The U.S. Rare Earths Supply Chain Challenge – Part 2

In an ongoing series on how to solve the U.S. rare earths supply chain challenge, 3 Sr Editors from InvestorIntel and well-known Rare Earths Consultants begin the debate on what is the actual formula to create a supply chain in North America.

Participants include Tracy Weslosky, InvestorIntel’s Sr Editor, Publisher and Rare Earths Consultant; Jack Lifton, InvestorIntel’s Sr Editor, Host and Rare Earths Advisor; and Alastair Neill, InvestorIntel’s Sr Editor and Rare Earths Expert.

Alastair starts the debate with: “First of all the key is to find a deposit that has a reasonable cost structure and also reasonable content particularly the magnetic four – neodymium, praseodymium, terbium, and dysprosium because those will drive 85-90% of the revenue of any deposit. Then you have to be sure that you can convert that deposit into a concentrate and after that you have to be able to separate it into the oxides. When you talk about magnets you then have to go to the subsequent steps of conversion to metal and then into alloy before you can even get to the magnet manufacturing stage.”

Jack added, “The first thing you do is ask the customer what he wants to buy. Then you can go upstream in the supply chain and find out what you need to do.”

The experts panel also discussed the exploration and extraction plays in North America. Tracy said that some of the exploration plays in North America include Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF), Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV: SMY), Ucore Rare Metals, Imperial Mining Group, etc.

To access the complete discussion, click here

To access Part 1 of this rare earths series, click here

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4 responses

  1. Ed Moore Avatar
    Ed Moore

    I don’t find myself agreeing with Jack Lifton very often but he is right on the money with his “Field of Dreams” comment. Too many rare earth projects fail to try to understand their potential customers until very late in the game and this makes life difficult for all concerned.

    1. Tracy Weslosky Avatar
      Tracy Weslosky

      Good to hear from you Ed. We will be hosting our 8th Annual Technology Metals Summit on May 14th in Toronto at the King Edward hotel. More on this shortly, Jack will be one of the moderators and panelists….again, always nice to hear from you.

  2. Tim Ainsworth Avatar
    Tim Ainsworth

    Simple fact beyond the hyperbole is there simply aren’t that many direct REO customers ROW of the scale required to make the RE process economically viable, most further downstream have been quite content buying functional materials from the Dragon.

  3. Jack Lifton Avatar
    Jack Lifton

    I note that it has been announced that China’s Shenghe Resources is building a “heavy rare earth capable” rare earth separation plant/metal making complex in Thailand. So, from where are the feedstocks going to come for this facility? Perhaps from South America, Africa, or Australia? China has been satisfying its needs for heavy rare earths more and more from outside of China. It even imports 12,000 tons (net) of light rare earths from the USA! Washington’s “lawmakers” are blinded by meaningless political smoke while the Chinese stoke their smelting furnaces.

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