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Modern life’s devices under China’s grip?

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:57 AM on Monday, March 23rd, 2015

From smartphones to cars and defense missiles, modern U.S. life depends on rare earth elements but China dominates the industry

Editor’s Note: In September 2014, while we were working on this story, a Pentagon spokesman emailed us to say:

“The Department of Defense is confident in the ability of the defense industry to remain supplied with all necessary rare earths for U.S. defense acquisition programs. The Department continuously monitors and assesses its raw materials requirements, and if necessary, will again take action to ensure their availability to the defense industrial base.”

That confidence is at odds with the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office, which issued a report on July 3, 2014 that concluded:

“DoD [Department of Defense] lacked a comprehensive and reliable process to assess REE supply and demand…. [and] As a result, DoD may not have identified all REEs with expected shortfalls, increasing the risk that those shortfalls will adversely affect critical weapons systems production in the DIB, and overall DoD readiness.”

The following is a script from “Rare Earth Elements” which aired on March 22, 2015. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Graham Messick and Kevin Livelli, producers.

What do cars, precision-guided missiles and the television you’re watching right now have in common? They all depend on something called rare earth elements, unusual metals that are sprinkled inside almost every piece of high-tech you can think of. Most people have never heard of them. But we have become so reliant on rare earths that a few years ago, an intense global power struggle broke out over their free flow. The reason is that one country has a virtual monopoly – roughly 90 percent — of the mining, refining and processing of rare earths — China. And in 2010, it used that power to disrupt the world’s supply. It’s especially troubling, because it was the United States that started the rare earth revolution in the first place.

Rare earth elements: Not so rare after all

It all began here at this mine in Mountain Pass, California, an hour west of Las Vegas, when geologists first identified rare earth elements deep in the Mojave Desert. They were considered geological oddities, until the 60s when it was discovered that one of these elements, “europium,” enhanced the color red in TV sets and soon the rare earth industry was born.Constantine Karayannopoulos: Rare earth chemistry is fascinating. There’s so many more things that we could be doing with rare earths.

Constantine Karayannopoulos, chairman of Molycorp, which has owned and operated the Mountain Pass mine for six decades, took us to the heart of the operation.


Mine in Mountain Pass, California
CBS News

Lesley Stahl: Is this considered a big mine?Constantine Karayannopoulos: In terms of rare earth standards, yes. It’s one of the biggest in the world.

Lesley Stahl: Are we actually walking on rare earth elements right now?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: We’re physically on the ore body.

Lesley Stahl: We are right on it?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: It starts at the top of the mine, then comes down and we’re walking on it and it goes in that direction.

So what are rare earth elements? If you ever took high school chemistry you learned that they’re clumped together at the end of the periodic table…atomic numbers 57 through 71… and they have difficult-to-pronounce Greek or Scandanavian names.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, terbium…

Some of them are phosphorescent. Erbium amplifies light, and is used in fiber-optic cables. Gadolinium has magnetic properties and is used in MRI machines and X-rays. As for neodymium? You may be carrying some of it in your pocket.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Next time your phone vibrates, think of us because the vibration motor is a small motor that contains a tiny neodymium magnet in it.

Karayannopoulos showed us around a new model home to illustrate that rare earths are making our appliances energy efficient like state-of-the-art refrigerators, touch screen thermostats, energy efficient light bulbs, the air conditioning systems. They’re also in our cars in the form of catalytic converters, sensors and hybrid car batteries.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Hybrids, in particular use a lot more because they contain electric motors that would not function without rare earths.

A Prius has roughly 25 pounds of rare earths. And they’re hidden in plain sight in our every day lives, in our computers and gadgets, even the lights and cameras we used to film this story are chock full of rare earths.

Lesley Stahl: What I’m getting from you is that modern life depends on these elements.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Absolutely.

Despite their name – rare earths are not rare. Small amounts can be found in your backyard. They’re trapped in what looks like ordinary rock.

