Seeking Alpha

Jack Lifton

View as an RSS Feed
View Jack Lifton's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check [View article]

    Another arrow into the heart of so-called progress.

    In the film version of "Sweet Bird of Youth" Burl Ives, as "Big Daddy," says to his offspring who are warring for their inheritance before he actually dies "There's a powerful smell of mendacity in the air."

    I note the same odor in the wind (excuse the pun). As subsidies now vanish in the face of the tsunami of debt we will be hearing how one program is better or more important than other, but, I wonder if a death sentence hasn't already been passed for subsidized technologies that are nice but not necessary at all for our health, safety, or even well-being.

    AS society goes back to a cash basis from the long afternoon of debt financing we already see the end of all new technologies feeding on the public purse. We have lived through the exuberance of the post World War II era. We now waken into a world where more people are chasing a better life than there is capital to raise those already at the highest, average American, end any further. American social mobility is now ending or becoming sharply limited in scope in the face of fixed amounts of resources and energy in this world.

    Chinese people without electricity or running water will now be lifted into a "middle-class" life of electric light and flush toilets, and it will be at least two generations before they feel entitled to have what they did not earn.

    I want to pay less, in total, for energy, so i do NOT want subsidized randomly generated power in place of fossil fuel (American produced) generated base load. I can live with a climate that is variable. I do not wish to live in a society where the choices are among food and shelter and health.
    Apr 10 09:38 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Opportunities and Intellectual Short Circuits [View article]

    You presciently say:

    "but world-changing advances in electrochemistry have been few and far between."

    And you couldn't be more right. The problem with the explanation of this point, as you like to say, is that you can explain it but you can't always make your listener or reader understand it.

    I note in this context that our (the human race's) understanding of electrochemistry is much much better now than it was a century and a half ago when the storage battery was "invented." But I want your readers to understand that the difference between a well developed understanding of some aspect of the properties of matter and "controlling" it in such a way as to be economically useful is hit and miss. We don't just master the useful application of a physical phenomenon becasue we want to.

    Imagine an alternate reality where an energy starved non war-like world undertook a Manhattan project to separate U-235 from naturally occuring uranium and build a fission reactor to boil water to make steam to turn a turbine to generate electricity on demand. In that world nuclear power would be the salvation. In our world the psychological fact that nuclear power was developed as a way to produce weapons has numbed us to nuclear power as salvation.

    In exactly the same way the crude storage and controllable release of electrical energy by chemical means that we have today is primitive compared with our ability to generate electrical energy on demand. Yet we talk about "advanced' this and that until I could barf. I well remember a post-war (WWII) issue of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society that showed on its cover a "device" from 8th or 9th century Baghdad that could only be a battery. It was found in what was believed to be a goldsmith's shop. It is surmised that it was used for electroplating. If it was a battery then you must admit development has been on the slow side.

    You're right, John, we live in a world of fantasy economics and Hollywood science. Appearance trumps reality every time.

    You're also right that using a chemical storage battery to replace a chemical explosion as a source of motive power is a step backwards not forwards.

    I would be thrilled if a solid oxide fuel cell with little or no platinum group metals could be made economical enough to provide electricity on demand from a chemical fuel, and this may happen some day, but until then I expect to see "inexplicable' but completely predictable breakdowns of EVs from battery failures of "unknown' causes.

    Keep the candle burning lest the darkness overcome us when the batteries are exhausted.

    Jack Lifton
    Nov 7 09:13 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Post-China Price: What Beijing’s Green Revolution Means for Rest of Us [View article]

    Your article is well written and well thought out, but I want to correct one urban legend that is a result of the Internet, although it is my fault for getting it wrong at first and then failing to emphasize the correction.

    The Toyota Prius has a 1.5 kWh nickel metal hydride battery constructed with 2.5 kg of lanthanum; there were 32,000 tons of lanthanum produced in 2009. At least half of the lanthanum goes into the manufacturing of fluid cracking catalyst. The remaining tonnage is available for battery manufacturing. In the short term at least the use of nickel metal hydride batteries in full hybrid motor vehicles will hold steady as lithium-ion types are tried as replacements for nickel metal hydride types or to supplement them.

    I think that Wall Street does not get it on the REEs. The driver for development is security of supply, availability. The Chinese as you point out long ago capitalized the political need for jobs in a remote region by subsidizing the Inner Mongolian REE production industry or at least by allowing or instructing the local massive iron mining operations to contribute to the overheads of the REE mines.

