American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Terminology matters – Clearing up the REE confusion

    As they are a hot commodity right now, talking about Rare Earths Elements is en vogue these days. As fascinating as they are, the terminology associated with this group of minerals composed of the fifteen lanthanoid elements plus Scandium and Yttrium remains confusing to many.

    To clarify things, American Resources expert and Technology Metals Research co-founder Gareth Hatch has put together a helpful “Refresher on the Basics” of REE-terminology on his website.

    Clearly, word choices matter. Says Hatch:

    “As I always tell people – just make sure that you understand exactly which definitions a particular company is using, when looking at reported data which use one or more of the group names described above. In the meantime, let’s hope that certain of my fellow commentators on the rare-earth sector start to get the hang of the basic terminology for these materials…”

    Read the full article here.

  • The “cultural necessity” of Rare Earths

    This week, the San Francisco Chronicle zeroed in on Rare Earths. Pointing to the “cultural necessity” of REEs – columnist Brooks Mencher calls them “as critical to the Age of Technology as cement and steel were to the Age of Industry” – the article discusses the relevance of Rare Earths against the backdrop of China’s near-total supply monopoly, and attempts to give a glimpse into the future.

    The conclusion? With new global exploration, new mining projects coming online, increased recycling and coordination of mine-to-magnet production, the days of China’s REE stranglehold may be numbered, but the question remains whether all of this will suffice to “guarantee the unrestricted supply of rare earths for this Age of Technology.” Says Mencher:

    In the near term, China’s still holding most of the cards, and rare earths will remain in demand. In the words of Jack Lifton, “Ain’t nobody going backward.” The United States must diversify its supply lines and is doing so, but to move ahead will also require, at the very least, cooperation among nations.

  • Tungsten and Fluorspar – strategic implications of mineral resource supply issues stretch beyond REEs

    You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find Tungsten and Fluorspar mentioned in the same sentence as “Rare Earth Metals.” With its traditional applications in ballistics, the former is historically known as a “war metal,” while the latter has been an important component for chemical applications. And in spite of the fact that Tungsten makes the top [...]
  • U.S. Department of Defense Studies Alaska’s Rare Earths Potential

    As the Canadian daily Chronicle Herald reports, the U.S. Department of Defense is conducting a study of Canadian mining company Ucore’s rare earth-rich Bokan Mountain property in southeast Alaska. Under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency, the study will “focus on the possible development of Bokan Mountain to meet defence department requirements for an [...]
  • Recycling of specialty metals fraught with challenges

    As the usage of specialty or “tech metals” grows with their ever-diversifying utilities, so do related supply issues. One of the most popular and most frequently mentioned options to address such challenges is recycling. However, a Forbes Magazine piece points out that as Barbara Reck, research scientist at Yale University’s Center for Industrial Ecology, School [...]
  • ARPN Expert View: “East China Sea one front in larger resource wars”

    Two years after China’s Rare Earths embargo on Japan and subsequent supply shortages put the until-then largely obscure group of critical minerals on the map, tensions between the two countries are reaching new heights, with the specter of war looming. At the heart of the current tensions lies a territorial “tug-of-war” over five tiny – [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Race for Seabed’s Mineral Riches Heats Up

    The global race for resources is heating up, with the latest frontier being the seabed beneath the world’s oceans. Last year’s discovery of significant Rare Earth deposits by Japanese researchers on the seabed of the Pacific Ocean seems to have set of a flurry of activity on the part of countries trying to gain access [...]
  • The race is on for North American Rare Earths

    While most Rare Earths-related stories focus on China these days, there’s no denying that the race for critical mineral resources has arrived on the North American continent. As the Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports, Alaska State geologists are excited by the findings of recent mineral cataloguing efforts, with a new $3 million program underway. The [...]
  • REEs, National Security and Gateway Metals

    A REE World Report titled ‘Political Squeeze Play and the Rare Earth Revolution’ on Rare Metal Blog highlights the implications of U.S. dependency on foreign supplies of Rare Earths for our military. Here are some of the report’s key points: • The current WTO case brought on against China by the U.S., European Union and [...]