Seeking Alpha

tripleblack's  Instablog

Send Message
Let's see, Veteran (Vietnam era), Commercial Artist, picture framer, industrial engineer & corporate executive (once upon a time), small business owner and operator, Ayn Rand fan, Libertarian (and no, its not a synonym for "Republican" or "Conservative"), and history... More
My company:
Stan Bruns Illustrations
Back To tripleblack's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (480)
Track new comments
  • New PDF presentation: "Rare Earths: Famine or Feast? 12 September 2013"



    12 Sep 2013, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » My initial impression: Simple, basic overview, fluffy. Very kind to the Chinese plan, very pc, but not particularly upbeat.


    Not news, its an ad, or a setup for future news (looks like they are still struggling with Phase 1 teething problems at the LAMP). Trying to get out in front of reality instead of hiding it, which is a plus given the recent hideous track record in that regard...


    12 Sep 2013, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • No news on milestone timing... that suggests to me they have not yet resolved their production problems.


    Are the charts on pages 10 and 15 saying that 36% of the LAMP output (Nd/Pr + La) will be profitable through the next seven years? The remaining two-thirds or so of the production mix will be in oversupply. Am I getting that right?
    12 Sep 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Oversupply does not necessarily equate to "unprofitable", but yes, that is what that graph roughly shows. I think there are some odd assumptions being made, for instance, about cerium... They don't even list as a prime market the long-time use of cerium as a top quality polishing agent. True, this function faded when cerium prices hit unsustainable highs, but now prices have dropped back and we are seeing cerium priced competitively with other polishing agents which are often inferior in quality for a given application (we see cerium commonly used for some jewelry polishing functions on a commercial scale). Another use for cerium is in water treatment plants, where it makes a superior fine grade filtering agent. This is one reason I believe that cerium demand is likely to balance supply as it once again becomes available at prices where its dominant market re-asserts itself, and new functions can take hold. It may not be a huge profit item for Lynas, but it equally should help to make them cash flow positive and absorb considerable overhead to make their more profitable items shine.


    I disagree strongly with some of the underlying assumptions, particularly the doubts about how the elements (everything in the REE spectrum except cerium, lanthanum and nd/pe mix) they are NOT processing have a doubtful future. This is defensive thinking, and also hints (though no details, of course) that we won't be soon hearing about a tolling agreement for all those "other" heavy/critical heavies from Lynas. (Sour grapes, in other words). The bit about their anticipation that LED lighting (for instance) will be slowly accepted is not what I am subjectively seeing in the marketplace (prices are normalized and now we are seeing a steady progression of LED lighting solutions into the more popular bulb formats people need). I also don't think Lynas has the ability to make their prediction self-fulfilling (ie, they elect not to produce products like highly refined erbium, and therefore the applications for that element don't move forward).


    My experience has been that markets PUSH technology that saves the consumer money (and electric rates are going up, with recent trends in Germany, for instance, making the push a very strong one). I consider LED devices to be a near term dramatic event for REE demand.


    This is why Lynas needs to swallow the necessity of tolling the other 14 or 15 elements contained in their concentrated left-overs, and why I consider this subject very important.
    12 Sep 2013, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • 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?
    13 Sep 2013, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Welcome Gareth.


    My view has been for a long time that the "historic prices" being discussed were the unsustainably cheap Chinese prices which China pursued in order to gain an effective monopoly (in fact, this was openly predicted and then bragged about by China's national leaders). China now openly says that those days are not coming back.


    So, harkening back to that period in history is not very fruitful.


    The price structure which dated before China "grabbed the ball and ran with it" would have some validity, but that is a long time ago.


    As for costs changing, I believe that the last 2 years of Malaysian adventures must have changed the Lynas picture in a dramatic fashion.


    What was a potential geopolitical problem for many years has now ripened into an openly geopolitical battleground pitting nation states against one another and playing for global stakes. Lynas (or any individual corporation) can only seek to handle the situation as best they can and survive the steel rain.


    The gambit to carve out a "sustainable price" reflecting Australian (and to a large extent, Western) environmental and safety sensibilities will only work, imo, IF the greater geopolitical situation between Japan and China continues to boil.
    13 Sep 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • 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)...
    13 Sep 2013, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » NC has mentioned estimated costs in a vague way several times in the past, particularly in response to MCP's Smith's early era statements that they intended to make REEs for prices lower than the Chinese (a claim which has never been confirmed, of course, with real experience, and as you list in your comment). As I recall, NC was throwing around numbers higher than the extremely low MCP claims (from memory here: $3.xx for MCP's basket, and $6-7 for Lynas [presumably also different as Mt. Weld contains a different/heavier mix than Mountain Pass] per NC). Later NC backed away from those earlier claims, and noted numbers closer to reality (again, I recall some fuzzy CC numbers around $10).


    At the time, I was skeptical of the claims, and time has not changed my mind. At the time I found Lynas' numbers more believable than those from MCP, but my view has always been that what any major western producer would be selling would be goods that came from a reliable supplier without a geopolitical ax to grind, and therefore would find customers for whom those qualities would have pricing power.


    Lynas' cost estimates dating from prior to the debacle with the LAMP would have to be modified by the much higher costs of constructing the LAMP - higher operating costs due to multiple changes inserted by many players - higher costs associated with the bizarre political climate, etc.


    Lynas may have sought a slightly more relaxed (but yet still objectively "safe") and cheaper operating environment in Malaysia than they might have seen in Australia (particularly under a Left/Green alliance administration), but their actual experience in Malaysia, including some really bruising delays and design changes, must be viewed as costly (in every sense of the term).


    I hope they publish new numbers soon, presumably downstream of actual experience running a properly functioning Phase 1 circuit at the LAMP, but I would be very surprised if they came in close to those older cost estimates.


    The current reports of costs near $20/kilo are hopefully more indicative of startup problems at the LAMP than long term cost structures settling into place.
    13 Sep 2013, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • The price assumptions to which I was referring, were for the sale of finished goods, not their cost of production.
    14 Sep 2013, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • What do you think... rough guess for LAMP construction and start-up costs increased by a factor of 2? What would it be in a dollar figure.
    14 Sep 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » GH: Yes. Lynas has always maintained a basket price monitoring function that reflects what their own basket would bring FOP China, but cost information has been vague, variable and fuzzy (perhaps understandable given the lack of a functioning LAMP). The inference has also been that their sales contracts were based upon "market prices" (again, assumed to be something near FOP China numbers), which during the days when prices were shooting up was considered a plus by Lynas boosters, LOL, and obviously not so much when the prices dropped. Now they are looking for "sustainable pricing" (obviously higher than FOP China, though we have not seen details), which has been discussed here in the past. Its a worrisome, up in the air topic without feedback from major players like Sojitz.


    I have not seen definitive cost estimates for the LAMP before the recent bad CC results. Nearly $20/kilo was obviously, as the new CEO said, "disappointing" and strong evidence that the mention that they were experiencing operational issues at the LAMP were translating into very poor production cost results.
    14 Sep 2013, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » As I recall Jack's visit to the LAMP back in March included assurances that their cost profiles were based upon 2009 prices, which still doesn't give us details, but as I recall Jack was told that they would be profitable at those prices, and he believed Lynas.



    I think we still don't know what their results will really be until they get a handle on their problems at the LAMP, and have enough throughput to generate real world results.


    GH: Looks like their original plans from 2009 at least were based upon 2009 prices, I hope that helps.
    14 Sep 2013, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • Molycorp also claimed production cost of $2.77/kg. Technically, this was per SRK estimate of April 28, 2010, but Molycorp kept on touting the figure. I presume the SRK $2.77/kg figure is from the same study you (Gareth Hatch) quote for pricing assumptions.


    Additionally, Molycorp made a number of purchases in 2011 and 2012 when rare earth prices had gone way up, and perhaps purchases some of these assets predicated on those pricing levels.


    26 Sep 2013, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks tripleblack.
    26 Sep 2013, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • Yes. The economic analysis in the SRK report projected that the mining, milling and chemical plant costs would total $2.58 / kg TREO. Trucking and shipping costs would be an additional cost of $0.19 / kg TREO, so the all-in number was indeed $2.77 / kg TREO.
    26 Sep 2013, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • Darn near an hour into trading and not one LYSCF share traded?


    Thanks for the new Concentrator, trip.
    12 Sep 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Very odd. I'm thinking there is something wrong with the OTC exchange...
    12 Sep 2013, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • No! That's never before occurred! NEVER!
    12 Sep 2013, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • Got two trades now - 10:41 and 10:55 totaling 2.5K. I think it's the b/a spread is too wide ATM and it'll have to narrow.


    Very low volume on AXPW too - maybe some folks are cautious about something? Maybe it's a Fed minutes or Bernanke speech day?


    EDIT: Low-vol on CPST too!
    12 Sep 2013, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Curtis interview from yesterday. Early LAMP problems resolved. 2014 will be the year, 2013 is mainly ramping up.

    12 Sep 2013, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • I like the part where the interviewer asks Mr. Curtis ", 2014 will be the year when Lynas wows investors?


    Nick Curtis: "...eeeeh yeah, (cough, cough) yeah, that sounds about right"


    The above is paraphrased, not exact quotes.
    13 Sep 2013, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Details on the new Chinese REE caps.
    13 Sep 2013, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Some strategic thinking about strategic minerals...
    13 Sep 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Maybe that will enough for some of the lesser known miners to enjoy a short term bounce in their stock prices.
    13 Sep 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • A presentation by Northern Minerals. How do you guys compare it to the recent Lynas presentation?

    14 Sep 2013, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Key takeaways...


    Northern has .72% TREO, which is actually very good for heavy deposits, but much lower TREO than Lynas Mount Weld (and some other locations). Lynas of course has one of the richest depostis on earth (as measured by TREO), though much lighter in nature (net) than some like Northern. Northern will be processing a lot of tonnage to generate product. .72% TREO means that 99.28% of what they will be handling does NOT contain rare earths.


    The slide shows a mixed open pit /tunnel mining plan (this answers a question which we recently discussed). This type of mining can be expensive, compared to an open pit operation.


    Unlike Lynas, Northern has no LAMP or concentration plant, though they have demonstrated their planned methods at bench-top level. Lynas has what is becoming the largest separation operation on earth.


    Lynas and Northern both currently plan to sell their mixed "heavy" concentrate rather than construct their own processing facility to complete the job.


    Overall, there are some plans the two companies share, and some where the plans are quite different.
    14 Sep 2013, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • TB, thanks for the feed back. If you were "ranking" the miners where would you put NTU versus some of the others? All of them have various issues i.e.. QRM out in the middle of nowhere,etc..
    15 Sep 2013, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I tend to break down such an answer into major components, and I would start with the geopolitical issue.


    In the recent past, Australia has exerted a very schizoid government attitude toward the mining industry. Under the Left/Green alliance, the plan was to make mining much harder to perform, including tighter and tighter environmental hurdles, while simultaneously installing a very high mining tax AND an intricate national environmental plan (various unflattering names attach to this, including "cap and tax", though I prefer the single dire term, "carbogeddon"). The upshot was that the last administration was assuming that the mining industry could meet all barriers, pay all taxes, and still continue to grow just as it had been doing... LOL.


    The new administration has a dramatically different viewpoint, and has promised to nix the mining tax, and modify the national environmental initiatives and carbon laws. This is unalloyed good news for the mining industry, though I share some of the skepticism that they will have 100% success, or that Australia will regain the prior mining situation where it was selling into a seller's market with China driving prices up.


    Even so, these points are a plus for Australian miners, including (perhaps "especially") for explorers well along the road toward production. This general backdrop is important in analyzing the various mines and locations around the globe.


    I am particularly down on explorer and other levels of pre-production miners in the United States. Unlike Australia, we are just in the early stages of installing our own version of carbogeddon, and the current administration still has 3 years to run. Recent actions of the EPA have made young mining prospects a VERY iffy proposition, and I am avoiding them wholesale. Prospects for producing mines are also very iffy, and I think even those that enjoy political support (the DOD presumably still needs MCP to provide them with rare earth supplies) may find it a tough 3 years.


    Canada has a mixed political landscape when it comes to mining. Some locations and provinces are very supportive, others are not, and then there are the added complexities of the indigenous tribes, who have their own ideas.


