Rare Earths

Rare Earth Monthly

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Rare Earth Monthly Report

In October’s Issue

The US and Chinese presidents met for the much anticipated 13th round of trade talks. While no resolutions have been published or even agreed, and no one understand whether the end is in sight, Trump has agreed to postpone the US’s plans of imposing higher tariffs from the 15th October.
Meanwhile this trade war has spurred renewed efforts for companies to seek out alternatives to Chinese sources and to look at ways to reduce the need for rare earths.

To this end, we noted in our September issue that Australia and the US agreed to collaborate in developing the Australian rare earth projects. Australia’s mining minister is due to travel to the US in November to finalise the agreements. In particular, the two sides will look at funding and developing the processing of these minerals rather than just the mining side. Processing has been the stumbling block in non-Chinese assets due to the capital requirements relative to the potential offtake. To this end there has been a number of attempts to provide economic processing solutions.

Hexagon and IMC have now joined forced to develop their RapidSX technology for the separation of rare earths, where the claim is that the technology provides a much cheaper processing alternative. However, they have yet to demonstrate commercial viability. However, even if the technology does prove commercially viable, it needs to be shown that it can separate different ore feedstocks otherwise they will struggle to get scale.

With respect to end users, Apple has indicated that they currently use recycled rare earths fir their iPhones in order to ensure stability of supply. Meanwhile, a UK company is testing its wind power turbine generators which rely on ferrite magnets rather than rare earth magnets. If successful, then they would be the first company to successfully eliminate the need for rare earths in offshore wind turbine generation. However, the restrictions are expected to be for wind turbines with a total generation capacity of 25MW. Still, this would be a step forward for Europe in reducing reliance on China.
Within China, the country is revising its Resource Mineral Laws, calling for more transparency particularly with respect to the transfer of mineral rights. This follows last month’s changes to the mineral taxes, which levels the playing field for rare earth producers in different provinces.

With respect to prices, October has so far been characterised by a slowdown due to the Golden Week, but also weaker end-user demand has led to consumers postponing purchases. We are therefore forecasting a weaker market for October and November.

  1. Global Market Summary
  2. Rare Earth Prices
    1. Pricing Highlights
    2. Rare Earth Price Outlook
  3. Rare Earth Production and Trade
    1. China Highlights
    2. Global Highlights
  4. Trends in Rare Earth Applications
  5. Data and News Wrap
    1. Economic Analysis
    2. Export Analysis
    3. Rare Earth End-User Data
  6. Key Industry Players
    1. Company Highlights
    2. Share Price and Index

Each report is accompanied by an excel workbook detailing FOB rare earth metal and oxide prices and Chinese Domestic rare earth oxide, metal and permanent magnet prices

List of Tables

Table 1: Estimate of basket price for rare earth oxides

Table 2: Rare earth price forecast

Table 3: Economic Indicators.

Table 4: Chinese NdFeB magnet prices

List of Charts

Chart 1: Export vs domestics prices

Chart 2: Outlook for heavy rare earths

Chart 3: Outlook for light rare earths

Chart 4: Chinese permanent magnet exports

Chart 5: Average Chinese NdFeB magnet prices (N-range)

Chart 6: Average Chinese NdFeB magnet prices

**Whilst we make every effort to keep the chapters and data consistent, this data may vary from month to month based on availability and relevance.

Lara Smith

Lara has been an analyst for over 13 years, starting her career as an equity analyst at Foord Asset Management. In 2009, Lara founded Core Consultants, an independent advisory and subscription firm focused on commodity markets.  Read More

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