    I am in Alaska at the moment at the Alaska Mining Association annual meeting in Anchorage. In a few hours I address the association, and my topic is How Alaska can Green the World. I am talking about the development of Ucore's HREE rich deposits at Bokan Mountain.

    Thanks for helping me add to my ideas about the topic. Like you I own Ucore shares.

    Jack Lifton
    Nov 4 08:17 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Unlikely to Succeed [View article]

    Those who legislate to support, provide finance for, and buy eco-bling like the Tesla products are worse than out of touch with the real world in which average people live and work. they are insulated from it, the real world, not so much by their wealth or power as by their arrogance and certainty that they know better than the rest of us what is good for us. The socialization of debt by the political class is nothing more than this arrogance in operation. The politicians think of our world as an experiment and of us as guinea pigs to be sacrificed in experiment after experiment until things are put "right" by their definition.

    This will never end until politicians are made accountable for the mistakes they make through short term, and re-election-is-the-only goal, thinking. The socialization of debt must stop, and the unlimited reign of heredicrats must stop.

    Tesla is an arrogant and ignorant avoidance of reality by elites feeding at a public trough for private gain.

    Am I being to subtle?
    Jun 21 09:06 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Lead Acid Battery Sector Is Starting a Bull Run [View article]
    If 16% of the 2015 "build," globally were to be "hybrid" of which 70%, or 11.2% were to be start-stop and micro-hybrid that would mean 4.8% would be full hybrids using nickel metal-hydride (rare earth based) or, perhaps, a lithium-ion battery technology of some sort. If car makers went with what works then this would mean a demand for lanthanum would be 90,000,000,000 (current projected motor vehicle build for 2015) x 0.48 = 4,320,000 (3 kg/NiMH battery) = (approximately) 13,000 MT.

    For neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium for the magnets in the electric drive motors, the starter motors for the ICE engines associated, and for various small electric motors used by the vehicles accessories, just for the full hybrids there would be required, just of neodymium, for example, 90,000,000 x 0.16 = 14,400,000 (number of hybrids of all types produced in 2015) x 2 kg/vehicle for the above metals [mostly neodymium] = (approximately) 29,000 MT of neodymium.

    This number would be impossible to achieve with today's production levels of neodymium, not to mention the need for dysprosium, and terbium, which would also exceed current production. Moreover most of this rare earth production would have to be from new additional production, since there are few, if any, obsolescent technologies using rare earths, and, in fact, the use of rare earth permanent magnets is increasing faster than any other use of the rare earths.

    It is therefore now critically urgent that long term capital investments be made both inside and outside of China to boost rare earth production by at least 50% by 2015.

    I keep saying this, and I keep wondering why those who think they are on the way to selling 14,400,000 x $35,000.00/each = 480,000,000,000/yr worth of finished goods cannot seem to find the courage to invest 1/5 of one percent of that yearly revenue, just one time, to ensure their security of supply of a critical raw materials.

    Its very short sighted or very stupid, and in any case it seems to be about greed and mismanagement and letting the guy who comes after me have the problem.

    Don't say please that you're green or environmentally active if you don't support the mining of the rare earth metals everywhere that it is feasible to bring them into production commercially within five to seven years.
    Jun 6 11:45 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Common Sense in Energy Storage Investing [View article]

    A superb analysis.

    Some thoughts of mine:

    Your analysis of the energy storage market is almost comprehensive, and even includes the critical factors that entities such as "Wind Power" and "Solar Power" trade "associations gloss over, such as market psychology and contemporary (note the "temporary" part) political manouevering, which are both culturally defined. Your emphasis on economics as the key driver is in fact definitive.

    I am just back from Beijing where I spoke at a meeting that included speakers from quasi-official government sponsored academies of trade and economics as well as from the country's largest refiner of rare earths. The message there was that westerners, Americans in particular, are "addicted (The speaker's term, not mine) to rare earths for "non-vital" technologies. The speaker, whose comment that was, then ought me out after the forum for a one-on-one conversation (fortunately his English was very good as my Chinese is non-existent). He told me that China is committed to building a large infrastructure in Mongolia based on the alternate technologies, wind, solar, and perhaps, nuclear. The context of our discussion was his assertion that the rising demand for rare metals in general and rare earths in particular is "vital" to domestic programs for the Chinese alternate energy production economy.

    "Why, "the emphasis on alternative energies?" I asked this gentleman, a Ph.d from a famous western university in an island nation where cricket rather than touch-football is popular and where Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes lived , studied, and wrote.