    Europe has TAS and a few other projects, of course, and I would trust that TAS will receive both the national support of the countries where its mine will be developed, and that of the EU (which support has already been indicated). This is an advantage for them. Unfortunately theirs is also a very low TREO project, though to their good they have also been achieving some success figuring out how to do benchtop processing of their unique ore. Like Lynas, the TAS ore is quite low in radioactive contact, which is another plus (particularly in Europe where environmental concerns are elevated and Greens have a powerful seat at the political table). TAS can also be pit mined, another advantage, so long as the huge throughput needed to extract the heavy elements can be done at a sane cost (doubtless subsidized by government).


    I will write more as I bring myself up to date and have more time. This is not a shallow subject...
    16 Sep 2013, 08:43 AM Reply Like


    Big (also 78 pages long) Lynas announcement regarding Sojitz. Price closed at Au$0.43 while (whilst) we slept which is US$0.4032.


    "The key amendment defers from 19 January 2014 to 31 March 2015 the date by which Lynas is required to meet certain production volume and cash operating margins under a 'Completion of Phase 2 test.'"
    16 Sep 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks Ung!


    The key amendment defers from 19 January 2014 to 31 March 2015 the date by which Lynas is required to meet certain production volume and cash operating margins. The changes are due to delays in getting the TOL, and the delays associated with getting Phase I operational. Most of the changes are in Note 22.


    I only gave the document a quick read, but I noted a few things I was not aware of. For one thing, those "loans" can be convertible to stock. Look at the amount of the loans...


    One thing I did see is an operational definition of when Phase I is completed. That's important because until Phase I is completed, they can't access the Phase II funds. The operational definition of completed is a three month average production equal to 70% of the nameplate capacity. That means they can't dip into Phase II capital until the LAMP is working. On top of that, there is also a cash operating margin test. I read that as meaning that they don't get Phase II cash unless the LAMP achieves a certain (hidden) profit margin.


    I did not know about the operating margin test. Does that mean if China dumps REs dropping the price that they can effectively block Lynas from getting the capital needed to proceed with Phase II?


    I see that the principle balance reflecting the full value of the Mt Kelett convertible bound has increased by 16.6%. Can we use that as an indication of the current cost of the delays?


    Something else I saw buried in the document was something that talked about a 50M US dollar payment to be made to Malaysia in exchange for ... ??? (the TOL?)


    I am going to be AFK for a few days, so I recommend people read the document.
    16 Sep 2013, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Sorry, I missed this one:


    The $50mm is to go into a fund administered by the Malay atomic energy dept. (IIRC), and is to be paid in tranches ($10mm each, as I recall) based upon shipments of processed concentrate into Malaysia. Since the LAMP is still not running up to par, we can assume that Lynas will avoid importing lots of concentrate from Mount Weld until they need it.
    15 Oct 2013, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • There was an early discussion on a previous Concentrator about EMC Metals and their proposed Tugsten mine. I just spotted this news release this morning:


    EMC Metals Corp. : EMC Sells Springer Tungsten Mine for US$5M, Clearing Path to Focus on Developing Scandium Projects in Australia and Norway



    I'm also very skeptical of their scandium projects, looks to me like they're minining the market, not the earth. Buyer beware.
    16 Sep 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I am also skeptical of their scandium plans.


    I hope the tungsten mine is now brought into production by the new owners, who are more interesting to me than EMC at this point.


    I own no EMC shares, even in the sock drawer, but if I did I would be selling now...
    16 Sep 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • I've been a follower of EMC, and their plan had always been to sell the tungsten mine, so they could soley focus on scandium production. I can't recall what they were hoping to get for the tungsten mine, but 5 million seems low. But, we are in the midst of a bear junior mining market period.
    Their recent 100 % acquired scandium resource (nygan) according to J. Kaiser, is one of the best in the world.
    I agree they have a long road to go, but if successful, they would be only a small handful of scandium producers in the near future.
    16 Sep 2013, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » About 3 years back when I was trading EMC, they were talking about opening up the mine to produce and cranking up the enhanced production circuit they had built. A timeline was published which ran about 3 - 6 months, since of course the mine was ready to go, and the bigger processing circuit was all set...


    Then there was a "!!squirrel!!" moment and their resources were pouring into scandium, and the mine was mothballed, and ultimately put up for sale. I bailed long before then.
    16 Sep 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » We are entering a phase (which could last for a long time) where existing, permitted and licensed mines in America may come into vogue as investments. The EPA (I have mentioned this several times) has begun installing regulatory blocks which will stymie virtually any and all pre-production mining efforts in the US. Therefore, we may see a time very soon (and this sale may represent some smarties sneaking in before the wave hits and snapping up a real bargain while EMC is still going !!squirrel!!) when junior American mining stocks are worth very little (or nothing) while old mines might see a rejuvenation in value.
    16 Sep 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe so. I think Hecla (HC) might be one of those mines. And yes, I do own shares in HC.
    16 Sep 2013, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • TB, I didn't know about the "squirrel" action in regards to their tungsten mine.
    I'll look into why they didn't follow through. I've always heard tungsten could be in short supply in the future.
    16 Sep 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Their plans to improve and open the mine was the only reason I ever traded the stock.


    Tungsten production is one of many strategic minerals currently dominated by China...
    16 Sep 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Recycling is also a factor for tungsten that should not be overlooked.


    Just spotted this a few minutes ago:


    Rare Earth Prices to Rise if Rumor True that SRB May Buy Rare Earth Soon

    16 Sep 2013, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yes, this adds a little substance to the Chinese stockpiling efforts, though its still not happened just yet. This has been mentioned here and elsewhere many times.


    Recycling for many strategic minerals is very difficult, since the manufactured goods they are used in often need very small quantities (but cannot be built without them) and they are alloyed in such a way that reversing the process is extremely difficult AND costly. Some items are thought to be "possible" to recycle, but are not because of these factors, and this is also a barrier to spending megabucks researching to see if it CAN be done (the investment is likely to just end up confirming the initial impression, which would NOT be very profitable use of resources and money).


    My experience has been that the harder it is to locate, develop, mine, process and refine minerals, the more likely it is that they will prove a problem on the recycling end as well.


    Unfortunately, recycling often starts to make economic sense when a market is under great duress, ie, during dramatic shortages. The resulting astronomical prices can make even similarly astronomical recycling costs seem "reasonable".


    Needless to say, its a catch 22 situation right now.
    16 Sep 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • Speaking of tungsten: "Kennametal Inc (KMT.N) said it would buy Allegheny Technologies Inc's (ATI.N) tungsten materials business for $605 million to boost supply of the raw material used to make its metal-working tools, increasing its exposure to aerospace and energy markets."


    There's also Largo Resources in the tungsten business.
    16 Sep 2013, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • From my quick research into EMCs Springer tungsten mine in Nevada. The subtle reasons I saw for just selling it was when the PEA came out in 2010, it only showed a mine life of 5 years. There was talk that the resource could possibly be expanded out to give a longer mine life, but I think after it was all said and done & sussed out, their tungsten resource wasn't all that. Without a golden tungsten egg, EMC felt it was just best for them to move on and focus on Scandium.


    With the annoucement of the sale of its Springer tungsten in Nevada today, the money they got for it was low, but at least it didn't go to the debenture holder, and you have to consider the junior resource bear market. EMC can now soley focus on developing Scandium. EMCs nyngan resource is world class.
    long - EMC
    16 Sep 2013, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » One more cautionary note, jimp... Before the 2010 PEA, either they knew what they had with their mine (in a general way) and were telling us all fibs, or they were incompetent. Their tungsten mine was not the most important part of the equation, whereas their processing plant (just as with rare earth mines) was... Still, as we have seen with Lynas recently, AND MCP, management problems are the opposite of rare in the mining industry...


    Still, its a reason to "watch out". I have been telling folks for years that investing in Lynas should be done DESPITE its management, not because of it. I had hopes that problem had been reduced by bumping NC up to the Chair, but its looking like Lynas still has trouble with management.


    I think the same is true for EMC.
    16 Sep 2013, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks TB, I hear you.
    16 Sep 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Speaking of American mines, Nevada Copper seems to be progressing, not sure about jumping in, but it's worth keeping an eye on:

    18 Sep 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Last free standing lead smelter bites the dust...
    5 Nov 2013, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Back on the low TREO deposit mining topic...


    I suppose everyone has heard about the idea of sucking rare earths from the sea floor. Japan and China are hissing at one another over some islands that may (or may not) have some rare earths laying around on the sea floor nearby...


    Keep that .72% TREO number we were looking at for Northern in mind, and then transpose that same number to the bottom of the ocean. This assumes, of course, that they FIND a highly concentrated heavy deposit like that (shouldn't be any harder than finding surface deposits, right? ROTFL)...


    Anyway, AFTER they locate their promising find, imagine the cost of pumping up all the overburden silt that will be covering those rare earths... Then, finally, you get to the ore, and you suck up 100 metric tonnes for every tonne of rare earths.


    The costs won't just be enormous, they will be ridiculous. The idea of locating (the perhaps mythical) rare earth asteroid and mining it in space somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn makes more sense!
    16 Sep 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    So, good news...


    Sort of.


    I'm less certain, for the idea that now they must repay all $225million early looms out there, and we STILL don't know if the same guys who just negotiated this deal change will accept higher "sustainable pricing" or not.
    17 Sep 2013, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • TB: This last sentence at the end of the article seems to go against what we've seen posted earlier from other sources?


    "He said an end to the depressed market was not yet in sight but ...".


    Which is more likely do you think? The strengthening of prices foretold in the other articles or this one?


    17 Sep 2013, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » That was a throwaway comment, and I don't hang much on it. I have not changed my personal opinion, that we are going to see the stockpiles created during the brief "season of plenty" created by careful smuggling from China will be largely eaten up eventually, and prices bounce as the lack of support for ex-China supplies sinks in.
    17 Sep 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • A potential turnaround in the gold market ought to help Alkane with its mining strategy.
    17 Sep 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • I just read TP’s comment and link at the top of this page:
    -- An object lesion in why I no longer give American mines serious consideration as an investment.


    But the issue is not so much anti mining as it is pro clean water and the environment:
    -- Frontline 7/24/2012: (the issues)
    -- Washington Post 9/16/2013: (an update)


    I’m fully invested in mining interests, but think the EPA did absolutely the right thing in opposing the Pebble Mine project.
    17 Sep 2013, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Additional background:
    17 Sep 2013, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » The problem is that this exceeds their authority. They are attacking a hypothetical project, before any applications for permitting have occurred.


    "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is mulling a bold regulatory move that could redefine risk for American business. For the first time ever, it is poised to veto not a project, but the idea of a project based on a hypothetical construct that the agency itself has created. The project that may never be is the Pebble Mine, a multi-metal mineral deposit in southwest Alaska on state land set aside for mining that could yield more than 80 billion pounds of copper, a world record. EPA has jumped ahead of our national permitting process with its own $2.4 million environmental assessment, setting itself up as judge, jury and executioner on the matter before the development company has submitted an actual mining plan.


    "This is quite an innovative use of the public budget. To be sure, EPA has authority under the Clean Water Act to stop or revoke permits for all manner of projects, from agriculture to manufacturing, energy, transportation and resource extraction, anything that touches on water. But does it have the authority to stop a project that doesn’t exist?


    "It’s never tried to – until now."


    The issue is not the Pebble Mine Project - after all, it doesn't really exist. LOL, and THAT is the issue.


    Speaking as only one of millions of long-suffering taxpayers, I would much prefer the Thought Police Initiative be squashed BEFORE imaginative bureaucrats everywhere start spending my money to protect me from their own fantasies.


    We already have the planet's most laborious and lengthy permitting process - why not wait until someone actually applies for a permit before spending millions of tax revenues we don't have to fund studies about phantom projects?


    I won't bother questioning the EPA's motives (as to whether they are anti-mining or pro-water), since we are of course not really looking at an actual project, but simply at a $2.4million straw man created by the EPA for some arcane motive which could well be "neither".
    17 Sep 2013, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Michael, as an aside, this IS an investment blog. The EPA's creative new approach to mine permitting IS a chilling story if one is examining an investment in a pre-producing miner in the United States. The story of whether or not a given random property (not even yet a project or a stock idea) does or does not meet environmental standards really lies outside our area of interest, whereas the news that junior/explorer miners of all kinds will now confront a new and novel barrier in the US IS very germane investment information.


    If you read up stream in this blog a bit, you will discover where I also cite this as a potential influence on the valuation and sale of existing mines which presumably already possess permitting and will NOT be included in the new "Phantom Menace" EPA program. Again, that is an investible concept worthy of examination.