But there are only a few places on earth with concentrations high enough to mine.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Rare earths normally are found in very, very low concentrations. This is probably running something in the 25 percent grade.

Lesley Stahl: That’s good?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Which is remarkable. To anyone who has ever worked with rare earths, this is a thing of beauty.

But getting the rare earths out of that rock is nasty business requiring toxic acids and lots of water. In fact, the mine was shut down by the state of California in 1998 after radioactive water seeped into the surrounding Mojave Desert from an underground pipe. The mine lay dormant for a decade, giving China an opportunity.

Dan McGroarty: The Chinese made a very conscious decision to enter that industry.

Dan McGroarty was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and today advises the U.S. government on critical materials. When the Molycorp mine closed, he says China was already well on its way to becoming the king of rare earths.

Dan McGroarty: There’s a point at which the lines cross. The United States production declines. Chinese production’s ramping up. Those lines cross somewhere around 1986.

Lesley Stahl: So how did they pull it off? What were the factors that allowed them to basically take this away from us?

Dan McGroarty: Well, the advantage of lower labor costs, would be a place to start. Also, environmentally, very, almost no environmental constraints around mining–safety considerations for the miners doing mining, in huge contrast to the United States. So, that translates directly into lower pricing. And lower pricing can push other people out of the market.

Lesley Stahl: And that’s basically what happened?

Dan McGroarty: That’s basically what happened.

The Chinese also had orders from the top. In a little-noticed speech in 1992, Deng Xiaoping signaled China’s intention to corner the market.

Lesley Stahl: What exactly did he say?

Dan McGroarty: ‘The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths.’

Lesley Stahl: He actually said that, Deng Xiaoping.

Dan McGroarty: Actually said that. I think it’s fair to say, at that point, people in the rest of the world, who had been saying, ‘What are – what is he talking about?’

Lesley Stahl: Just went right over our heads.

Dan McGroarty: I think so.

Lesley Stahl: Did we just not foresee what they foresaw?

Dan McGroarty: It’s extraordinary if they actually foresaw all the uses. Our designers and developers advanced the miniaturized applications for laptops and cell phones while the Chinese were going after the metals and materials out of which these things are actually built.

Lesley Stahl: How did they get the know-how?

Dan McGroarty: An enormous amount of investment. It’s kind of like the Chinese moon shot, the moon program.

China poured billions into the industry, ignoring the consequences. We obtained this video from a freelance cameraman showing the area near Baotou, China’s rare earth capital, where the air, land and water are so saturated with chemical toxins, the Chinese have had to relocate entire villages. This is one of the few places where rare earths are turned into metals, which are then alloyed — or blended — into things like permanent magnets.

Ed Richardson: These are magnets that once you magnetize them, they stay that way.

Ed Richardson, president of the U.S. Magnetic Materials Association, says the most important use of rare earths is in magnets. Only a small amount can produce magnets able to lift a thousand times their weight.

Ed Richardson: This is a cell phone.

He showed us how miniaturized rare earth magnets can be.

Ed Richardson: So I’m going to take it apart layer by layer and we’re going to get to the point where we can actually see the magnets, the rare earth magnets that are inside there.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, let me see this.

Ed Richardson: There’s three little magnets in there.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, one, two, three.

Ed Richardson: Right. If you put the paperclip you can see how it sticks.

Lesley Stahl: And this little tiny thing is the speaker.

Ed Richardson: Right. This is how devices have gotten small, very powerful, because the magnets are so powerful, you don’t have to use much of it.

The U.S. developed this technology, but China bought most of it right out from under us. For instance, in 1995, China bought the biggest American rare earth magnet company, “Magnequench” which was based in Indiana.

Ed Richardson: When they bought the factory, they now had the patents. They now had the equipment. And they actually had some of the Magnequench employees in the United States go to China and teach the people how to make the products.

Lesley Stahl: Did we not understand the strategic importance of keeping that industry here?

