Rare Earth Elements - Seltene Erden : Infos, Fakten, Unternehmen (Seite 10)
neuester Beitrag 05.01.15 19:48:35 von
The Nikkei reports that Toyota Tsusho Corp., a Toyota-affiliated trading house, will start importing rare-earth elements from Vietnam and India, giving the Toyota Motor Corp. group independent sources of these key materials for the production of hybrid cars.
China, which currently supplies 90% of the rare-earth elements used in Japan, is beginning to toughen export restrictions. Japan demand for rare-earth elements is forecast to increase about 15% per year. Neodymium, for example, is a key component in magnets used in motors for hybrid cars and for disk drives.
THE COMBINED VIETNAMESE AND INDIAN IMPORTS WILL MEET MORE THAN 20% OF DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Report: Toyota Acquiring Own Sources Of Rare-Earth Metals:
This is an area of concern. Monopolization of source materials like rare earth elements can only lead us down the primrose path again. All industrial nations intent on manufacturing new-energy products should move to secure these resources. The global community will be better served if resources are freely traded without political restriction.
The automobile industry is dependent on a number of scarce elements, including platinum, rhodium, palladium, (for catalytic converters), and now neodymium for high-performance magnets that are essential to electric/hybrid electric vehicles.
So I urge the following: First, we MUST recycle such elements as much as possible. Illegal recycling, i.e. theft of motor vehicles or of catalytic converters, must be prosecuted but legitimate recovery of scarce elements must be encouraged.
To incentivize intelligent use and recycling, the cost of scarce elements MUST be allowed to rise to levels dictated by supply-and-demand.
At this time General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are on the ropes. I have long believed the Big Three ought to pool their fuel economy, safety and emmisions control technology to meet ever more stringent government demands in the aforementioned areas. Scarcity of elements like neodymium is yet another reason for them to pool their knowledge.
Toyota has probably become the largest manufacturer of high power servos on the world, so it is probably natural they would want to eliminate the middleman as much as possible for magnetic materials.
I would just like to add to your post, Alex, that most would agree that for pure electrics the induction motor will do just fine for the traction motor. On the other hand the HSD used by Prius needs the traction motor, MG2, to act as a generator both for cruising as well as braking. The cruising requirement may be difficult to achieve with an induction motor considering the high voltage that MG1 could impress on the main bus. Therefore the shortage of magnet material to manufacture either of these servos could be a showstopper.
However it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Seperately excited machines are possible, of course, but the addition of slip rings for field excitation will add complication.
Summary: According to the data of the U.S. Geological Survey released in 2006, the basic reserves of rare earth in the world amounted to 154 million tons. China′s rare earth reserves account for 57% of the world′s total, ranking the first, followed by Commonwealth of Independent States, U.S.A., Australia and India. Currently, the global rare earth inventories can last for 1.5 years in static use and the world′s rare earth reserves may last for more than 200 years in static use. Although China has the largest rare earth reserves in the world, its share of rare earth resources in the global total is on the downward trend. China′s per capita possession of rare earth has dropped to 21g/person from 33g/person in 1998. In 2007, China carried out mandatory management plan on the production of rare earth products and smelting & separating rare earth products.
In the year, the output of rare earth products was 120,800 tons, (by REO, the same hereinafter), down 8.83% year on year, and the output of smelting and separating rare earth products was 126,000 tons (including nearly 18,000 tons from waste recovery), down 19.75% year on year. In 2007, China′s export volume of rare earth products (rare-earth magnet included) was 49,000 tons, down 14.93% year on year, but the export value reached US$1,18 billion, up 51% year on year. Among the total exports, the export volume of rare-earth magnet, exporting to 69 countries and regions, reached 21,532 tons, nearly doubling against the pervious year, and the export value was US$415 million, up 36.96% year on year. The top nations and regions in terms of China′s export volume were Hong Kong and USA, Japan, Singapore, German, Thailand, Korea, Italy, Holland and Finland.
The report is based on the authoritative data from the Chinese Associate of Rare Earth Industry, the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association, the General Administration of Customs of China, the State Information Center and the National Bureau of Statistics of China and the information from financial reports of some key companies.
Shanghai Securities reported that China Minmetals Corporation, Ganxian Hongjing Rare Earths Co in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province and Dingnan Dahuaxin Material Resource Co jointly funded Minmetals Rare Earth Company Limited lately. The registered capital is CNY 837 million with the biggest shareholder, China Minmetals' holding member China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co Ltd owning 40%.
According to the report, the newly built company has a yearly rare earth separation capacity of 8500 tonnes. It schedules to put CNY 2 billion in development and application of rare earth functional materials in the coming five years, with sales income beating CNY 10 billion a year.
Minmetals plans to introduce international advanced technology and invest CNY 2 billion in five years in further processing of industrial chains covering Rare Earth Magnetic Materials, Luminescent Materials and related products, with a view to upgrading the added value of its RE products.