    As a general rule I have found most investors who put their hard currency into mining properties are far more knowledgeable about environmental impact statements than the general public (or, LOL, the typical Frontiline or Post reporter). Investors are also very hard boiled. We may or may not like something government does, but we MUST include its ramifications in our investment decisions if we are to succeed in OUR mission.
    17 Sep 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Lynas boss earns 'termination' fee


    Lynas Corp boss Nick Curtis was paid almost $1 million in termination fees over the past year, despite never ceasing involvement with the company, according to documents published on Monday.


    The rare earths miner awarded Mr Curtis $953,516 of termination payments after he stepped down from being both the chief executive and executive chairman of Lynas, in favour of becoming non-executive chairman in March.


    The payment helped boost his total remuneration for the year to more than $1.72 million, and came in a year when Lynas widened its losses by 5 per cent to $107.4 million


    While some of Mr Curtis's termination payment related to accrued annual leave, the remainder was said to be ''in accordance with his service agreement''.


    Read more:
    19 Sep 2013, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Typical. The only problem I have with this is that he is still on the board.
    19 Sep 2013, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • Yesterday, the House passed the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Act. Will the Senate pass it, too?

    20 Sep 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • Maya: "Will the Senate pass it too?".


    Only if it funds Obamacare! :-))


    20 Sep 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • LMAO.


    The article ends, "iffy at best.
    20 Sep 2013, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Virtually ALL the domestic sources of strat/critical minerals they are talking about are pre-production junior miners looking with great trepidation at the new Phantom Menace EPA agenda. The two goals could not be wider apart, and in fact are violently opposed to one another.


    Notable exceptions (ie, major potential producers which already HAVE permitting and mines, but are not making significant quantities just yet) could be successful gambles, however. Identifying them (hint, MCP and various recent mine acquisitions like EMC's interesting sale for peanuts of a renovated tungsten mine and processing center - I don't know who bought this or if they are investable, need to check...)
    20 Sep 2013, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • Americas Bullion Royalty Corp for US $5 million, bought EMC metals
    Springer Tungsten project. Golden Predator Corp on February 22, 2013, changed its name to Americas Bullion Royalty Corp, if you want
    follow the history,etc..
    22 Sep 2013, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks Jimp. Loads of extraneous stuff on their balance sheet... Canadian TSX home exchange.... AMBCF on the American OTC at .11, small penny microcap...


    Sigh. Not a clean strategic play at all. Mostly gold excplorer level properties and similar...
    22 Sep 2013, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    But don't get excited...


    This is DOA in the Senate, and if by some fluke it passed the Senate, BO would veto it.


    Look for this thing to be resurrected closer to the 2014 elections...
    23 Sep 2013, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • >Pardon the imposition but I hadn't seen this REE deposit discussed here and I just thought I'd ask what the consensus might be. The link is about Pele Mountain Resources Inc. (TSXV: GEM | OTCQX: GOLDF) with a mine located at Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada



    What I like about the site is the available existing infrastructure but am not quite too sure about the in-situ reserves. Opinions?
    23 Sep 2013, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yes, Pele is an interesting case. Their infrastructure advantages are well-known. Their current reserves are valued at about $1billion, which would not impress me IF they were looking to have to build out a lot of infrastructure. Since that is NOT the case... Its a viable project for U and heavy rare earths.


    Its important to note that they do NOT have a current U license, however. The historic mining which ended in the 80's does not mean that they have a license from that time, so they are looking to go through a difficult government permitting process (U mining is one of the hardest permits to get, even in a mining friendly province).


    I actually LIKE these dual-purpose mine operations, since most heavy rare earth deposits DO involve dealing with radioactive minerals and their complications and dangers. Better to actually have a viable (and valuable) market for those radioactives to help defray overhead costs. The two Greenland projects that I have tracked for years both share this sort of situation (and are both hung up on the same problems with legislative overlap from mining hostile laws put into place when they were a part of Denmark). GDLNF and HUDRF. Hudson has recently reclaimed $.42, a point from which it slid along with all the REE stocks in 2011. Perhaps this is a sign that things are recovering...


    Anyway, Pele also owns an interesting mining claim right next to MCP's Mountain Pass complex. For a long time it has been thought that IF MolyCorp ever gets its act together, it would come calling to buy up that claim.


    I believe Pele has some longer term prospects, particularly if we see the West finally awaken to the need to take a proactive strategic minerals stand (something which is still very much mired down in domestic politics everywhere).
    24 Sep 2013, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • >tripleblacke .... Thanks. I like the reduced operational expenses with existing infrastructure but I'm putting it on my wait-&-see list for regulatory license review. The search goes on.
    24 Sep 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • China sovereign wealth fund takes 12.5% stake in potash producer
    China Investment Corporation is now the second largest shareholder in Uralkali (URALL.PK), the potash producer whose exit from one of the world's two potash cartels sparked fears of a price war and triggered a steep sell-off in the chemical's price earlier this year.The move by China's sovereign wealth fund to convert its bond holdings into a 12.5% equity stake "is part of [a] broader move to diversify its investments away from industrial commodities," FT says.
    24 Sep 2013, 07:31 AM Reply Like
  • China is very interested in procuring foreign fertilizers and farmland.
    24 Sep 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    The plan to prop up Cartel operations is about to swing into motion...
    24 Sep 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • Yes, I just spotted this item as well:


    Beijing's rare earth purchasing plan uncovers vested interests

    24 Sep 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yep...


    LOL, I'm not going to repeat my Chinese Cartel/Communist Oligarchy scenario, no, I WILL not...
    24 Sep 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Of all things, Tin is in the headlines (and rightfully so). A squeeze on supplies is underway, and this might be an exception to the difficulties in investing in mines (at least non-US mines) right now.


    It could also be another market manipulation by the shadowy figures that do so much of this in precious metals (some of them are being rousted out of their comfortable PM nests)...
    25 Sep 2013, 06:50 AM Reply Like
  • TB: That might help Agnico-eagle and any other gold miners that relay on by-products (especially tin for AEM) to reduce cost of gold produced.


    25 Sep 2013, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Indonesia's tin mining is a really nasty business. Most of the supplies are dug out by hand from small mines with very little protection. Really bad stuff going on over there.
    25 Sep 2013, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » HTL: Correct. Tin is a byproduct of many different mining operations, except now it is becoming a more important by-product. The likelihood that China will lock up its own supplies (as well as go after other supplies around the planet) is about 100%. This is all part and parcel of their plans to control high tech manufacturing from the ground (literally, under the ground) up. Rare earths are just the most visible examples. Most critical\strategic metals are involved...
    25 Sep 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Motionstream: Yes, and the pressure to produce will make a nasty situation even nastier.


    This is one of those really puzzling mining stories. Tin is not particularly rare nor particularly hard to mine (though too easy to mine in a polluting, unsafe fashion), but the happenstance that China has been producing the bulk of the world's supply, and is now shutting off exports (sound familiar?) means it is now a player in the geopolitical game for world hegemony.
    25 Sep 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • For those who don't fancy penny-dreadfuls for tin, or taking a flyer on SSRI, which is heavily dependent upon staying in the good graces of Cristina Peronista de Kirchner whenever she needs to buy public support, our SLW seems to have a number of royalty agreements with miners who currently get tin as a byproduct. Seems a lot steadier way to play it to me, but then I typically go for the slow and steady -- well, in investing, anyway...

    25 Sep 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • More news out of China:


    On Tuesday, China’s third-largest rare-earth producer said it was raising funds via private placement in part to build a processing plant for rare-earth oxides. The decision by China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. to build the new plant in southern China’s Guandong province is the latest sign that the country’s efforts to consolidate the rare-earth industry and promote value-added processing in the sector are bearing fruit.

    25 Sep 2013, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yep. The Cartel will need to grow to replace the lost capacity in the Private and illegal sectors.
    25 Sep 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • Well, this is really scary:


    Giant hornets are killing dozens in China and eating bees across Europe:



    I know this is off topic, but given all of our conversations regarding China's environmental issue with REE mining, I thought other people here will find this of interest. I think I will postpone my trip to China.
    26 Sep 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • For the past three years I have been spraying what I believe is another kind of Asian hornet new to my area. They are voracious diggers, have a rusty-colored thorax, a nasty bite, and are about two inches long. Don't know if they sting or not. They nest in individual holes they dig, but do nest near each other. I foamed them to death in the middle of the night.


    Further, I have been for weeks fighting a new kind of small yellow jackets who hive inside of my eve (I think they are from Germany). Foam didn't work, and a bellows-type puffer that pumps poisonous powder into the pencil eraser-sized hole in my eve has had zero effect after several applications.


    Not liking that your link holds pictures of this nasty (another) Asian hornet living in just one county away from my home in PA.


    At least the stink bugs are way down this year, as is the price of lobsters.
    26 Sep 2013, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, check this out. I'm not telling you what it is cause it's scary.

    26 Sep 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks. Already watched it. Doubleguns would love it.
    26 Sep 2013, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Incredible.
    27 Sep 2013, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • This just in:


    First phase of Lynas materials plant to run at full capacity by year-end

    26 Sep 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • Motionstream: That be good news by gosh! If that target date is met, should begin to see some pps appreciation.


    Thanks for the link!


    26 Sep 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Amazing that Lynas didn't move in Australia with that news. I guess they want to see it actually happen first. Oh well.
    27 Sep 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Short activity was light - 416k shares. Volume not strong. Wait and see attitude prevails. New CEO disappointed, so now everyone is cynical.


    Hope he can brush up on his skills before next time. I suspect he learned a lesson last time...
    27 Sep 2013, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • Lynas Corporation (ASX:LYC, OTC:LYSDY) provides the following update regarding the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia. As outlined in the Company’s June 2013 Quarterly Activities Report, a series of work programs involving equipment changes and materials handling to improve the capability of the cracking and leaching units of Phase 1 of the LAMP to operate continuously at nameplate production capacity were planned in the second half of 2013. These programs do not involve significant capital investments and are being progressively implemented.
    A number of these work programs in the cracking area are now complete and are working. The remaining work programs in leaching are continuing as scheduled. The Company is achieving improved operational performance in the cracking and leaching units of the LAMP; however, completion of the entire work program is required to properly assess the full extent and sustainability of improved operational performance.
    Commercial production of REO products from the LAMP remains at reduced volume until these work programs are concluded, as previously reported. As such, REO production in the September 2013 quarter remained at low volumes. Equipment modifications continue, according to the delivery lead time of various items. Production is expected to build up through the December quarter with a target of completing all changes by the end of 2013.
    The Company has made progress in the customer qualification process, with 25 qualifications for products by customers achieved to date. Furthermore, the Company has had sales of each of its full REO product suite, and this is expected to contribute to a standard price distribution for the September quarter.
    Commissioning of the Phase 2 expansion project to 22,000tpa REO production capacity is pending regulatory approvals of completion and first feed to kiln is scheduled to follow in November. As formerly announced, the subsequent Phase 2 production will be determined by a various factors, primarily being market conditions.
    As announced on 16 September, the Company has successfully agreed changes to a number of terms in the Sojitz / JOGMEC loan facility. Lynas expects to defer beyond 2013 a substantial amount of working capital which was necessary to pass some production-based tests.
    Further updates, including detailed production and sales data, will be provided in the Company’s September 2013 Quarterly Activities report, which is expected to be released on 31 October 2013.
    29 Sep 2013, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • From The Australian:

    30 Sep 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Deutsche analyst Mr Terry said Lynas's cash position looked likely to fall further, but he said he believed it could repay the first $US10m to Sojitz in January.
    "However, repayments past this point will require debt refinancing or equity on our estimates," he said.


    "We forecast the unrestricted cash position to fall from US 126m to US 50m over the next 12 months. We forecast a funding shortfall of US 140m by the middle of 2015 based on the current scheduled Sojitz repayment profile."
    I see one of the problems is pre-mature wear.
    30 Sep 2013, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » OK...


    The quote from Terry in the article appears somewhat garbled. Clearly Lynas will be able to make the $10m January 2014 payment. Past that point, Terry is projecting virtually no sales, which MIGHT be what really happens, but I find it more likely that the bulk of the troubles will be corrected by then and we should be seeing something like Phase 1 production levels. HOWEVER, the key question which still begs to be answered is what Sojitz will do about "sustainable pricing". The longer I don't hear from them (or Lynas) that this has been denied, the more I believe they will accept a price higher than FOP China. This opens up the opportunity for the company to quickly (after January 2014 or whenever they fix the LAMP) become cash flow positive.


