Mining stocks sold off sharply on Wednesday, with Glencore falling to an all-time nadir, after copper plunged to a five-and-a half-year low.» Read More
The discovery of huge deposits of so-called 'rare earth' minerals, used in high technology products, on the Pacific sea floor should ease long-term supply constraints and end a Chinese monopoly, which had been causing strategic concerns in the West, analysts said.
A $230 million refinery being built here in an effort to break China’s global chokehold on rare earth metals is plagued by environmentally hazardous construction and design problems, according to internal memos and current and former engineers on the project.
Commodity prices may have recovered slightly from last week's sharp selloff but the downtrend is likely to stay in place for the next few months, warned analysts.
Molycorp is ready to buy other rare earth mining companies should the opportunity arise, said Chief Executive Mark Smith told CNBC Wednesday.
Rare earth prices are reaching rarefied heights. World prices have doubled in the last four months for rare earths — metallic elements needed for many of the most sophisticated civilian and military technologies, whether smartphones or smart bombs.
The global uranium industry, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, is now beginning to come out of the shock. Investors, who were earlier sitting on the sidelines, have re-entered the market to look for bargains.
Miners have started to protect themselves against a fall in the price of copper as the metal’s rally, which only a few months ago looked unstoppable, has hit a wall, the Financial Times reports.