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Rare earth metals

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Kaiser
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Rare earth prices to erode on fresh supply from China

Reuters reported that prices of rare earth elements which tumbled after a speculative bubble burst last year are likely to erode further as new supplies hit the market and exports edge higher from dominant producer China due to weak demand at home.

Prices of the 17 elements used in technologies such as smartphones and hybrid cars soared last year by hundreds of percent after China clamped down on exports. Hot money flowed into an illiquid sector but later departed, causing a crash.

Lanthanum, used in rechargeable batteries for hybrid autos and in night vision goggles rocketed 26 fold from USD 5.15 kilogram in January 2010 to a peak of USD 140 in June 2011. Although it has slid to USD 20.50 the price is still well above earlier lows.

The market has steadied in recent months but new output from US Molycorp and Australia's Lynas Corporation is likely to pressure prices, especially those of light rare earths which are not as scarce as their heavy cousins.

Weaker economic growth in China is also weighing on the market since the world's second largest economy not only produces over 90% of global rare earths but is the biggest consumer of the materials.

Mr Michael Silver CEO of American Elements said that "Prices will continue to drop so long as Chinese GDP continues to face downward pressures on the manufacturing side. China's slowdown rather than a trade complaint filed by Western nations is expected to prompt some relaxation of Beijing's tough export controls.”

Source - Reuters
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PERSBERICHT: SOLVAY START DE RECYCLING VAN ZELDZAME AARDMETALEN OP IN FRANKRIJK


Brussel, 27 september 2012, 12:00

SOLVAY START DE RECYCLING VAN ZELDZAME AARDMETALEN OP IN FRANKRIJK

Investering van meer dan 15 miljoen EUR om zeldzame aardmetalen
uit selectief ingezamelde gebruikte producten te recyclen

Solvay neemt vandaag in Frankrijk twee eenheden in gebruik voor de recycling van
zeldzame aardmetalen. De Groep wil zijn bevoorradingsbronnen diversifiëren en
zuiniger omspringen met deze grondstoffen. Daarom heeft hij een procedé
ontwikkeld voor de recuperatie van zeldzame aardmetalen uit afgedankte goederen
zoals spaarlampen, batterijen of magneten. Deze originele recyclingaanpak, die
het resultaat is van onderzoeksprogramma's van de Groep, biedt uitzicht op
nieuwe groeimogelijkheden voor de activiteiten in zeldzame aardmetalen van de
Groep.

Dit project is opgestart in 2007 en vereiste twee jaar onderzoek en ontwikkeling
en dan nog eens twee jaar studie voor de industriële aanpak en de keuze van de
sites. De investering gebeurde in 2011. De Groep legt zich in een eerste fase
toe op spaarlampen, omdat de inzameling hiervan al georganiseerd is. Deze lampen
bevatten een verhoudingsgewijs grote hoeveelheid van zes verschillende zeldzame
aardmetalen: lanthanum, cerium, terbium, yttrium, europium en gandolinum. Solvay
kan deze aardmetalen nu recyclen met het volledige behoud van hun eigenschappen.

De afgedankte spaarlampen worden opgehaald, geselecteerd en behandeld door
gespecialiseerde bedrijven die de verschillende componenten nuttig kunnen
gebruiken. Het gaat hierbij om glas, metalen, kunststoffen en kwik. Het
lichtgevend poeder gaat naar de fabrieken van de Groep, eerst naar het Franse
Saint-Fons nabij Lyon, waar het concentraat aan zeldzame aardmetalen
geëxtraheerd wordt, en dan naar La Rochelle, waar men beschikt over een in
Europa ongeëvenaarde knowhow inzake scheidingstechnieken. Na die scheiding
worden de zeldzame aardmetalen opnieuw verwerkt tot de basisstoffen voor de
lichtgevende materialen die gaan dienen voor de productie van nieuwe lampen.

"De zeldzame aardmetalen waarvan we maar kleine hoeveelheden gebruiken, zijn de
onmisbare 'vitamines', nodig voor de ontwikkeling van nieuwe, in het bijzonder
groene technologieën. De wereldvraag naar zeldzame aardmetalen groeit met meer
dan 6% per jaar, waardoor ze een strategische grondstof zijn. Dankzij de
recycling scheppen wij een nieuwe bevoorradingsbron en wij streven ernaar dé
Europese referentie te worden op dit gebied", verklaarde Du Hua, directeur
Zeldzame Aardmetalen bij Solvay. "De opstart van deze twee fabrieken is een
tastbare bijdrage die de chemie levert aan de duurzame ontwikkeling."

