Roskill view: Canada Rare Earth Corp announced last week that it is making progress towards obtaining permits that authorize the operations of a rare earth separation refinery in Southeast Asia. Along with these developments, Canada Rare Earth is looking to raise US$50-110M to purchase the majority interest in the company that owns the refinery.
While the world’s focus is shifting back to rare earths as prices are increasing, producers of rare earth products are looking to secure access to rare earths in the long term. In 2013, Japanese based Sojitz Corp signed an agreement to source large amounts of rare earths from Lynas in Australia, the largest rare earth producer outside of China, in a move to decrease reliance on Chinese rare earth production. China accounted for 44% of rare earth product imports into Japan in 2016. Other companies are looking to follow suit with longer term contracts for a more secure supply of rare earths.
Canada Rare Earth operates two prospective rare earth complexes in Canada, and three prospective refinery sites in Laos, Brazil and Haiti. Once the permitting of the Southeast Asia-based refinery is issued, Canada Rare Earth will hold the full rights of sourcing rare earth concentrates to the refinery. The company reports that it has identified one suitable and one potential source of rare earth concentrates for refining in Southeast Asia.
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