Ed Richardson: We didn’t get it and unfortunately the technology was transferred to China before that technology was appreciated. And now, we’re seeing so many, for instance, defense systems that are dependent on it.

Lesley Stahl: Does that make us dependent on China for our defense systems?

Ed Richardson: Oh, we are very dependent on China.

Lesley Stahl: We are dependent on China for our weaponry.

Ed Richardson: Right.

A prime example of that is the new F-35 fighter jet, the most technologically advanced weapons system in history. Each one contains nearly half a ton of rare earths. Former White House Official Dan McGroarty says that’s just for starters.

Dan McGroarty: The guidance systems on weapons system and tomahawk cruise missile, any of the smart bombs have rare earths in them. Lasers. I’d be hard-pressed to name anything that we would consider worth building today and going forward that would not have a rare earth compound in it.

Lesley Stahl: Because of this. Because of the monopoly on rare earths, does China threaten our national security?

Dan McGroarty: Unchecked, yes.

What finally woke up the U.S. government was an incident at sea in 2010. A Chinese fishing trawler rammed a Japanese coast guard ship in a territorial dispute.

The Japanese seized the boat’s captain… and two weeks later, China stopped shipping rare earths to Japan.

Dan McGroarty: The Chinese cut them off. And for 30 to 40 days, the rare earths did not flow to Japan. So it was a real shot across the bow for the Japanese that this is something that you have to be worried with.

It was a wake up call. Finally, 20 years after Deng Xiaoping’s speech, rare earths were on the U.S. radar screen.

[President Obama: This case involves something called rare earth materials…]

President Obama announced a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization against China for creating shortages for foreign buyers and last August the WTO ruled against Beijing.

No one in the Obama administration would talk to us on camera about rare earths and our dependence on China… including the Department of Energy… the Pentagon… or the U.S. trade representative. Even the private sector didn’t want to discuss the problem.

Lesley Stahl: We tried to get interviews with heads of companies that use the magnets and other products coming out of China, and they would not talk to us. Is there fear in high-tech companies that if they say something negative, maybe China won’t sell them what they need?

Dan McGroarty: I think that there is grave concern in these companies, but perhaps not a willingness to talk about that on a street corner.

So what is the U.S. doing to restore the industry here? Out in California, Molycorp was allowed to re-open after it developed new technology that protects the environment. But even when it’s at full capacity, the mine will only produce a fraction of the world’s supply of rare earths.

The Pentagon has begun stockpiling rare earths, and industry is researching new technologies that would replace them.

Lesley Stahl: Do you get any help from the U.S. government? They want to have a rare earth industry here.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Encouragement, yeah.

Lesley Stahl: Encouragement, that’s it?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Yeah.

The government is not offering incentives like tax breaks or subsidies that would lure businesses into the market.

Lesley Stahl: What needs to change to bring more of the industry back to the United States?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: First of all, we need to take a long-term view. It took 20 years to lose the dominant position– at least 20 years. And it’s probably going to take us 10, 15 years, if we execute, for some of these supply chains to start coming back.

But trouble is once again looming for the U.S. rare earth industry. Since restarting operations two years ago, Molycorp’s mountain pass mine has yet to turn a profit, and so deeply in debt that just last week, its own auditor warned it may not be able to stay in business.


Avalon Announces Conceptual Economic Study Confirming Potential for Redevelopment of the East Kemptville Tin Deposit, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 10:33 AM on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2015 — Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX:AVL) (NYSE MKT:AVL) (“Avalon” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the completion of a Conceptual Redevelopment Study, including preliminary economics (the “Study”) on the East Kemptville Tin Deposit (the “Deposit”). The Study was prepared by Hains Engineering Company Limited (“Hains”) and is the first economic study of the Deposit since the original East Kemptville mine closed in 1992. The purpose of the study was to confirm the business case for re-development of the Deposit before securing the necessary approvals to proceed with physical work at the site. The results of the Study indicate that there is potential for attractive economics under the development model proposed by Hains. The Study is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the preliminary economics indicated in the Study will be realized.