Als wereldleider op het gebied van formuleringen op basis van zeldzame
aardmetalen ontwikkelt Solvay talrijke nieuwigheden die hun toepassing vinden in
het leven van alledag (beeldschermen, spaarlampen, bestrijding van vervuiling
veroorzaakt door auto's, hogeprecisie-optica...).

SOLVAY is een internationale chemische Groep die zich inzet voor een duurzame
ontwikkeling met daarbij een duidelijk accent op innovatie en operationele
uitmuntendheid. Het bedrijf realiseert meer dan 90% van zijn verkoop in markten
waar het tot de top 3 van de wereldleiders behoort. Solvay biedt een ruim gamma
producten aan die bijdragen tot het verbeteren van de levenskwaliteit en de
prestaties van de klanten op markten zoals consumptiegoederen, de bouw, de
autosector, energie, water en milieu evenals elektronica. De Groep heeft zijn
hoofdzetel in Brussel, stelt ongeveer 31.000 mensen te werk in 55 landen en
genereerde in 2011 een netto-omzet van 12,7 miljard EUR (pro forma). Solvay NV
(SOLB.BE) staat genoteerd op de NYSE Euronext in Brussel en Parijs (Bloomberg:
SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR).

Neem voor meer informatie contact op met:

LAMIA NARCISSE ERIK DE LEYE MARIA ALCON-HIDALGO PATRICK VERELST

Media Relations Media Relations Investor Relations Investor Relations

+33 1 53 56 59 62 +32 2 264 1530 +32 2 264 1984 +32 2 264 1540




Persmededeling :
hugin.info/133981/R/1643972/529563.pdf



This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of
Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and
other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and
originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Solvay S.A. via Thomson Reuters ONE
[HUG#1643972]

www.solvay-investors.com

voda
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Lai Chau Vimico chosen to manage rare earth mine

VNS reported that Vietnam government has approved Lai Chau Vimico Rare Earth Co to manage Dong Pao rare earth mine, the largest in Viet Nam, says the company's director Bui Van Huyen.

The mine covers a total area of 11sq km with estimated reserves of 5 million tonnes.

Source - VNS

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Sumitomo starting rare earth production in Kazakhstan

Sumitomo Corporation hereby announced that Summit Atom Rare Earth Company LLP, a JV between the company and Kazakhstan's National Atomic Company, Kazatomprom (Head Office: Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan; Chairman of the Board Mr Shkolnik Vladimir), completed construction and opened its first factory in Stepnogorsk on November 2nd 2012. SARECO was established in May 2010 in Kazakhstan to develop and launch a business recovering rare earth elements from uranium ore residue and has been preparing to commence operations.

The new factory will begin manufacturing mixed rare earth carbonate with a high content of dysprosium and neodymium, elements for which demand is expected to rise in the coming years due to the growing popularity of hybrid and electric cars. The factory has set an annual output target of 1,500 tonnes during the initial years and also plans to start exporting to Japan in January 2013. In addition, SARECO is working to enhance its business by developing processing systems to isolate individual elements from rare earth mix to produce high purity products in cooperation with Shin Etsu Chemical Company Limited which will provide technological support.

The opening of the manufacturing site was celebrated honorably, with invitations extended to representatives from concerned Japanese and Kazakh public agencies including: Mr Yosuke Kondo State Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Yuzo Harada, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Kazakhstan; Mr Tetsuji Nagatomo Executive Director of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Corporation (JOGMEC); Mr Kuanysh Bektemirov MD of JSC Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk Kazyna and Mr Yerzhan Karibayev acting chairman of Industry Committee, Ministry of Industry and New Technologies; Mr Eduard Kvyatkovskiy deputy Akim, Akmolinskaya oblast.

Building solid systems to ensure a stable supply of rare earth elements is considered as one of the top priorities in promoting expansion and sophistication of Japan's high-tech industry and driving technological innovation in the sector. Recognizing this, Sumitomo Corporation will make substantial contributions to meeting this challenge through this Kazakh project in cooperation with the Japanese government and JOGMEC. In Kazakhstan, where the economy has been growing by centering on the development of natural resources including oil, natural gas, uranium and other minerals, rare earths are garnering new focus under the government's resources development projects. We will endeavor to enhance this international project in a public private partnership scheme.

