I know I’ve been rather lax in following up on my last post here, sent just before the Critical & Strategic Metals Conference in Washington DC last week. It was a most interesting event. It gave many folks a chance to interact with other parts of the supply chain that they might not have directly my encountered before. There were all sorts of rare earth and other miners, suppliers, investors, brokers, analysts, traders and end users present.
Rather than re-hashing what has been already been shared elsewhere online about the meeting – here are some links to great articles on the meeting from Lisa Reisman (co-chair of the meeting) and Stuart Burns from Metal Miner:
- Supply Risk Management and Rare Earth Metals a Big Disconnect
- Electric Cars Could Pose a Challenge to Rare Earth Supply in “Nightmare Scenario”
- Displacing China as a Rare Earth Producer is No Small Feat
- Rare Earths, Critical and Strategic Metals and the US Legislative Agenda
- Rare Earth Metals Conference: Electric Vehicle Demand
- To Stockpile or Not to Stockpile that is the Rare Earth Question
In addition, Tracy Weslowsky of Wescow, a Founding Editor of RareMetalBlog, posted a thought-provoking piece at the RareMetalBlog based on the perspective she presented during a panel discussion at the meeting:
Finally, co-chair Jack Lifton last week published a well-timed, new article called The Rare Earth Crisis of 2009 which was circulating during the meeting, and is well worth a read.
I heartily recommend that you read each and every one of these links, to get an idea of what is going on in this important area. Well done to Lisa Reisman, Jack Lifton, the folks at Infocast, and to all of the speakers andpanelists, for a job well done.
Candidly, I came away with the distinct impression that although we now know where we can get the raw materials necessary for the growth of the technology metals sector – the question that needs to be answered is this: who is going to refine these materials and turn them into useful metals & alloys? In the absence of such capabilities in North America, we will once again be heavily reliant on the good graces of our colleagues in China…