    The premature wear problems are, again, not unusual in cases like this (after all, the LAMP is the first new ex-China facility of its kind built since the late 70's) where new techniques are being married with older methods for the first time. I would not be surprised to learn that design errors by Soljay (who now owns what was Rhodia) are cropping up and being addressed. This was a topic early in the REE debates, and though it was quickly dismissed by the true believers at the time when old gray beards like myself raised the likelihood, its now apparent that Lynas and its advisers and hired help have some problems to resolve.


    On the other hand, I believe they CAN be resolved, and we now have what looks like reality being reported by the company (much better than candy coated fantasy such as they were dispensing).


    Finally, I am very curious WHERE the parts showing premature wear came from...


    1 Oct 2013, 09:02 AM Reply Like
  • "
    Finally, I am very curious WHERE the parts showing premature wear came from...




    That was my first thought. Perhaps things were not built according to spec?
    1 Oct 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • "Past that point, Terry is projecting virtually no sales, which MIGHT be what really happens, but I find it more likely that the bulk of the troubles will be corrected by then and we should be seeing something like Phase 1 production levels. HOWEVER, the key question which still begs to be answered is what Sojitz will do about "sustainable pricing"


    Hi Tripleblack,


    The no sales is bullcrap, If you read the announcement i posted yesterday where Lynas has now received approval qualification acceptance means 2 things


    1) Lynas is now producing REE that is ON SPEC. tick
    2) Customers have now approved of Lynas product and ready to do business. We just need to make the damn thing and higher production numbers.


    Going forward our 2 risk factors now is market demand risk and plant mechanical risk on the 2nd run.
    1 Oct 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Motionstream


    Yes some of the the parts are from China BUT they were built on spec. The issues lies with the fact that the piping engineers designing the plant has under estimated how ABRASIVE the caustic concentrate slurry is.


    Hope this clarified your question
    1 Oct 2013, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I agree that the projections by Terry/et al that Lynas will not make production in 2014 (resulting in 2015 estimates of shortfalls) is unlikely (as I said: "...I find it more likely that the bulk of the troubles will be corrected by then [Jan 2014]...") This is typical banker analysis - there's a problem today, so they make the assumption that the problem will last forever, and then compute how long before you run broke (as if that conclusion is of any value at all)! Useless.


    However, I disagree as to Lynas' issues they are facing, Omg.


    I see the big hurdle going forward as price. Lynas is ready to sell at a price above that specified in its sales contracts (based upon FOP China), which means that the customers have the ball in their court. So, we really are not certain that customers are ready to do business at "sustainable prices". This is an awkward situation until we hear what comes out of it.


    News that they are making their 3 end products to spec is, of course, good news. And the least we should expect, if they are indeed beginning to get a handle on the LAMP problems.


    I see more risk factors, but I too see the two you mention as very important. Market Demand (which will drive prices) will always be important, while the Processing plant issues need to be fixed. I am currently leaning toward interpreting their "work programs" as including the mechanical processing problems (and premature wear issues), and likely to be solved by the end of 2013 (taking the new CEO at his word on this, which seems fair).
    1 Oct 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » OMG: So, they are saying that the equipment problems are Soljay's fault (design errors, something which I speculated about when I first heard the news)? I can believe that.


    In that case, if the pipes meet the engineer specs, then the problem does indeed lie with the design rather than the part maker.


    Here's hoping Soljay pays for the new gear...
    1 Oct 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • The fault is with United Group Resources. The company that designed helped designed and selected the parts and materials for the plant.
    1 Oct 2013, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • "I see the big hurdle going forward as price. Lynas is ready to sell at a price above that specified in its sales contracts (based upon FOP China), which means that the customers have the ball in their court. So, we really are not certain that customers are ready to do business at "sustainable prices". This is an awkward situation until we hear what comes out of it."


    I can't comment on that as i am not privy to the contract details. Only Nick and the executive team knows
    1 Oct 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » That's too bad. I'm surprised the original design specs were done by them vs the experts from Soljay (Rhodia back then). Seems odd that UGR would have that say-so...


    I would think that Lynas' relationship with Soljay would be good enough to see compensation for a gross error like that. UGR...


    Not so much. Another lawsuit in the making, I suppose, assuming UGR has any assets left to levy against.
    1 Oct 2013, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • "I see one of the problems is pre-mature wear."


    Yeah, really. What's up with that? Very surprising.


    Will we ever get any good news again? Geez.
    30 Sep 2013, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Reality is setting in, and tending to support current share price (which is not good news, given the current share price) as the ramp becomes longer and the teething problems, grow, well, "teeth".


    The reference to "work programs" is unsurprising, but the timeline for completion (addressing those teething problems common to new facilities) of the fixes taking until the end of 2013 means we won't hear a report of how they turn out until they can be completed and evaluated, ie, sometime around Q1 2014. These are not quick fixes...


    Meanwhile the overall sector is starting to heat up as Lynas cools off, reflecting the variance in timelines (imo) that show opportunity opening up longer term while near-term producers like MCP, Lynas and GWM have actual problems plaguing them. This creates the divergence of non-producer explorers seeing their share prices rise, while the larger companies stagnate at depressed levels.


    This could be setting up ANOTHER market surge (I have characterized this upon occasion as a shot "at the brass ring") where poor excecution will not be rewarded despite a generally favorable environment.


    This is unfortunate for longs in these three stocks (MCP, LYC, GWM), but all 3 have taken great pains to transform their investors and analysts into bitter cynics, and now can expect no share price support from the same "hope" that will buoy the less-developed portion of the sector. The failure of the Western governments to awaken to the strategic threat posed by Chinese dominance of so many critical raw material and industrial sources might begin to receive lip service (if not actual action). The current critical materials bill just passed by the US House (and now sitting, dead on arrival, in the US Senate due to partisan political squabbling) is a good example. This combination of clear signals in the real world that a problem exists - and which SHOULD be an important government priority - will translate into a wild period of market gyrations that should be short term supportive of the sector. This will fade as it becomes clear that the leadership is still either numb from the hips up, or too preoccupied with domestic political navel contemplation to stir themselves to actually do their jobs.


    I consider this a potentially fruitful time to start actively trading the smaller players in the sector, though I would avoid any long buy and hold plans.


    Disclosure: I am long both GWM and LYC, though since I am also an active trader, my average share cost is low enough to support my long positions even at the current depressed share prices.
    1 Oct 2013, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • "This is unfortunate for longs in these three stocks (MCP, LYC, GWM), but all 3 have taken great pains to transform their investors and analysts into bitter cynics, and now can expect no share price support from the same "hope" that will buoy the less-developed portion of the sector."


    I haven't lost my optimism for the sector, or for LYC long-term. In fact, like you, I believe that we have reached an inflection point. The article in The Australian got under my skin along with other articles, such as in MetalMiner, that seem to want to beat the drum of bad news all the time. Perhaps I should just read less?
    1 Oct 2013, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • "Meanwhile the overall sector is starting to heat up as Lynas cools off, reflecting the variance in timelines (imo) that show opportunity opening up longer term while near-term producers like MCP, Lynas and GWM have actual problems plaguing them. This creates the divergence of non-producer explorers seeing their share prices rise, while the larger companies stagnate at depressed levels."


    I KNOW ITS SO FRUSTRATING. I cant believe my company is about to be a producer and REE exploration companies that i know have no hope to ever making it to production or bloody 8 years away from it are going gangbusters.


    Doesnt make any sense whatsoever!
    1 Oct 2013, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Lynas Corporation Limited (Ord Minnett)


    Update suggests Phase 1 capacity to be achieved in first half of 2014


    Lynas provided a timely update of the remediation works programs which had been announced in July 2013 but with previously limited indication of timing. The programs are under way and are expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year with sales now expected to increase to Phase 1 capacity through the second half of FY2014. The implied sales ramp-up is in line with our current forecasts but, given the need to generate revenue to offset ongoing cash burn, there appears to be little room for conservatism. Nonetheless, with rare earths prices increasing substantially in recent weeks and the stock trading well below our valuation, we remain positive on the stock. We maintain our Speculative Buy recommendation.
    Lynas released an operational update on the previously announced remediation works to repair premature wearing of equipment issues at the LAMP. The identified works programs in the cracking area have been completed, and the remaining works in the leaching area are ongoing and expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Commercial production of REO from the LAMP remains at reduced capacity while these works are underway.


    Lynas indicated in the release that production in the September quarter remained at reduced levels, and is expected to build up during the December 2013 quarter. We forecast sales of 0.4kt in the September 2013 quarter (15% of Phase 1 capacity), 1.2kt in the December 2013 quarter (44% of capacity) before ramping up to capacity in the second half of FY2014. The company had not previously provided guidance on the timing of the remediation works. We had tried to incorporate some level of conservatism but our current sales forecasts are only in line with the commentary in the release.


    The importance of the ramp up of sales is driven primarily by the company’s balance sheet and cash burn. Lynas had $141 million in cash at June 2013 and expected to spend $70 million in the September 2013 quarter. We estimate cash burn beyond that is ~$30 million a quarter implying total spend of ~$160 million this financial year. Assuming some level of cash buffer, we estimate Lynas needs to generate ~$80-$100 million over FY2014. At the current price of US$20/kg the implication is that Lynas needs to make ~4-5kt of sales during the year. We forecast total sales of 6.8kt during the year (implying still some headroom on our current sales forecasts), but any further delays to the remediation works and subsequent ramp up could put this at risk, in our view.


    Our positive view driven by improving rare earths prices: We highlighted a positive view on rare earths prices previously, and the uplift since then has been quicker than expected with prices (based on Lynas’ basket of products), to be up 28% from mid-June 2013.
    1 Oct 2013, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » This projection for earnings seems more reasonable than the Terry estimates. Conservative, and including the current news from the company.


    It supports my initial assumption that the premature wear was being addressed by the work programs. Good.


    Still no word as to how pricing will work. This silence can continue only so long as the company ships the barest minimums for customer review. Before full scale (even the 44% levels indicated in this estimate) production starts, pricing agreements MUST be finalized, either with the Company dropping its scheme for "sustainable prices" OR the Customers agreeing to amendments to their sales contracts.


    And so it continues.
    1 Oct 2013, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jack Lifton joins Texas Rare Earths's Board



    File that under surprising or wtf.
    1 Oct 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good for them. I hope they made it worth his while. I can see why they might want him, I just don't see why he would want them (unless its the payday, which is perfectly OK with me).
    1 Oct 2013, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • That admission of premature wear reminded me of something, so I went back and checked it. I think it would be prudent to review the June 2011 NY Times article: []


    That article specifically raised issues about the quality of the steel piping. It said that the steel piping ordered for the plant was made from standard steel, which was described as not suited for the corrosive, ABRASIVE slurry. Rare earth refineries in other countries make heavy use of costlier stainless steel or steel piping with ceramic or rubber liners.


    There were a host of other plant construction issues raised in that report as well.


    By the way, I recall a Jack Lifton interview where he inspected the Lynas plant and was told the plant would be profitable even at 2009 rare earth prices.... I guess that provides a benchmark on the profitable issue... Where are current RE prices relative to 2009?
    1 Oct 2013, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Jack's interview is linked in one of my comments above, in the discussion over cost/pricing issues.



    This quote from Exec. VP of Lynas in 2011 is interesting:


    "Mr. James, the Lynas executive vice president, said in a separate telephone interview from Sydney on Monday that the steel piping used in the plant was carefully engineered and would not pose problems."


    Oops. Now we are back to "carefully engineered" by whom? Is Lynas seeking to recover damages from UGL? Interesting if they do not...
    1 Oct 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • I read years ago on the GW yahoo board that Lynas had design flaws and the engineers weren't happy. I forget the posters name (a woman) but she had contacts in Malaysia.... She said she sold all her Lynas at the time and I guess she was correct.


    The whole sector has left me depressed.... I certainly hope someone (any one?) get their act together enough to break the chinese stranglehold on REEs...


    I am reminded of the Keystone Kops....
    1 Oct 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • Great to see you again Aqwert!
    1 Oct 2013, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • Motley Fool article on Molycorp:


    Molycorp Makes. A Move, But Does It Matter?



    Molycorp's Press Release:

    5 Oct 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good news for MCP, but uncertain whether they will actually get up and running short term (or encounter more problems such as those seen at Lynas).