Mr Zhou Zhongshu president of China Minmetals said it will work to consolidate enterprises around with quality ion-absopted type RE and specializing in separation and smelting of RE aiming to go to public and develop into one of the world's biggest integrated RE group covering mining and dressing, separation, processing and application.
U.S. government lab, 14 firms team up on lithium battery
- Reuters, CHICAGO - 18 DEC 2008 15:08 GMT
- By Andrew Stern -
"CHICAGO (Reuters) - Aiming to mass-produce a lithium battery for vehicles, 14 U.S. companies with expertise in batteries and advanced materials have formed an alliance with a government laboratory, the lab said on Thursday.
The alliance, which includes battery industry giants such as 3M Co and Johnson Controls-Saft, intends to secure $1 billion to $2 billion in U.S. government funding over the next five years to build a manufacturing facility with an "open foundry" for the participants to pursue the goal of perfecting lithium-ion batteries for cars.
"It's a huge deal for the nation, and for the lab," said Mark Peters, who is in charge of transportation and battery research at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, which will advise the group.
China, Japan and South Korea are the current leaders in lithium battery research, he said in a telephone interview.
"A small, fragmented (U.S.) battery industry will not long survive in the face of determined Asian competition," Ralph Brodd, a consultant to battery manufacturers, said in a statement released by Argonne.
"(Other) countries understand that he who makes the batteries will one day make the cars," he said.
The best-selling hybrid vehicles such as Toyota Motor Corp's Prius use a nickel metal hydride battery. Lithium batteries are widely considered to be the next technological leap forward for electric-powered vehicles, as they can be recharged in a wall socket like a computer battery.
The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture was modeled after SEMATECH, the successful public-private venture created in the late 1980s to restore U.S. prominence in computer semiconductor technology.
Besides Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions, a joint venture of Johnson Controls Inc and France's Saft Groupe SA, and 3M Co, the founding members of the battery alliance are ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies Inc, Eagle Picher Industries Inc, EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC Corp, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite, and Townsend Advanced Energy.
In addition to an advisory role for Argonne, U.S. truck and auto makers will be asked to join the alliance's advisory board, said James Greenberger, an attorney who was instrumental in assembling the group.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
The World’s Premier Forum on Magnetic Applications, Technologies & Materials
The Global Permanent Magnet Industry - Size, Shape, Forecast and Trends
The softening of the global economy has certainly had an effect on the production of Permanent Magnetics materials and there are competing technologies that may begin to change the landscape of the industry. But the overall outlook for the Global Permanent Magnet Industry is bright. The driving forces will be an increase in consumption by emerging economies and the global trend toward energy conservation and efficiency. This presentation will look at each of the various Permanent Magnetic Materials and will discuss historic, current and forecasted production volumes. Trends, threats, opportunities and raw materials will be examined.
Outsourcing Magnetic Assembly Manufacturing in China – Challenges and Pitfalls
Rising manufacturing costs of magnetic assemblies in the USA is forcing US companies to outsource this critical function abroad, mostly to China. Although great savings are achievable, US companies face many difficulties with the Chinese manufacturing culture, from sourcing raw materials and certifying parts quality to production process QC and delivery schedules. Language and localization issues aside, US companies face a strong cultural resistance to accepted practices in the West.
This presentation examines the challenges of securing a capable manufacturer and realistic expectations to have of your manufacturer. We address the topics of: benchmarking vs creative culture; sample vs mass production; partner training; delivery performance metrics; aftercare responsiveness and availability; and product protection policies. Benefit from this presenter’s hands-on, real world experience and avoid the pitfalls. Gain an insight into the best practices for outsourcing magnetic assembly in China.
Damit will ich es für dieses Jahr belassen und wünsche
@ frohe Festtage einen guten Rutsch sowie ein erfolgreicheres 2009
- bleibt gesund!
2008: Rare Earth Year in Review
By Clint Cox
Back in January of this year, I wrote an article entitled “10 Things to Watch for in Rare Earth in 2008″. Late December seems like a good time to review my thoughts and see how the market played out.
Here are the 10 Things with my updated comments after each in italics:
The economy. If the world economy (or even the US) goes into recession, then there is the distinct possibility that rare earth businesses may suffer a setback. Key REE uses such as catalysts for cracking petroleum, phosphors for color screens, and many magnetic applications may be curtailed somewhat by a significant cutback in spending. The economy serves as a backdrop to the entire industry.
The economy has clearly hit a recession, and it has affected the REE market most dramatically in this 4th Quarter. Prices are steady or slumping for the majority of REEs.
Chinese production. The Chinese cut production in some of their most prolific mining areas in 2007 in order to better control and consolidate the industry as well as address environmental concerns. There is also talk of shifting mining operations from one part of Bayan Obo–the largest rare earth mine in the world–to another that has more iron (the primary target for the mine) and less REE (considered a by-product). How this will affect output remains unclear.
