From Technology Metals Research:
If you understand the title of this article then you are a follower of the events shaping the present and future price of the NYSE-traded shares of Molycorp, the project to revive rare-earth mining and downstream refining and processing, I hope, in California. In a news release on Monday, Molycorp announced that it has purchased the operations of rare-earth processor, AS Silmet, based in Estonia.
There is nothing new to be discovered about Silmet, an Estonian operation established during the Soviet era as a typical central place to process uranium ores and fuels, to separate rare-earth concentrates into their individual elements and to process those separated forms into metals and alloys. Like all Soviet-era attempts at central planning, Silmet suffered from the worst problems of a centralized command economy; its payroll was bloated and its production quotas were set by Moscow bureaucrats determined to produce ever more goods to “achieve” the goals set by politicians for production levels for each successive five-year plan. The market fundamentals of supply and demand were not considered relevant if there was a five-year plan output level to achieve.
One has to wonder by the way, what the relationship was in the (good?) old days, between Silmet and the processing operation in Kyrgyzstan now “owned” by Stans Energy....MORE, including a bunch of sharp questions.