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  • Molycorp: Rare Earth Leader Now Dirt Cheap [View article]
    farwest writes;

    "Rare Earths aren't rare. The only reason so little supply is available is because prices were so low for so long due to minuscule demand. And voila, as soon as the slightest whiff of demand pops up, we see a slew of mines being developed and lots of exploration efforts to find new deposits (which has already begun to bear fruit)."

    Of course I will not argue with Adam Smith or efficient markets, but the REE price curve is elastic and will remain so until there is adequate supply in the market place.

    To assume that REE processing facilities is an indication of lack of understanding that REE's are a technology, not a mining play. Both Moly and Lynas expect to, or have spent over a half a billion dollars to plan, engineer, construct and operated separation plants. This is a fact and obviously paces a significant barrier of entry into this space.

    In fact, the knowledge that REE processing is difficult and expensive is so widespread, it just may be that you are trying to agitate the posters on this board… JMHO...
    Oct 9, 2011. 04:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: Rare Earth Leader Now Dirt Cheap [View article]
    farwest, I think you have a misconception about the nature of rare earth elements. These metals are not just mined, they are 1.) mined as an orebody from REE rich deposits (like Mt. Pass or Mt. Weld) then 2.) concentrated from the orebody by a gravity floatation process the 3.) separated by highly technical processes into the individual elements generally chemically bound to form oxides.

    The process to separate the individual elements is highly technical and requires extensive chemical processes. It is a process that is obviously very difficult. Given the high prices of REO's at the present, and given your assertion that REE's will drop dramatically, it would make sense that many companies would have already jumped in to begin mining and processing REO's.

    This has not happened.

    Moly and LynasCorp are the frontrunners on the way to significant production of REO's. They have each spent in excess of a half a billion dollars to develop a processing system. These systems take a minimum of three years to bring on line and require substantial IP, experience and planning to even begin production.

    The REE industry is not mining, rather it is technology applied to mining. The barriers of entry a tremendous and any company even contemplating had better be well capitalized.

    That said, the demand itself for REE's is increasing at an exponential rate and is the quantity needed for each application. The uses are wide and varied and growing every day.

    Suggesting REE's are simply mined and processed is intrinsically incorrect and is confirmed by the lack of players in the REE space… JMHO...
    Sep 25, 2011. 05:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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