Skip to comments.Major players in rare-earth production
Posted on 11/27/2012 10:24:03 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
China has been involved in rare-earth research and development since its first recovery of the oxides in 1950. Two years later, the General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals, a major lab in Beijing, was founded. The Baotou Research Institute of Rare Earths in inner Mongolia, the largest rare-earth R&D facility in the world, was established in 1963 under Mao Zedong. This exceptionally long-term outlook resulted in China's leadership in the field.
The Bayan Obo iron mine in Baotou Province in inner Mongolia is the center of the nation's rare-earth production. Rare earths have been discovered in 21 of China's provinces and are also being mined in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shangdong and Sichuan provinces; the USGS sites four mines on the map
-- Reserves: 55 million metric tons. (Global reserves are estimated at 110 million metric tons, so China has about half.)
-- 40 percent of total production is sold to Japan
-- Owned 97.3 percent of world market in 2010
-- Comparisons: Production in 2006 was 119,000 metric tons; 130,000 in 2010
-- Exports in 2006 were 61,560 tons; in 2010 it was 30,259
-- Exports in 2011 were 18,600 tons and this year's projection is 13,300
Mountain Pass Mine is newly reopened and other domestic rare-earth deposits include Bear Lodge, Wyo.; Diamond Creek, Idaho; Lemni Pass in Idaho and Montana; and Elk Creek, Neb. Additionally, a U.S. Geological Survey estimate of domestic deposits lists potential mine sites in 14 states, including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico (very heavily), New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.
There is a single domestic plant that makes rare-earth magnet alloys in Arizona, owned by Molycorp...
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Apparently southern Finland has a significant deposit as well. It was mentioned in passing in a recent article on them testing a thorium reactor with GE.
The thing is, I don’t believe any of the U.S. deposits will become mines in the next decade.
The Chinese will run them and own them.
That definitely won’t happen.