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DM Lanthier

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  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 18, 2011 [View instapost]
    What happens if comprehensive population sampling is required and the local residents fighting the plant don't feel like cooperating ? Seems like an easy way for opposition groups to organize and delay LAMP's operation.

    Hopefully this AELB requirement is just another act in the kabuki play here, and the sampling deadline will be based on the calendar rather than a required level of participants.
    Jul 20, 2011. 10:55 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, July 13, 2011 [View instapost]
    /rant on

    REs aside, I hate it when the socialist EU trading commission has to step in and dictate market conditions with threats, fines and other trade sanctions. The EU should spend as much time and energy creating a competitive and dynamic economy rather than creating a trade economy based on dragging down other partners to a lower common denominator. They spend too much time trying futilely trying to protect their standing in the old world. I wonder how the Chinese or other regions would be treated by the EU if Europe was the primary source of something that the world actually wanted (like REs, software, etc).

    Jul 15, 2011. 11:53 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Mineral Concentrator, July 5, 2011 [View instapost]
    Hard to believe that the UK finally waking up regarding their dependence on a variety of strategic metals, including platinum, niobium, lithium, indium, gallium and REEs ? Their situation regarding REEs might be recent, but some of these other metals have had supply bottlenecks for decades lol.

    I imagine GWG's opportunity might depend on whether LCM is viewed as an integral partner of the local supply chain, or viewed as just a UK factory owned by a Canadian multinational. At a quick glance, I couldn't tell GWG/LCM's sales volume in the UK.
    Jul 8, 2011. 01:21 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]
    Does anyone know if Lynas has resumed construction on LAMP now that the IAEA audit is complete, or is it still too soon ? I had thought that Lynas just planned to halt construction until the audit was completed.

    It seems that to meet the revised startup targets to commission the plant by the end of 2011, Lynas needs to continue with their buildout while working on long term waste disposal/storage plan simultaneously.
    Jul 5, 2011. 11:23 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]
    I'm trying to figure out if the investment is strategic on behalf of Mitsubishi Chemical or another one of the Mitsubishi Group companies, or an opportunistic financial investment in Lynas ?

    In either case, it is good news for Lynas, though some of this news might have already been priced into yesterday's move on the ASX.
    Jul 4, 2011. 08:36 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]

    "It may take one to two years for all the IAEA’s recommendations to be completed", Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, secretary- general of the Southeast Asian nation’s international trade and industry ministry, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

    A few comments about the politics involving Malaysia and Lynas.
    Jun 30, 2011. 03:13 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]
    Not good news from Malaysia

    "We will follow the IAEA recommendations to the T"
    Jun 30, 2011. 02:06 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]
    After reading the report, I got a sense of the 80-20 pareto here: the final 20% (i.e., the 11 recommendations from IAEA) may require some time to comply. There's no way Lynas will be operating by Sep/2011. I could see where Bloomberg's estimate of a 1 yr+ delay being very realistic here :( A lot will depend on whether Malaysia will "politically" require 100% compliance before proceeding further, or whether completing a lot of the recommendations and promising to complete others will be enough ?

    The biggest problem will be with the long term storage plans for the waste, especially the WLP residues. According to Lynas' estimates, LAMP will generate 824.4K cubic meters of WLP waste after 10 years (pg 16). To scale this amount, if you take an American football field (100 yds x 50 yds), make it 10 yds deep, and this one storage area would be 38.2k cubic meters. Lynas would need 21 storage areas of this size to store this 10 years worth of WLP waste if they can't recycle or reuse it. I can't imagine that they can store this much waste on site, so where do they transport to ? More space would be needed for the other waste residues. Hopefully Lynas can get the other two wastes exempted from classification as a radioactive waste, which will make the storage or disposal a lot easier.

    While the plant has an estimated operating life of 20 years, the planned waste storage facility will reach capacity after 5 years (pg 23). In other words, Lynas needs a better plan on how to deal with the most radioactive wastes BEFORE Malaysia will allow them to begin operations. So far Lynas has thought about recycling or reusing the waste, but I don't think a "trust us" strategy is going to get them any further permits. Lynas' original plan to submit decommissioning and decontamination plans six months prior to the plant closure in the future probably won't fly either.

    A lot of the report deals with communicating better with the local stakeholders by both AELB and Lynas. Fortunately the IAEA doesn't recommend "approval" from these stakeholders, just better communications :)

    Also, IAEA recommends that Lynas be required to provide adequate financial resources to cover the costs of safe decommissioning (pg 24). Does anyone have any idea of the amount of money (probably a performance or surety bond) that might be required for a plant of this size, and does Lynas have the necessary capital ? I'm a relative latecomer to the Lynas story, but I assume Lynas would hope to build up funds from operations rather than provide the capital upfront during the permit process.