The Chinese continue to consolidate their production operations into three distinct areas: Bayan Obo/Baotou, Sichuan, and South China. More details on production output below.
Chinese export quotas and tariffs. There has been a steady trend of decreasing exports and increasing tariffs for the rare earths coming out of China. China is absorbing more and more of its own REE production. The industry has embraced this new reality, but if there is a surprise cessation of export for any given element it might send shockwaves through end users. The tariffs have also been accepted, but will hopefully be increased at a slow and steady pace.
Export quotas have been cut slightly for 2009, but the industry seems to be adjusting to the trend of slightly increasing tariffs and reduction of export quotas. This may force more production using REEs by foreign companies into China, as the Chinese authorities have made it quite clear that any manufacturing facility inside China that requires rare earths will be supplied with whatever amount of rare earths that they require.
Progress of current mining projects. There is great interest from the entire industry in getting new mines in production outside of China. There are a number of possibilities spanning the globe that hope to fulfill this need. Established players in the REE industry are gaining momentum by publishing pre-feasibility studies, raising money, moving dirt, and staking new claims. Progress is important for these established projects, because according to Roskill 40,000 tonnes of new material may be needed by 2012. The key to understanding new supply is how well the projects in the pipeline meet the current and future needs of the marketplace. Also, technological innovations in mining and processing may have a positive impact these current projects.
There has been slow, but steady progress on a number of REE projects. It has become more difficult to raise money in this economic environment, but many companies continue to make deals and explore their properties. It is unclear what impact the economic crisis will have on the viability of current project schedules.
New REE mining projects. The rare earth sector in an attractive growth industry that is beginning to pull new players to the REE table with the power of a neodymium supermagnet! With increasing publicity and a growing realization about the supply deficit, new players are sure to begin surfacing soon. We can only wait with eager anticipation to see if new companies may become public in 2008.
Many, many companies assayed for rare earths in 2008 — and many found them! We will have to wait to see if there are any significant projects from these new results, as it will take some time to determine the economic viability of the grade, tonnage, and metallurgical processes associated with each potential site.
New uses. The industry is rapidly developing new technologies that utilize the rare earth elements. Will 2008 bring a breakthrough technology? REE history is filled with sudden shifts in demand based on new technologies.
There were no significant breakthroughs that shook the market this year. There were certain elements that saw increased demand — and some that waned, but nothing like the shocking demand caused by the introduction of Nd magnets back in 1983. The new applications will come, but we must wait at least another year it seems.
Stockpiling. The Committee on Assessing the Need for a Defense Stockpile (part of the National Research Council) has named several rare earths in their recent report “Managing Materials for a 21st Century Military”. The US may not be stockpiling REEs yet, but they are certainly taking a close look at it. Japan has also considered the matter. Stockpiling can affect the industry in a number of ways. In the short term, it could certainly take some product off of the market and drive prices up. However, as rare earth needs can shift over time, stockpiled elements may become less useful for their intended purpose and placed back on the market (thus, unexpectedly lowering prices). The timing and size of possible stockpiling is unknown, but further steps maybe taken in 2008.
With the exception of the economy, stockpiling may have been the biggest story in the REE market in 2008. The Chinese announced that they would be stockpiling 300,000 tonnes of concentrate, and recovering all of the REEs from the Bayan Obo mine (instead of the 15-20% they currently recover). This may drastically affect the market in the future, and may possibly delay the REE market recovery. Future rare earth producers outside of China should keep a very close eye on this situation and how it may impact future pricing.
Investor awareness. If the investment community becomes more alert to the critical role that rare earths play in modern society — as well as the supply and demand crunch that may be looming — there may be a “rare earth rush” of sorts. Rare earth companies have been able to raise substantial money over the last year, so we may be at the beginning of a wave of new interest. However, the industry is cognizant that any prominent misstep by a public rare earth company may sour investors on the sector.
Judging from conversations with public REE companies and private owners of REE projects, it seems that the public has become much more aware of the rare earth sector. However, there are still very few people who know what rare earths are and what they are used for — so even though awareness is on the rise, there is still a very long way to go!
Thorium research accelerating. Thorium (Th) is often found with rare earth elements, and must be properly disposed of — and this can be costly. However, there is a burgeoning interest in using Th as fuel for nuclear reactors. The great advantages that Th has over uranium are that it does not need to be enriched and it cannot be used for nuclear weapons. Current technology is in various stages of testing, and the nuclear industry has yet to embrace Th. But there is potential for the future, and it is quite possible that this current REE liability could become an asset within a decade.
With the recent collapse of energy prices, it will be challenging for Th to break into the market as a viable short-term alternative to uranium. That said, president-elect Obama has proclaimed a green initiative that may include alternatives such as thorium in the future. We will continue to watch this. In the meantime, Indian researchers are working diligently on their thorium reactor technology, as they have plentiful supplies of thorium bearing monazite.
