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  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    No one here mentioned this, but in light of MCP's bankruptcy, I think this was very odd timing. Maybe it was an "accident", but either way, if I were an REE end-user I would be looking at alternative suppliers to MCP.

    Estonia rare metals plant catches fire, threat of toxic smoke as roof collapses

    A fire at an Estonian plant producing rare metals has led to a roof collapse in one of its industrial buildings. Local residents are being advised to stay indoors due to the threat of chemical contamination.

    The Estonian town of Sillamäe was under threat of a chemical disaster on Tuesday afternoon after one of the buildings of a rare metals plant used as a warehouse for chemicals caught fire from polyethlene film. It is not clear whether people were inside a building whose roof collapsed, Tass reported.

    http://bit.ly/1gghg0p
    Jul 4, 2015. 09:02 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    Molycorp Gets Interim OK to Tap Oaktree Loan

    http://on.wsj.com/1dEh2hB

    When it walked into court Thursday to argue for the Oaktree loan, Molycorp, an employer of more than 500 people, had less than $1 million in cash.

    Had it failed to win borrowing authority, Molycorp faced the prospect of a “very uncontrolled shutdown” of its Mountain Pass facility in California, Chief Executive Geoff Bedford testified at the court session.

    “The debtors are absolutely desperate for financing ... if we want to avoid a disorderly chaotic process,” Molycorp lawyer Paul Leake said.

    The arguments convinced the judge to endorse the company’s decision to go with the Oaktree deal.

    “The debtors are just out of time, and can’t keep switching horses midstream,” Judge Sontchi said.

    Oaktree’s bankruptcy loan is linked to the proposed sale of Molycorp’s most valuable business, the Neo operations. Bondholders say Molycorp needs to hang onto Neo to remain viable over the long haul.

    Thursday’s court action wasn’t the last word on Molycorp’s financing or the company’s future. The loan will be tested again at hearing later this month.

    Molycorp’s Mountain Pass rare-earths production facility is losing money, but Neo, which processes the elements for use in high-tech products, is still making money.

    Mr. Bedford, Molycorp’s CEO, said Thursday that idling the Mountain Pass facility is “one of the options we’re investigating.”

    Bondholders warned in court papers the Oaktree financing will end Molycorp’s hopes of surviving as a unified company, push 400 Mountain Pass workers out of jobs, and lead to a sale designed to hand Neo over to Oaktree.

    Oaktree lawyer Dennis Dunne denied the investment firm really wanted to take on the role of bankruptcy lender, or bidder on Neo. The company’s dire financial condition required Oaktree to step in, Mr. Dunne said.
    Jul 4, 2015. 08:48 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    The $17B figure should be ignored, as it's based on artificially inflated numbers. I would argue that today's $1B figure is based on artificially depressed numbers. My point is that both ends of the spectrum are out of whack, the real market size is somewhere in the middle. I think there's a good market for those miners that are right sized, and strategically positioned to deliver to end users. Also, I would not discount the role of government in guiding which companies win this race.
    Jun 27, 2015. 10:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    Ungawah > MCP's going bankrupt, before the actual event and post bankruptcy, probably steered some business toward Lynas in the near-term.

    Looking forward to seeing Lynas' next report. Two consecutive quarters of positive cash flow will go a long way toward calming the market about Lynas' future. Higher REE prices too.

    Ucore is another story, too soon to tell which way that will go. Hopefully they're not just smoke and mirrors.
    Jun 26, 2015. 08:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    As expected:

    Molycorp Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, as the long-struggling rare-earths miner turned a page on one of the most dramatic commodities busts in recent years.

    Molycorp also reaches an agreement with major creditors to restructure its $1.70 billion debt load. The only U.S. miner and producer of rare-earth elements—15 elements used as niche ingredients in magnets, batteries, catalytic converters and other high-tech products—said it had secured an agreement with creditors to restructure its $1.7 billion in debt. The deal also provides $225 million in new financing to continue operations.

    Molycorp MCP, -5.61% said that it and some subsidiaries would file for Chapter 11 status in the U.S., and that it expects to exit Chapter 11 before the end of 2015.

    Molycorp has suffered three straight years of quarterly losses. And despite a recent order from Siemens for rare earths to make magnets in its wind turbines, demand is sluggish.

    Molycorp expects the New York Stock Exchange to delist its shares within nine days, and that its shares will then be traded on an over-the-counter exchange. The company said it would postpone its annual shareholders meeting until the second half of 2015.

    http://bit.ly/1Hg1mio
    Jun 25, 2015. 08:42 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    The beginnings of a turnaround?

    Rare earths miner Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) gained 6.1% to 3.5 cents, after confirming it was on track to meet its quarterly report guidance, including “positive free cash flow”. Lynas had $44.4 million in cash at the end of March 2015, which suggests the company could be on the comeback trail if it can maintain positive cash flows. Watch out for the company’s next report – it could provide valuable clues to where Lynas is going in future.
    Jun 25, 2015. 08:00 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    Yes, I've been following this as well. Sen. Murkowski is big supporter of Ucore. I have my doubts that this will get very far. There has been at least three Acts introduced before this one that I know of --- that went nowhere. Maybe I'm just too pessimistic, but I'm assuming that it will die in committee just like the Bills that came before this one. Do nothing Congress.
    Jun 5, 2015. 08:58 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    The Deal Pipeline: Molycorp skips payment, draws comparisons to Momentive case:

    http://bit.ly/1GkR54h
    Jun 3, 2015. 02:45 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #280, April 16, 2015 [View instapost]
    Thought I'd chime in here, I've been a lurker here for a while. A recent article on SA looked at this issue, and I believe the author (Laura Starks , Starks Energy Economics LLC ) is correct. I posted the relevant section below:

