Top Ten Companies in Rare Earths

  • January 2013
  • -
  • BCC Research
  • -
  • 100 pages

REPORT SCOPE

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Rare earths are a group of 17 metallic elements that have similar chemical structures with unique properties. BCC has followed the rare earth market for more than 15 years, reporting on all the latest technical and market developments. During this period, consumption of these materials has expanded by a factor of three and many new products containing these elements have been introduced. With this study, BCC Research continues its commitment to monitoring the rare earth market with a special focus on the companies actively engaged in the mining, separation, production, and distribution of rare earths.
This study highlights the details of the top ten companies and the details of their mines and products as well as technology advancements, executives and present financial situations of these companies. Some acknowledgement is made of how the geopolitical scene plays into the production and utilization of rare earths and the newer combinations of materials that are being investigated.

REASONS FOR DOING THIS STUDY

The first rare earths were discovered in the late 1700s, although commercial applications for these materials remained limited until the 1960s. During the last 50 years, due to the ongoing development of new applications, utilization of rare earths has steadily increased. Technologically advanced devices used in the automobile, defense, metallurgy, electronics and optoelectronics, chemical, energy, and other fields owe some of their outstanding properties to the presence of rare earths.
Once the United States was the world’s leading supplier but the mine was closed for environmental reasons. The Chinese then became dominant in production. The principal reason for doing this study is to provide an updated and comprehensive assessment of the rare earth producers, particularly as it relates to the evaluation of mining projects worldwide, current and future availability of rare earths, and the status of companies that may change the availability and pricing of rare earths.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This study will be of primary interest to all companies now in the mining, production and separation of rare earths, and to those companies that are developing new alloys and mixtures of rare earths for specific applications.

It will be valuable to those who:
• Manufacture, sell, and distribute rare earths and rare earth–based products.
• Are involved in the exploration and mining of rare earth elements.
• Develop technologies that utilize rare earths.
• Produce special alloys.
• Offer technical and/or marketing services to firms that produce high-performance materials especially in acquiring environmental permits and compliance with local laws.

Overall, this study applies to industry sectors such as metallurgical/mechanical, glass and ceramics, electronics, optical and optoelectronics, chemical, energy, life sciences, sensors and instrumentation, and consumer products.

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used to obtain market data and analyze the overall market and market segments. All tables of composite production evaluation are referenced to the original report published by BCC Research as AVM018G in January 2012.
The technology section of this report is based on information derived from technical literature, related BCC reports, professional journals, the author’s field of experience, contact with embassy liaison officials, and online sources.
The original global market analysis was performed by analyzing 127 suppliers of rare earths, accounting for at least 90% of the global market. Data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Internet websites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines and catalogs, government sources, and other public sources.
Additional data were obtained from the direct contribution of primary sources, including: company executives, managers, engineers and other technical personnel representing suppliers of rare earths and rare earth–based products; representatives of academia and trade associations; and industry market analysts.

Other sources of information include:
• U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
• U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Filings.
• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
• European Patent Office.
• Company websites.
• Company annual reports.
• Yahoo Financial.
• Hoover’s Company Information.
• S & P Industry Survey.
• Bloomberg’s Businessweek.

In addition to utilizing the above primary and secondary sources, market growth trends and forecasts were compiled by gaining additional insights from relevant financial and market information, and relevant BCC Research reports.

CUSTOM ANALYSES

BCC Research provides custom research studies tailored to our clients’ needs in areas related to the subject research material, but perhaps not covered in detail in this report. Please contact BCC regarding the terms and conditions of such services.

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

Anna Welch Crull, scientist, business analyst, and experienced consultant, is qualified in electrochemistry, polymers, membrane materials, and advanced materials. She a broad business background and has worked with BCC (now BCC Research) for 31 years and authored more than 115 technical/marketing and business reports, helped newsletters, and assisted in numerous special consulting studies and conferences for more than 35 corporations and intelligence for the U.S. government entities. She has worked for the U.S. Army Materials Command on rocket science, propellants, membranes, and explosives. Ms. Crull is a graduate of the School of Engineering, University of Mississippi and holds a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Missouri.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

This report provides:
• Identification of the top 10 companies in the market for rare earths, and the rationale behind these selections.
• Factors taken into account, including technical innovation, market leadership, and commitment to this market via investment in products.