    "Simple economics," he said. The alternative energy power sources will provide a low but generally available anywhere power source in areas geographically close to the 'power plants' while we continue to use traditional power plants, including nuclear, to build the industrial base." He continued to say, "A basic power distribution grid or a 'smart' grid are a long way off due to 'economics.'" He went on to say that China will produce and use its resources for building its economy and that this is a "vital long term interest" that will trump short-term profit and loss, which seems to be the only 'real' driver in the west.

    All of the Chinese speakers emphasized that they want western miners to bring rare earth mines into production to satisfy their own western demands and let the Chinese use these raw materials, which they produce domestically, for China's vital future needs.

    When I said above that your analysis is almost comprehensive I meant that the additional factors of the accessibility by an industry to its critical raw materials and the structural limitations on the production rates of those materials are also factors in dictating the progress, or termination, of a mass production regime.

    Ironically, green technology, a western political idea, has now been adopted, I am coming more and more to believe, by China due to its economic benefits more than due to any perceived environmental benefits. In any case it is clear that in order though for China to accomplish a green revolution it will need to conserve its resources and direct them to the development of its own domestic economy. Those resources are 'vital for that purpose."

    The hypocrisy of western politicians, financiers, and environmentalists is breathtaking in its cynicism. The Chinese are moving to develop their country in exactly the way we have prescribed as the green way, because it is the economical way, while we subsidize such projects for uses that are not economical just to satisfy someone's political base. As an example It is hypocritical in the extreme that the elites of the Boston shore are fighting a wind farm, which would be America's largest, tooth and nail, because it would cause "eye" pollution. I wonder what the Cabots, Lodges, and Kennedys would say if there were an unelectrified area of south Boston where people lived without electric lights, refrigeration, or the use of electric motors. Substitute "Inner Mongolia" in the sentence above for "south Boston" and then think about the word "vital."

    I think that the so-called green revolution is close to gridlock-excuse the pun- in the USA while its progress in China is due to the fact that the economics there are straightforward: Green technology equals more rapid development at the margins of the economy where its future direction is most valuable.

    To which economic system shall there be a green future if there are any limitations on the availability of natural resources?
    May 2 10:08 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Short Term Supply Constraints Will Impact Booming HEV Markets [View article]

    As it happens this weekend I have spoken at length with Dudley Kingsnorth in Perth Australia., and corresponded by email and phone with David Kennerdy in Birkenhead (Liverpoole) UK. Respectively they are the world's leading authority on the market fundamental of rare earths and the only man in the west who engineers and produces rare earth magnet alloy powder (rare earth magnets are made by sintering alloy powders either of samarium-cobalt or of neodymium-iron-boron). Both of these gentlemen are scheduled to be on a panel with me (Mr. end-use of rare earth metals "expert") in Washington, DC, in October.

    In any case we all agree that NiMH battery production is severely resource production rate limited. I googled ""lanthanum production" and 2008" just to see what info is out there and lo and behold I got an article on the new "Chinese Rare Earths Society" web site that is almost word for word constructed of quotes from me! My articles are also featured on their site. I'm one of their key sources of the production levels of the rare earths. Dudley and David are of course my most reliable sources, but they don't write as much as I do, publicly.

    The point of this immodest rant is this: Reasonable men can disagree on the total of accessible resources (known and measured) and reserves (implied and extrapolated) of the rare earths, but no one disagrees that any increase in output rate of metals and minerals is a market issue. No one is arbitrarily making the massive and long term payout type of investment required to increase the output of a mine and to increase the refining capacity for the mine's product and the manufacturing capacity for the end use of the mine's refined product just based on newspaper stories or market hype. This is as true for lithium as it is for rare earths.

    Note well that the use of lanthanum to make fluid cracking catalysts to process increasingly lower grades of petroleum resources may be the largest use today of lanthanum. If this is so then the availability of lanthanum for NiMH batteries may only be half of what we think. I was at Molycorp's Mountain Pass mine two weeks ago, and they told me that all of their current lanthanum production, only 4 tons a day at the moment, goes to FCC production. They plan to ultimately ramp up to 32 tons/day, but their FCC customer is interested in all of that. Note that Toyota has just announced the addition of hybrid lift-trucks to their line. Those NiMH batteries are big ones. Toyota is a marketing genius. Instead of having one lift truck working and one or two charging you can have a hybrid running all the time. If the cost increase and the reliability and durability and maintenance are equal to the ICE powered lift truck and the cost per unit is less than double it's a great deal.

