NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 07/26/11 -- Soaring rare earth prices have been a major headache for hard disk drive manufacturers, but a blessing for explorers of the seventeen lanthanides. While Chinese officials deny manipulating rare earth prices, companies from North America are stepping up operations to reduce China's rare earth monopoly. The Bedford Report examines the Rare Earth Elements Industry and provides stock research on Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) and Great Western Minerals Group (TSX-V: GWG) (PINKSHEETS: GWMGF). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) claims that the allegations of manipulating prices of rare earth metals are a misunderstanding and argue that prices are justified considering the huge environmental impact over it. Last year China announced a five-month crackdown on illegal mining in order to protect the environment and its resources. This campaign was concentrated in the south where mines are commonly small, rural, and illegal operations particularly prone to release toxic wastes into the general water supply.
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Environmental concerns (as well as significantly lower rare earth prices) prompted the closure of the California-based Mountain Pass mine in 2002. With rare earth prices skyrocketing, Molycorp -- who purchased the mine from Chevron in 2008 -- has revived the mine. Molycorp's Mountain Pass mine produces about 3 percent of the world's rare earths from stockpiled concentrate, but the company plans to eventually turn out a quarter of the total supply.
Great Western Minerals Group is an integrated Rare Earths processor whose specialty alloys are used in the battery, magnet and aerospace industries. Earlier this month the company completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Rare Earth Extraction Co.
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