Shanghai, China-based rare earth products
manufacturer Ossen Innovation Co. Ltd has
announced a year-on-year (y-o-y) decrease in earnings of 12.7%
to $1.3m for Q3 2015.
The company’s income weakness
resulted from a 28% y-o-y decrease in revenues, which fell to
$25.9m in Q3. Weakness in rare earth-coated product sales led
revenue declines in Q2, Ossen said in its last results,
however, in this quarter, zinc-coated pre-stressed concrete
steel products suffered more.
Liang Tang, Ossen’s chairman,
said that the revenue decline "highlighted increasing
challenges facing our business, as weak investment and trade,
combined with high levels of volatility in the domestic stock
market, negatively impacted China's already weakening economy
during the second quarter".
"In light of the central government's plan
to transform China's growth model from big-ticket projects to a
'more efficient, equitable and environmentally sustainable'
consumer demand-driven economy, we expect China's fixed asset
investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure,
will continue to expand at a slower pace in coming quarters and
thus hinder our ability to grow our business," Tang added.
In the US, Texas Rare Earth
Resources Corp. (TRER) has been awarded a broad agency
announcement research contract by the US Defense
Logistics Agency (DLA) strategic materials division
Under the contract, TRER will conduct
bench-scale research to produce purified yttrium, ytterbium and
a third publicly undisclosed rare earth oxide (REO) using
continuous ion exchange and continuous ion chromatography with
its partner, K-Technologies Inc.
The DLA’s SMD is charged with
"maintaining cognisance of worldwide strategic and critical
materials supply chains from source to final assembly,
evaluating the capability of these supply chains to support
national defence and essential civilian industries, and
developing mitigation solutions when access to materials is
insufficient," according to TRER.
"TRER is committed to developing a
reliable source of critical rare earths here in the US, as well
as an effective means to separate them," Dan Gorski,
TRER’s CEO, said.
ASX-listed Greenland Minerals and
Energy Ltd (GMEL) has announced positive results from
the first phase of rare earth refinery pilot plant research at
Outotec Oyj’s labs in Finland.
The Finnish processing company ran the
plant for around 250 hours, utilising mineral concentrate from
GMEL’s Kvanefjeld deposit in Greenland produced in
May by the company’s concentrator pilot plant.
GMEL said that extraction rates of around
95% were achieved, exceeding the feasibility study assumption
level of 77%. Phase two will consist of metathesis, where by
the residues from phase one are conditioned with caustic
chemicals to allow step three re-leaching, after which product
precipitation can occur.
In Canada, Vancouver, British
Columbia-headquartered Medallion Resources Ltd
has announced that a proportion of its previously announced
private placement will be made available to existing
shareholders owing to regulatory requirements.
Medallion’s maximum offering
is for 7.5m units priced at Canadian dollar (C$) 0.03/unit
($0.0225/unit*) for maximum gross proceeds of C$225,000,
whereby each unit is comprised of a common share and a share
purchase warrant. The warrants entitle the holder to purchase
one share per warrant at C$0.20/share until May 1, 2018.
The company intends to spend around
C$75,000 on metallurgical studies and site selection for
monazite processing; C$50,000 on feedstock sourcing work;
C$25,000 on feedstock analysis and logistics; and C$50,000 on
general and administrative expenses, with the rest set aside as
a balance to working capital.
In India, once a
significant rare earths producer, the country’s
Mines Secretary Balwinder Kumar has announced the allocation
of 80 offshore exploration blocks in the Arabian Sea and the
Bay of Bengal for exploration of sand and rare earth minerals,
according to the Business Standard.
The paper said that natural river bank and
lake sand is becoming scarce owing to strong demand from large
construction projects across the country and that the block
offering was conducted to alleviate supply concerns.
Meanwhile Profit Confidential, a
stock market forecaster and financial and economic analysis
news site has suggested that the emissions scandal currently
enveloping Volkswagen AG could signal brighter
times for rare earths producers in the future.
The difficulty of shifting internal
combustion engines towards lower emissions, laid bare by the
so-called "defeat device" tactic utilised by the company, could
result in renewed focus on hybrid and new energy vehicles, the
Rare earths are consumed in the magnets of
the electric motors used by electric vehicles (EVs). The set of
technology metals are also utilised in emissions-cutting
catalytic converters, which could be advantageous should
additional environmental regulations be implemented.
*Conversion made September