The proposed development model assumes conventional open pit mining at a production rate of 10,000 tonnes per day, similar to the original mine at the site with conventional truck and shovel operation. Hains recommends that a new operation take advantage of recent innovation in metallurgical recovery technology for tin ores that can achieve improved recoveries for tin as well as by-product copper and zinc. In addition, Hains recommends building a tin refinery at the site that will process the tin mineral concentrate, to produce tin ingots as a final saleable tin product. This strategy offers the potential benefits of creating value-added in Nova Scotia, reducing the risks associated with using third party processors and enhancing the overall economics of the operation. Hains estimates that the operation would create approximately 187 new full-time jobs.

Hains estimates that the proposed mining, milling and refining development model at a designed mill throughput rate of 10,000 tonnes per day would require a capital investment in the order of CDN$200 million. Operating costs (including tin refining) were estimated at CDN$15/tonne of ore mined or CDN$53 million on an annual basis. Using long term metal price assumptions of US$23,500 per tonne for tin, US$1.00/lb for zinc and US$3.00/lb for copper, average annual revenues in the order of CDN$107 million are estimated (assuming an exchange rate of CDN$1=US$0.85). Approximately 85% of the revenues in the model are derived from tin ingot sales totaling 3,350 tonnes per annum, representing just 1% of the global market. Although indium is known to occur in the deposit in association with the zinc mineralization, no credits for indium were applied in the model due to insufficient indium analytical data in the resource model. Copper concentrate sales include credits for minor contained silver and gold based on comparable assays on historic production.

Don Bubar, President and CEO stated, “We are pleased to have confirmed from this Conceptual Redevelopment Study that there is a strong business case to be made for re-developing the East Kemptville mine site. The opportunity is made more attractive by the excellent infrastructure present in southwestern Nova Scotia including year round road access, deep water port within 60 kilometres, existing power line to the site, nearby communities with available skilled labour and government supportive of new investment in mineral development. With the Study in hand we see an opportunity for Nova Scotia to re-emerge as the Tin Capital of North America.”

The development model developed for this conceptual study is based on the initial National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource estimate produced by Hains in October, 2014 and disclosed in the Company’s news release dated October 31, 2014. A Whittle Pit optimization analysis was completed for this Study based on the current resource estimate and net smelter return values estimated by Hains. The Whittle Pit optimization indicated the optimum pit contained 49.3 million tonnes of mineral resources (which includes resources classified both as Indicated and Inferred) within the pit at average diluted grades of 0.113% tin. 0.131% zinc and 0.053% copper, including 5.87 million tonnes of low grade stockpile material. Total waste rock was estimated as 43.4 million tonnes, for a Life-of-Mine stripping ratio of 0.88.

Based on the results of the Whittle analysis, a preliminary pit schedule was developed, which calls for mining 3.5 million tonnes mill feed per year, or 10,000 tonnes per day, yielding a 14 year mine life with an overall mining extraction of 95% and 5% mining dilution. Note that no work has yet been undertaken to optimize production parameters in the context of the current tin market. Further, the Whittle block model contains mineral resources classified both as indicated mineral resources and inferred mineral resources under CIM mineral resource reporting standards. Further definition drilling will be required before these mineral resources can be incorporated into a mining reserve and relied upon in an economic analysis for feasibility study purposes. Metal recoveries, based on very preliminary test work, are estimated at 87% for tin, 85% for zinc and 75% for copper.

Mineral Tenure Status

The Company holds mineral rights at East Kemptville through a “Special Licence”, a form of mineral tenure granted by the Province of Nova Scotia in circumstances where there is a history of previous industrial land use activity (such as mining) in the area of interest. It does not immediately convey surface land rights and, accordingly, access must be arranged with the permission of surface rights holders which was done in 2014. Ultimately, with completion of a feasibility study and related environmental assessment work, a form of mining lease is obtainable from the government to secure the requisite surface land rights.

The Company first acquired a Special Licence at East Kemptville in 2005 and it has been subsequently renewed multiple times while the Company negotiated access to the site. In September 2014, the Company submitted an application for a new Special Licence reflecting the entire original mine site. This application is presently being processed by the Government of Nova Scotia. Like the previous Special Licences obtained by the Company, the new Special Licence requires approval by an Order in Council of Government of Nova Scotia, which typically takes several months to receive. Final approval of the current application is still pending, following which surface work at the site will resume.

In addition to the Special Licence, the Company holds 183 mineral claims totalling 2,962 hectares to the northeast and southwest of the East Kemptville property, covering over 10 kilometres of strike length along the geological trend of the East Kemptville tin deposit. Since 2005, the Company has incurred over CDN$2.1 million in exploration expenditures on these claims and the Special Licences.

Future Plans

Once the new Special Licence is in place, the Company plans to proceed with an initial CDN$1.2 million work program utilizing funding secured in the Company’s private placement completed in December, 2014. This work will include:

1. Preliminary metallurgical process testwork on the flowsheet proposed by Hains to confirm recoveries and costs to at least the level of confidence required for a preliminary economic assessment.

2. Diamond drilling to better define known resources and delineate additional resources to depth and on other known tin occurrences in the area.

3. Environmental studies to examine the nature of the waste rock generated in any proposed mine, as well as the conditions required for bringing the existing operation into readiness for future production.

The Company is planning an extensive in-fill drilling program with the objective of moving inferred mineral resources into the indicated and measured categories. Requests for bids from drilling contractors have been sent out to conduct a minimum 2,000 metre drilling program this spring.

Bench scale metallurgical testing, using sample material collected during the 2014 drill program, is presently being initiated in order to verify metallurgical recoveries, concentrate grades and evaluate ore variability. This will lead eventually to larger scale pilot plant testing using representative bulk samples collected from future drilling and existing ore stockpiles at the site.

Environmental studies planned will also include more work on future closure requirements and baseline studies such as species at risk surveys and studies on effluent chemistry requirements.

Qualified Persons

The Study was prepared by Don Hains, P. Geo, with contributions from the following independent consultants and “Qualified Persons” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101, who have reviewed and approved this release.

Qualified Person Consulting Firm Contribution
Don Hains, P. Geo Hains Engineering Mining and Mineral Reserves, Process, Infrastructure, Capital & Operating Costs
Bruce Brady, P. Eng. Associate of Hains Engineering Mine Capital & Operating Costs
Ross MacFarlane, P. Eng Associate of Hains Engineering Metallurgical analysis, Process Capital and Operating costs

The information contained in this document relating to the proposed work program has been reviewed and approved by Donald Bubar, P. Geo. (ONT), CEO and President of Avalon, a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101.

Results of 2015 Annual General Meeting

At the Annual General Meeting of shareholders held in Toronto, Ontario on February 24, 2015 (the “Meeting”), all director nominees listed in the Company’s management information circular dated January 12, 2015 were elected as directors of the Company. The detailed results of the vote are as follows:

Director Number of Votes Cast Percentage of Votes Cast
Donald S. Bubar In Favour: 21,699,297 96.95%
Withheld: 682,498 3.05%
Alan Ferry In Favour: 21,293,109 95.14%
Withheld: 1,088,686 4.86%
Phil Fontaine In Favour: 21,694,255 96,93%
Withheld: 687,540 3.07%
Brian D. MacEachen In Favour: 21,685,072 96.89%
Withheld: 696.723 3.11%
Peter McCarter In Favour: 21,693,567 96,93%
Withheld: 688,228 3.07%
Kenneth G. Thomas In Favour: 21,704,747 96.98%
Withheld: 677,048 3.02%

