Among the latest Lynas Corporation news is the approval of a temporary license for the operation of a rare earths plant in Malaysia. The news is said to be a significant triumph for Lynas and could ultimately proved to alter the entire face of the rare earths market round the world.
The rare earths plant in Malaysia is the largest outside of China and has been ready to go into production for several months. It could be a vital tool in breaking the strong grip China has held on rare earths processing for decades.
The Importance of Rare Earths
Although a relatively new term in the mining investing world, rare earths are essential to the industrial world and are used in a variety of products, including hybrid cars and smartphones. The demand for rare earths elements has skyrocketed in the last few years as modern technology has come to increasingly rely on the use of rare earth elements. Estimates indicate that at this time, the nation of China holds approximately 30% of the globe’s rare earth deposits. That number also accounts for approximately 95% of the production of rare earths elements around the globe.
As the prices for rare earths elements continue to surge higher and higher, an increasing number of explorers and investors around the world are searching for ways to tap into this lucrative opportunity.
Increased Rare Earths Production
Australian-based Lynas is not the only company to look at ways to break the hold China has held on the rare earths industry. Both Toyotsu Rare Earth Canada and Matamec Explorations have recently confirmed completion of hydrometallurgical and mineral processing pilot plants in Quebec. Rara Terra Minerals Corp also reached an agreement in early 2011 for exploration programs in British Colombia’s Rocky Mountain. Exploration has already begun in the Rare Metal Belt in that region.
As a result of increased rare earths exploration around the globe, it is widely believed that the stranglehold China has had on the rare earth market will soon come to an end. Increased production by companies such as Molycorp and Lynas could also prove to have a significant impact on the rare earths commodities market. The demand for rare earths elements is expected to increase by as much as 12% annually in the coming years. Many industry experts believe there has never been a better time to enter the rare earths investing market.