    I think that the shortages and their causes -market dynamics-cannot be hidden much longer. Choices have to be made. As you say in the near term there is no choice but lead-acid technology for widespread application in transportation.

    Best regards,

    Jun 21 11:50 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Growing HEV Markets Will Impact Battery Manufacturing Revenues [View article]

    The limitations on the production of storage batteries that arise from the global production rate of lithium, lanthnaum, and lead are what I call the problem of the three "Ls." ( At least it can be named this way in English). Lanthanum and lithium production are of the same order of maginutude with lanthanum production being a little above 30,000 metric tons a year and lithium production being a little below 30,000 metric tons a year. Both lanthanum and lintium are rare metals. Lead is produced annually at the rate of 3,600,000 new metric tons a year (2008, USGS) with an additional amount being recycled yearly in the range from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 tons. U.S. recycling of lead, the largest and most efficient in the world, is now approaching 1,000,000 tons a year almost all of which is derived from SLI batteries. There is essentially today no recycling either of lanthanum or lithium from any source. Of the three Ls the one easiest and far and away the cheapest to increase the production of, substantially, is lead. So you see any the advantage, from an availability, cost, and recyclability measurement goes to lead.

    Fuel cell technology today, if durability, reliability, longevity, and efficiency are the metrics of choice (as they are in OEM automotive) uses one to three ounces of platinum per device large enough to power a small passenger carrying motor vehicle. World production of platinum is 7,000,000 ounces per year. That is the alpha and omega of why fuel cell research for transportation has come to a halt. Not even the US government is willing to continue funding such a dead-end technology as a mass producible one.

    Great article, by the way. I'm beginning to think that those who nit pick your data and ignore your reasoning and conclusions are painting lipstick on a pig.
    Jun 15 06:27 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Advanced Lead-Acid Batteries Will Dominate HEV Markets [View article]

    There is an ironic twist to alternate energy that your articles always illuminate: Those who argue that human economic activity, in energy production and use, must be subordinated to their idea of a perfect sustainable energy world ignore the fact that the exact activity that would be required to bring about their ideal will necessarily be a (temporary) increase in the reviled activities. To produce the critical metals and materials for batteries of any type, and wind generators of any type, and the obviously necessary nuclear power plants, of any type, to wean the world from burning fossil fuels will require, in our time, a large increase in the burning of fossil fuels to get the energy necessary to build the technologies to supplant the burning of fossil fuels for energy.

    I don't think that the average person comprehends just how close in time we are from the changeover from burning wood for energy to burning coal for energy. The next step for the production of the massive increase of demand for energy already under way in the twenty-first century is obviously nuclear-there is no other way in the short term to satisfy the huge increase in demand for the production of electricity by the conversion of heat energy.

    I think that politicians may be the most practical of men and women today. They simply lie while undertaking the necessary at the same time as paying lip service to what is nice.

    There is no question but that you are correct that the next big step in the electrification of motor vehilces will be through the use of lead-acid battery technology, becasue the politicians, perhaps seeing a danger in waiting, have decided not to give western industry any time to breakout from the economic deadend they have reached in "advanced" battery development.

    I still believe that the majority of the electrification will be done with lead-acid battery technology and that nickel-metal hydride batteries will be used for a small but significant number of vehicles with increased performance, the numbers of which are strictly limited by the rate of production of the rare earth metals, and that lithium-ion technologies will be relegated to niche markets by their price not just by the limited rate of production of lithium.

    The numbers don't lie; it is the proponents of simple solutions through non-existent technologies, who are ignoing the limitations both economic and material, of technology, who are lieing to themselves and to us.
    May 31 12:47 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric's Impressive Entry into the Grid Based Energy Storage Business [View article]

    What goes around comes around. In 1966 I did some summer work at Ford (Motor Company) Scientific Laboratories on the alkali metal sulfur, molten salt, storage battery. We looked at all of the alkali metals and concluded that the availability of sodium made it the best choice. Lithium was studied but it was simply not readily available enough to be considered for mass production. As i think about that statement I am amazed that availability was even a consideration, but I think that car company engineering and procurement worked more closely together in those days. To be frank the lack of knowledge of the electrochemistry and reactivity of hot molten salts with container materials was also a big factor. I remember a seminar at the "Sci Lab" in which the director pointed out that the use of NaS batteries for mass transportation was a more practical idea than their use for personal transportation. Lo and behold after only 43 years it may perhaps happen, and I'll bet that in somewhat less than 43 more years a lithium-ion battery for personal ptransportation may well become economcial and safe enough to use. I just don't think that development is going to come out of the bureaucratized operations of budget driven innovation fantasized by the current American government as it supplies its "expertise" in politics to science and engineering.