    Now would be a good time for MCP to start removing some of the mystery surrounding:


    1. Claim to possess a rich source of heavy rare earths, and the ability to process same


    2. Large demand (originally set at 28% of Phoenix capacity) for cerium oxide for XSorbix division of MCP


    3. How much of Phoenix will be actually used given the current market conditions
    5 Oct 2013, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • There is an absolute gem of an historical document STILL on Molycorp's website, at ,
    Dr. John L. Burba:
    'Because of our low-cost power and the steam that we’re doing, our raw material is actually natural gas, not hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. And because of that, we’re projecting an operating cost of about $2.77 per kilo. And we just went through another re-up on this, and our engineering firms are still sticking with this number. And I think even our operations guys have come from a different direction, and they’re right in this ballpark. So, we’re feeling great confidence that we’re going to be low-cost producers.'


    'What we do have is four prospects—and we have actually more than this—at least four of the top of our list, all of which have rare earth upside content greater than 4% and very significant heavy rare earth content. All have mineralizations that can be processed at the Mountain Pass facility.
    Okay, these were first announced by Molycorp earlier this month. So, one of these deposits is one that’s within roughly four miles of where we are right now. We would—we’ll be able to truck the mineral directly into our process. The mineralogy is very amenable to our processing. And the nice thing about it is that it’s nice ore grade and it’s got a very good distribution of heavy rare earth. It’s over 1.6% terbium, 0.5% dysprosium, and I might add that this is an unusual mineralization, because typically those ratios would be reversed. Typically you’ll see dysprosium two to three times greater than terbium. So, this was an interesting thing. 0.9% europium, and it’s also very good in neodymium, praseodymium, and then it’s lower in cerium and lanthanum. We have a surface occurrence that extends over 10,000 feet, and as I mentioned, we can process it easily.
    So the next steps that we’ve got to do is completing some surveys, which I believe are done now. Our drilling program is starting. We have to estimate the extent of the mineralization, conduct having metallurgical tests, make sure the stuff will float, develop a mining plan, and get all of our permitting out of the way. We think that this is going to be a very simple process because with these kind of ore grades we won’t need to move a lot of that rock. And so we think that we have a chance of seeing this come online very quickly.'


    On 12-16-11 in a Press Release at;highlight= ,
    'MCP) oday announced that it has been granted authorization from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to commence exploratory drilling at an occurrence of heavy rare earths located near its flagship rare earth manufacturing facility at Mountain Pass, California.


    "This is an important milestone in our heavy rare earth strategy, and we expect to begin drilling immediately,” said Mark A. Smith, Molycorp's President and Chief Executive Officer. “We anticipate results from the drilling program in the second quarter of 2012. I’d also like to compliment the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Interior for their thorough and efficient review of our drilling Notice."


    Preliminary exploration at the site has shown rare earth mineralization with an average ore grade of approximately four percent and a relatively high percentage of heavy rare earths, such as terbium, dysprosium, europium and samarium, as well as relatively high percentages of yttrium, neodymium, and praseodymium. '


    No update was provided until 8-2-12 at the Q2 2012 earning call , <Then CEO Mark Smith, regarding heavy rare earths> "At this point in time, we are likely pulling back the efforts at one of these sites, which is located within close proximity to Mountain Pass. While conclusive lab analytics remain pending, development stage drilling has provided field level information that directionally indicates a developable but a marginal deposit."


    On August 27, 2012, without stating quantities of such concentrate to be available, per;highlight= , 'Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: today announced the start-up of its new Project Phoenix heavy rare earth concentrate facilities at Mountain Pass, California, which will produce heavy rare earth concentrate from freshly mined Mountain Pass ore that will then be processed into high-purity, custom-engineered heavy rare earth products in Molycorp’s globally integrated production facilities.


    Molycorp also announced that its on-site Combined Heat and Power ( plant will begin feeding low-cost, high efficiency electrical power and steam this week to its Mountain Pass facilities. Molycorp's CHP plant is fueled by clean-burning natural gas fed to the facility by a recently completed natural gas lateral supply line that connects the facility to a nearby interstate natural gas pipeline operated by Kern River Gas Transmission Company.


    “We have launched operations of Project Phoenix’s heavy rare earth concentrate facilities on schedule, our combined heat and power plant is set to begin powering our new facilities this week, and we remain on track to achieve full Phase 1 production rates at Mountain Pass in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Mark A. Smith, Molycorp’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "The heavy rare earth concentrate we will produce at Mountain Pass will support our production of a full range of high-purity, custom-engineered materials from light, medium, and heavy rare earths. Such vertical integration strongly positions Molycorp to compete successfully across multiple markets.”


    Molycorp's heavy rare earth concentrate contains dysprosium, terbium, europium, and other elements that will be further processed by the Company into rare earth oxides, metals, alloys, and magnetic materials used in such technologies as hybrid electric vehicles, wind turbines, high efficiency appliances and motors, consumer electronics, and many other important applications.


    Molycorp currently produces high-purity products from the following rare earths: Cerium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Lutetium, and Ytterbium (with purity levels as high as 99.999% for some rare earth products). It also produces high-purity products from the following rare metals and transition metals: Gallium, Rhenium, Indium, Tantalum, Niobium, Zirconium, and Yttrium (with purities as high as 99.999999% for some of these products).'


    2. To my knowledge, Molycorp never stated demand of 28% of Phoenix capacity for XSorbx. It did however "reserve" 20% of Phoenix Phase 1 capacity for XSorbx sales. This was just a way of bragging that a high percentage of Phase 1 capacity was either sold or reserved In other words, you don't have to sell it, just reserve it, LOL. By the way, Molycorp's percentage of Phase 1 being sold or reserved decreased in early 2012 when W.R. Grace backed out of Lanthanum commitments.
    6 Oct 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • Things got a little mangled in the post immediately above. The first link and extracts are from the transcript of the Molycorp Investor Day on 10-20-11, and the first announcement of the heavy rare earth deposit near Mountain Pass was made in a presentation by Dr. John L. Biurba at "EU-­‐Japan-­‐US Workshop on Cri3cal Materials R&D", 10-4-11 (even though the title slide erroneously says 9-4-11).
    6 Oct 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » As I recall the 20% was bumped up to 28% when they fell short of their overall goal/promise (made at one point at a time when they really needed a positive headline) to have something over 70% "reserved"/contracted at one point (increasing the XSorbx estimate was a good way to reach the goal). I'm curious as to where this stands now. I don't think current management will play so loose with the facts.


    The engineering companies that they cited in 2011 doubtless include those fired off the job and probably being sued by MCP, so their opinions from the Smith-era are no longer credible until we get an update (of course, full discloser, I never considered them credible back then, either, and said so here on a number of occasions).


    Sarcastic, its good to see you here, btw.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • I have no evidence of Molycorp ever reserving 28% of Phase 1 for XSORBX. The last mention I see of the amount reserved for XSORBX is in the Q4 2011 earnings slides, in which the figure is 20%, as of 2-13-12. There is no mention of reserving, or of the portion of Phase 1 sold, in the Q1 2012 earnings slides from 5-10-12, although there are the reassuring words that "XSORBX™ continuing to gain Market Traction", and that regarding the XSORBX™: market opportunity, "At 12.5% market penetration in the U.S. market, we would consume all of the Mountain Pass Cerium production at full Phase 2 production." Of course, by the time of the Q1 2012 earnings call, the Neo Materials acquisition had been agreed to, but not yet closed.
    6 Oct 2013, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Here's the PR in Jan 2012 that I was mis-remembering. 78% was the number, with 58% for everyone else, and 20% for XSorbx.

    6 Oct 2013, 10:08 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Background. Moly is calling their products "SorbX 100" and "PhosFix".



    They were talking about a goal of gaining 12.5% of the US water treatment market (which is where the claim that they would be able to absort 100% of Phase 2 Cerium production with this product alone came from). I wonder how those plans are coming?
    6 Oct 2013, 10:20 PM Reply Like
  • At analyst conferences on 11-15-11 , 11-16-11, and 11-17-11, Molycorp shows 13% allocated to XSORBX. Molycorp shows 20% allocated to XSORBX at an analyst conference on 11-30-11;item=VHlwZT0yfFBhcmVu... . As shown in the PR you linked above, this allowed for 78% contracted and allocated for XSORBX, which achieved the goal of at least 75%. That held through the 2-13-12 earnings call. Then on 2-25-12, came the unfortunate news, which I alluded to in a post above, in the 2011 10K that the contracted prcentage decreased from 58 to 52:
    'In November 2010, we entered into a contract to supply one of our largest customers with a significant amount of our REOs, primarily lanthanum concentrate, through mid-2012 at market-based prices subject to a ceiling based on market prices at June 1, 2010, and a floor. This contract was amended effective July 1, 2011 to increase the price ceiling. Under a second contract, we agreed to supply this same customer with approximately 75% of our lanthanum product production per year, following completion of Project Phoenix Phase 1 at market-based prices, subject to a floor, for a three-year period commencing upon the achievement of expected annual production rates under Project Phoenix Phase 1, which may be extended at the customer's option for an additional three-year period. In February 2012, this same customer exercised a volume reduction right that lowers its purchase obligation for lanthanum products from approximately 75% to approximately 58% of our lanthanum production per year, following completion of Project Phoenix Phase 1. Accordingly, we intend to secure other customer contracts for our lanthanum products in replacement of the volume reduction from our current customer. Substantially all of our lanthanum production in 2011, which accounted for approximately 46% of our actual production in the year, was sold pursuant to the contract with one of our principal customers described above under which our pricing is subject to a price ceiling. We expect that production of our remaining materials will generally be sold based on prevailing market prices. As of December 31, 2011, we had written agreements with customers covering 58% of our expected Project Phoenix Phase 1 production. The lanthanum contract volume reduction described above represents approximately 6% of our expected Project Phoenix Phase 1 production.'
    6 Oct 2013, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yes. So the 58% (overall Phase 1 Production projection) accounted for by Customer contracts was then 52%. (I wonder what it is now? And I wonder if they are still projecting 20% for XSorbx, aka SorbX 100 and PhosFix?)


    MCP owes us a comprehensive update as to their current business conditions, plans for Phoenix, details on their (still rather mysterious) claims on sources of heavies, and updated cost numbers downstream of the Smith era.


    Unless they can show a lot of progress toward reaching their 12.5% goal for XSORBX, and unless they have new customer contracts to add to the equation, their ability to sell 19.5kmt/annum from a functioning Phoenix Phase 1 is in doubt, and their current capacity may already be beyond the 52% or so demand level (about 9-10,000 mt per year).


    But I am equally interested in seeing what the rest of the company is able to do with current conditions. Mountain Pass and Phoenix are definite question marks, but I am equally interested in how their magnet manufacturing efforts are doing. If those can operate in the black, they can prop up Pheonix to some extent.
    7 Oct 2013, 08:01 AM Reply Like
  • I don't think 12.5% was ever stated as a goal by Molycorp for XSORBX - it was a statement of the percent capture of the U.S. market which would use up 100% of Phase 2 cerium production. Molycorp is now using Univar as a commissioned sales agent for Univar. My guess - just a guess - is that if Molycorp is to get significant SorbX sales, it will wind up doing so at rather low (cerium equivalent) prices, and giving up a cut of the action at that to Univar.


    The magnet JV in Japan , is only supposed to be a 500 ton/year operation - I haven't seen any recent updates as to how it's going, beyond the mention of the JV on p. 17 of the Molycorp Q2 2-13 10Q. If there is a payday coming on this, it hadn't arrived as of Q2 2013.
    "In January 2012, Molycorp, Daido Steel Co., Ltd. (“Daido”) and Mitsubishi Corporation (“Mitsubishi”) entered into a definitive shareholders agreement for the purpose of funding a new joint venture, Intermetallics Japan ("IMJ"), to manufacture sintered NdFeB permanent rare earth magnets. The capital contribution ratio of IMJ is 30.0% by Molycorp, 35.5% by Daido and 34.5% by Mitsubishi.
    During the first quarter of 2013, Molycorp contributed $3.4 million in cash to complete the acquisition of its proportional ownership in IMJ. Total contributions by Molycorp to IMJ from the signing of the definitive shareholders agreement were $31.1 million. Molycorp accounts for this investment under the equity method because it has the ability to exercise significant influence over the operating and financial policies of IMJ, as evidenced by Molycorp’s ownership share and its proportional voting rights and representation in the Board of Directors of IMJ. The condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income for the three months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012 include a loss of $1.6 million and $0.2 million, respectively, associated with this equity method interest. For the six months ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, the loss from the investment in IMJ was $3.6 million and $0.6 million, respectively."
    7 Oct 2013, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I don't think we are disagreeing, just my take on the tone of the announcement and the internal study was that they were arguing with those who viewed MCP's use of projected consumption by their own division for so much of their production (to meet an important goal at the time, ie, the 75% level of commitment). I find such arguments made at this level as often disingenuous, so I tend to push back against the convenient argument (hypothetical built upon not much of anything) by elevating it to a soft commitment even though the company would prefer we just absorb their PR and follow like good little lemmings.


