From Rare Metal blog:
Rare earths expert Dudley Kingsnorth has downgraded by a significant amount his estimates for REE demand in 2015 due to high prices, reduced export quotas out of China and the global slowdown. Nine months ago, he was expecting 2015 demand to come in between 190,000 tonnes and 195,000 tonnes. Now he is predicting that figure to be more like 170,000 tonnes to 175,000 tonnes – with obvious implications for those planning to come into production later in this decade.
However, when projected through to 2020 the situation becomes quite different. His presentation summed it up: “The focus should be: ROW (rest of the world) to meet ROW demand in 2020 – lots of opportunity”. He sees 2020 demand at between 240,000 tonnes and 280,000 tonnes.
Kingsnorth, executive director of Perth-based Industrial Metals Co. of Australia, produced the new figures at a metals conference in Beijing this week. He said REE exports from China this year have fallen by – at least – 20 per cent to 30 per cent.
His paper outlined a scenario that, between 2010 and 2015, ROW production would increase 10-fold, from between 4,000 tonnes per year and 6,000 tonnes to between 40,000 and 60,000 tonnes as year. Over that period, he sees China continuing to meet its own needs. Of the 170,000 tonnes used in 2015, users outside China will consume between 50,000 tonnes and 55,000 tonnes, down from previous expectations of demand at between 60,000 tonnes and 65,000 tonnes – a substantial contraction in the expected market for emerging ROW producers....MORE
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..America’s needs for light rare earths will be oversupplied by Molycorp as will Australia’s by Lynas in a massive way. For the heavy rare earths, America’s needs can be meet and exceeded by Ucore Rare Metals and Rare Element Resources. The needs of China, Japan, Korea and India for heavy rare earths can be met by the Canadian and African operations of Great Western Minerals Group, the Canadian operations of Avalon Rare Metals or Quest Rare Minerals, and the southern African operations of Frontier Rare Earths and Tantalus Rare Earths.