Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Canadian Firms Step Up Search for Rare-Earth Metals (AVL.TO; GWG[TSXV]; NEM.TO; RES.V)

These are EXTREMELY speculative issues that have had big run-ups since the rare earths began* to be spoken of in polite company. Be careful out there.
From Reuters via the New York Times:
China may lose its near-monopoly on producing so-called rare-earth metals used in hybrid cars and computer hard disks as a host of smaller Canadian companies develop fresh sources of supply over the coming years.

The drive to open new mines comes as Beijing shows signs of tightening restrictions on exports of the metals. Their great magnetic capacity and resistance to high temperatures make the minerals essential components in a variety of technologies, including fuel-efficient cars and wind energy turbines.

Demand for rare-earth metals is likely to increase between 10 percent and 20 percent each year, analysts say, thanks to growing demand for elements like neodymium, which is used in making hybrid electric vehicles and generators for wind turbines.

But supplies are limited. China, which produces about 97 percent of world’s rare-earth metals, curbs exports through quotas and additional duties. In addition, rare-earth metals like neodymium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium are difficult to mine and process.

Against that backdrop, a handful of Canadian miners are exploring for new supplies in South Africa, Brazil and the United States while pushing ahead with existing projects. Their success could ease fears that manufacturers may find themselves with few, if any, reliable sources of vital rare-earth metals. Such concerns have also raised the share prices of many of these speciality miners.

“There has been increased interest to look into ways to mine rare earth out of China, specially given the protectionism China is applying to its resources,” said Frederic Bastien, an analyst at Raymond James.

Great Western Minerals Group, Rare Element Resources, Avalon Rare Metals and Neo Material Technologies are among the Canadian companies exploring for resources outside China. Their shares have surged in recent weeks amid strong volumes....MORE
*We had our first couple posts on May 8th. Here are the search blog results. Here is one of those earlier posts:

With a Name Like Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co., it has to be good ( 600111:Shanghai)

In December 2007 I wrote:

How the heck did I miss Mongolia Energy Co. Ltd.?...
The question has haunted me to this day.
[you really need to get out more -ed]

MEco was the number two stock in the Bloomberg Worldwide Index that year, up 5911.17%.
I vowed that I "will study and learn, and one day my chance will come."
[ummm, wasn't that Lincoln?]

So when a reader emailed in response to this morning's "China tightens grip on rare earths":
"How do I participate?"
I had the [a -ed] answer.

IMBSREHTco's parent company has world’s largest rare earths deposits.
[the first letters of the acronym are IMBS, tee hee -ed]...

...Here's the extent of my knowledge of Mongolia's fashion scene:

Nomadic chic hairdo
Reconstructed by M.Chimeddorj
From the Mongolia Today article:

Best hairdo, Hun style

Punks, rocks, skin heads... over last decades the world has seen all possible shapes and forms of human haircut. What was in fashion among steppe nomads some 2,000 years ago?

Prof. Bayar's research sheds light into the best hairdos of the past. [ full story ]
Be careful, do your own research. And email if you have editing/trading aspirations.
(requirements/renumeration can be found at "Help Wanted: Trader/Blogger")
[wha? -ed]