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Gareth Hatch

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  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, September 12, 2013 [View instapost]
    tripleback: it is entirely possible that "historic" prices were artificially low. Given the additional costs in China associated with better pollution control, and the recent tendency to simply cease production rather than sell at "too low" a price, I would further agree that those days are gone.

    However, the fact remains that during the formulation of their business plan some years ago, during the period of lower pricing, LYC must have made price assumptions concerning the value of their future output. Have those assumptions ever been made public?

    I know that in their 2010 engineering study for re-starting Mountain Pass, for example, MCP used pricing assumptions slightly below 2014 projections from IMCOA of $6/kg for La2O3, $2.50/kg for CeO2 and $30/kg for Nd2O3 (all FOB China)...
    Sep 13 05:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, September 12, 2013 [View instapost]
    The updated LYC presentation states that "RE prices have decreased to levels that are now unsustainable for RE producers again". The current prices are roughly 2X the historical prices. Was the original LYC business model not built on prices similar to the historical prices?

    I don't recall seeing a projected future price desk from Lynas in the past - but did they not assume that their production was going to be profitable at those levels / margins? If so - what changed - cost of production?
    Sep 13 09:01 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How The Micro-Hybrid Revolution Will Radically Change The Battery Market [View article]
    Excellent article, as usual, John :-)
    Dec 28 11:25 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Of Breed: A Comeback For American Strategic Metals? [View article]
    The aforementioned Strange Lake, Avalon's Nechalacho deposit in the Northwest Territories and Matamec's Kipawa deposit in Quebec, all HREE-rich deposits, have always had larger resource estimates than Bokan Mountain, even back in March 2011, when the resource estimate for Bokan Mountain was first announced.
    Dec 18 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Of Breed: A Comeback For American Strategic Metals? [View article]
    Bokan Mountain has the largest reported NI 43-101-compliant heavy-rare-earth mineral resource in the USA - but not in North America. The latter "honor" goes to the Strange Lake B-Zone deposit in Quebec, being developed by Quest Rare Minerals.
    Dec 14 12:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 17, 2012 [View instapost]
    It's all good :-)
    Jul 26 08:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 17, 2012 [View instapost]
    There has been little new information on Hitachi Metals' plans to set up shop in the USA.

    The % ownership numbers mentioned above for the 2 facilities in China can be found on page 4 of the Annual Information Form filed by NEM on March 31, 2011 - you can get previous NEM documents from SEDAR if you now search for Molycorp instead of Neo Material Technologies.
    Jul 26 10:11 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 17, 2012 [View instapost]
    Hola tripleblack...

    The confusion concerning Santoku America is understandable, given the specific language used in the announcement. I do recall that at the time there was discussion concerning the possible construction of a greenfield magnet facility in the USA. The alloys produced at the former Santoku facility (assuming they are still being produced there) can indeed be used for the production of Nd-Fe-B magnets - but by the customers of that facility, not the facility itself.

    Even if it had the equipment and facilities to produce sintered magnets from those alloys, MCP would need to have a license from Hitachi Metals to make and to sell such magnets in the USA. Hitachi has not given out new licenses in years, and is unlikely to do so any time soon, given the approaching expiration of existing licenses, and their own plans to build a Nd-Fe-B manufacturing facility on the East Coast next year.

    Interestingly, and as you pointed out, MCP eventually partnered up with others in the magnet-making realm, focusing on potential processes that apparently do not require the use of the Hitachi Metals basic composition patents.

    My understanding was that NEO (as was) owned 95% of the Zibo facility, and 90% of the JAMR facility.

    Keep up the good work with these Concentrators - I know of no better source of useful market-related REE info online :-)
    Jul 25 06:13 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 17, 2012 [View instapost]
    Some points of clarification:

    a) the entity that MCP acquired from a Japanese owner makes alloys, not magnets;

    b) Magnequench (formerly a division of Neo Material Technologies, now owned by MCP along with the rest of Neo) makes magnetic powders (not magnets) that are sold to polymer-bonded (not sintered) magnet makers all over the world. The newly named Molycorp Magnequench has powder production facilities in Tianjian, China and one in Korat, Thailand.

    c) MCP now owns the Chinese two rare-earth processing and separation facilities previously held by Neo - Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources (which focuses on light rare earths) and Jiangyin Jiahua Advanced Material Resources (which focuses on heavy rare earths).
    Jul 25 08:57 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Mineals Concentrator - March 28, 2012 [View instapost]
    @tripleblack: MCP's increase was for their mineral reserves, not resources. While the equivalent of "inferred resources" are not permitted for consideration in estimating reserves under SEC Guide 7, neither are they permitted for consideration when estimating reserves under NI 43-101 either. The MCP announcement inexplicably omitted to mention that NI 43-101 covers reserves and resources, not just resources.
    Apr 11 07:26 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Mineals Concentrator - March 28, 2012 [View instapost]
    @tripleblack: the allocation was production, not export quota. Inner Mongolia has allocated 100% of the quota that was assigned to it by the Chinese authorities, to Baotou.

    Interestingly this year it has pretty much impossible to track down the official list of production quota allocations to the various provinces and autonomous regions. Usually it has been published by now.

    What we do know is that the 25kt of quota that Inner Mongolia was assigned by the authorities, is 50% of the quantity assigned to that autonomous region last year...
    Apr 7 01:47 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, 2-22-2012 [View instapost]
    "Trouble at t'mill" is a common idiomatic expression in Northern England, equivalent to something like the US expression "Houston: we have a problem" in terms of a once-literal phrase now representing something more general. Brits and perhaps others in the Commonwealth wouldn't equate the headline with an actual problem at a manufacturing facility, even if an international audience (understandably) might...
    Feb 28 01:51 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, Nov. 30, 2011 [View instapost]
    @HardToLove: you're welcome :-)

    @chihawk: thank you for your kind words. Development of capacity in Southeast Asia is well underway. We'll be releasing more detailed information on this in the not-too-distant future, including specifics of where in Southeast Asia that we're talking about.

    @toly: thanks for the note regarding Lynas.

    @chihawk & toly: yes, we will probably look to take Innovation Metals public at some point, but we won't be rushing into that process. Our business model incorporates a variety of means of generating near-term cash flow for the company, through trading and other activities, which will allow us to do what we need to do to move things forward.
    Dec 6 11:32 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, Nov. 30, 2011 [View instapost]
    @H. T. Love - some comments:

    1) The separation facilities planned by Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC) will NOT be located in China, nor will they be controlled or owned by China, or Chinese entities. The research study was conducted in China because IMC had access to rare-earth specialists there, with extensive expertise in the processing of rare-earth minerals.

    2) The mixed REO concentrates that will go into these facilities will not contain thorium, since thorium and similar materials will have been removed at the initial processing stages, by the producer making the concentrate.
    Dec 6 11:32 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, Nov. 30, 2011 [View instapost]
    @chihawk: I came out of the permanent-magnet (PM) industry, and prior to that did alloy-chemistry research work on rare-earth PM alloys, so my primary focus is rare earths. However, I am starting to look into niobium, tantalum and zirconium in greater depth, again from the supply-chain point of view, but working upstream towards the mine face / moose pastures. Nothing to report on just yet.
    Dec 1 09:50 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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