Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rare Earths: "Lynas joins forces with Siemens" (LYSCF;; SI)

Very smart, taking a page from Molycorp's j.v's.
Lynas goes further up the value chain.*
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Lynas Corp will team up with Siemens in a joint venture that will help the German technology giant secure a long-term source of supply-constrained rare earth elements, coveted for their use in hybrid car engines, smartphones, iPads and other modern technologies.

The two companies have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture, of which Siemens will own 55 per cent, that will specialise in the production of high-powered rare earth magnets used in energy-efficient engines and wind turbines.

‘‘This planned joint venture would be an important strategic pillar for us to pursue a long-term and stable supply with high performance magnets,’’ Ralf-Michael Franke, chief executive of Siemens’ drive technologies division, said....MORE
*From our June 15 post "Implications For Investors Of The Dramatically Increasing Chinese Virtual Demand For Rare Earths" (AVL; MCP; REE):
...China is not shy about wanting to own the entire supply and fabrication chain:


Source: Molycorp final prospectus, June 9, 2011

Molycorp is attempting to do the same thing to capture more of the value-added, witness the acquisition of Silmet, the investment by Sumitomo and particularly their joint venture with Hitachi:
....This downstream integration, which we refer to as our “mine-to-magnets” strategy, would make us the only fully integrated producer of NdFeB magnets outside of China, helping to secure a rare earth supply chain for the Rest of World. In addition to the foregoing, we continue to explore additional joint ventures or other arrangements with third parties for the production of NdFeB alloys and/or magnets.
Rare earth “mine-to-magnets” production supply chain

For more on the downstream challenges see:
Repost: Hard Truths About the Rare Earth Element Business 
"New Magnets Could Solve Our Rare-Earth Problems" (MCP; REE; AVL; SHZ; GE)
Both posts link to MIT's Technology Review blog....