Zu dem Artikel eine Anmerkung: Nicht jeder zukünftige REO - Produzent hat mit Thorium ein Kostenproblem.
Bei Arafura ist Thorium (Th) mit Seltenen Erden Elemente verbunden,
u.a. hat Lynas damit kein Problem weil nicht in diesem Umfang vorhanden.
Allen ein gesundes und erfolgreiches 2009
Ach ja, die suche auch nach anderen Ressourcen wie u.a. nach Erdöl und Erdgas.
Govt to hunt for minerals, rare resources / Plan calls for seabed check to start in FY09
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The government on Monday compiled a draft plan on the development of ocean energy and mineral resources that calls for starting research on resources, including rare metals, from fiscal 2009, and completing it within 10 years in a bid to secure such resources amid intensifying international competition, according to sources.
Under the plan, the government plans to identify the geographical distribution of energy resources, such as petroleum and natural gas, and rare metals, including rare earths used mainly in electronic products, the sources said. It also intends to assess the volume of deposits of such resources in waters surrounding the nation, they added.
The draft plan was drawn up as a road map for research and development of ocean energy and mineral resources, in line with the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy compiled in March. The nation's stance on ocean policy is based on the Basic Law on Ocean Policy, which came into force in April 2007.
This will be the first detailed development plan formulated by the government on resources believed to lie under the ocean floor.
The Headquarters for Ocean Policy, led by Prime Minister Taro Aso, has taken the initiative in compiling the draft plan. It is expected to finalize the plan in March and start implementing it in April.
The draft plan mentions that the combined area of Japanese waters and the country's exclusive economic zone is the sixth-largest in the world. It goes on to say: "Petroleum and natural gas and mineral resources are thought to exist to some extent [in the surrounding seas]. As prices of such resources have rapidly risen, the territorial waters and EEZ will be a source of resource supplies. It is a matter of urgency that these seas are considered a frontier and the development gets under way."
The draft plan has shown the government's intention to work on developing seabed resources as a national strategy.
In the plan, the government cited cobalt-rich crusts, submarine hydrothermal deposits, petroleum, natural gas and methane hydrate as resources it would seek out and attempt to develop.
Cobalt-rich crusts are believed to lie in waters around Minami-Torishima island, which is situated in the nation's eastern extremity. The government plans to carry out a drilling survey to estimate deposits of the resource there by fiscal 2012, the sources said.
A similar survey has been planned by fiscal 2012 on submarine hydrothermal deposits in the waters surrounding Okinawa Prefecture and the Izu and Ogasawara islands, where the resources have been confirmed to exist, the sources said. The government then plans to conduct a feasibility study in a test exploration to be conducted until fiscal 2018, they added.
As for petroleum and natural gas, the government plans to examine by fiscal 2018 the distribution of these energy resources in an area of about 60,000 square kilometers in the Sea of Japan, using the state-of-the-art survey ship Shigen, and then test bore at locations where the resources are likely to be detected. Research to assess deposits of methane hydrate is eyed in waters around the Kii Peninsula by fiscal 2018.
After implementing the plan, the government will identify the detailed distribution of the resources to allow the development to be commercialized, the sources said, adding that it also intends to develop cutting-edge drilling technologies and conduct environmental assessments.
Rare earths, used as materials for strong magnets, are an essential substance in making hard disks for computers and motors for hybrid vehicles. Japan currently imports about 90 percent of the rare earths it needs from China.
However, prices of some rare metals have increased sixfold over the past five years as demand has surged in rapidly industrializing China, which boasts 97 percent of global rare-earth production. The Chinese government has taken action to secure rare earths such as banning exploration of the resources by foreign companies and limiting their export.
The hunt for cobalt-rich crusts, including rare earths and manganese, have drawn national attention to efforts to support Japan's high-technology industry.
Besides increasing energy security, the draft plan apparently aims to secure materials necessary to boost the nation's technology industry.
Enough gold, silver and cobalt to meet the nation's demands for 5,000 years is believed to be sitting in the seabed around the country, while 100 years' worth of methane hydrate is estimated to exist there.
Despite such estimates, Japan has depended on imports of many rare metals, mainly because of the advanced technology needed for seabed drilling and the exorbitant costs involved.
(Jan. 6, 2009)
9 January 2009
Update - Chinese Rare Earths Export Quota
CHINESE RARE EARTHS EXPORT QUOTA REDUCED FOR 2009
The Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Industrial Product Export Division, has released 15,043 tonnes of approved Rare Earths export quota for the first half of 2009. This is a reduction of 34% compared to the first six months’ quota for last year. Historically the second tranche is of similar or lower quantity compared to the initial tranche. Therefore the total 2009 quota is expected to be less than 30,000 tonnes as China continues to protect its mineral resource exports. This represents a 25% decrease in total quota tonnage compared to the annualised 2008 figure.
