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Gareth Hatch

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  • Molycorp: Poised To Move Higher Still [View article]
    Major impediments to mining and processing? Like what, exactly?
    Feb 16 08:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: Poised To Move Higher Still [View article]
    OK, but the distribution of rare earths at Mountain Pass has been known for literally decades...
    Feb 16 08:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: Poised To Move Higher Still [View article]
    To what are you referring, when you mention "less-than-hoped-for geological findings at Mountain Pass"?
    Feb 15 10:06 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    Again - Dy is added to improve coercivity, not magnetic "strength". These are two very different parameters. Additions of heavy rare earths such as Dy and Tb have a detrimental effect on the magnetic "strength" of the underlying material, because of their intrinsic magnetic properties in comparison to Nd (and Pr, which is also used).
    Jan 31 10:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    Additional comments:

    1) Coercivity and strength are not the same thing. Dy is added to improve coercivity - it actually DECREASES the magnetic induction (i.e. the magnetic "strength") of the underlying material. Corrosion resistance in Nd-Fe-B magnets is generally obtained by adding cobalt to the alloy.

    2) China has had export quotas for all rare earths in place for a number of years; in 2012 they started breaking those quotas out into light rare earths, and for medium & heavy rare earths. It was the drop in annual export quotas from roughly 50,000 t to 30,000 t in 2010, that caused the price spikes for all rare earths, that peaked in the middle of 2011.
    Jan 31 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    As an FYI, Tesla's electric motors do not use permanent magnets.
    Jan 31 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    Good observation on the inconsistency concerning patents. The basic composition patents did indeed start to expire over ten years ago in jurisdictions outside of the USA. In the USA - different story. The basic composition patent (US 5,645,651, presently owned by Hitachi Metals) was not technically filed until June 1995, though it had a priority date (first time related subject matter was filed) of August 1982. It was finally issued in the USA in July 1997, with a 17 year period of coverage (per the old system of 17 years from date of issuance, as opposed to 20 years from date of filing).

    Within just the last couple of years, the validity of the '651 patent was challenged in the USPTO, and was found to be invalid, though the appeal process temporarily suspended the invalidation.

    MCP and Hitachi have numerous other patents, however, that cover additional aspects of process and composition intellectual property (IP). Producing "modern-day" commercial magnet grades still requires the use of that IP, so MCP and Hitachi (and Hitachi's licensees) are not going to suddenly lose all control over their materials come July 2014, though some companies without licenses from Hitachi will no doubt test and push this.
    Jan 31 09:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    Magnequench material is indeed magnetic material, but Molycorp itself does not produce magnets from this material. They sell it to customers that do that process. Producing a high-performance powder AND carefully manufacturing a high-performance magnet from that powder, are both critical steps.
    Jan 30 08:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: A High Potential Rare Earth Miner [View article]
    Some comments:

    1) Heavy rare earth elements such as Dy are added to Nd-Fe-B alloys to improve coercivity (resistance to demagnetization), not corrosion resistance.

    2) Dy is scarcer than Nd from a natural occurrence point of view, but there are no issues of availability. It experienced a significant price spike recently, but so did all of the rare earths, including Nd.

    3) Molycorp does not manufacture magnets. It acquired Neo Material Technologies which has a division, Magnequench, that produces Nd-Fe-B powders that are used in the production of polymer-bonded magnets by its customers.

    4) Magnequench powders indeed contain little to no heavy rare earths, while achieving similar coercivities to a subset of sintered Nd-Fe-B magnet grades. They don't replace all sintered Nd-F-B magnet grades, however, and applications that require particularly high magnetic field strengths, or particularly high coercivities, still require sintered, not polymer-bonded Nd-Fe-B magnets.
    Jan 29 03:41 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Rare Earth Prices Are Poised To Rebound And Who Stands To Benefit [View article]
    Confirming my earlier point - that supply has NOT been reduced:

    "Despite the expansion, analysts say nearly two-thirds of China's production facilities will remain idle.

    China has more than 110 rare earth melting and separating firms, with a combined production capacity of 300,000 tonnes annually, but global demand for these minerals has stood at 120,000 tonnes on average over the past few years, said Ma Rongzhang, secretary general of the Association of China Rare Earth Industry."

    http://bit.ly/1bV6Oo5
    Dec 20 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, September 12, 2013 [View instapost]
    As I mentioned in a comment on the article - it should be noted that Tasman and Flinders have four directors and a corporate secretary in common. In addition, the wholly owned Sweden-based subsidiary running the Tasman projects is helmed by a director of the wholly owned Sweden-based subsidiary running the Flinders projects.
    Dec 14 09:05 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Rare Earth Prices Are Poised To Rebound And Who Stands To Benefit [View article]
    No, the capacity was not being used. That's the point.
    Dec 13 09:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Rare Earth Prices Are Poised To Rebound And Who Stands To Benefit [View article]
    Consolidation has led to a reduction in excess production capacity, not to actual supply.
    Dec 11 10:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Rare Earth Prices Are Poised To Rebound And Who Stands To Benefit [View article]
    1) OK, but the basket price is a different matter - you specifically referred to lanthanum needing to be $10/kg to be economical. I am curious to know from where you got this specific number?

    2) Reduction in production capacity in China has only affected the excess capacity that was previously in place. There was evidence of 100-200% overcapacity in production prior to the consolidation and new rules governing minimum production output. I see little indication that this consolidation has or will eat into the capacity required to match demand, or that it will even come close - based on current estimates or even projections out to 2016 or beyond.

    In the past few years, demand has been most directly affected by price, not supply. The price spike in 2011 was caused by folks thinking that the sky was falling as a result of lowered export quotas, despite there being no actual changes in supply or other supply issues. This is reinforced by the fact that the prices began a sharp decline immediately after the second set of quotas were announced for 2011.

    Industry end users are concerned about availability of supply, but I've found that the price of rare earths is a far greater driver of their behavior and intention. Ultimately though, there are no supply issues, if you're willing to pay the going rate.
    Dec 11 12:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Rare Earth Prices Are Poised To Rebound And Who Stands To Benefit [View article]
    Two questions for the author:

    1) You state that prices of $10 / kg for lanthanum (oxide) are "not economically for producers". On what basis are you making this statement?

    2) You state that "Molycorp and Lynas coming online is a catalyst for prices to increase, not decline". The result of them coming on stream is greater supply of certain materials. How does having a greater supply lead to higher, not lower prices?
    Dec 10 07:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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