    So I term such things "goals" - and if they really start piling up the hypotheticals to attempt to dig their way out of a hole (this particular case was 2 layers deep, of course, with the original 75% goal achieved by assigning a convenient and non-random estimate for XSORBX). Otherwise, they achieve one self-imposed "goal" with a convenient estimate, then support the estimate with a talking point which they do not own as another goal required to underpin the "mission accomplished" message created by the convenient estimate, etc.


    Sure, the company never set 12.5% as an official corporate goal, even a very long range one (though the inference was certainly there in the method of argument and numbers cited), but I did. My attitude was that the only way I would swallow the 20% XSORBX contribution was to hold them to their support argument with as much tough glue as possible. Subsequent events have shown us that skepticism was warranted, and investors needed to take a hard line with that management.


    Were I to ask about this topic on a CC, I would USE the term "goal", and see how they treated the concept, and then what real numbers (perhaps even comprising a new, much lower level they could be held to in some timeline) came downstream. I tend to agree, they WOULD NOT support their earlier inference that they might grab 12.5% of the market (simultaneously hoping that everyone would forget they ever used that hypothetical example), and we would hear numbers several orders of magnitude lower (and far less supportive of the idea of XSORBX absorbing 20% of the Phoenix cerium production).


    I agree that they will be pricing the product near the market price for Cerium as they seek to establish a real presence in the water purification market. This could even be mildly profitable, IF they can actually hit a production cost number near those 2011 estimates (which, to reiterate upon a dead horse, I find unlikely).


    I agree the magnet JV (something which I approve of and particularly since it is breaking new tech ground just when IP is the next big fight in the REE space) in Japan is still young and probably too early to be demanding intermediate updates.


    I was referring more pointedly to the ex-Neo operations, which I believe are in the middle of the move by China to gain control of the high tech manufacturing sector. I am specifically wondering whether their Chinese facilities are affected by all the recent changes to how this sector is handled inside China. Are we going to see this division start to generate solid profits? I am also wondering how they will be affected by the IP war igniting between China and Japan (Hitachi, first large test case load).


    This link to MCP data was accessible earlier this morning, but seems to have some problems now:



    I'm getting a "you do not have permission to access that document" message from the MCP server now.
    7 Oct 2013, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • Smith was a slimeball, intentionally misleading, etc. Granted.


    However, the 20% of Phase 1 production allocated for (X)SorbX, corresponds to about 39% of the Phase 1 cerium production level, and about 19% of the total Phase 2 cerium production level. So it's fair to refer to the 20% of Phase 1 level (allocated) as a goal, but not the all of Phase 2.
    7 Oct 2013, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » LOL, you are more kind to them than I, SP.


    Hypotentical horse manure is so common in these cases that Wall Street looks like it was just lifted bodily back to the horse and buggy age. So long as they get a pass on things like this, they will continue setting up PR that informs little, but misleads the unwary a great deal.


    Upon thinking about it, I would couch my CC query in two parts, first inquiring as to how they plan to meet the 20% goal, and when, followed by how they plan to grow the business to something like the 12.5% of the American market hypothetical goal inferred in the past.


    I would be happy if I could find their 20% goal plans pleasing (I doubt if they will meet my personal timeline ideas), but I would not forget the followup.


    Hypothetically, at least.
    7 Oct 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    GWM metallurgical study update.
    8 Oct 2013, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • How long before they have a 43-101? Have they stopped looking for a permanent president? I consider GWM to be "dead man walking". Do you think the company is viable, TB, or, do you expect LCM and the assets to be sold off while the company dies the death of a thousand cuts (so to speak)?
    8 Oct 2013, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I consider them for sale, lock, stock and barrel - and just waiting for conditions to improve to make the sales happen.


    LCM will be a primary item, and is probably worth a good deal more than the current market cap - under the right conditions.


    SKK is also saleable, and all that they are doing is pointed that way by developing processing and drill data points toward that end (perhaps to a Chinese firm, perhaps a current partner...) Settling the South Afrikan "issues" by selling off SKK is something which I suspect management is looking to do first...


    What remains will be what began, a few scattered prospects with perhaps GWTI, and some very long term explorer ideas.
    8 Oct 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • I thought this was interesting as we have had postings here about how small amounts of REEs used in mobile devices will add up to some significant numbers in the long-term.


    From Read Write Web:


    "75 billion. That's the holy-@$#! number of devices that Morgan Stanley has extrapolated from a Cisco report that details how many devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. That's 9.4 devices for every one of the 8 billion people that's expected to be around in seven years."



    Also interesting, a projection on where the electric car market will be by 2020:



    Just reminding myself why I'm in Lynas for the long run, (hopefully it pays off before 2020).
    9 Oct 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • Molycorp sees negative cash flow in Q3, shares -13.8%
    Molycorp (MCP) -13.8% premarket after disclosing it expects to generate significantly lower than expected revenue and cash flow, and plans to raise additional financing to ensure adequate funding for capital needs, debt service and other working capital needs.MCP says its cash cushion has dwindled to a level below what it considers sufficient to ensure no substantial concern about the ability to finance.MCP also says it will be unable to sell a substantial portion of the cerium production from its main mine, Mountain Pass in California, in 2014.
    15 Oct 2013, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • Molycorp to offer $200M of stock, shares -20%
    Molycorp (MCP) says it plans to offer up to $200M of its common stock, or up to $230M if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares.MCP said earlier this morning that it expects to generate a negative cash flow in its Q3 and its cash cushion has dwindled to insufficient levels.Shares now -20% premarket.
    15 Oct 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » OK, some questions answered right there, at least in part.


    Does not look like XSORBX is going to absorb much of their Cerium production this coming year...


    I would infer that their magnet (ex-NEO in particular) business is also not making money, either.
    15 Oct 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Here is a link where they begin to raise the curtain...
    15 Oct 2013, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • Jack Lifton made a comment a few months back regarding Molycorp's XSORBX distribution deal that I think was spot on. He inferred that the market for XSORBX would be very slow to switch over from existing solutions, so no matter how good Molycorp's products may be, it would not add any positives to their bottom line for a long time. It looks like he was correct.
    15 Oct 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I think that water treatment markets are a HUGE potential development, but they will indeed need many years (probably decades) to fully evolve. Lower cerium prices will actually help to establish a toe hold on that market, so there may be a silver lining buried there somewhere.


    Water treatment is still a very local utility operation, so the market is fragmented much more than things like electric power or natural gas, where a much smaller number of much larger companies dominate entire regions. Even so, major utilities are known to be hard targets because they do take a very long time to do a very thorough R&D review of any new innovation.


    I consider this a very interesting and promising field for MCP, but NOT one that is likely to save their bacon over the next year or two. The recent unsustainable upward spike in cerium prices effectively shut down the growth cycle for the XSORBX products, and that created a barrier and delay that must now be overcome as well.
    15 Oct 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • They might market their water treatment solutions in China for the time being. They are running out of potable water there.
    15 Oct 2013, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » China has a plentiful supply of cerium of their own...
    15 Oct 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe it will be up to Univar to determine on a Chinese market channel, if any.
    15 Oct 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • I may be wrong, but I just don't see any positives for the REE's or much else. Too much damage has been done and too much work to do in order to begin a slow trek back to soundness.


    Just like in DC, we will get a debt deal, but the damage is done & all year next year will be arguing over a budget. Meanwhile China and and Europe are going to try to form some plan to make them less dependent on the US dollar.


    Eventually this effects all of us. TB has China pegged....people should listen and somewhat hedge accordingly.
    15 Oct 2013, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    New use in the leading edge of medical science for cerium...
    15 Oct 2013, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Very in-depth article on some of the rare earth miners... mainly focusing on Tasman, and others.


    The arthur seems to give thumbs up to TAS, QRM, and NTU.

    16 Oct 2013, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • Molymet continues slow take over of Molycorp, I guess this is inevitable in 2014?
    16 Oct 2013, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • It looks that way. Molycorp is played up well in Molymet's literature. Their 2Q2013 press release indicates an investment exposure in Molycorp increasing from more than 13% to more than 19% over the first half of this year.
    17 Oct 2013, 12:57 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Yes, and not surprising. If anything I believe the 19% will not hold for very long at all...
    17 Oct 2013, 07:11 AM Reply Like
  • Especially now that the stock price has been knocked down.
    17 Oct 2013, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • This article says it's now at 21%

    17 Oct 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Voila.


    Like magik.
    17 Oct 2013, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • Triple,


    Any thoughts on the Molymet / Molycorp relationship? Molymet has injected over half a billion, they are clearly underwater in their position which started at 30$ common share. Do they want to integrate a REE company or turn the facility into a tolling facility?
    18 Oct 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I think Molymet wants entre to the American contacts in areas like the DOD and major corp. accounts, in addition to a long term position with MCP's mining and processing assets. Tolling is in the future for a lot of these companies with large processing capacities.
    18 Oct 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • The free trade agreement probably has a role in that relationship.
    18 Oct 2013, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • Quest is pre - announcing the results of its PFS on 10/23, with press


    Does this sound like good news is coming or what?

    17 Oct 2013, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Wellll...


    The Strange Lake project is pretty well known and studied, so presumably this will confirm earlier studies, so it probably won't be bad news.


    But I see it as a setup to mining the shares rather than the rare earth deposits.


    Once a company has a 43.101 and a PEA, its pretty clear there is "stuff there". Unless we hear something dramatic in the way of TREOs, etc, this will be primarily the grist to keep the Company in the news during an up cycle in the sector, with some pump for the stock (and perhaps a setup for some funding efforts).


    I still see this one as 2016 or later on the "getting real" meter. Not that that is a bad thing...
    17 Oct 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    MCP sells stock for $5, dilutes shareholders (again). Vows to invest more money into Mountain Pass...


    Lots of news today. More later.
    22 Oct 2013, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » GWM interview:



    Sales pitch reiterated. Now we see if anyone is buying...
    22 Oct 2013, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    I am warming to TAS...
    22 Oct 2013, 08:08 AM Reply Like
  • This recent article also likes TAS. Lots of good comments too.

    22 Oct 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Regarding TAS, weren't there issues with their resource yields? I had read a while back that they needed to process a huge amount of material to get HREEs, and most of the press about them was coming from Europe since they are the only viable local resource.


    What do you like about them?
    24 Oct 2013, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Political backing. Location. Infrastructure...


    Did I already mention they have the EU and local Scandinavian government backing?


    As for the problems with low TREO and loads of overburden... Absolutely. In a world that had NOT slipped into a crony socialist/capitalist system, priorities would be different.


    Leadtime on this project is also likely to be very long.


    I am NOT an "investor". I trade. I see trading opportunities for this stock.


    Longer term, the Chinese win. Period. The West has already lost this war. The ups and downs between now and a decade from now, however, present chances to trade at a profit.
    24 Oct 2013, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • Yes, I get all that. That's been my thought with other plays, such as Ucore, since they have local Gov support, not that it has done too much for them lately.


    Agreed that the lead time will be very long. I'm not too happy about TAS recent announcement regarding the tungsten acquisition. Looks like a distraction at a time when they should be focused on REEs and I don't like the tungsten space at this moment. Tungsten will be in oversupply for a while as there are at least 3 projects coming online in the next year or two, demand is weak, and there's recycling impacting supply as well.
    24 Oct 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Ucore has local (but not nation state) support. With TAS, they have nation state plus EU AND local (provincial) support. Complete set.


    The tungsten bid leads me to suspect that TAS has someone in the EU bureaucracy whispering in their ear. The EU is seeking to build a critical/strategic mineral resource around TAS, focusing on the minerals currently dominated by China. I would not be surprised to see other resources (tin, scandium, etc, etc) added to their portfolio. This tracks with the political and geopolitical agenda, if not any sane corporate structure.


    I am less certain that we will be seeing oversupply with Tungsten. The estimates of the new projects going on line are the usual hopium at this point in the cycle (look for delays, they are very likely at the best of times), while shipments still occurring from China are very questionable as China tightens the screws on some key Western manufacturers they want to bring under their control.


