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Old 09-01-2009, 09:43 PM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,145
Default Which Country has the richest Rare Earth deposit

Recemtly on Topstocks an Australian investment forum a question was posed along the lines of : Amongst all the claims of who has the richest Rare Earth deposits are the Americans overclaiming that their Mountain Pass Deposits are the richest in the world...

Here is what I have found...

From USA sources:
Mountain Pass is considered the world's richest reserve of its kind, with ore deposits averaging a concentration of rare earths above 9 percent. (I think the yanks are overclaiming - see below)

Most deposits around the world outside China report ore grades under 5 percent.

Lynas Corp's Mt. Weld rare-earth deposit in Australia commenced in early 2008, and initial mining of the open pit was completed in June, recovering 773,300 t of ore at an average grade of 15.4% REO.

Massive quantities of lanthanum are required for the production of hybrid automobiles. A typical hybrid automobile battery for a Toyota Prius requires 10 to 15 kg (22-33 lb) of lanthanum. As engineers push the technology to increase fuel mileage, twice that amount of lanthanum could be required per vehicle.

Is heavily used in the electric motors of hybrid automobiles and in wind turnbines.

Catalytic converters, glass polishing, magnets...(Cerium oxide went up by 14% yesterday in the Chinese market)

There is an estimated 40,000 tons per annum shortfall between supply and demand.

Some alarmist reports suggest that the shortage of REEs will slow the development and roll out of some green technologies including hybrids and wind turbines.

The USA is "ramping" Molycorp's revival of Mountain Pass as the new emerging supplier to fill the gap. It is expected that it will take another two years for them to get the mine dewatering and over-burden removal accomplished. On the other hand our Lynas Corp is/was* on the verge of production.

There are two investment wild cards

*LYC is waiting for FIRB approval for a cash injection that will, provide funds for resumption of mining and the establishment of a refining plant in Malaysia, give Chinese interests a 51% stake.

Another wild card in the REE universe is GGG with its huge deposit in Greenland that has some political problems that are possibly resolving.
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