- Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is moving forward with a rare earth element (“REE”) processing facility in Louisiana that will help to establish an American base for the REE supply chain
- The REE supply chain is currently almost exclusively controlled by the People’s Republic of China thanks to China’s responsibility for 36.7 percent of the world’s REE reserves, 63 percent of REE mining capacity and more than 90 percent of REE refining capacity
- REE price increases this month as a result of temporary production shutdowns in Myanmar and China underscore the market’s sensitivity to supply interruptions resulting from governmental policies
- Ucore’s RapidSX(TM) solvent extraction process is being developed as an American-based alternative to the industry standard SX process for rare earth refining, and will be used in the Louisiana facility
This month’s shutdown of Myanmar rare earth mining to prepare for inspections sparked short-term stockpiling and upward pricing for metal products such as terbium oxide and dysprosium oxide used in solid-state devices, a reminder of the vulnerability of many tech device rare earth element (“REE”) components to sudden supply chain bottlenecks in Asian nations. It demonstrates how sensitive the REE industry is, and the potential threat posed by nations that dominate related supplies.
“Any extended shutdown of mining in Kachin could be quite damaging for Chinese refineries in Southern China which are reliant upon feedstock from Myanmar,” market analyst David Merriman stated in a Reuters report on the situation, and another analyst, Yang Jiawen, stated that similar environmental…
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