    Recycling will be all the rage, but there is a relationship between successful recycling and high market prices. Low market prices dampen the ardor for actual (vs pc lip service) recycling very quickly.


    But in the end its about what price-blind government needs to fit their agenda, not logic.
    24 Oct 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Australia releases draft legislation repealing mining tax:

    24 Oct 2013, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • I see Quest released their PFS. Huge capex, mixed with current low rare earth prices, seems like a real up-hill battle. I feel like QRM joins Avalon, and Matamec in another bust.


    Seems like every corner reveals another downer with another rare earth miner,etc. Can you win in this sector??
    24 Oct 2013, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Its a geopolitical time bomb. When it goes off, the rush will be on, and it could happen tomorrow, or 3 years from now.


    In the meantime its a risky trade environment with tons of wild variables.


    China is the center and the key. Everything revolves around events there.
    24 Oct 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Seems like one way for a non-Chinese company to survive is for Western governments to step in and support prices so the Chinese can’t use their cartel to kill the competition. Another way would be to use tariffs. The REs are of strategic importance, its past time to recognize that. Our companies are so addicted to cheap, highly profitable imports that they have stopped investing in innovative products and automated production lines… Result… no US jobs… To hell with that..
    24 Oct 2013, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Quite right, FPA. And if one listens closely, we can hear the response from the center of power of the West:




    We have failed our duty as citizens of democratic nations, and wasted our votes on the corrupt, the indolent, and the incompetent.


    "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."
    24 Oct 2013, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • To be fair, TB, they are not all corrupt, indolent and incompetent. Let's not forget the vacuous ciphers...
    24 Oct 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Indeed, General.


    ...Also, perhaps, the "viperous capers", which dance seems to be in full swing inside the Beltway.
    24 Oct 2013, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • TB: I just thought they were engaged in incestuous activities ... taking a break from screwing us.


    They returned to form by, when the deals were reached, returning their attention to doing us as they stuffed lots of port into the CR to re-open the bloated institution.


    24 Oct 2013, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • Americans disdain for Congress is at an all time bad they will re elect 80% of them everytime.
    24 Oct 2013, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » True. Hence my comment.


    I attended a Super Bowl party not long ago which had a crowd of well educated, well-heeled (and well-lubricated) locals. Politics was a dominant topic, as you might imagine.


    As I sometimes do, I inserted the occasional query as to who was their Congressman... To no avail. Not one in twenty knew who their Congressman was (or guessed wrong, or thought it was someone who had not been in Congress for a decade). This despite the fact that they were all living within the 2 or 3 local Districts.


    Most could not even tell me the names of our State's sitting Senators.


    24 Oct 2013, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • I could tell you the names of mine -- Dean Heller and... and... and... I know it but I just can't speak his name in such polite company. It's H**ry *&^#@!ing R**d. The Repubs ran a blithering idiot against him last time -- and she still almost won.
    Ah, but then there's H**ry's donors, protectors and beneficiaries of his legislation -- every casino and every employee that votes the way their bosses tell them to down in Vegas. (2/3rds of Nevada's population is in Clark County -- Las Vegas and surrounding towns...)
    24 Oct 2013, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • That reelection rate is because of jerrymandering and folks that simply vote for every R or every D depending upon thier grandpappys party. They have not had a thought of their own in 3 generations. They have simply become what Lenin referred to as "Useful Idiots" now voting for the two parties. We need something new and radical to change this.
    28 Oct 2013, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • China to Launch Rare-Earth Spot Exchange Nov 8 -- Report


    BEIJING--China plans to launch a spot trading platform for rare-earth metals Nov. 8, the state-run Shanghai Securities News said in a report Thursday.


    The specific rare-earth products available for trade haven't been confirmed yet, the report said, citing the exchange's general manager, Gu Ming.


    The exchange is in the northern city of Baotou in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which produces more than half of China's light rare-earth metals.

    24 Oct 2013, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Its been coming for a while.


    Now it begins...
    24 Oct 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Sestak is my Congressman. He is the only Democrat I am considering voting for in the next election. Besides being the highest-ranking military officer ever elected to congress (US Navy three-star Admiral), he was and is against Obamacare. Not well known outside the Beltway, is that after Voldemorte learned of Sestak's anti-Obamacare platform, our prez blackballed Sestak, basically turning off Sestak's Democrat-aided campaign fund raising spigot.


    So that's how the political gambit and brinkmanship goes in DC. If you're a Democrat, and you're against the Affordable (bullsh$t!) Care Act, our leader will do all he can to cut off campaign donations, and prevent that Democrat from getting reelected.


    Sestak is now pushing to run for the Senate.
    24 Oct 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Zell wrote a book about his personal experience with that, Maya. Here in the South we have a long tradition of the Democrats running things (everything, here in Georgia, until a few election cycles ago when the growing Libertarian movement upended things and RINOs became the norm). And back in the day, it was the Democrats that had the "big tent" and it was no oxymoron to use the phrase "Conservative Democrat". Now Blue Dogs are just targets for their own Party (or an odd art movement in New Orleans, though I don't think there is a political connection).


    Sestak is among those who I suspect will be bolting the Democrats to join a new party which might form from the coming major Party schism (ground zero probably the Republican Party).
    24 Oct 2013, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • >Mayascribe ... I don't think you understand why Sestak is against Obamacare. Just guessing here but I'd think your head might explode. Why would I think that? Because I agree with Sestak and his approach. Sestak signed Access for All America Act, a bill to achieve access to comprehensive primary health care services for all Americans and to reform the organization of primary care delivery through an expansion of the Community Health Center and National Health Service Corps programs. Amends the Public Health Service Act to:


    1) increase and extend the authorization of appropriations for community health centers and for the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment program for FY2010-FY2015, and provide for increased funding for such programs in FY2016 and each subsequent fiscal year; and


    2) revise and expand provisions allowing a community health center to provide services at different locations, adjust its operating plan and budget, enter into arrangements with other centers to purchase supplies and services at reduced cost, and correct material failures in grant compliance.


    He wants basic healthcare set up along the lines of the VA or what the Swiss have. Insurance would take care of the elective & catastrophic. I can't believe any Right leaning American would go along with that.
    24 Oct 2013, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • And all of that competes with private business. Not what I want from my govt. It will put private business out of business and then we get shortages of service.


    We accept medicaid and they have the same reimbursement rate today as they did 15 years ago even though prices for EVERYTHING has gone up and we have to compete with offices that are run with govt grants that do not have to worry about a bottom line. Its a very destructive system.
    28 Oct 2013, 06:56 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, DRich. That I did not know.



    I was merely relating a very incomplete conversation I had with my broker, following a conversation he had when Joe Sestak called him.
    24 Oct 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • >Mayascribe ... I'm just trying to keep you from straying. Actually, I listened to him speak once on the topic, his idea is to re-establish the system that the US had back in the day that "conservatives" seem hellbent to retreat into. The old county-state hospital systems that got established after the Civil War and existed (at least here in Texas) well into the 1960's. It worked pretty well, didn't destroy the private doctor/hospital/insurance system and didn't prove to be too burdensome to the public (even profitable in places).


    I'm done on this OT deal and will allow y'all to get back to objecting to any & all solutions that probably eats up 20% of your tax dollar (like does here in Texas). It shouldn't at all but that is unrealistic but should never exceed about 3% to 5% like it used to.
    If the cost of healthcare is ever to come under control go read some of the good ideas from ultra-Right wing Karl Denninger that I can agree with. The corporate FOX & CNBC crowd would fight it to their dying breath and blame people like me. Damn Socialists!
    24 Oct 2013, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » The biggest difference between a system such as that DR mentions and that currently making headlines is that the old system was operated at the state and local level. Owned and operated under State law and budgeting rather than Federalist fiat. Very Libertarian, that. There were as many iterations as States in the Union, varying from states that had very minimal support systems to very complex, socialist designs. Anyone who felt strongly about the subject could vote with their feet and move to a state operating in a manner more to their personal preference...


    Impossible to do under the thumb of the victorious Federalists, of course, today.


    If Sestaks plan is to pick some version of the old mix to impose upon the entire Union via Federal authority, his ideas are different from Obamas only in the lesser details. If his position was to return authority to the individual states, it would surprise me.
    28 Oct 2013, 04:53 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    MCP is getting close to cranking up Phase 1 of Phoenix...


    Quarterlies are coming...


    New CEO, ex-Neo guy, I bet we see a lot less puffery than with Smith...


    The more I read that China is shutting down illegal REE mining and smuggling, the more I suspect the opposite...
    25 Oct 2013, 06:59 AM Reply Like
    WTO panel rules against China in rare earth export quota complaint - sources per metal pages. translation, means nothing
    25 Oct 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    3 years later, China will be filing various appeals. Can is kicked down the road another couple years...


    By the time anything like a final ruling is seen, a new wrinkle skirting the ruling will already be in place.


    Since the real target has been shifted to end products made from REEs and other strategic minerals from the minerals themselves, the WTO is chasing a moot point which is itself still far away.


    Better to watch what happens at the new Inner Mongolian REE Exchange...
    30 Oct 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • and..... Here we go again: oh joy! (Not)


    Residents fail in appeal to have judge recused in Lynas case

    25 Oct 2013, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Greenland takes another step toward allowing rare earth mining there.
    25 Oct 2013, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » The thing to keep in mind for GDLNF is that they NEED to mine and process the uranium to get the REEs. And mining for U will be harder to get than REEs.
    26 Oct 2013, 09:09 AM Reply Like
  • It will take awhile to pan out, that is for sure.
    27 Oct 2013, 10:17 PM Reply Like


    One page PDF. Nothing unexpected as SMSL loses another round.



    28 Oct 2013, 05:23 AM Reply Like
  • From MineWeb: Russian Billionaire Bets On Rare Earths:

    30 Oct 2013, 07:33 AM Reply Like
  • Thought this was interesting:


    SRC’s New Mineral Processing Pilot Plant is Now Open for Business


    ​Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) officially opened its new mineral processing pilot plant in Saskatoon today. The pilot plant, announced in the fall of 2012, is now fully operational and has been well-received by the mining industry, already taking requests from clients in Saskatchewan and across Canada.


    The pilot plant will specifically support the development and demonstration of new and improved methods for processing minerals such as potash, uranium, gold, base metals, coal, oil sands and oil shale, along with being one of the few centres in Canada with an emphasis on rare earth minerals. By enabling the pilot-scale demonstration of new technologies, it will be able to assist companies increase mining yields and decrease associated costs.


    More here:

    30 Oct 2013, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    The real China news. This is the one to watch...


    I have ideas about what will flow from this, but better to just see what gets reported.
    30 Oct 2013, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • Just spotted this in Australia's Business Spectator:


    Lynas Corporation Ltd's production increased in the September quarter compared with the prior quarter but remained at a low level as the group continued to fix cracking and leaching units.


    In the three months to September 30, total production at Lynas' Malaysian operations was 253 tonnes, a 76 per cent increase from the prior quarter.


    Lynas reported 218 tonnes shipped in the quarter from its Malaysian plant, an increase of 86 per cent from the prior quarter.


    A series of equipment changes to improve the capability of the cracking and leaching units of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant are underway and Lynas said it is achieving improved operational performance.
    31 Oct 2013, 07:00 AM Reply Like
    To be held on Friday 29 November 2013 at 10.00 am"



    31 Oct 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • (LYSCF), (LYSDY): Annual report.



    31 Oct 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • (LYSCF),(LYSDY): Quarterly report and cash flow for the quarter can be found here.



    31 Oct 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Thanks HTL. First impressions, much more to follow:


    Much better product mix resulting in better price per kilo sold.


    Operating costs improve, as the cracking operation repairs are completed. It appears that the work schedule to revamp the LAMP by end of 2013 is on track.


    Burn rate is about $40mm. With about $92mm in unrestricted funds remaining, that would be 2 more quarters at current burn rate. If the LAMP repairs are completed at the end of the current quarter, they will probably have a slightly lower burn rate as those costs tail off and higher production/sales take hold. My rough estimate would be a burn rate for the current quarter somewhere between $20mm and $40mm. At the $20mm level, another 2 quarters could be financed from current cash, pointing toward a point somewhere around this same timeframe (Sept 30 reporting period) in 2014.


    With production costs now running below sale prices, the emphasis swings short term upon fixing the LAMP and looking for cost saving efficiencies.


