Even the HREE producers coming on stream in the next two years will have little choice but to sell their products to Chinese or Japanese rare-earth metal and alloy producers. There is no other location for them to go.
Molycorp has been consistently ahead of the game in rare earth metal production. They were first to see the potential in reactivation of the old Mountain Pass rare earth motherlode. Now they're the first REE producer to move toward large-scale vertical integration.
Rare earths are an unsettling topic. Today, everyone tries to claim a concrete view on these materials since at least 2002. But unless you were a scientist or involved in making catalysts or magnets, you probably didn't know they existed until last year.
If American self-sufficiency is important to insure that our civilian and military manufacturing industries retain their market share and can grow, then those sectors of our economy must strike bargains to ensure their own prosperity
The "horse race" theme that I devised two years ago, with the winner to be the first to produce heavy rare-earth oxides (HREOs) outside of China, is now in the final lap. The smart money is on the smart management of Great Western Minerals Group.
I guess that there's no need now to worry about the future supply of the rare-earth metals. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs says the rare earth supply shortage situation will end in 2013.
We can certainly debate and question specific projections. What's pretty clear though is that the figure of 278 kt for total rare earths in 2015 and beyond is referring to projected supply, not demand.