In addition, at the Meeting shareholders appointed Deloitte LLP as auditors of the Company, and approved all unallocated options under the Company’s stock option plan. The formal report on voting results with respect to all matters voted upon at the Meeting will be filed on SEDAR at

About Avalon Rare Metals Inc.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is a mineral development company focused on rare metal deposits in Canada, with three advanced stage projects. Its 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT is exceptional in its large size and enrichment in the scarce “heavy” rare earth elements, key to enabling advances in clean technology and other growing high-tech applications. Avalon is also advancing its Separation Rapids Lithium Minerals Project, Kenora, ON and its East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project, Yarmouth, NS. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones.

For questions and feedback, please e-mail the Company at [email protected], or phone Don Bubar, President & CEO at 416-364-4938.

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the potential for re-development of the East Kemptville Tin deposit, the potential for attractive economics under the development model proposed by Hains, the key measures and economics reported in the Study, the strategy of a tin refinery offers the potential benefits of creating value-added in Nova Scotia, reducing the risks associated with using third party processors and enhancing the overall economics of the operation, that surface work at the site will resume once a new Special Licence is received, that the Company plans to proceed with an initial $1.2 million work program, that the Company is planning an extensive in-fill drilling program with the objective of bringing inferred mineral resources into the indicated and measured resource categories, that bench scale metallurgical testing will lead eventually to larger scale pilot plant testing using representative bulk samples collected from future drilling and existing ore stockpiles at the site, that environmental studies planned will also include more work on future closure requirements and baseline studies such as species at risk surveys and studies on effluent chemistry requirements. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “potential”, “scheduled”, “anticipates”, “continues”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “scheduled”, “targeted”, “planned”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be” or “will not be” taken, reached or result, “will occur” or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Avalon to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made. Although Avalon has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to market conditions, Avalon’s ability to secure sufficient financing to advance and complete the project, uncertainties associated with securing the necessary approvals and permits in a timely manner, assumptions used in the Study proving to be inaccurate, uncertainties associated with Avalon’s resource and reserve estimates, uncertainties regarding global supply and demand for tin and market and sales prices, and uncertainties with respect to social, community and environmental impacts as well as those risk factors set out in the Company’s current Annual Information Form, Management’s Discussion and Analysis and other disclosure documents available under the Company’s profile at There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Such forward-looking statements have been provided for the purpose of assisting investors in understanding the Company’s plans and objectives and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Avalon does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Reserve and Resource Estimates

The reserve and resource estimates in this news release have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Canadian securities laws, which differ from the requirements of United States securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all reserve and resource estimates included in this news release have been prepared in accordance with NI 43-101. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects.

Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and reserve and resource information contained in this news release may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by United States companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term “resource” does not equate to the term “reserve”. Under United States standards, mineralization may not be classified as a “reserve” unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. The SEC’s disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of information concerning “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral resources” or “inferred mineral resources” or other descriptions of the amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute “reserves” by United States standards in documents filed with the SEC. United States investors should also understand that “inferred mineral resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an “inferred mineral resource” exists, is economically or legally mineable, or will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimated “inferred mineral resources” may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies except in rare cases. Disclosure of the amount of minerals contained in a resource estimate is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute “reserves” by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. The requirements of NI 43-101 for identification of “reserves” are also not the same as those of the SEC, and reserves reported by Avalon in compliance with NI 43-101 may not qualify as “reserves” under SEC standards. Accordingly, information concerning mineral deposits set forth herein may not be comparable with information made public by companies that report in accordance with United States standards.