Export quotas on Rare Earths products were introduced by the Chinese government in 2003 to limit the export of China’s strategic resource. The tonnage of quota has been decreasing each year. In 2006, the volume dropped to 48,000 tonnes, and in 2007 it declined to 43,574 tonnes. Half-way through last year, the Chinese government adjusted the release dates of export quota by two months to January and July every year. The initial 2008 tranche was 22,780 tonnes and the second was 11,376 tonnes, however this second tranche covered four months to the end of December. Therefore the total of 34,156 tonnes released in 2008 was for a 10-month period, which equated to an annual volume of 40,987 tonnes.
The consistent regulatory constraints of Rare Earths supply from China, which supplies 95% of Rare Earths to the world, has now led to a significant supply shortfall outside of China. Executive Chairman, Nicholas Curtis, believes that the reduction of the export quota will increase the opportunities for non-Chinese projects.
“The tightening supply regulations provide additional opportunity for Lynas to meet the supply deficit outside of China. Lynas owns the richest deposit of Rare Earths outside of China at Mount Weld in Western Australia and the company is progressing well with mine and plant construction to be in a position to commence supply by the end of 2009”, Mr Curtis says.
About Lynas Corporation
Lynas owns the richest deposit of Rare Earths, also known as Lanthanides, in the world at Mount Weld, near Laverton in Western Australia. This deposit underpins Lynas’ strategy to create a reliable, fully integrated source of Rare Earths supply from the mine through to customers in the global Rare Earths industry.
With the first mining campaign complete and all environmental approvals in place, Lynas has commenced construction of the Concentration Plant at Mount Weld, in Western Australia, as well as an Advanced Materials Plant to process the Mount Weld concentrate through to final Rare Earths carbonates and oxides in the Gebeng Industrial Estate, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. The construction of these plans is progressing well and first production is scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company plans to become the benchmark for security of supply and a world leader in quality and environmental responsibility to an international customer base.
‘Rare Earths’ is the term given to fifteen metallic elements known as the lanthanide series, plus yttrium. They play a key role in green environmental products, from energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to hybrid cars, automotive catalytic converters and wind turbine generators. They are also essential in the development and manufacturing of many modern technological products, from hard disc drives to flat panel displays, iPods and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
For further information please contact Nicholas Curtis on +61 (0)2 8259 7100 or visit www.lynascorp.com
Great Western Minerals Poised for Rare Opportunity
Dr. Allen Alper and Alison Conte
Interview with Gary Billingsley, Chairman, and Jim Engdahl, CEO, of Great Western Minerals
The U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on Critical Mineral Impacts has listed minerals that are essential for the health of U.S. economy. Platinum group elements are first and the rare earth elements (REE) are second.
“Without the rare earths, we go back to the turn of the century, and I mean, the 1900s,” said Gary Billingsley, C.A., P.Eng., P.Geo., Executive Chairman of Great Western Minerals. “Without them we wouldn’t have gasoline, automobiles, TVs, cell phones – any of the modern technologies that play a big part in our everyday lives.”
China produces over 97% of the world's rare earth elements, with 77% of world production coming from one mine. There are no longer any REE producing mines outside of China. Moreover, by 2012, China is expected to need all its REE to feed its own rapidly growing industries, with none to spare for the rest of the world.
This is why Great Western Mineral’s Hoidas Lake project in Saskatchewan is so promising. Its REE are found in the silicate mineral allanite and the phosphate mineral apatite. It could become the only producer in North America operating at full capacity, unique in the world as an in-situ rare earth mine.
“So the timing is perfect for a company like Great Western Minerals to establish itself in that rare earth marketplace outside of China,” said Billingsley
Mining the Rare Earths
Rare earths are the 15 elements in the lanthanide series – the best known being cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, praseodymium, gadolinium, europium, and samarium. Usually found in the minerals monazite and bastnaesite, REE are rare in that they are hard to find in commercially viable quantities.
As Billingsley points out, REE are used to make alloys for rechargeable batteries for cell phones, magnets for hard-disc drives, iPods and DVDs. They are also essential for electric motors and braking systems for cars, catalysts in petroleum and automobiles, and to make super alloys for medical and dental lasers and the aerospace industry.
Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. is a Saskatchewan-based mineral exploration and development company that is planning to feed this demand. It was incorporated in 1983. Gary L. Billingsley, who first became involved with the company as a consultant in 1993, is a professional engineer and geoscientist with more than 30 years' experience in the mineral industry, much of it in Saskatchewan. He has experience with uranium, base-metal, gold and diamond mine exploration.
James B. Engdahl joined the firm as President and CEO in March 2006. He had over 20 years experience in corporate finance, financing mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations. He also had familiarity with the global regulatory regime and specialty metals.
