Rare Earth Elements Markets Worldwide

Date: June 22, 2011
Pages: 172
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Publisher: SBI
Report type: Strategic Report
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Rare Earth Elements Markets Worldwide
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This research report presents an in-depth analysis of the production, market, development, applications, and trends for rare earth elements (REE). The 17 different rare earth elements are used extensively in a wide variety of applications to make technologies lighter, stronger, more efficient, and easier to use. Product applications run the gamut from the very technical to the mundane. For example, REEs are used to make super strong permanent magnets that increase the efficiency of wind generators while significantly reducing their weight. They are used extensively in electric vehicles to increase battery capacity and reduce weight (and they are also essential in producing catalytic converters for gasoline powered automobiles). REEs are used in medicine for small, portable X-ray devices as well as lasers that can treat glaucoma and other conditions. In some instances REE directly treat some forms of cancer. They make the phosphors that give color to television sets and LED lighting as well as flints for cigarette lighters. These are but a few of the many current uses of rare earth elements and new applications are being developed on a routine basis, such as for the treatment of water and for magnetic refrigeration.

Contrary to their name, rare earth elements are no so rare. They are found in abundance worldwide and are more common than tin in some cases and almost as abundant as copper. All rare earth elements are far more abundant that silver or gold. However, to date only a relatively few deposits have been found with sufficient REE concentrations to make mining them economical. The United States produced most of the world’s REE up until about 1985, at which time China began to become a major supplier. Today, China produces about 97% of the world’s rare earths. Problems stemming from this (virtually) single source include supply constraints, reduced shipments and outright embargos, environmental problems, and rising prices. Since the 1950’s there was very little exploration for new REE sources (except in China) but many countries and mine operators are now actively seeking new REE deposits and developing existing ones.

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of rare earth element production, demand, applications, and economic and cost considerations that have limited production and exploration for new sources, their growth over the past several years, potential opportunities for additional growth, and an assessment of developing technologies, alternatives, and market trends. Projected REE growth through 2020 is provided including discussion of economic conditions, environmental impacts, business demand, stakeholder concerns, and government activities as they affect growth rates. The report also profiles producers of rare earths and the strategies they have adopted to maximize growth and profitability.
CHAPTER 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Scope

Research Methodology

The Rare Earth Elements

Figure 1-1 The Period Table and the Elements

Table 1-2 Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements

Global REE Deposits

Figure 1-3 World Rare Earth Element Reserves by Country

Rare Earth Element Applications

The Rare Earth Market Today

Table 1-4 Rare Earth Element Energy Applications

Figure 1-5 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE), August 2010-February 2011 ($/kg - REO equivalent)

Figure 1-6 Rare Earth Prices - REEs Used in Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnets February 2009-February 2011 ($/kg - REO equivalent)

Figure 1-7 Chinese Rare Earth Quotas and Price Effects Metric Tons of REE, $/kg REO Equivalents (2005-2010)

Market Demand

Figure 1-8 Rare Earth Market Size, 2005-20010 ($ billions)

Figure 1-9 Rare Earth Uses, 2010

Figure 1-10 Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020

Figure 1-11 Rare Earth Production, 1956-2008

Market Supply

Table 1-1 Potential Non-China Rare Earth Operations, 2011-2020

Figure 1-12 Non-China Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020

Figure 1-13 Rare Earth Element Production, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)

Market Size

Figure 1-14 Rare Earth Market and Global Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020 ($ billions, thousands of metric tons)

Market Considerations

Rare Earth Growth Factors

Rare Earth Growth Inhibitors

Summary

CHAPTER 2 MARKET DEFINITION

Scope

Rare Earth Elements

Figure 2-1 The Period Table and the Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Element History

Rare Earth Elements - Not So Rare

Figure 2-2 Abundance of Rare Earth Elements in the Earth’s Crust

Figure 2-3 Rare Earth Element Occurrence in the Earth’s Crust (parts per million - ppm)

Rare Earth Element Production

Figure 2-4 Global Production of Rare Earth Oxides

Table 2-1 REE Mine Production and Known Reserves by Country, 2009-2010 (tons)

Principal REE Deposits

Figure 2-5 World Rare Earth Element Reserves by Country

Rare Earth-Bearing Minerals

Table 2-3 Rare Earth Element Concentration in Mineral Sources Principal Mine Locations (percent)

Principal REE Deposits - China

Figure 2-6 Rare Earth Mines - China

Principal REE Deposits - United States

Table 2-4 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, United States

Figure 2-7 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, United States

Principal REE Deposits - Russia

Table 2-5 Principal Rare Earth Deposits, Other Countries

Principal REE Deposits - India

Principal REE Deposits - Other Countries

Common Properties of Rare Earth Elements

Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements

Table 2-6 Rare Earth Element Properties

Table 2-7 Light and Heavy Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Element Applications

