Heavy Vs. Light Rare Earths: The Critical Projects Investigated
This week, Molycorp Minerals (MCP:NYSE) went to bat before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, represented by CEO Mark Smith. What was needed was a confident batter presenting an urgent case for national survival. But instead of a strong slugger, all we got was a little leaguer. Opportunities were missed and runners were left stranded. The industry sent a very conflicted Mr. Smith to Washington.
First of all, Mr. Smith never questioned the categorization of the metal class, namely that heavy rare earths (HREEs) are lumped in with the more common, garden-variety light earths (LREEs). Not once were the members of the committee informed of the importance of the highly critical dysprosium and terbium minerals, or the serious consequences China’s supply monopoly poses for American industry. Meanwhile, Alaska-based miner Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (UCU:TSX.V; UURAF:OTCQX) is sitting on a mountain of dysprosium and terbium in North America’s backyard.
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