an average of 3,000 euros less than the electric power packs of the German competition. Thanks to online sales, Model 3 in Europe sold more in the Corona month of March than all Volkswagen combustion engine cars together, except for the Golf.

To make matters worse, the Americans are now even making money.


//Mining

HiTech raw materials in alkaline-silicate and carbonatite systems


//Environment

MRI's Environmental Impact

Gadolinium found in elevated amounts near water treatment plants in Tokyo rivers


//Sustainability

Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI)

Since 2003, the biannual RECAI has ranked the top 40 countries based on investment in renewable energy, a key part of the energy transition.

The Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) ranks the top 40 countries in the world on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. The rankings reflect our assessments of market attractiveness and global market trends. In this latest edition we see COVID-19 having a short to mid-term impact, but the long-term drivers for investment in renewables remain strong, making the sector a safer haven for investment.  

Future metal supply – why price rises and cost innovations alone won’t save us

//Links

List of ex-China RE Deposits and related Companies*

Performance of Rare Earths Stocks First Trimester 2020*

*Errors and omissions excluded. Please notify us of errors.