Only China Northern Rare Earth
Hi-Tech Group Co. Ltd produced a profit of the five
publicly listed Chinese rare earths miners, posting a Chinese
renminbi (Rmb) 300m ($47.2m*) income for the first nine months
of the year.
Minmetals Corp. booked an Rmb
70m ($11m) loss, Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals
Group Co. Ltd recorded a loss of Rmb 90m ($14.1m),
while Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd, which mainly
produces heavy rare earths, reported an Rmb 60m ($90.4m)
Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd,
which has only small rare earths interests, nevertheless saw
its profits fall from the wider mining malaise, posting an Rmb
1.2bn ($188.6m) profit figure, down 50% year-on-year (y-o-y).
Finally, Aluminium Corp. of China
(Chinalco) posted a turnover of Rmb 95.2bn ($15m) for the three
month period, down 9% y-o-y.
Magnet companies performed more strongly,
with, among other companies, Ningbo Yunsheng Group Co.
Ltd reporting an Rmb 300m ($47.2m) profit, up 58%
y-o-y, and Beijing Zhong Ke San Huan Hi-Tech Co.
Ltd posting incomes of 180m ($28.3m), down 20.5%.
Meanwhile Reuters suggested that
recently announced production curtailments made by all of the
"big six" rare earths producers in China will provide little
comfort to the sector.
"The cuts caused a short-term bump [in
prices], but the real problem is that it’s only a
small drop in the ocean," David Merriman, senior analyst at
Roskill Information Services told the newswire. "The amount of
illegal production (…) is strong enough to keep downward
pressure on pricing."
"The decision to reduce output is
encouraging and a sign that consolidation of
China’s industry into six large groups will help
encourage production discipline. That said, it will take more
than just a 10% reduction in 2015 to remedy the structural
imbalance in China’s industry," agreed Ryan
Castilloux, a founding director at Adamas Intelligence.
In Germany, Tantalus Rare Earths
AG has entered preliminary insolvency proceedings, as
directed to by the District Court of Munich.
Axel Bierbach of Muller-Heydenreich
Bierbach and Co. has been appointed preliminary
Tantalus owns the TRE-AG ionic clay rare
earths project in Madagascar. Like the ionic clays of southern
China, the deposit is understood to have a higher proportion of
higher-priced heavy rare earths (HREE) than other, mainly
carbonatite-based, alternative projects.
Japan and Kazakhstan are to collaborate on
rare earth exploration in the Karaganda and Kostanai provinces
of Kazkahstan, according to report by local news source
"Japan’s Oil, Gas and
Metals Corp. and Kazgeologiya National
geological Exploration Co. are expecting to start
exploration works in spring 2015, primarily in territories rich
in yttrium," the Kazakh Ministry for Investments and
A working group will be established under
the agreements, which will consider other possible rare earth
projects based in Kazakhstan, including in processing.
In Australia, Arafura Resources
Ltd has announced a 38% increase in measured and
indicated resources at its Northern Territory-located Nolans
Bore project, which now contains over 1m tonnes measured and
indicated rare earths resources.
Contained measured total rare earth oxide
(TREO) content was up 10%, while contained indicated TREO
resources were up 45%, for a total contained TREO increase of
"The impetus for this resource update was
the necessity to characterise the project’s
life-of-mine waste rocks, including their radioactivity, which
is a key component of the Nolans environmental impact statement
(EIS) studies that are now nearing completion," Arafura
ASX-listed Northern Minerals
Ltd has implemented a number of measures to cut its
cost of doing business, including executive team pay-cuts.
Northern’s managing director,
George Bauk, will see his salary cut by half, in line with a
50% reduction of directors fees. Executives will see a similar
cut in salary applied.
In addition to pay cuts, a number of
redundancies will be implemented at both the Browns Range
project site and at Northern’s head offices.
"These measures have included some
difficult decisions, but they reflect the current environment
and strike the best balance for the future of the company,"
In Canada, Search Minerals
Inc. has received an R&D grant of Canadian dollar
(C$) 1.25m ($939,390) from the Research &
Development Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC)
and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
The funds will be used to assist the
construction and operation of a pilot plant to test
Search’s metallurgical process for rare earths
"Our successful collaboration with RDC and
ACOA in 2014 led to the metallurgy breakthrough, whereby
grinding, flotation, gravity and magnetic separation were
eliminated from the simplified process flow sheet," Greg
Andrews, Search’s CEO, said.
"This larger scale integrated pilot plant
operation will provide Search with the critical engineering
data to advance the process through to commercialisation,"
Andrews said. "The test will also provide Search with
sufficient mixed rare earth oxide (REO) oxide to provide to
potential partners to test the downstream separation process
into individual rare earth elements."
San Diego, US-based
SourcingLink.net Inc. has received additional
analyses on two samples that resulted in the discovery of a
carbonatite deposit with anomalous rare earth values on the
Eldor property in northern Quebec.
Located nearby Commerce Resources
Corp.’s Ashram rare earths property, the
fresh analyses yielded neodymium concentrations of 546-728
parts per million (ppm) and cerium concentrations of
*Conversions made November