When selecting these top 10 companies, BCC Research looked across the industry spectrum and selected the most active and significant contributors while recognizing that there are many other contenders. Some of these “significant others” are included but to a less-detailed extent than the top 10 companies.

Table Of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 1
REASONS FOR DOING THIS STUDY 1
INTENDED AUDIENCE 1
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES 2
RELATED BCC RESEARCH STUDIES 2
CUSTOM ANALYSES 3
ANALYST CREDENTIALS 3
BCC ON-LINE SERVICES 3
DISCLAIMER 4

CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY 6

SUMMARY TABLE GLOBAL MARKET FOR RARE EARTHS, THROUGH 2016 (METRIC TONS —
REO EQUIVALENT) 7
SUMMARY FIGURE GLOBAL MARKET FOR RARE EARTHS, 2009-2016 (METRIC TONS — REO
EQUIVALENT) 7

CHAPTER 3 OVERVIEW 10

RARE EARTH ELEMENTS 10
FIGURE 1 RARE EARTHS IN THE PERIODIC CHART 10
TABLE 1 TYPICAL PROPERTIES OF LANTHANOIDS 12
RARE EARTH MINERALS 13
TABLE 2 TYPICAL RARE EARTH CONTENT IN SELECTED RARE EARTH MINERALS (RARE
EARTH OXIDE [REO] %) 13
RARE EARTHS PROCESSING 14
TABLE 3 PROCESSING STEPS IN THE RARE EARTH INDUSTRY 15
HOW RARE IS RARE? 15

CHAPTER 4 APPLICATIONS AND USES FOR RARE EARTH ELEMENTS 18

END USES 18
METALLURGICAL/MECHANICAL 19
TABLE 4 RARE EARTH ELEMENTS APPLICATIONS IN THE METALLURGICAL AND
MECHANICAL SECTOR 19
GLASS/CERAMICS 20
TABLE 5 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE GLASS/CERAMIC SECTOR 21
ELECTRONICS, OPTICS AND OPTOELECTRONICS 21
TABLE 6 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN ELECTRONICS, OPTICS AND OPTOELECTRONICS 22
CHEMICAL 23
TABLE 7 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE CHEMICAL SECTOR 24
ENERGY 24
TABLE 8 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE ENERGY SECTOR, 2011 25
LIFE SCIENCES 25
TABLE 9 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SECTOR 27
SENSORS AND INSTRUMENTATION 27
TABLE 10 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE SENSORS AND INSTRUMENTATION SECTOR 28
CONSUMER 28
TABLE 11 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE CONSUMER SECTOR 29
OTHERS 29
TABLE 12 OTHER RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS, 2011 29
SUMMARY OF DEMAND FOR RARE EARTHS BY INDUSTRY 30
TABLE 13 GLOBAL DEMAND FOR RARE EARTHS BY INDUSTRY (METRIC TONS) 30