Source - Sumitomo Corporation
whammy
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North Korea is sitting on around 200 different minerals, including a large number of rare earth metals, hidden in its mountains. The prized resources are attracting companies from China and South Korea, despite the political tension.
rt.com/business/news/north-china-kore...
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Japan and India to cooperate on rare earth production

AFP reported that Japan has signed MoU with India to promote joint production of rare earth minerals, a move which will help reduce its reliance on China which controls most of the world's supply.

Tokyo's energy agency said that under the memorandum signed, the Japanese and Indian governments will support a joint project between Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho Corporation and an Indian state run company.

From next spring Japan is expected to begin annual imports of 4,100 tonnes of rare earths from India which will be more than 10 percent of demand in Asia's second-largest economy.

Rare earths are used to make a wide range of high tech products including powerful magnets, batteries, LED lights, electric cars, iPods, lasers, wind turbines and missiles.

China produces most of the world's supply of rare earths, but has clamped down on exports of them in a move Beijing says is aimed at protecting its environment and conserving supplies.

But Japan, jointly with the European Union and the United States, has claimed China is unfairly benefiting its own industries by restricting exports, while trying to diversify sources of the materials.

Source - AFP

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China sets rare announced earths export quota for Q1

Chinese regulators have announced the export quota for the country’s rare earth metal production today. For the first half of 2013, the Ministry of Commerce said that it will allow just over 15,500 tonnes to leave the country. That’s just a little more than half of the amount exported this year. The quota will be split between 24 Ministry of Commerce approved domestic producers.

After a drop in prices because of sluggish global demand, the country’s largest rare earths producer, Baotou Steel Rare-Earth, announced on Tuesday it would temporarily stop part of its production.

China produces more than 95% of the world’s total output of rare earth elements. These are the 17 elements often used to make electronics.

China’s trading partners have objected to it using quotas to restrict the export of rare-earth elements. In July, the World Trade Organization agreed to investigate whether these measures breached global trade rules.

Source - ntdtv.org
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Chinese rare earth export quota set for 2013

Xinhua reported that China's ministry of commerce announced the first round of rare earth export quotas for 2013. The first batch of quotas totals 15,501 tonne, about half the quota set for all of 2012.

The ministry said in a statement that of the total, 13,563 tonne are allocated for light rare earths, while 1,938 tonne are for medium and heavy rare earth metals.

According to the statement, twenty four companies will share the quota, including Inner Mongolia's Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co, the country's largest rare earth producer.

China usually issues the quotas in two batches.

The country serves more than 90% of the world's demand for rare earths, a group of 17 elements that are widely used in high tech products. However, the country holds only 23% of the world's rare earth reserves, and decades of excessive exploitation have greatly damaged the environment.

Source – Xinhua
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Fraction of rare earths export quota met in first 10 months of 2012

China exported slightly only about one third of its annual export quota for so called rare earth minerals in the first 10 months of 2012. Data from the Customs Statistics Information Center showed that some 11,312 tonne were exported from the beginning of January to the end of October, 36.5% of the quota for the year set by the Ministry of Commerce.

Official data shows that in 2011, the country only exported 60% of its quota.

Rare earth minerals are crucial for the production of components in a variety of high-tech products.

The United States, European Union and Japan have asked the World Trade Organization to set up an expert panel to settle a dispute over China's export controls on the minerals.

China said that it is limiting exports over environmental concerns. Other countries are seeking alternative sources of the minerals, which are plentiful but environmentally damaging to mine.

The ministry has not said what the quota for 2013 would be. In late December, it said the first batch would be 15,501 tonne, but did not say what period this covered.

Source - english.caixin.com
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Baotou Steel's rare earths profit to drop 50%

Baotou Steel Rare-Earths (Group) Hi-Tech Co's net profit in 2012 is expected to decline about 50 to 60%, according to a preliminary financial report the company issued on Tuesday.

The exact figure will be released in the company's final annual report.

The company said that rising material costs, dropping rare earths prices, and declining turnover contributed to the profit decline.

Source - China Daily

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Japanese firm begins rare earth mining in Jamaica

Caribbean360 reported that Nippon Light Metals has broken ground on its red mud pilot plant on the grounds of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute in Hope Gardens, St Andrew.