    Sorry for the long post :)
    Jun 30, 2011. 01:55 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 29, 2011 [View instapost]
    Not a good article for Lynas. I don't think trading would be halted based a hearsay article. Gotta love those engineers who want to play anonymous whistleblowers, while continuing to collect a paycheck for doing something they believe is wrong.

    I guess we'll find out soon enough when the report is released. It is possible that Lynas can make any construction improvements they believe are necessary after they receive the next permit and continue construction.
    Jun 29, 2011. 09:16 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 24, 2011 [View instapost]
    The purpose of Curtis' visit was to apologize, reinforce Lynas' commitment not to give up and show a willingness to improve any areas required to get gov't approval. Gov't sponsors of LAMP received support by the visit, and opponents realized that Lynas won't go away quietly. I expect the IAEA to say that Lynas meets or exceeds all the requirements for this type of project at the end of June, yet there will be more behind-the-scenes discussions before construction resumes and the next round of permits are issued. Hopefully the delays will not be long.
    Jun 26, 2011. 01:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic MInerals Concentrator, June 21, 2011 [View instapost]
    I couldn't find the interview on the above website, but I linked up the article for others from the website:
    Jun 21, 2011. 08:11 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 17, 2011 [View instapost]
    As someone who just added to his Lynas position at $1.90, I may have a biased view. I'm thinking (or hoping) that the Malaysian gov't and Lynas are negotiating some way for both sides to save face over the current situation.

    Possible positive solutions to include: 1) a conditional operating permit with ongoing site monitoring for excessive radiation emissions (Lynas better hope there is not an unplanned burp in the startup or an employee error); 2) a large performance bond (i.e., "hundreds of millions" of RM) to guarantee funds for cleanup and decontamination in the case of decommission or revoking of operating permit; and 3) Lynas will be given a deadline to develop an alternative plan to either remove or recycle ongoing storage waste. If Malaysia allows LAMP to operate with more stringent conditions, then they shift the responsibility for any future failure back onto Lynas.

    Malaysia has already announced earlier that their radiation emission standards are higher than U.S and Australia, so these measures will show the Malaysia people that they won't allow Lynas to just run roughshod over their country. Malaysia has the highest standards and they just raised them some more. Just as long as the IAEA doesn't issue some damning or condemning report about LAMP, which I don't expect.While radiation concerns is an emotional issue for everyone, in one of the recent interviews IAEA Director Abdul Aziz was asked about possible risks in the worst case scenario in case the plant operated, he said that in terms of radiation there was none only chemical scenarios. If this opinion is representative of the gov't, then I think it is important. Malaysia has refineries and they know how to manage risks associated with them.

    I'd also be curious to see where the 52,000 petition signatures are coming from. Since Malaysia has 13 states and a few federal territories, if the protest is purely a local issue in Pahang, then the gov't might not feel as much pressure as if it is a national protest of sorts.
    Jun 18, 2011. 12:46 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 15, 2011 [View instapost]
    My initial feeling from reading that China Daily article was that the Chinese gov't was continuing their "spin campaign" to restrict exports as not a big deal because others will rush into the market and reduce the world's dependence on China. It's the best way for them to play their cards with the rest of the world.

    Until "others" begin to realize actual success in separating and delivering high purity REEs, I expect China to keep trying to redirect and deflect the supply issue.
    Jun 16, 2011. 11:54 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 9, 2011 [View instapost]
    Based on GWMG's announcement for the shaft refurbishment project at Steenkampskaal, what is the new estimated timeframe for GWMG to restart their mining operation ? If there was a checklist required to resume mining, where does this step fall on the list, and what is left to complete ? Just trying to understand the significance of this announcement.
    Jun 9, 2011. 11:57 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, June 5, 2011 [View instapost]
    I found one of the comments to the blog by a respondent was interesting:

    " ...Someone in the industry wondered aloud to me recently whether this investigation into the REE plant has a sub-text: that is, that the Malaysians gave Lynas all those concessions on tax at a time when REE prices were much lower than today, and now in Kuala Lumpur when they see those prices soaring they may want to use the plant issue as leverage for renegotiation...."

    Interesting angle (or conspiracy theory as the author suggested).
    Jun 5, 2011. 08:31 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment