Articles in the press have highlighted the possibility that we may be witnessing a bubble in the rare earths. They cite a preponderance of short sellers hovering as vultures in the skies over the sector. We take a long-range view.
A year ago, China's announcement of export quotas sparked a frenzy in the world of rare earth elements. This year another announcement quotas has not caused quite the same shock, but a price explosion has ensued nonetheless.
Those of us who delve into the markets are referred to politely as investors. That is a Madison Avenue spin on what should in essence be a more accurate description. We are speculators, which is a more precise appellation.
The "horse race" theme that I devised two years ago, with the winner to be the first to produce heavy rare-earth oxides (HREOs) outside of China, is now in the final lap. The smart money is on the smart management of Great Western Minerals Group.
The hard-disk drive industry is an important end-use market for rare-earth materials, and the components which contain them. Both ends of the overall supply chain would do well to keep a closer eye on each other.
Nowhere is China's current stranglehold on the supply of rare earths more deeply felt than in Japan, and nowhere else, I repeat, nowhere else, is obtaining an alternate supply more important than in Japan.
Finding experienced teams could be elusive in the rush to capitalize on growing demand for heavy rare earth elements but the Energy & Scarcity Investor and Outstanding Investments editor unearths companies that can deliver the goods.
Any offshore driller looking to turn those rare earth drill sites into profitable mines will have to consider the energy costs of sucking tons of silt from the ocean floor through at least 11,000 feet of water.