American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Study confirms occurrence of REEs in Germany

    Early last year, we highlighted new Rare Earth exploration efforts in Saxony, Germany, where a newly formed company called Seltene Erden Storkwitz AG was slated to kick off drilling operations in the East German state.

    They did kick off, and the long-suspected occurrence of Rare Earths in the area has now been confirmed by a report conducted by an independent Australian company, which detected a deposit of roughly 20,100 tonnes of Rare Earth oxides underneath the village of Storkwitz between Leipzig and Dessau.

    As the German weekly Wirtschaftswoche suspects, it probably won’t be long until opposition to the development efforts will be voiced:

    “Regardless of the amount, it will take a long time until the metals can actually be mined. The residents of Storkwitz likely will not be thrilled to see their village turn into a huge construction site. It wouldn’t be the first project in Germany to get held up by protests and petition drives.”

    The Wirtschaftswoche’s commentary touches on an interesting (though not overly surprising) point which raises the specter of hypocrisy: Like the United States, where environmentalists are quick to demonize the domestic development of the very minerals upon which their preferred energy sources so heavily rely. Germany, whose Chancellor has made trips to Mongolia and Kazakhstan to sign Rare Earths development agreements, apparently is no stranger to the “Not in My Backyard” sentiment.

  • International automakers take steps to secure access to critical minerals

    While not making a big splash in the media, a piece of news from Germany once more underscores the relevance of critical minerals and associated supply issues.

    As the newly launched German Resource Alliance (Rohstoffallianz) has announced, automakers BMW and VW are officially becoming shareholders of the alliance. Founded in 2012, the Resource Alliance is a “globally active profit-oriented raw materials corporation” which has the backing of the German government, and brings together “companies in Germany with high-level industrial value creation, which have their own need for raw materials.”

    BMW and VW are joining ten other companies, among them Copper producer Arubis, chemical companies BASF, Bayer, Evonik and Wacker Chemie, as well as Bosch, Georgsmarienhuette Holding, Rockwood Lithium, Stahl Holding Saar, and ThyssemKrupp.

    Primary targeted areas of action for the alliance are: providing a communications platform, developing strategies for securing the raw material supply, lobbying and exchange of information, sharing mining know-how and market expertise, project financing and insurance, as well as project management.

    Automakers require significant amounts of critical minerals such as Rare Earths Elements and Copper for vehicle manufacturing. Copper, in particular, is significant as a stand-alone metal and as a “Gateway Metal” that unlocks other “Tech Metals” such as Molybdenum and Selenium.

  • German government agency emphasizes domestic resources

    In its Energy Study 2012, the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) emphasizes the importance of using domestic raw materials against the backdrop of increased price volatility and supply risk. As summarized by the German daily Handelsblatt, the agency’s core message is as follows (rough translation): Supply shortages are likely to occur not due to due [...]
  • Germany raises Rare Earths issue with China as part of comprehensive resource strategy

    While the EU, Japan and the United States have challenged China’s restrictive Rare Earths export policies before the World Trade Organization (WTO), German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to have chosen a less confrontational route for Germany’s bilateral relationship with China. During her state visit to China, Merkel offered to partner with Beijing in efforts to [...]
  • Germany jumps into the race for rare earths

    In line with the country’s recent policy shift towards a more active role in the global race for critical mineral resources, a German mining and commodity group has announced its plans to develop a 38,000 tonnes deposit of REEs in the East German state of Saxony.  A newly formed company called Seltenerden Storkwitz AG, which [...]
  • Japan and India agree on joint development of rare earths

    As China continues its geopolitical rare earths power play, Japan and India are the latest countries to partner in an attempt to offset China’s near total supply monopoly.  According to the Asia News Network, the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed in late October to promote the joint development of the critical minerals at [...]
  • Germany Goes Prospecting for Mongolian Rare Earths

    In another indicator that access to critical metals is rising to the level of national strategic policy – and transforming the typical travel itineraries for Heads of State – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited Mongolia this week to ink a development deal to accelerate Mongolian rare earths mining.  The German Government is being spurred on by mega [...]
  • German industry gears up for global resource competition

    In an effort to secure access to critical metals and minerals, Germany’s national industrial association, the Federation of German Industry (BDI) is exploring the formation of a “globally active profit-oriented raw materials corporation.” As the German monthly Manager Magazin reports, the envisioned procurement trust, which companies like chemicals maker Evonik and auto manufacturer Daimler have [...]