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U.S. Spends $120M USD to Set up Rare Earth Research Center to Counter China
Dailytech ^ | January 10, 2013 3:30 PM | Jason Mick (Blog)

Posted on 01/12/2013 8:28:33 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Chinese price manipulation has taken its toll on the U.S. economy

Rare earth metals are an increasingly integral part of everything from automobiles to television sets.  But the precious metals are tightly controlled by China, with an excess of 95 percent of current suplly coming from Chinese-owned mines and refineries.  The degree of control has allowed China to manipulate prices, cutting back on demand to sell less material for the same amount of profit, any businessperson's dream.

I. New Private-Public Partnership Sets Aim on Chinese Mineral Hegemony

The problem is that it takes several years or more to bring rare earth metal mines and refineries online; and the capital costs of such facilities are very high.  It took China decades of clever planning to set itself in its current peachy position of rare earth hegemony.  Now the U.S. is racing to try to recover, before Chinese price manipulation deals too much of a blow to the U.S. economy.

The U.S. Department of Energy has committed a relatively large investment of $120M USD to establish an Energy Innovation Hub under the supervision of Ames Labs to research ways to expand domestic rare earth production and otherwise cut reliance on Chinese rare earth supplies.


Rare earth metals
The U.S. is investing deeply to try to cut its reliance on Chinese rare earth metal supplies.
[Image Source: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg]

The new lab, dubbed the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), will be a joint effort between a number of large domestic firms in the private sector, universities, and top government research labs.  

In addition to Ames Lab, other national labs involved include Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  On the university side, major contributors will include Brown Univ., the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Purdue Univ., Rutgers Univ., Univ. of California-Davis (UC Davis), Iowa State Univ. (IA State), and the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute.

Corporate partners include General Electric Comp. (GE), OLI Systems Inc., Spintek Filtration, Advanced Recovery, Inc., Cytec Industries, Inc. (CYT), Molycorp Inc. (MCP), and Simbol, Inc. (Simbol Minerals).

II. Attacking the Problem From All Angles

Among the research projects will be: Top targets for domestic rare earth production include neodymium -- used in neodymium iron boron (NeFeB) hard drive magnets and cell phone components -- and samarium -- used in samarium cobalt (SmCo) drive magnets.  Currently the U.S. has no domestic neodymium producers and only one domestic samarium producer.

Neodymium
The U.S. has no domestic producers of neodymium magnets. [Source: ThinkGeek]

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a 2011 research report [PDF] suggests that the U.S. rare earth supply chain, phased out in the 1980s at a time when the 17-element family looked non-critical, will take approximately 15 years to rebuild.  The new lab aims to assist in that slow and arduous recovery.

The U.S. also will continue to purse action against China before the World Trade Organization (WTO) where it has filed complaints about the Chinese price manipulation.

Sources: DOE, Ames Lab


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; epa; hitech; neodymium; rareearths; samarium

1 posted on 01/12/2013 8:28:42 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Rare earth elements plentiful in ocean sediments
2 posted on 01/12/2013 8:38:49 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

If the Red Chinese bitch about it, then I generally will be in support of the concept.


3 posted on 01/12/2013 8:38:52 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (We should pray for the downfall of all tyrants, worldwide, who abuse their powers and oppress.)
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To: frithguild; KoRn; carriage_hill; Marine_Uncle; NormsRevenge; SierraWasp; SunkenCiv; TigersEye; ...
fyi

Seems like a rather puny amount when compared to the amount spent on Global Climate Change / Global Warming "research" and "alarmist " Propaganda

.

4 posted on 01/12/2013 8:41:02 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; AmericanInTokyo
http://www.ameslab.gov/

Ames Lab is at iowa State University.

5 posted on 01/12/2013 8:47:05 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

For THAT chump change, I bet it’s a real dump! But, just weight ‘til they get moved in!

It’s gonna be:
Granite counter tops.
Hardwood floors throughout.
Gotta have a top of the line air conditioning unit.
Oh, and a 32 car garage.


6 posted on 01/12/2013 9:02:29 AM PST by wizr (Isaiah 7:9 If you do not stand in your faith, you will not stand at all.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

We have REEs here, and it’s restarting production, but tiny in comparison to the Chi-Commies:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/26/rare-earth-metals-us


7 posted on 01/12/2013 9:03:32 AM PST by carriage_hill (AR-15s are the 21st Century's Muskets. Self-defense is the First Human Right.)
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To: wizr

Weight should be wait.

Or, was that a secret message? Hmmmm?


8 posted on 01/12/2013 9:04:48 AM PST by wizr (Isaiah 7:9 If you do not stand in your faith, you will not stand at all.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Try prospecting for REE’s, and developing any viable claims. The EPA, BLM, and the forest service, in cahoots with their chinese directed washington masters will shut you down in a heartbeat.


9 posted on 01/12/2013 9:22:44 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

And why has the Federal government waited this long. The problem has been known for a number of years.


10 posted on 01/12/2013 9:30:36 AM PST by Marine_Uncle (I'm going John Galt.... But. Honor must be earned.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I have been ready about MolyCorp’s mine in the Mojave Desert for years. They finally got approval to re-open it in 2010.

Where is the product from this mine?

If the need were that critical, they should have been in production in 2011.


11 posted on 01/12/2013 9:34:27 AM PST by CurlyDave
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To: carriage_hill

Thanks.


12 posted on 01/12/2013 10:37:38 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Does this mean Obizmo and Salazar are going to permit the reopening of rare earth mines turned into parks under Clinton?

Or just spend a lot of money thinking about rare earths?


13 posted on 01/12/2013 10:55:51 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I went to one of their concert’s many years ago..


14 posted on 01/12/2013 10:59:28 AM PST by AFret. ("Charlie don't surf ! ")
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To: Marine_Uncle

Bump.

About time, now bring back some factories.


15 posted on 01/12/2013 10:59:28 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: PIF
Probably the later.

So he can say something in the State of the union address.

16 posted on 01/12/2013 11:51:29 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Try not to hold your breath on that idea coming to past in a meaningful way.


17 posted on 01/12/2013 1:16:07 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (I'm going John Galt.... But. Honor must be earned.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I found this "Rare Earth" element in a record store


18 posted on 01/12/2013 1:22:49 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Those were the days, my friend.

We thought they'd never end.

19 posted on 01/12/2013 1:52:54 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (TYRANNY: When the people fear the politicians. LIBERTY: When the politicians fear the people.)
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To: CurlyDave

The problem with MolyCorp is that their RRE resources are of the light rare earth variety. They do not have a large percentage of the valuable neo and dysprosium that are used in the most powerful magnets.

Another issue with rare earth mining is radioactive materials. RRE like to be found with uranium and other radioactive elements. This was the original issue with MolyCorps mine in the desert.


20 posted on 01/12/2013 2:02:14 PM PST by CollegeRepublican
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Rare earths" are actually not all that rare, although they are messy to harvest. The hangup as usual is government obstacles such as EPA and other bureaucrats. We have significant supplies of these elements in the CONUS.
21 posted on 01/12/2013 4:22:08 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Rare earths" are actually not all that rare, although they are messy to harvest. The hangup as usual is government obstacles such as EPA and other bureaucrats. We have significant supplies of these elements in the CONUS.
22 posted on 01/12/2013 4:23:49 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Ernest.


23 posted on 01/12/2013 4:44:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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