For the next 3 months the Japanese aluminium firm will be extracting rare earth elements from Jamaica’s red mud as the focus of its USD 3 million pilot project which Jamaican officials are hoping will earn the country far more in export potential than its current aluminium exports.

Rare earth elements or lanthanides are extremely valuable elements which require advanced technology for their extractions and include elements, such scandium cerium and dysprosium. Several industries, particularly the electronic and ICT sectors are dependent on the supply and availability of rare earth elements as they are key components of computers; Liquid Crystal Displays and Cathode Ray Tube monitors; hybrid automobiles; wind power turbines; magnets in television sets; energy efficient light bulbs; sensors; GPS technologies; CD and DVD drives; digital cameras; most optic lenses; communication devices, as well as satellites.

At the ground breaking ceremony on February 4th 2013, Prime Minister Mr Portia Simpson Miller said that the red mud project provided Jamaica with an opportunity to significantly boost its export earnings, adding that the project, if proven economically viable, could act as a magnet to pull many investors to Jamaica’s shores and in this vein, the country could become a major hub for exports to the Americas and other areas of the world. This project represents the kind of industrial diversification that this country needs, if it is to realise its economic potential and improve the living standards of the people.

Extraction will be conducted by the JBI, in partnership with Nippon Light Metal. Scientists from the University of the West Indies the University of Technology and Northern Caribbean University will also participate in the process.

Mr Parris A Lyew Ayee executive director of the JBI said that the project represents a new phase in the country’s long standing efforts to maximize the exportation and diversification of one of the country’s most valuable resources bauxite. Over the past year, the institute has sampled, analysed and characterized the red mud in various locations and we are very satisfied with the results. On a laboratory bench scale, we have been able to extract the gross rare earth oxides from the red mud. Now we need to move on to the next step on a plant scale, to ensure the commercial viability of this process.

Source - Caribbean360.com
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Germanium prices seen climbing to USD 2000 per kilogram this year

Reuters reported that prices for germanium, a minor metal used in fibre optics and semiconductors are likely to rise to USD 2,000 per kilogram this year on stockpiling in China and firm demand.

Mr Stephane Maroni MD of 5N Plus SAS said that stockpiling by top producer China has limited availability of the metal globally and could help lift prices from the current range of around USD 1,720 per kilogram.

Source - Reuters
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Honda develops world 1st process to reuse rare earth metals extracted from nickel metal hydride batteries

Honda Motor Co said that it has established the world’s first process to reuse rare earth metals extracted from nickel metal hydride batteries for new nickel metal hydride batteries to recycle precious resources.

So far Honda has been extracting an oxide containing rare earth metals from used nickel metal hydride batteries at the plant of Japan Metals & Chemicals Co. Now by applying molten salt electrolysis to this oxide, Honda has succeeded in extracting metallized rare earth that can be used directly as negative electrode materials for nickel metal hydride batteries.

The rare earth metal extracted in this process has a purity of more than 99% which is as high as that of ordinary traded newly mined rare earth metals. In addition the new process enables the extraction of as much as above 80% of rare earth metals contained in nickel metal hydride battery.

Under the newly established process the extracted rare earth metals will be supplied from JMC to a battery manufacturer which will reuse them as negative electrode materials for nickel metal hydride batteries for hybrid vehicles. This time the rare earth metals were extracted from nickel metal hydride batteries collected from 386 Honda hybrid vehicles that were stored prior to being on sale but became unusable by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Further as soon as a sufficient volume is secured Honda will begin applying the same process and recycle rare earth metals extracted from used nickel metal hydride batteries collected by Honda dealers through battery replacement.

Source - www.abovetopsecret.com
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Sumitomo to build plant to recover rare earth element in Palawan

ABS-CBNnews reproetd that Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Company will build a scandium recovery pilot plant in Palawan in what could be the Philippines first production of a rare earth element.

SMM noted that small quantities of scandium, a rare earth element have been found in the ore used at its subsidiary Coral Bay Nickel Corporation in Palawan.

It has been working to develop a scandium recovery method at its laboratories in Japan. This has led to the technology that allows for efficient recovery of scandium from the nickel cobalt mixed sulfide production process at CBNC.

