REITA is focused on addressing issues with the global supply chain, in terms of rare earth products.
Based in Toronto, Avalon is a mineral exploration company, focused on rare earth elements throughout Canada. Its flagship project, the 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit at Thor Lake in the North West Territories, is emerging as one of the largest undeveloped rare earth elements resources in the world.
The Thor Lake property is expected to have a bankable feasibility study completed during 2012. It is projected to produce separated heavy and light rare earth oxides, as well as niobium, zirconium, and tantalum by-products by late 2015.
Avalon's project is enriched in the more valuable "heavy" rare earth elements, which are key to enabling advances in green energy technology and other growing high-tech applications.
Executive Director of REITA, Keith Delaney, said: "Avalon typifies the breadth of critical Clean Energy supply chains that REITA members represent.
"From rare earth resource companies and processors - downstream to the Original Equipment Manufacturers of advanced auto, lighting and renewable energy applications - we are working to create internationally competitive and diverse supply chains for rare earth products for Clean Energy."
In late September, Avalon attended the Metal-Pages Minor Metals and Rare Earth Conference held in Beijing, China, where VP of Sales & Marketing, Pierre Neatby, gave an update on the rapid progress Avalon is making at Nechalacho.
One theme that came up at the conference was that hundreds of new rare earth exploration projects are being promoted around the world. Several of the speakers at the conference noted that, regardless of their size and grade, very few new deposits discovered would ever achieve production due to the relatively small size of the global market outside China - which is 50,000 tonnes in 2015 according to independent rare earth market analyst Dudley Kingsnorth.
The consensus view was that perhaps four to six new producers might emerge outside China to serve this demand over the next five to ten years.
In a recent media interview, Avalon's president Don Bubar reminded viewers that given the small size of the rare earths market outside China, the opportunity to serve this market is really only open to the few first producers or early movers to bring new supply to the market.
In this regard, Avalon is well positioned, having the most advanced heavy rare earth development project in the world outside China, with the potential to bring a significant new supply to the market by 2015, it said.
Bubar added: "Much of the recent research commentary published on the rare earths industry does not discuss the importance of early mover advantage to the business opportunity nor highlight it as a risk factor for investors."