    U.S. Silica Holdings Is My Favorite Idea That Everyone Knows, But No One Understands:

    Drilling Reductions and Completion Delays:

    As the rig count has dropped, so have expenditures on all other oilfield services. Although drilling and completion is usually thought of as a single process, the pattern in the last few months has been to sever them…that is, wells are drilled-though fewer of them-but they are not completed. No water or fracking sand is hauled in, and no production occurs. Effectively, the oil is being kept in storage in the rocks, according to Troy Cook, an analyst at the Energy Information Administration. As two Washington Post writers put it, there's a "fracklog."

    The inventory of drilled-but-uncompleted wells in the U.S. is estimated by Wood Mackenzie and RBC Capital Markets to be 3000, including 900 in North Dakota's Bakken formation and 1400 in south Texas' Eagle Ford formation. This is the first "hidden" favorable factor for U.S. Silica-completions have been stalled but will occur later. Moreover, in North Dakota's Bakken, state regulations allow a drill site to be idle only for a year, so the 900 uncompleted wells there must either be plugged or completed. This puts them at the front of the 2015 fracking queue.

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    May 1, 2015. 09:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    China issues details on new resource tax structure for rare earth, metals

    (Reuters) - China issued details on a new resource tax structure for rare earth and metals that will be based on prices instead of volumes, effective from May 1, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

    The country will levy price-based resource tax for light rare earth at between 7.5 percent to 11.5 percent depending on the areas of productions.

    For medium and heavy rare earth, the tax will be 27 percent.

    The government also set tungsten resource tax at 6.5 percent and for molybdenum at 11.0 percent, the ministry said on its website. (http://www.mof.gov.cn)

    http://reut.rs/1Jc0NTD
    Apr 30, 2015. 01:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp, Lynas Surge As China Eliminates Export Tariffs On Rare Earths [View article]
    > Metalsman75: I have been thinking the same thing, but my gut says to wait a bit longer. There's still too much uncertainty, and I don't expect any major moves in the sp until Lynas resolves its financing issues.

    On the other hand, the stock could pop significantly if the market likes what it hears regarding the financing, and if the REE prices continues to move upward. Tough call at the moment.
    Apr 30, 2015. 09:21 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    There's a fascinating profile in April 6 edition of the The New Yorker on China's new President Xi. It's worth reading to gain a deeper understanding on how Xi views the world and how China might act going forward. Xi seems to admire Putin's approach to the world. Just food for thought.

    Born Red: How Xi Jinping, an unremarkable provincial administrator, became China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao.

    http://nyr.kr/1FFZ9vm

    China is closing down mines all over the country to curb pollution and get place tighter controls on their resources. Besides consolidation of the REE space, they just shut down several antimony producers which is the main reason why US Animony spiked last week.

    There was also an interesting report last night on 60 Minutes about China and the U.S. military competing in space. Seems like things are escalating and will one day come to a head.
    Apr 27, 2015. 08:58 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    Lynas Shares Up on Significant Cost Reduction Progress:

    PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The share price of rare earths miner Lynas increased by more than 18% on Friday as the company revealed that its cost saving initiatives had resulted in greater-than-expected benefits.

    CEO Amanda Lacaze told shareholders this week that cost reduction initiatives had initially been forecast to deliver a A$26-million capital saving, on a yearly basis. However, to date, annualized savings of more than A$35-million had been achieved.

    During the quarter ended March, the cost saving initiatives resulted in a 38% saving on overheads, while a further 21% savings were reported in salaries and wages, and a further 33% savings in repair and maintenance costs.

    Lacaze said the company’s continued focus on efficient practices was expected to deliver further savings.

    http://bit.ly/1I52nbq

    So far I’m liking the new CEO.
    Apr 24, 2015. 02:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • May To Be A Great Month For Rare Earth Prices [View article]
    > Ausheds: Agreed Re: Molycorp. The Seimens deal won't save them.

    Thought this comment was relevant to Lynas shareholders regarding China imports of REEs:

    China imported 1357.25 tons of rare earths in the first two month of this year,which included Malaysia 777tons;the USA 380.5 tons;France 94.6 tons; Myanmar 62tons.

    http://bit.ly/1J7Bi8S

    Once again, I don't know if this info is accurate. If we combine Mr. Shen's two reports it looks like Lynas is starting to make progress. Malaysia into China: 777 tons + Malaysia into Japan: 1,218 tons for a total of 1995 tons exported by Lynas since they last reported their results.
    Apr 22, 2015. 09:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, March 18, 2014 [View instapost]
    Thought this comment was relevant to Lynas shareholders regarding China imports of REEs:

    China imported 1357.25 tons of rare earths in the first two month of this year,which included Malaysia 777tons;the USA 380.5 tons;France 94.6 tons; Myanmar 62tons.

    http://bit.ly/1J7Bi8S

    Once again, I don't know if this info is accurate. If we combine Mr. Shen's two reports it looks like Lynas is starting to make progress. Malaysia into China: 777 tons + Malaysia into Japan: 1,218 tons for a total of 1995 tons exported by Lynas since they last reported their results.
    Apr 21, 2015. 03:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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