|Engineers Fear Rare Earth Refinery in Malaysia Is Dangerous
||Rare earth refineries in other countries make heavy use of costlier stainless steel or steel piping with ceramic or rubber liners.
Its last rare earth refinery, operated by the Japanese company Mitsubishi Chemical, is now one of Asia’s largest radioactive waste cleanup sites.
Export restrictions by China in the last year have caused global shortages of rare earths and soaring prices.
Protests against the plant started in Malaysia after an article on Lynas’s project was published in The New York Times in early March.
Nicholas Curtis, the executive chairman of Lynas, strongly denied at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday that the refinery had any construction problems.
|Sojitz of Japan to Import Rare Earths From Lynas of Australia
||Japan has taken other steps to diversify its supply of rare earths, including courting resource-rich countries like Australia, Mongolia and Vietnam.
Hiroshi Katano, manager of the section overseeing rare earths trading at Sojitz, said that the export resumption had been slow and tentative.
PhotoBeijing cut its export quotas for rare earths 40 percent this year, to 30,300 tons.
Chinese customs officials also halted some shipments of raw rare earths to the United States and Europe for a brief period in October.
Japan has also invested in technologies to recycle rare earths.
|Rare Earth Metal Refinery Nears Approval in Malaysia
||The company said last spring that it would supply chemicals for the Lynas project only if it were certain that it would be safe.
PhotoOne setback for the Lynas project is that a crucial contractor, AkzoNobel, pulled out this autumn, according to engineers here and internal company e-mails.
The concentrated ore will then be shipped here, and the rare earth metals will be separated from the radioactive material by using powerful acids at high temperatures.
He declined to elaborate but said that Lynas had found a new supplier for the resins, which he declined to identify.
Lynas plans to mine ore from the Australian desert and concentrate it there, removing dirt but leaving the radioactive contaminants still chemically bound to the rare earth metals.
|The Rare Earth Crisis Is Over
||Rare earths are not rare (nor are they earths).
Or at least we're getting to the beginning of the end of the rare earth supply crisis.
There are deposits all over the place and there are streams of rare earths that can be extracted from all sorts of waste products of other mining processes.
This doesn't mean 35% of all the rare earths there are.
For boring geochemistry reasons you almost always get thorium with rare earths.
|Why Lynas Corp Is Struggling; The Great Rare Earth Shortage Is Truly Over
||And now that they have been able to finance production China's monopoly has been broken and those monopoly profits, those economic profits, have gone again.
For the restrictions were upon exports, not upon consumption in China, nor upon exports of things made from rare earths.
And the Great Rare Earth Shortage is now over, as China's attempt to exploit that production monopoly they held has called forth the new supply to challenge said monopoly.
We don't need to worry about China's monopoly precisely because it is contestable.
As here: precisely that China tried to gain monopoly profits is what has led to the arrival of competition to that monopoly.