CHAPTER 5 RARE EARTH ELEMENT PRODUCTION AND SEPARATIONS 32

ABUNDANCE AND DEPOSIT TYPES OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS 32
TABLE 14 RARE EARTHS ABUNDANCE IN EARTH’S CRUST 32
FAST FACTS ON RARE EARTH MINERALS 33
TABLE 15 REPRESENTATIVE RARE EARTH CONTENT IN COMMON RARE EARTH MINERALS
(RARE EARTH OXIDE %) 33
PROCESSING STEPS 34
TABLE 16 TYPICAL PROCESSING STEPS IN THE RARE EARTH INDUSTRY 34
MINING 35
MINERAL PROCESSING 36
TRENDS IN RECYCLING RARE EARTHS 37
Recycling of Rare Earths for Rechargeable Batteries 37
Nanosized Rare Earths for Soot Reduction 38
INDICATED GLOBAL RARE EARTHS PRODUCTION 38
TABLE 17 RARE EARTHS PRODUCTION BY COUNTRY (METRIC TONS) 40
GAP BETWEEN PRODUCTION AND DEMAND 40
SELECTED AREAS OF RARE EARTHS RESOURCES 40
UNITED STATES 41
TABLE 18 U.S. RARE EARTH RESOURCES 41
CANADA 42
Thor Lake 42
TABLE 19 THOR LAKE, CANADA - NECHALACHO ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
RARE EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 42
Eldor 43
TABLE 20 ELDOR, CANADA - ASHRAM ZONE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL RARE
EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 43
Wicheeda 44
Strange Lake 44
TABLE 21 STRANGE LAKE, CANADA - B-ZONE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
RARE EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 45
Misery Lake 45
Oka 45
TABLE 22 OKA, CANADA - TYPICAL ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL RARE EARTH
OXIDE (REO)) 46
Hoidas Lake 46
TABLE 23 HOIDAS LAKE, CANADA - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 47
Elliot Lake 47
TABLE 24 ELLIOT LAKE, CANADA - ECO RIDGE RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT
OF TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE) 48
Other Resources 48
Kipawa 48
Eden Lake 49
Red Wine 49
Lancer 49
Summary of Rare Earths Resources in Canada 49
TABLE 25 CANADA RARE EARTH RESOURCES 50
BRAZIL 50
Monazite Placers 50
Other Resources 50
Morro dos Seis Lagos 50
Araxá 51
TABLE 26 ARAXA, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
REO) 51
Catalão 51
TABLE 27 CATALAO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 52
REE in Fertilizers 52
Tapira 53
TABLE 28 TAPIRA, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
REO) 53
Salitre 54
Pitinga 54
Morro do Ferro 54
TABLE 29 MORRO DO FERRO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION
(PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 55
Mato Preto 55
TABLE 30 MATO PRETO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 55
Summary of Rare Earths Resources in Brazil 56
TABLE 31 BRAZIL RARE EARTH RESOURCES 56
ARGENTINA 56
Rodeo de Los Molles 56
Other Resources 57
INDIA 57
Monazite Placers 57
TABLE 32 INDIA - TYPICAL MONAZITE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 58
CHINA 58
Bayan Obo 59
TABLE 33 BAYAN OBO, INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA - TYPICAL BASTNASITE ORE
COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 59
Weishan 60
Maoniuping 60
TABLE 34 MAONIUPING, SICHUAN, CHINA - TYPICAL ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 60
Ion-adsorption Clays 60
Other Resources 61
TABLE 35 SOUTHERN CHINA - TYPICAL MONAZITE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 61
Summary of Rare Earths Resources in China 61
TABLE 36 CHINA RARE EARTH RESOURCES, 2011 62
Application Conditions for China Rare Earth Export Quotas (December 5, 2012) 62
Other Asian Resources 63
TABLE 37 VIETNAM RARE EARTH RESOURCES 63
SUMMARY OF WORLD RESERVES OF RARE EARTHS 64
TABLE 38 GLOBAL RARE EARTH RESERVES (METRIC TONS-REO EQUIVALENT) 64

CHAPTER 6 FOCUS COMPANIES 67

TOP TEN FOCUS COMPANIES FOR RARE EARTHS 67
BAOTA STEEL RARE EARTH (GROUP) HI-TECH CO., LTD. 67
Business News 68
Products 68
Key Executives 69
Financials 70
CHINA RARE EARTH HOLDINGS LTD. (CRE) 70
Business Profile 71
Products 71
Key Executives 71
Financials 72
SOLVAY GROUP--RHODA S.A. 72
Business Acquisitions 73
Products 73
Key Executives 74
Financials 74
INDIAN RARE EARTHS LTD. (IREL) 74
Business News and Acquisitions 75
Products 75
Development 76
Key Executives 76
Financial 77
MOLYCORP INC. 77
Neo Material Technologies Inc. 77
Business News 77
Acquisitions and Investments 78
Key Executives 79
Financials 80
LYNAS CORPORATION 81
Business News 81
Products 81
Key Executives 82
Financials 83
MITSUI MINING AND SMELTING 83
Business News 83
Products 84
Key Executives 84
Financials 85
IRTYSH RARE EARTHS LTD. (IRESCO) 85
Products 85
Minerals in Kazakhstan 86
Key Executives 86
Financials 87
GANSU RARE EARTH GROUP (GSRE) 87
Products 87
Key Executives 87
Financial 88
ARAFURA RESOURCES LTD. 88
Products and Prospects 88
Advancing Technology 89
Key Executives 89
Financials 90
WORTHY OF BEING MENTIONED 90
AVALON RARE METALS INC. 90
BOLERO RESOURCES CORP. 91
CHINA MINMETALS 92
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORPORATION 92
DANDONG JINLONG RARE EARTH 93
FERRO CORPORATION 94
SANTOKU CORPORATION 95
SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD. 97
SHOWA DENKO 98
OTHER COMPANIES IN THE RARE EARTH BUSINESS IN CHINA 100