Along with the Hoidas Lake rare earth project in northern Saskatchewan, Great Western has two copper/gold projects in the southwestern U.S. As a vertically integrated organization, the company also operates manufacturing facilities in Troy, Michigan through a subsidiary, Great Western Technologies Inc.
In Michigan, Great Western turns rare earth elements into materials, powders, and custom vacuum-grade specialty alloys to make ferro, nickel, copper, cobalt, aluminum and titanium alloys as well as battery and magnet alloys and hydrogen storage systems.
Great Western owns two 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing plants for research, development and production.
This side of the company’s business has created cause for Engdahl to be optimistic. “When we initially bought the Michigan facility in 2006, we aimed for some positive cash flow by the end of the second year. We believe we’re going to be fairly close. We are anticipating a couple major contracts. One is in the aeronautical space industry, and it’s definitely in the value-added chain that we’re building as a company,” Engdahl said.
Great Western Diamonds Corp. (TSXV-"GWD") is the company's 40%-owned subsidiary exploring and developing diamond-bearing kimberlites in Saskatchewan.
Activity at Hoidas Lake
According to Engdahl, the Hoidas Lake project has moved ahead substantially in the last few years. “This winter we added another level of drilling to extend our resource base for the property,” explained Engdahl.
Hoidas Lake lies 50 km northeast of Uranium City, Saskatchewan, accessible by float or ski-equipped aircraft. It lies within the Northern Rae Geological Province, which consists of blocks of ancient granitic rock separated by major faults. The company holds a 100% interest in thirteen claims totaling 25,470 acres.
All of the Rare Earth Element (REE) prospects are present in the minerals, apatite and allanite, and occur in veins that parallel the Nisikkatch-Hoidas Fault.
The previous drilling exploration, totaling 8,500 meters, tested about 700 meters of a 10,000-meter strike length along the fault system, and to a depth of about 150 meters of a potentially 1600 meter deep structure. The winter drill program added another 7,000 meters of drilling; in an effort to double the resource based and was completed in late April 2008.
Preliminary indications, announced in early May, are that the extensions of the previously drilled veins show similar mineralization to that previously identified in the JAK Zone and are expected to have similar grades. In addition, a new vein system has been identified in the Footwall of the JAK Zone.
“We have some wider zones at depth. We’ve got some new zones in the hanging and footwall, so overall it looks very strong,” said Engdahl.
Great Western is now planning to conduct a summer drilling program to test the Nisikkatch South vein system, the new JAK Zone Footwall Vein, and other targets that were previously identified.
Great Western Minerals may also consider recovering the phosphate at Hoidas Lake, which is running about 17.8% phosphate. “Because phosphate fertilizer is $1,000 a ton plus, that has now become an economic possibility in that deposit,” Engdahl said.
Deep Sands Hold Heavy Minerals
The company’s third significant advancement in the last two years was the acquisition of 25% interest in the rare earth side of the Deep Sands Projects in Utah. “It’s got some very, very large potential. We’ve just started drilling on that property in May, and hopefully by this fall we’ll have a very good indication of what we actually have down there,” Billingsley said.
The rare earths that Great Western seeks, along with a significant amount of magnetite, are in those beaches, according to airborne geophysic surveys of the 66 square mile property.
Great Western Mineral has taken random surface samples of the sand, which is known to extend to at least 150 feet depth -- about 15 billion tons of material – and is getting assays averaging around 0.15 % for the sampling. Some areas average up to 0.8% total rare earth oxides, considered a significant amount of REE in a mineral sands operation.
At Hoidas Lake, neodymium is the most prevalent element, 22% rare earth by proportion. The Hoidas Lake rare earth showings are unique, in that they are found in the silicate mineral allanite and the phosphate mineral apatite, as opposed to the monazite and bastnaesite mined in China and California.
At Deep Sands Project, monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime are present, which gives it a fairly high proportion of some of the heavier rare earths, such as dysprosium and terbium, along with a lot of the light rare earths.
Financial Picture Shows Growth
Jim Engdahl describes the company’s cash position at about $2 million, with plans to do another financing in 2008. Despite the share price doldrums that many companies have experienced because of the subprime lending problem in the U.S., Great Western saw very good liquidity in the marketplace during the early spring of 2008, trading a significant number of shares.
“We do hope that with some early results out of Deep Sands and our winter drill program at Hoidas Lake, we’ll have some impact on getting that price back and corrected, at least to the level where we think it should be,” Engdahl said.
Great Western Minerals is also continuing to work on bringing one of their REE end-user companies into a partnership. “There is an extreme amount of interest in that for many of the Japanese companies as well as some European ones,” Engdahl said.
A Chinese Dominated Market
Anyone following rare earths exploration knows that China is now supplying up to 98% of this materials. With so many uses for REE, a second source is urgently needed.
