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.

  • 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 address environmental issues related to REE development – which China claims are the main reasons for its restrictive policies. Speaking at a conference in which both Chancellor Merkel, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen participated, President of the German Federation of Industries Ulrich Grillo reiterated that joining the WTO suit was not in Germany’s best interest. He did, however, voice concerns about distortions resulting from Chinese government control over the global REE market.

    Raising the Rare Earths issue during the state visit is in line with Germany’s recent policy shift towards a more comprehensive mineral strategy and a more active role in the global race for resources. Having jumped into the REE pursuit at the beginning of the year with plans to develop a 38,000 tonnes deposit of Rare Earths in the East German state of Saxony, Germany has inked a cooperative REE development treaty with Mongolia and Kazakhstan, and is expected to partner with Russia to develop these precious resources as well.

    Meanwhile, the recently formed “globally active profit-oriented raw materials corporation” called the “Alliance for Securing Raw Materials,” which enjoys the backing of the German federal government, is beginning to take concrete action, and may participate in a first project to explore and develop Rare Earths as early as this year.

    With mineral supply issues affecting not only many of U.S. domestic manufacturers, but also our national security and economic wellbeing, one would think our policy makers in Washington, D.C. would place as much emphasis on addressing them. Thus far, Berlin is ahead of Washington in framing out a strategic policy concerning strategic metals.

  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]