INTERVIEW: Avalon Rare Metals (AVL:TSX) – 3 Advanced Stage Projects Capitalizing on Scarce Rare Earth Elements

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 12:55 PM on Monday, December 8th, 2014


  • Three advanced stage projects
  • Nechalacho Deposit, exceptional in its size and enrichment in the scarce “heavy” rare earth elements
  • HREE-rich resource in the Basal Zone contains Measured and Indicated Resources of 61.90 million tonnes grading 1.64% TREO (total rare earth oxides) and 21.53% HREO/TREO (heavy rare earth oxides as a percentage of TREO) at the Base Case US$345 Net Metal Return cut-off value
  • Key to enabling advances in clean technology and other growing high-tech applications


  • The Nechalacho deposit is rich in the heavy rare earths, which the European Union identified as the critical raw material with the greatest supply risk in May 2014.
  • Avalon has invested approximately $100 million into the Nechalacho Project to date, including $60 million to complete a comprehensive Feasibility Study. Nechalacho is now the most advanced heavy rare earth project in the world outside of China. Results of the discounted cash flow analysis produced for the April 2013 Feasibility Study yielded a pre-tax IRR of 22.5% and an NPV at a 10% discount rate of $1.35 billion, with a payback period of 4.3 years and a $1.575 billion capital cost.
  • Many opportunities were identified in the April 2013 Feasibility Study to optimize the project development model to reduce technical risk and increase revenues. These include improving rare earth recoveries and revising the mine plan to improve operational efficiencies. The most significant optimization was the development of a new hydrometallurgical process that increases recoveries of the heavy rare earths while suppressing recovery of low-value cerium. An updated Feasibility Study is targeted for completion in late 2014.
  • Avalon holds a diverse rare metals project portfolio, including advanced tin (East Kemptville) and lithium minerals (Separation Rapids) properties.
  • The principles of sustainability, environmental and social responsibility are core values of the company.

Corporate Website

CORRECTING and REPLACING Liberty Star Submits Testimony to US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources RE: Strategic Rare Earth Elements

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 4:59 PM on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

CORRECTION…by Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp.

TUCSON, Ariz.–()–Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The corrected release reads:


Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp. (“Liberty Star” or the “Company”) (OTCQB: LBSR) is pleased to announce written Testimony for the Record has been submitted to the US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources for the July 23rd hearing on ”American Metals and Mineral Security: An examination of the domestic critical minerals supply and demand chain.”

CEO/Chief Geologist Jim Briscoe’s address to Shareholders “About Rare Earth Elements” (August 7, 2013) is included in the testimony.

Briscoe’s opening remarks are also included in the Testimony for the Record:

“I am founder, CEO and Chief Geologist of Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp., an Arizona-based mineral exploration company engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral properties in the states of Arizona and Alaska. Last year I addressed the shareholders of the company regarding the urgent and continuously growing need for rare earth elements (REEs) by industry and the military. I submit that communication here today for the subcommittee’s reviews.

Before presenting that communication, I would like to give the Committee some background on what I believe could be a large and reliable source of rare earth elements in southeast Arizona. While more exploratory work is required, my company discovered the presence of at least 4 of the 17 REEs while conducting geochemical surveys for copper and gold in southeast Arizona, near Tombstone, Arizona, in an area we call the Hay Mountain Project.

In May 2012 we reported via news release (NR 122): ”A surprising presence of rare earth elements (REEs) has been defined over a large area (7 to 9 square miles). This was completely unexpected and justifies further study. The REEs we assayed for are among the 17 REEs now known, are strongly anomalous, and are scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, and cerium. The other 13 known REEs were not included in our assay process. In due course we will re-assay the samples for these additional REEs.”

While previously only small insignificant amounts of REEs had been detected throughout the state, this finding in a new area of mineral exploration could introduce high tech and environmentally sensitive mining to southeast Arizona and would include other strategic metals. The Hay Mountain Project will be primarily a copper mine that would also produce gold, silver, molybdenum, zinc, lead and REEs—all strategic metals required for the 21st Century economy and beyond.”

“James A. Briscoe” James A. Briscoe, Professional Geologist, AZ CA
CEO/Chief Geologist
Liberty Star Uranium & Metals Corp.


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