LIST OF TABLES

SUMMARY TABLE GLOBAL MARKET FOR RARE EARTHS, THROUGH 2016 (METRIC TONS —
REO EQUIVALENT) 7
TABLE 1 TYPICAL PROPERTIES OF LANTHANOIDS 12
TABLE 2 TYPICAL RARE EARTH CONTENT IN SELECTED RARE EARTH MINERALS (RARE
EARTH OXIDE [REO] %) 13
TABLE 3 PROCESSING STEPS IN THE RARE EARTH INDUSTRY 15
TABLE 4 RARE EARTH ELEMENTS APPLICATIONS IN THE METALLURGICAL AND
MECHANICAL SECTOR 19
TABLE 5 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE GLASS/CERAMIC SECTOR 21
TABLE 6 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN ELECTRONICS, OPTICS AND OPTOELECTRONICS 22
TABLE 7 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE CHEMICAL SECTOR 24
TABLE 8 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE ENERGY SECTOR, 2011 25
TABLE 9 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SECTOR 27
TABLE 10 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE SENSORS AND INSTRUMENTATION SECTOR 28
TABLE 11 RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS IN THE CONSUMER SECTOR 29
TABLE 12 OTHER RARE EARTH APPLICATIONS, 2011 29
TABLE 13 GLOBAL DEMAND FOR RARE EARTHS BY INDUSTRY (METRIC TONS) 30
TABLE 14 RARE EARTHS ABUNDANCE IN EARTH’S CRUST 32
TABLE 15 REPRESENTATIVE RARE EARTH CONTENT IN COMMON RARE EARTH MINERALS
(RARE EARTH OXIDE %) 33
TABLE 16 TYPICAL PROCESSING STEPS IN THE RARE EARTH INDUSTRY 34
TABLE 17 RARE EARTHS PRODUCTION BY COUNTRY (METRIC TONS) 40
TABLE 18 U.S. RARE EARTH RESOURCES 41
TABLE 19 THOR LAKE, CANADA - NECHALACHO ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
RARE EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 42
TABLE 20 ELDOR, CANADA - ASHRAM ZONE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL RARE
EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 43
TABLE 21 STRANGE LAKE, CANADA - B-ZONE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL RARE
EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 45
TABLE 22 OKA, CANADA - TYPICAL ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL RARE EARTH
OXIDE (REO)) 46
TABLE 23 HOIDAS LAKE, CANADA - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE (REO)) 47
TABLE 24 ELLIOT LAKE, CANADA - ECO RIDGE RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT
OF TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE) 48
TABLE 25 CANADA RARE EARTH RESOURCES 50
TABLE 26 ARAXA, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
REO) 51
TABLE 27 CATALAO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 52
TABLE 28 TAPIRA, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
REO) 53
TABLE 29 MORRO DO FERRO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT
OF TOTAL REO) 55
TABLE 30 MATO PRETO, BRAZIL - TYPICAL RARE EARTH ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 55
TABLE 31 BRAZIL RARE EARTH RESOURCES 56
TABLE 32 INDIA - TYPICAL MONAZITE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 58
TABLE 33 BAYAN OBO, INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA - TYPICAL BASTNASITE ORE COMPOSITION
(PERCENT OF TOTAL REO) 59
TABLE 34 MAONIUPING, SICHUAN, CHINA - TYPICAL ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF
TOTAL REO) 60
TABLE 35 SOUTHERN CHINA - TYPICAL MONAZITE ORE COMPOSITION (PERCENT OF TOTAL
REO) 61
TABLE 36 CHINA RARE EARTH RESOURCES, 2011 62
TABLE 37 VIETNAM RARE EARTH RESOURCES 63
TABLE 38 GLOBAL RARE EARTH RESERVES (METRIC TONS-REO EQUIVALENT) 64



LIST OF FIGURES

SUMMARY FIGURE GLOBAL MARKET FOR RARE EARTHS, 2009-2016 (METRIC TONS — REO
EQUIVALENT) 7
FIGURE 1 RARE EARTHS IN THE PERIODIC CHART 10

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