Table 2-8 Selected Rare Earth Element Applications

Rare Earth Applications in Alternative Energy Systems

Table 2-9 Rare Earth Element Use in Alternative Energy Systems

Rare Earth Element Processing

Figure 2-8 Rare Earth Mining Process

Summary

CHAPTER 3 MARKET SIZE AND GROWTH

Scope

Market Volatility

Figure 3-1 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Minerals, 2005-2009 ($/kg REO equivalent)

Chinese Rare Earth Quotas

Figure 3-2 Chinese Rare Earth Quotas and Price Effects Metric Tons of REE, $/kg REO Equivalents, (2005-2010)

China-Japan Tensions

Soaring Rare Earth Prices

Figure 3-3 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE), 2005-2010 ($/kg - REO equivalent)

Figure 3-4 Rare Earth Prices - Selected Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE), 2005-2010 ($/kg - REO equivalents)

Market Size

Figure 3-5 Rare Earth Production, 2005-2010 (metric tons)

Figure 3-6 Rare Earth Market Size, 2005-2010 ($ billions)

Market Demand

Figure 3-7 Rare Earth Demand, 2005-2010 (metric tons)

Figure 3-8 REE Usage by Country, 2008 (% of REE use by category within a country)

Figure 3-9 REE Usage by Category2008 (% of REEs used by countries within a category)

Rare Earth Exports/Imports

Figure 3-10 Rare Earth Imports - United States and Japan, 2005-2010 (metric tons Rare Earth Oxide-equivalent)

Figure 3-11 Rare Earth Exports - United states and Japan, 2005-2010 (metric tons Rare Earth Oxide-equivalent)

Rare Earth Growth Factors

Figure 3-12 Rare Earth Uses, 2010

Technology

Figure 3-13 Magnet Strengths, (MGO)

Chinese Demand

Defense Systems

Japanese Demand

Recycling

Factors Inhibiting Rare Earth Growth

Development Costs

Environmental Issues

Lack of Expertise

Rare Earth Element Mix

Table 3-1 Selected Heavy Rare Earth Element (HREE) Sources

Location

Rare Earth Prices

Substitute Materials

Strategic Reserves

Acts of God

Market Growth 2011 to 2020

Rare Earth Element Demand

Figure 3-14 Light Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)

Figure 3-15 Heavy Rare Earth Demand, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)

Rare Earth Magnets - The Dysprosium Problem

Figure 3-16 Dysprosium Demand vs Production, 2011 - 2020 (metric tons)

Rare Earth Element Production

Figure 3-17 Rare Earth Element Production, 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)

Market Size

Figure 3-18 Global Rare Earth Production (less China), 2011-2020 (thousands of metric tons)

Figure 3-19 Rare Earth Market and Global Rare Earth Production, 2011-2020 ($ billions, thousands of metric tons)

Summary

CHAPTER 4 EMERGING RARE EARTH DEVELOPMENTS

Scope

New Rare Earth Exploration and Development

Greenland

Table 4-1 Kvanefjeld, Greenland Rare Earth Element Concentrations

Canada

Table 4-2 Hoidas Lake and Nechalacho Rare Earth Deposits, Canada

Africa

South Africa

Australia

Russia and Central Asia

United States

Other Countries

Mine Development Phases

Vertically Integrated Rare Earth Supply Chains

Table 4-3 Level of Development - Selected Potential Rare Earth Mines

Rare Earth Alternatives

Magnets

Electric Vehicles

Japan

Magnetic Refrigeration

National Defense Considerations

Table 4-4 Rare Earth Uses in Military Defense Systems

Government Activities

Japan

South Korea

South Africa

European Union

United States

Minimizing Environmental Concerns

Radioactive Wastes

More Efficient Extraction Methods

Summary

CHAPTER 5 COMPETITIVE PROFILES

Scope

Molycorp, Inc

Agreements and Partnerships

Patents, Trademarks and Licenses

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-1 Molycorp Company Information

Products

Significant Events

Lynas Corporation Ltd

Agreements and Partnerships

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-2 Lynas Company Information

Significant Events

Great Western Minerals Group Ltd

Agreements and Partnerships

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-3 Great Western Company Information

Arafura Resources Ltd

Agreements and Partnerships

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-4 Arafura Company Information

Significant Events

Avalon Rare Metals Inc

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-5 Avalon Company Information

Significant Events

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-6 Greenland Minerals and Energy Company Information

Frontier Rare Earths Ltd

Prospecting Right

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-7 Frontier Company Information

U.S Rare Earths, Inc

Mine Development

Table 5-8 Rare Earth Resource Estimates - Diamond Creek & Lemhi Pass, (Metric Tons - Rare Earth Oxide)

Company Performance

Table 5-9 U.S. Rare Earths Company Information

Special Events

Stans Energy Corporation

Agreements and Partnerships

Mine Development

Company Performance

Table 5-10 Stans Energy Company Information

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