Japanese companies and other users worldwide expect that by 2012, Chinese industries will be able to consume all the rare earths produced there, leaving the rest of the world searching for rare earths to fuel so many of our modern technologies.
“If all the companies that are planning on being in rare earth production by 2012 actually get to production, there still isn’t going to be enough,” Engdahl said. There are three non-Chinese manufacturers -- Great Western Minerals and two companies in Australia -- that are targeting production by 2012.
Further affecting the short supply will be an increase in demand, which Engdahl expects to grow enormously, particularly in the automobile hybrid market.
Investors Take Note
Jim Engdahl advises that investors take a serious look at the whole industry and see which firms have a strong management team and a good basis on properties. “What makes us stand out is we’re one of the few that are in the total value-added chain. We are building a fully integrated model from mine-to-market. This is going to minimize risk and get the value that you wouldn’t normally get by just mining,” he said
“I think that this is a little understood industry right now, but it’s about to become well understood,” Billingsley said. With China tightening its grip on its rare earth elements, he expects that rare earth exploration outside China will take on much greater significance.
“With the auto industry in particular, it has become critical that sources for these things be developed outside of China,” Billingsley said. Great Western Minerals appears to be in a rare position to do just that.
On June 09, 2008, Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (“GWMG” or the “Company”) announced that it signed a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Less Common Metals Ltd. ("LCM") of Birkenhead, United Kingdom, subject to the required regulatory approvals in the UK and Canada. The purchase price of this acquisition is £4,000,000 or approximately C$7,800,000, with closing anticipated on 18 June 2008.
Founded in 1992, LCM is a profitable, private company with excellent long-term relationships with many blue-chip market-leading customers across a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, nuclear and defense. One of LCM’s key clients is Aichi Steel Corporation of Japan, one of the Toyota Group Companies. Aichi uses LCM products in high efficiency, low weight, permanent magnet motors for ancillary equipment used in the latest vehicles manufactured by Toyota.
LCM is a leading, global manufacturer and supplier of rare earth based alloys, high purity metals, and ultra-high-purity indium. Other specialty alloys produced at the state-of-the-art plant in Birkenhead include neodymium-iron-boron and samarium cobalt alloys for the permanent magnet industry, magneto-optic and magnetostrictive materials, hydrogen storage systems and master alloys used in the production of other specialty alloys. LCM’s production of samarium cobalt accounts for 20% of global demand. Additional information about LCM can be obtained from www.lesscommonmetals.com.
LCM management expects to produce 430 tonnes of alloy and metals in the twelve months ending June 30, 2008. The production capacity of the plant is approximately 1,100 tonnes per annum and the plant is very well positioned to increase production to meet the demand for rare earth alloys from key clients. This ability to increase production will play a significant role in the implementation of GWMG’s “mine to market” business model should the Hoidas Lake rare earth deposit, and the Company’s other REE-related projects including Deep Sands, be successfully brought on-stream to provide the raw material for rare earth metals and alloys.
As a result of strong demand for its products, LCM’s revenue for fiscal year ending June 30, 2008 is expected to be approximately £9.8 Million (C$ 19.1 Million), up from £5.4 Million (C$10.5 Million) for fiscal year 2007.
GWMG and LCM are especially pleased to report that the entire management and staff of 27 highly skilled and dedicated personnel at LCM will be staying on and will continue to operate the Birkenhead plant.
The purchase price of £4,000,000 will be satisfied as follows: (i) Great Western has obtained a senior debt facility of £2,700,000 secured against the assets of LCM, of which £2,000,000 will be applied to the purchase price, with the balance to be used as working capital for operations; and (ii) the issuance by GWMG of a £2,000,000 convertible debenture to the vendors of the LCM shares. GWMG will also issue 750,000 common share purchase warrants to the vendors.
Mr. David Kennedy, Founder and Managing Director of LCM, sees this as a great match. Kennedy says, “Joining Great Western Minerals Group opens up the prospects for the long term strategic supply of key rare earth raw materials for LCM. This is of great interest to existing and potential customers as this alliance has the potential to secure the critical raw materials for key industries long into the future.”
Mark Ellis, President and CEO of Great Western Technologies Inc. agrees: “The tremendous synergy and complementary capabilities that exist between LCM and Great Western Technologies creates so many mutually beneficial opportunities for LCM, Great Western Technologies, and all of our clients. LCM brings to this transaction a solid base of blue-chip, global customers and an established magnet business; That, combined with GWTI’s existing client base and proven capabilities in the battery sector, presents great collaborative potential for all of us.”
Jim Engdahl, President and CEO of GWMG, is very pleased with the deal and the new relationships and opportunities. Engdahl says, “As with most acquisitions, it is the people that are important, and this purchase adds another dimension of intellectual knowledge and goodwill to GWMG with regards to specialty metals and, in particular, the Rare Earth industry. We are extremely impressed with the quality and dedication of the staff that David Kennedy has assembled and how well they fit in with GWMG’s “mine to market” strategy. We are also extremely impressed with the caliber of clientele that LCM brings to the table, and we look forward to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with all of them.”
