New Sources of Rare Earths Outside of China Continues to Put Pressure on Prices
NEW YORK, 02/25/13 - The Rare Earths Industry has struggled this past year as a flood of new production and reserves from outside China has seen prices significantly drop from their highs in 2011. The Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (REMX) has fallen 7.5 percent year-to-date, and over 30 percent in the past year. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Rare Earths Industry and provides equity research on Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) and Lynas Corp.(PINKSHEETS: LYSCF).
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The federal government has recently approved U.S.-based Rare Earths Inc. request to drill for rare earth minerals along the Idaho/Montana border. Rare Earths is a mineral exploration company that holds over 12,000 acres of mining claims for rare-earth elements in Colorado, Idaho and Montana. Additionally, Ucore Rare Metals Inc. plans to commence production from their Alaskan Bokan project by 2016.
According to Rare Earth Investing News, citing a Metal Pages report, the Russian Government has recently passed a $4.87 billion REE and rare metals production investment program. By 2020, Russia hopes to enter the global rare earth market.
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Molycorp has announced that their new state-of-the-art rare earth manufacturing complex in Mountain Pass, California is up and operational. The company expects production will exceeds its Phase 1 run rate of 19,050 metric tons per year by of rare earth oxide equivalent by mid-year. Molycorp has decided to delay the completion of Phase 2 construction and start-up "until market demand, product pricing, capital availability, and financial returns justify additional increases in production beyond Phase 1."
Construction of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Malaysia was completed in 2012 and first Rare Earths concentrate arrived from Western Australia in November 2012. Since then, the plant has been progressively commissioned and is ramping up production capacity. In January, J.P. Morgan upgraded Lynas' rating from "neutral" to "buy."
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