Scandium is described as a silvery white metal that is used as an additive to aluminum an electrolyte in solid oxide fuel cells and as a electrode in metal halide lamps and alkaline batteries.

SMM said that the plant will be constructed at CBNC by the end of 2013. Trial production of 10 kilograms a month will be underway by 2014. Nickel Asia, which has a 6% equity interest in Coral Bay Nickel Corporation said the scandium recovery pilot plant will test the commercial viability of recovering the scandium in oxide form, following leaching of the ore.

Nickel Asia said that if successful, it will represent the country's first production of a rare earth element, an important step in the development of the Philippines' mineral resources. At present, global production of scandium is estimated at 10 tonnes a year mostly from United States, Ukraine, Russia and China.

Source - ABS-CBNnews.com
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Largest rare earth producer sees sharp profit drop

Baotou Steel Rare Earth (Group) Hi-Tech, the country's largest rare earth producer announced in its financial results that it saw a sharp drop in its net profit and revenue in 2012 due to withering demand and a slowing economy.

The company's net profit declined 56% to CNY 1.51 billion last year compared with 2011. Its revenue fell 19% to CNY 9.24 billion as a result of continuous low demand in the rare earth market and a drop in rare earth prices.

From raw material to functional products, the revenue has been down significantly. The current price for primary rare earth products is 35% lower than in 2012. The company plans to reach revenue of CNY 7.5 billion in 2013. Baotou Steel resumed production on February 23 after a four month halt in production affected by the price slump.

Another major rare earth producer, China Minmetals Rare Earth Company Limited announced that its revenue was down 47% from CNY 7.6 billion in 2011 and its net profit has dropped 74% from CNY 1.02 billion in 2011.

Rare earths, which comprise 17 metallic elements are used in many important technological products including missile systems and hybrid cars. Export trade value has been on the decline as well.

According to statistics from Baotou Customs, despite exports of rare earth increasing 3.3% to 3,021 tonnes in 2012 prices are down 76% to USD 26,000 per tonne.

Source - China Daily
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TUC Resources heavy rare earth potential revealed

TUC Resources has returned positive assay and metallurgical results from first pass sampling at Skyfall and Largo rare earths prospects in Northern Territory.

Significant rock chip results from the first pass survey at Skyfall and Largo have shown the mineralized district to be over 30 kilometers wide with at least four zones of potentially economic mineralization now being delineated. These include Stromberg, Scaramanga, Skyfall and Largo.

Initial mineralogy on rock chips at Largo has given evidence of absorption’ mineralogy, similar to that of the extremely low cost production Southern China Rare Earth Ionic Clay Deposits.

Mineralogy at Largo also showed examples of rare Yttrium Oxides, which indicates that the mineralogy of the prospect could be similar to the Southern China Rare Earth Ionic Clay deposits.

TUC holds approximately 15,000 square kilometers of prospective land package across 47 tenements with 28 under application, making it one of the biggest ground holders in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Its main focus is its Stromberg Heavy Rare Earth District where it retains approximately 3000 square kilometers of tenements. The Stromberg District is located approximately 4 to 5 hours drive south of Darwin.

Source - Proactive Investors
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Baotou Steel Rare earth posts 79.68% drop in Q1

Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co Ltd, the biggest rare earth producer in China, announced yesterday that its net profit plunged 79.68% YoY to RMB 243 million in the first quarter of this year.

Basic earnings per share were RMB 0.101 in the period, said the company in its first- quarter report.

Operating revenue fell 35.69% YoY to RMB 2.30 billion in the quarter, due to declines in the sales volume and prices of rare-earth products and higher costs and expenses.

In 2012, the company's net profit plunged 56.58% YoY to RMB 1.51 billion, China Knowledge reported earlier.

Source - China Knowledge
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China rare earth export in Q1 up by 47.3%

According to the figures from China Customs Statistics Information Centre, the export volume of rare earth ore, metals and mixtures in China, the world's biggest rare earth supplier, surged 47.3% YoY to 3,916 metric tons in the first three months of this year.

From January to March, China saw its export value of rare earth ore, metals and mixtures decrease 71% YoY to USD 91.9 million.

In March, the export volume of rare earths in China was 1,718 metric tons, up 55% than in February this year.

In 2012, the country's rare-earth exports fell 3.5% YoY to 16,265 metric tons, much lower than the 30,966 metric tonne quota for the year.

Source - China Knowledge
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