    Great article, by the way. Another definitve overview by you.

    Jack Lifton
    May 14 09:39 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Future Quite Bleak For Rare Earths Miner Molycorp [View article]

    I note that some analysts are projecting cerium at a selling price of $8/kg by 2015 for 99.99% oxide. If MCP's FUTURE cost is $7/kg then you, jbde, are predicting a disaster, since half of the predicted 40,000 mt/a will be cerium, and since NO ONE pays a posted price for volume this would mean that MCP would have to sell cerium oxide at a loss.
    Please do not tell me about the market for Xorbex. That is a fantasy at any price but at a cerium price of $8/kg there is a fatal problem in that it has already been stated by MCP that Xorbex will fail in the marketplace if cerium is below $11/kg.

    I note that at $21/kg cerium Xorbex is already a flop.

    Molycorp's problem is that it is basing its supply model on a demand market that does not exist except, perhaps, for neodymium. The question is: Can Molycorp survive when it has to produce 40,000 MT/a of the light rare earths in order to produce 5,000 mta of neodymium or 7,500 mta in total of didymium, if you count the praseodymium as a desirable product?

    Molycorp's problem is one of break even. It is already too high.

    The biggest worry for Molycorp has got to be Lynas, which will produce nearly 4,000 mta of neodymium and a total of 8,000 mta of dudymium from just 22,000 mta production. I doubt very much that Lynas' cost structure is twice as high as that of Molycorp, so they will be able to sell their Nd and NdPr at a lower price than Molycorp.

    I think Molycorp's basic problem is, as I have already said, their break even is too high and the target production rate is far too high for the real market. This has been obvious for years. The investing public has just caught on, and the greater fool theory that drove it has finally run out of greater fools. S**t happens.

    There are much better managed REE companies out there than Molycorp. Look, for example, at GWMG, UCORE, TASMAN, and REE. Their managers all understand the market far better than Molycorp's managers do. More importantly all of those managements understand that profitability not overall size is the target of a well managed business. Economy of scale is a useful manufacturing approach. It works for natural resource production only when, as an example, in the case of the heavy rare earths you cannot achieve production of the desired metal values without concomitant production of the other rare earths.

    Polymetallic projects can also exhibit an economy of scale through diversification into marginal products. For example, Orbite Aluminae Inc. will produce low cost heavy rare earths and gallium, scandium, yttrium, and zirconium as byproducts of large scale production of alumina into a market that has capacity to absorb more than Orbite can produce even at its current costs. This will allow Orbite to produce and sell 1,200 tons per year of critical technology metals at a large margin while the costs are borne by the 250,000 mta of alumina that is their principal product. There are other good companies doing the same thing with polymetallic deposits. For example, Australia's Alkane is a zirconium producer that will produce substantial rare earths and hafnium as cost contained byproducts.Turkey's AMR will do the same with a broad range of technology metals which will be byproducts of its magnetite (iron ore) production.

    I think that Molycorp just overshot the mark and never considered cost control as an important target. Now I think its too late.

    One more company, Tantalus, in Madagascar will have a very low cost of producing rare earth concentrates from an ionic clay field larger than those known to us in China. Tantalus has an LOI with Rhodia in FRANCE to process the concentrates. If that goes to a final deal then Tantalus will be the first producer of rare earths from ionic clays outside of China within a year and a half.

    There's a lot happening also with regard to rare earths in Australia, southern Africa, Greenland and eastern Canada. Stop worrying about Molycorp.
    Aug 26 06:58 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Future Quite Bleak For Rare Earths Miner Molycorp [View article]

    The Soviet Union centralized industries without much regard to economics or geography. They set up a niobium tantalum ore processing/scrap processing operation in Silimae, Estonia, after World War II, and it functioned as a central place to ship both Soviet sourced domestic ores and those from "friendly" socialist countries. The Soviet Union was never a competitive source of niobium and/or tantalum in the global market, but its refusal to publish production or use statistics allowed it to confound western analysts trying to determine the extent of the Soviet military's production capacity in certain alloys and for electronics.

    Much later as rare earths became important to electronics the Soviet central planners in Moscow added to the then Silmet's responsibilities the processing of Russian sourced loparite ore from the Kola Peninsula. Silmet had already added plutonium processing to its skill sets-at least for recovering plutonium from over aged weapons and breeder reactor fuel.

