As Chinese rare earths’ stock prices rally, pressure rises for the rest of the world…
Rising US-China tension has resulted in some rare earths’ stock prices rising sharply, particularly those in China. Given the recent US moves to introduce critical materials legislation it seems likely that the non-Chinese rare earth stocks will also rally strongly this year, particularly if the new bills and financial support are passed.
Let’s start with a recap of the recent US support highlights for rare earths:
- May 18, 2018 – The US declared a list of 35 critical materials. A large part of the list includes rare earths.
- May 2, 2019 – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and others submitted the American Mineral Security Act
- In mid May, 2020, Senator Ted Cruz submitted the Onshoring Rare Earths Act – the ‘ORE Act’
- On May 28, 2020 US Representative Michael Waltz submitted the American Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act of 2020
The ORE Act focuses on six critical materials – Rare earths, scandium, lithium, cobalt, graphite, and manganese. The Critical Mineral Exploration and Innovation Act directs the U.S.G.S. to complete updated resource assessments for each critical mineral. It has been reported that there will be a focus on rare earths and other so-called strategic minerals.
Then just last week rare earths expert and Technology Metals Show host Jack Lifton stated exclusively to InvestorIntel: “The US Defense Department has announced last week that it will seek $1.7 billion for rare earths purchases in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that means the budget for fiscal 2021. In addition they will ask for another $300 million (a total of $2 billion), for rare earths for specialized weapons which they name as hypersonic missiles…”
Given all of the above proposed support to the rare earths sector, it is abundantly clear that the US is now finally moving rapidly to secure critical rare earths supply, particularly from US deposits, where possible. Current rare earths producers and listed rare earths stocks stand to be beneficiaries. Especially if they have US rare earths projects, but quite likely any non-Chinese rare earth juniors that can achieve funding and production should find very strong western demand for their products. Most of the western world is now looking to diversify their supply chains especially after the trade war and COVID-19 problems of the past 2 years.
Some rare earth miners with US projects include:
- MP Materials (private)
- Rare Element Resources Ltd. (OTCQB: REEMF)
- Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (OTCQB: TMRC)
- Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU | OTCQX: UURAF)
Some miners with US rare earth processing potential include:
- Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE: UUUU | TSX: EFR) recently stated their White Mesa Mill in the USA could be used in future for rare earths processing.
- Lynas Corporation (ASX: LYC) has received US support for a planned US rare earths processing facility.
- Peak Resources (ASX: PEK) plan to have a US rare earths processing facility.