Rare Earth News
Cost for rare earths used in cleantech applications expected to rise
As China makes moves to further spread its control over the rare earth mining sector, mining CEOs are keeping a watchful eye on the country, as new research suggests the prices will continue to rise throughout the decade.
"China is clearly warning that they will consume more of their own rare earths and export less," Mark Smith, CEO of one rare earth mining company, said to Congress, adding that "they see tight supplies of rare earths as representing an 'irreversible' trend."
A recent report from Pike Research stated that the demand for rare earths, which are essential in the cleantech industry, will rise to 12,920 tons per year by 2017, compared 9,000 tons in 2011.
Uncertainty of supplies could raise the cost for rare earth metals used in cleantech applications to more than 1.2 billion by 2017.
According to New Electronics, rare earths are vital to lasers, optical fibers, capacitors, LCD displays and headphones, leading many companies to begin mining outside of China.
In Quebec, a number of rare earth mining operations are underway, as the province has opened previously unexplored areas to mining.