Green mobility revolution is not 3-5% of the fleet - we are talking here about structural shift in the market place: 30% of the market. Question is when? Where you can tell already. China is behind the Gold move, China is behind the REE move - go where the money flows. Gold started its move in 2002 and is still on the run, Lithium and REE story is at the very beginning.
REE Junior miners are on the run today again with news wires full of horror stories about Chinese squeezing the REE market. Not a lot of companies have a mix of properties with REE and Lithium exposure from brines to spodumenes with REE. Avalon is a mainstream REE story now and making its financing: its stories are all over the press. Another junior is building its portfolio with Avalon's deposits finder Dr Frederick W. Breaks in charge now.
"Now we have more insight in July announcement by TNR Gold TNR.v about strategic investment by Canada Zinc Metals CZX.v - is Chinese Tongling real intention to take control over our Junior player in the Next Big Thing? Canaccord has already put CZX.v on the list of Chinese potential take over targets, will they just become a stakeholder in TNR Gold TNR.v after that or will they move more aggressively before International Lithium Corp spin off? We hope that TNR Gold TNR.v management will be able to hold the fort and make International Lithium Corp public before it and we will enjoy the ride. In the end those controlling supply of REE and Lithium will control the Next Big Thing - the market of Electric Cars"
By Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai and Peter Smith in Sydney
Published: September 3 2009 16:03 Last updated: September 3 2009 16:03
China on Thursday predicted a domestic shortage of some minerals needed to produce green and high-technology products, exacerbating concerns that Beijing may tighten its stranglehold on global supply of so-called rare earth elements.
China, which supplies about 95 per cent of the global rare earths market, is considering plans to clamp down further on export quotas for the valuable minerals used to produce everything from hybrid cars to iPod music players.
Export quotas for rare earths have been cut for the past three years, but Beijing is now considering a plan for much sharper curbs which could leave multinational companies scrambling for other sources to supply their own growing needs.
Wang Caifeng, an official of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told a conference in Beijing that domestic demand for dysprosium and terbium may outstrip supply, but she denied reports that China is considering a ban on some rare earth exports.
Her comments came as Australia demonstrated its concern that China may be trying to dominate rare earth supplies beyond its borders as well. Australia’s foreign investment regulator has delayed for the second time China Nonferrous Metal Mining’s proposed A$470m ($395m) investment in one of the country’s leading rare earths mining projects.
The Chinese state-owned enterprise agreed to pay A$252m for a 51.6 per cent stake in Lynas in May and also promised to provide access to US$184m (A$221m) of debt to allow the Australian group to develop its Weld Range project in Western Australia, one of the world’s richest rare earth deposits.
Nicholas Curtis, Lynas executive chairman, said the deal would “increase global supply and diminish concentration of supply out of China”.
Foreign suspicions of Beijing’s plans for world domination of rare earths have been fed by comments from no less than Deng Xiaoping, the former Chinese leader who said in 1992 that while the Mideast had oil, China had rare earths.
But foreign and Chinese industry sources doubt Beijing’s dominant goal is to create an Opec-like price cartel. After flooding the world market with cheap rare earths for more than a decade, Beijing now wants to ensure that it has the materials it needs to feed its own growing ambitions to build advanced and green technology industries such as electric vehicles.
Inner Mongolia, which contains 75 per cent of China’s rare earth deposits, said earlier this week that it wanted to build a strategic reserve of rare earths to stabilise prices. It also wants to consolidate the local industry. The aim, according to Inner Mongolia officials, is to conserve reserves and attract more users to set up manufacturing plants in Inner Mongolia.
Rare earths have been sold too cheaply, and some traders have sold supplies illegally overseas, threatening domestic supplies and causing over-exploitation and environmental problems, according to an official of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths.
Just cutting production, without a strategic reserve to boost price, will be hard for central government, because that will hurt profits of some state-owned firms and local governments, analysts say.
Further Chinese export curbs could stimulate production outside China, industry experts said. According to a 2006 survey by the US Geological Survey, 43 per cent of global rare earth reserves are outside China, though few are currently being exploited."