Prof. Frank T. Edelmann mit Terrae Rarae 2008-Preis ausgezeichnet
von Prof. Dr. Frank T. Edelmann (11.12.2008
Frank T. Edelmann, Professor für Anorganische Chemie der Otto-von-Guericke-Universität, wurde am 4. Dezember anlässlich der "XXI. Tage der Seltenen Erden" in Bochum mit dem Preis "Terrae Rarae 2008" ausgezeichnet. Der von der TREIBACHER INDUSTRIE AG in Österreich gestiftete Wissenschaftspreis wird alljährlich für herausragende Arbeiten im Bereich der Selten-Erd-Chemie verliehen. Die "Seltenen Erden", auch Lanthanoide genannt, bilden eine große Gruppe von chemischen Elementen. In der Öffentlichkeit kaum bekannt, spielen diese Metalle dennoch eine bedeutende Rolle in verschiedensten Bereichen der Technik und des täglichen Lebens. So findet man das Samarium als Bestandteil von starken Permanentmagneten in Kopfhörern, während andere Seltene Erden die roten und grünen Leuchtstoffe in Fernsehröhren zum Leuchten bringen. Das Metall Cer begegnet uns im Alltag in selbstreinigenden Backöfen, in Feuerzeugen ("Feuerstein") und im Dreiwege-Katalysator im Auto. Andere Seltene Erden leisten in tragbaren Röntgengeräten, in der Computertomographie, als Laser und in Schweißerschutzbrillen unschätzbare Dienste.
Der Terrae-Rarae-Preis 2008 ging an Prof. Edelmann für sein bisheriges Lebenswerk in der Selten-Erd-Chemie. Dieses umfasst zum einen die Synthese und Strukturaufklärung neuartiger Selten-Erd-Verbindungen mit bisher unbekannten Molekülstrukturen (beispielsweise sog. Sandwich-Komplexe, die wie ein Big Mac aus Stapeln von Metallatomen und organischen Ringmolekülen zusammengesetzt sind). Das beiliegende Bild zeigt ein sehr schönes und auch optisch ansprechendes Beispiel dafür. Diese Struktur wurde 2007 in einer der angesehensten Fachzeitschriften, der "Angewandten Chemie" publiziert. Zu den weiteren Schwerpunkten seiner Arbeit gehört die Entwicklung neuer Katalysatoren, die beispielsweise in der Produktion von Kunststoffen eingesetzt werden können (z.B. wird Kautschuk für Autoreifen großtechnisch mit Hilfe von Selten-Erd-Katalysatoren produziert). Darüber hinaus befasst sich die Arbeitsgruppe von Prof. Edelmann mit leicht verdampfbaren Selten-Erd-Verbindungen, die als Vorstufen in der Halbleitertechnik eine immer größere Rolle spielen. Aus diesen Vorstufen lassen sich dünne Schichten für miniaturisierte elektronische Bauelement herstellen.
Die Arbeiten von Prof. Edelmann auf dem Gebiet der Selten-Erd-Chemie wurden bisher in über 100 Originalarbeiten in internationalen, begutachteten Fachzeitschriften veröffentlicht.
POTENTIAL IN NAMIBIA
Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 15, 2009 -- Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) announced that it has significantly expanded the area of rare earth element enriched carbonatite dykes associated with an
alkaline intrusive complex on its Lofdal permit in northern Namibia (Figure 1). A surface area of some
25 square kilometers has now been mapped and sampled and includes a large, previously unmapped,
carbonatite plug located in the southwest. Since the initial results from the first 242 samples were
announced on October 24, 2008 (see Company press release), an additional 1,184 outcrop samples have
been analysed and indicate that rare earth elements (“REEs”) occur at Lofdal in sufficient total
concentrations (0.5% to 8.9%) to be of potential economic significance (Figure 2). Rare earth elements
constitute a group of 16 elements and industry standards are to report rare earth deposit grades as the sum of the total concentration of both the light rare earth elements (“LREEs”) and heavy rare earth elements
(“HREEs”) plus yttrium which is typically an important accessory (“TREE+Y”).
Don Burton, Vice President Corporate Development and Chief Operating Officer stated: “These additional surface samples from Lofdal have doubled the size of area in which an economic rare earth deposit could be found. Based on airborne geophysical data the target area is roughly 150 km2 so
we still have a lot of ground to cover. We are essentially prospecting at this stage, however, the dykes
which outcrop at surface provide consistent indications that we have significant concentrations of both
light and heavy rare earth elements. We have also confirmed that the second carbonatite intrusion in the southwest previously referenced in our October 2008 press release is roughly 300-400 meters in
diameter at surface and enriched in rare earths. The potential for an economic deposit with heavy rare earth elements is especially encouraging.”