    Considerable work in process goods have been banked at Mount Weld (nearly 7000 metric tonnes as of Sept 30). This number is doubtless higher now, despite running Mt. Weld Phase 1 at 80% of capacity. I would estimate that they will have banked enough concentrate at Mt. Weld to run the LAMP for at least a year at Phase 1 levels by the end of 2013, unless they cut back production.
    31 Oct 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • (LYSCF), (LYSDY): "$14.1 Million Received in Respect of Eligible Research and Development Expenditure"



    Tax benefit received.


    4 Nov 2013, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • Good, having a little breathing room can't hurt.
    4 Nov 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • This is new. Recycling REE's from waste water with nano tech.

    4 Nov 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • From Forbes, re: Molycorp


    Rugged Outlook For Rare Earth Miner:

    4 Nov 2013, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Here's a footnote to their ongoing history.
    4 Nov 2013, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • From The Motley Fool:


    Is It Time To Buy Lynas?


    Lynas Corporation’s (ASX: LYC) processing plant in Malaysia has been a constant source of delay and controversy for the Australian rare earth miner. The processing plant, known as the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), has faced ongoing opposition from residents and environmentalists, as well as ongoing operational problems over the past three years.


    Lynas mines rare earth from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia, concentrates it on site and ships the concentrate to the LAMP near Kuantan in Pahang, Malaysia. The state-of-the-art plant has received limit approval thus far, with the stage 2 approval to increase production to 22,000 tonnes per year expected later this year.


    Rare earth metals are a group of 17 elements found in the ground. Despite actually being relatively plentiful, the elements are not often found in commercially viable concentrations, making Lynas’ mine in Western Australia all that much more significant. It’s widely regarded as one of the richest rare earth deposits and is expected to be the biggest deposit outside of China.


    With production on the way after the two-year delay between construction and first production, the company appears to be slowly turning it around. After losing more than $107 million last financial year, the plant is hitting its straps, increasing production by 76% in the three months to September 30, to 253 tonnes.


    As an aside to the operational problems, Lynas’ relatively new chief executive of seven months, Eric Noyrez, has been attempting to change the local population’s perceptions of the plant. In the 11 months since it started operating, six international bodies for radiation and pollution levels have audited the plant. All six have come back clear, with the plant operating within local and international standards. Additionally, Lynas recently ran a tour for 80 health officials aimed at improving the public perception of the plant. It seems to have worked, with numerous local officials making public statements proclaiming its safety.


    Foolish takeaway


    Lynas shares are currently trading at near 24-month lows, at 34 cents. The share price reached an all time high of $2.70 in early 2011 as optimism about the Malaysian facility pushed the price up rapidly from 50 cents. It has steadily declined in recent years as delay after delay to the plant pushed the company to consecutive losses. With the plant finally operational and many of the local health officials now on its side, it appears that the worst may be over.


    Investors willing to accept greater risk might consider Lynas and a medium to long-term investment.


    5 Nov 2013, 07:07 AM Reply Like
  • Rare Earth Supply Diversifies Amid First Signs of Recovery:



    (Generally positive toward Lynas from Roskill)
    9 Nov 2013, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Relentless:

    12 Nov 2013, 07:09 AM Reply Like
  • Well, this is interesting. I'm sure this keeps NC busy when he's not thinking about Lynas:

    12 Nov 2013, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • (OTC:GWMGF): In cse anybody is watching this $0.07 equity ...


    "Great Western Minerals Selects Three Firms to Complete the Feasibility Study on the Steenkampskraal Project "



    "Great Western Minerals Group Announces Third Quarter 2013 Conference Call and Webcast"


    "... release its third quarter 2013 financial results after the closing of financial markets on Thursday, November 14, 2013"


    Third Quarter 2013 Conference Call and Webcast
    Friday, November 15, 2013
    11:00 a.m. Eastern Time / 9:00 a.m. Mountain Time
    Phone: 201.689.8471
    (No pass code needed)
    Internet Webcast:



    "Great Western Minerals Significantly Upgrades Mineral Resource Estimate for Steenkampskraal Rare Earth Project"


    "... announced that its new NI 43-101 compliant technical report and mineral resource estimate ("MRE") for the Steenkampskraal rare earth project ("SKK") shows a significant increase of tonnes in the Indicated category and the addition of newly defined tonnes in the Measured category. Overall, the size of the resource has increased compared with the Company's previously released mineral resource estimate dated December 2012".



    12 Nov 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Good news for whoever the new owners will be when they sell the mine. Current shareholders can only hope they can cover their debt and obligations with some money left over...


    I think its a good high risk gamble to enter at these prices.


    LOL, but it CERTAINLY requires the investor to do their own very thorough due diligence.
    12 Nov 2013, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • I didn't see this posted anywhere on the Insta. That surprises me so, if I missed it mea culpa for this dupe. But the article and lengthy comments from Jack L, the author and others may be of interest to those who own, like or hate Molycorp.
    13 Nov 2013, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    Profound article, imo.
    22 Nov 2013, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • Very interesting TB.


    Here is something that has not been looked at in a while. List of projects and how they stack up to each other with respect to basket price and amount of product.

    25 Nov 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • I agree. Lets you extrapolate the best mineral resources. Namibia & Hastings have good prices, but feel their percentages and resource size are too small. I still stick with LYC,QRM,TAS,NTU
    25 Nov 2013, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply »


    As always, the rare earth sector is held hostage to geopolitical ambitions...


    This is one to watch closely.
    26 Nov 2013, 06:05 AM Reply Like
  • We flew our B-52 bombers through that area that china claimed as their air defense zone just to prove them wrong today.



    Talk about a slap in the face. Guess we have lost that loving feeling..................

    26 Nov 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Tack strikes again. From the always impartial Malaysian Chronicle:


    INTO THE LYNAS DEN: Wong Tack & Himpunan Hijau hits Sydney



    (If you have trouble with the link, I would suggest googling the title. I have gotten error messages when I checked it).
    27 Nov 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • I dont believe this will ever end. LAMP will never operate freely. to many people with to much free time on their hands and a corrupt system the internet easily sheds light upon.
    27 Nov 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • And I believe China does not want it to open......Period.


    Would anyone think China has any influence in Malaysia or money invested there or in its politics? I doubt Lynas has the lobby power of China so as GoGo said this might never end. Might add there may be some pay back for not allowing China to buy into Australia REE's. I sense a subtle smirk coming from that direction.


    29 Nov 2013, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • With 29.24MM residents (2012 per google), the "Wong Tack, Chairman, Himpunan Hijau said, "We are here to bring the voices of 1.2 million Malaysians who want the Lynas plant to be shut down immediately” seems to be lacking some support - ~4.10% of the inhabitants. With Kuantan having about 770K residents (Wikipedia) we must have every single citizen in that province opposed to Lynas.


    The characterization of the plant as toxic and radioactive, ignoring the scientific evidence and assessment by knowledgeable panels, just shows how biased and shoddy is this "journalism".


    Guess nothing matters to them or their ignorant brethren in Australia though - "Damn the facts, full BS ahead"!


    29 Nov 2013, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • D.G: Kuantan is ~32% Chinese residents, per Wikipedia. I would imagine some of them are influenced by China, although some others may have broken free of that influence.


    29 Nov 2013, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I think your right. Ramming speed......sink the jobs, we don't need no stinking jobs.
    29 Nov 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • Any additional news out of the AGM? I downloaded the report from Lynas' website. Looks like they have worked through most if the production issues and are ready to ramp up. Anyone have any additional insight?
    29 Nov 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with you DG, but he last time I brought up the hand of China, I was told that they were supporters of the LAMP because they sent some of their tech people over to consult, but this was third hand info and probably wrong.
    29 Nov 2013, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • That support was probably a false flag to cover for what they really are up to. Assuming they were supportive.
    29 Nov 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • Motionstream: I read both the CEO and Curtiss's AGM presentations. They've fixed some of the issues but still have another batch to get straightened out.


    My net take-away was little has changed: still awaiting for a "normal" market and have to have tht before they can ramp up. Until then, expense adjusted to what the market currently supports. I do recall that they mentioned that the stockpiles that had been built up during the "crises" had to get deplete too.


    29 Nov 2013, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks HTL!


    I know patience is a virtue, but I'm getting tired of being virtuous.
    29 Nov 2013, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • DG, Greetings. I wouldn't say that " China does not want it to open......Period " However, for the foreseeable future, as long as the game that they are playing with Japan re Diaoyu Island escalated as it is now, they want all the chips in hand to squeeze the Japanese to submission or to agree to a deal. Until then, they are not going to let the pressure off to allow LAMP to start full scale production as this is a very important chip to have. Eventually they will welcome the extra production coming out of LAMP expecially when they can buy some that production for much less than their own actual production costs
    jmho !
    30 Nov 2013, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, Greetings.


    I agree with your thoughts. " "We are here to bring the voices of 1.2 million Malaysians who want the Lynas plant to be shut down immediately” seems to be lacking some support - ~4.10% of the inhabitants. With Kuantan having about 770K residents (Wikipedia) we must have every single citizen in that province opposed to Lynas. " This is just not true. Wong Tack, Chairman, Himpunan Hijau is nothing but a Mainland Chinese Puppet. All his activities are rumored as financed by the Chinese in "Cash", as that is not traceable. His claim of 1.2 million was not evidenced during all his demonstrations. I cannot believe that he has 1.2 million followers. His lieutenants are Chinese and I wonder if any Malays will antagonise their friends and moslem communities to join him.
    I do not believe that he has the support of the Chinese populations as they have never trusted communist Chinese. Their ancestors were sold to Malayan plantation owners as slaves, same as the ones that came to California to build the Railroads. They have been under the oppression of the Malays for centuries; suffered through the communist guerilla warfare funded by communist China. Rich chinese had their relatives kidnaped for ransum. No, they haven't forgotten these yet.


    The Malays will never fall in line with the Chinese organiser as Wong Tack. They also suffered through the communist guerilla warfare and you think they will become cohort of them now. Never. Simplely put, they don't trust each other. With the Chinese paying off both sides of the parties, the Chinese organisers like Wong Tack and the Malaysian politicians/royalties, this really looks like " some pay back for not allowing China to buy into Australia REE's. " as per DG. This is a low budget game played by the Chinese and it will last for a little longer yet. jmho.
    30 Nov 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Ishikawa! Great information.
    1 Dec 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • I'm pretty certain his name is pronounced Wong Tack in Chinese, but W(r)ong T(r)ack in Malay...
    1 Dec 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Joe, R's are very difficult to pronounce in many of the asian languages so they left them out on certain names. You have found the correct ancient spelling of his name it appears. lol
    2 Dec 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • DG, Greetings. I wouldn't say that " China does not want it to open......Period "


    A little political humor tossed in there. We have recently found out that "Period" no longer means what it once implied.


    I think you have a good handle on whats going on. It seems they can cause the Japanese to lose face here and the Aussys too so its serving a dual purpose for now. It will be interesting as to how this next act in the Kabuki theater plays out.
    2 Dec 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Ishikawa: Thx for the additional background. With the numbers what they were I couldn't see how Tack could claim all that much. With your added "color", his support seems, to me, even more to be hyperbole rather than reality.


    30 Nov 2013, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like China's Rare earth exchange is firming up.
    Do you think this will be good for non-chinese rare earth producers?

    1 Dec 2013, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » It will be good for Chinese ambitions, whatever they are. In this case, it will be handy to help China gain control of the end-product side of high tech manufacturing. Manipulating prices will only take place as needed.


    I would anticipate a "honeymoon period" at first where some measure of actual price discovery would occur, although the current high tensions between China and Japan may make the honeymoon hit the rocks sooner rather than later...
    1 Dec 2013, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • Anyone know why LYSCF is down over 10% today? People jumping ship because of all the great above discussion about China/Japan/US tensions?
    2 Dec 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I don't know, Maya. LYSDY closed down about 3% today, and looks in line with LYC. The news about tensions between the Japanese and the Chinese would normally be a positive for this sector (and Lynas in particular, given their dependence on the Japanese). The prospect of China cranking up their new REE exchange is worrying folks, though, and it is a proximate event as well.
    2 Dec 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • I saw a picture of Maya today that really impressed me.


    Maya is a Washington Redskins cheerleader and will be at all 16 games this season to keep fan morale up even if Robert Griffin III is struggling. And I thought you were just an author. LOL

    2 Dec 2013, 06:53 PM Reply Like


    (Always intrigued by the "shape shifters.")
    2 Dec 2013, 07:08 PM Reply Like