    The company was part of the cleanup of excess Soviet era nuclear weapons after 1989 as a plutonium recovery processor. It also produced average quality neodymium and low quality neodymium-iron-boron magnet alloy. It was and most likely is very far from the state of the art in either as practiced in China and Japan.

    Silmet was a obsolescent Soviet era processing plant when the greater fools showed up and bought it from the Russian businessmen, living in Zurich, who had "privatized" it and were looking for a buyer.

    Silmet has never produced much rare earth metals or alloys; it has not even met its own production goals for them-EVER.

    Its sole value to Molycorp has been for hyping the supposed global reach of Molycorp and to add a list of technology metals, such as niobium, tantalum, and scandium to the fantasy. We are supposed to believe that a very minor player in the global market somehow makes a major player out of a company that knows only as much about those metals as the Silmet people tell them.

    By the way: What happened to the Wind Turbine "investment" that Molycorp made in order to demonstrate that Molycorp didn't need to worry about its lack of access to dysprosium production from ores? The comapny upon which Molycorp wasted $35 million of other people's money has done what lately? Has Molycorp put any more money into this R&D, all production involving rare earth magnets is outsourced to China, loser of taxpayer subsidies boondoggle.

    I know the Molycorp answer: "Never mind," its PR flacks would say.

    In answer to that I say as to Molycorp:


    One more thing: Does Silmet process coltan from the DRC, which it is claimed by the UN and USA is mined by children and slaves?? Traxys certainly makes no secret of being a supplier of these materials. I have to assume that Traxys is the supplier to Silmet, so what's the answer??
    Aug 26 01:37 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Lithium-Ion A Borgia Battery? [View article]

    Let's all note that the battery being "extreme" tested FAILED. Engineers and scientists at GM who were testing the battery under rigorously controlled conditions suffered a completely unexpected failure-mode. This is the very definition of an "accident." If the GM people made a mistake in not placing the battery in an explosion proof containment it was because of their confidence in the vendor's data. This is a huge problem for A123, it's insurer, and it's legal counsel. The public has a right-to-know whether this battery chemistry or a variant is now in use anywhere. This was an accident, but if these batteries OR ONES WITH SIMILAR CHEMISTRY are in use then the next mishap will be pure negligence and the third could be criminal negligence. This event has to be taken from the hands of the PR flacks and explained in detail immediately. How long before a tort lawyer creates a fear of electric cars made me do it cause of action?

    Apr 22 12:41 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fast Growing Rare Earth Crisis In The United States [View article]
    Some encouraging news:

    The University of Alaska (Fairbanks) and the Alaska Dept of Natural Resources are sponsoring a seminar on the value of rare metals in general and rare earths in particular to Alaska's (and America's) industrial self-sufficiency. This will be on September 30. Both the Governor of Alaska and its senior US Senator are scheduled to be in attendance. Both support the development of projects such as Ucore's Bokan Mountain deposits.

    I am one of three speakers in the morning session; the Governor is scheduled to be the lunch speaker, and in the afternoon plans to develop resources, such as Bokan Mountain in particular, are going to be discussed by the participants.

    This is the moment for America to start rebuilding economy through wealth creation and self sufficiency.
    Sep 17 10:08 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Share Offering and Financing Announcements Create an Overhang [View article]
    wwwater can you clarify the following:

    "The cash would go towards the phase-one and phase-two expansions at its Mountain Pass rare earths processing facility in California, where it aims to produce 19 050 tons of rare-earth oxides once phase one is completed by the end of next year, doubling this in phase two by the end of 2013."

    Would this production be of mixed oxides, separated oxides, and, if separated, then "purified" oxides, and if "purified" then to what degree? Further it is my understanding that the "profits" to be generated from Molycorp operations will come from many tons of rare earth permanent magnets being produced AND SOLD. So I ask then about these magnets, what types, and pre-sold to whom are in the works for fiscal 2012,13,14, and beyond?

    What are the precise benchmarks by which we can measure the success of Molycorp? I am tired of "going to" and "plan to." I want to see "will deliver by a fixed date to...."

    Let's just use the flow chart in the MCP SEC filing. Where `exactly is the company on that flow chart? How does the purchase of SilMet and of Santoku's US operations fit into or modify that chart exactly? Why is it so hard for investors to ask these questions of analysts much less of the company?

    Are MCP's management and board to be measured by the share price or by the company's ability to follow a business pan and bring it in on budget and on time? By smoke and mirrors or delivery receipts to end-use customers.?

    Remember that you're betting on management not on "pounds in the ground!!!"
    Jun 9 09:05 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment