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Old 08-06-2014, 07:08 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
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Default Thorium: The 800 Pound Gorilla in the room for rare earth sustainability

"There is, in fact, a close relationship between thorium and rare earths; they often come together. In fact, monazite, was first mined to produce thorium and rather than rare earths. In the 19th century, thorium was used to make gas mantles. Later, with the development of technology that required rare earths to function, monazite started to be mined for elements other than thorium. Meanwhile, monazite itself is a by-product. It is separates easily, through gravity and at almost no cost, in the mining of titanium or zirconium, such that the monazite can be said to be produced practically free of charge. The United States was the leading supplier of monazite which was in the main source of rare earths in the first decades of the rare earths industry (the post WW2 period). Brazil was also an important supplier and China, ironically, tried to become a world supplier but failed to meet Western standards and so they weren't able to pursue it.

How ironic! However, in the 1980's, international classification changes concerning thorium changed the way the market saw monazite. - See more at: http://investorintel.com/rare-earth-intel/800-pound-gorilla-room-rare-earth-sustainability-north-america-thorium/#sthash.vqx6ZzfB.dpuf"
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