LONDON (Reuters) – The need for larger rechargeable batteries and more energy storage for 5G technology is expected to significantly boost demand for cobalt over coming years and potentially pit the sector against electric vehicle makers.
Category Archives: Metal Recycling
The fundamental challenge is economic. America’s goal should be secure supply chains, not national autarky of supply. The U.S. should do this by promoting domestic production; diversifying mineral imports away from China; cooperating with allies to insulate each other from Chinese control; developing multiple alternative supply chains; stockpiling rare earths to create shock absorbers in case of a crisis; and reducing demand by investing in alternatives.
Start with the fundamentals. Rare-earth elements exist in small quantities not easily separable from surrounding detritus. Significant known deposits exist in China, Brazil, Canada, Australia and India, as well as in the deep seabed. Sixteen of the 17 rare earths exist in the U.S. at a single west Texas site currently under development.
Their extraction and treatment is expensive and environmentally damaging, yet they are essential to $7 trillion in finished products. Wealthy countries have made licensing harder and raised other barriers, pushing the industry to China and Malaysia, where low labor costs and weak environmental enforcement make them economical.
As a report this year from the Colorado School of Mines concluded, “China’s strength is in refining those Rare Earth oxides into metallic alloys to manufacture end-products.” Breaking China’s monopoly will require development of processing plants and supply chains outside Beijing’s control.
China dominates the global market in rare-earth minerals, producing 70% of the world’s exports. But this isn’t a gift of nature — it’s the result of 15 years of industrial policy. The Chinese government identified a critical economic chokehold, invested in building companies, subsidized production to underprice and ultimately destroy competition, and then constructed a monopoly.
NASA has announced it is looking for private companies to go to the moon and collect dust and rocks from the surface and bring them back to Earth.
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AREVA said that work continues with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) related to the pursuit of the used fuel treatment and recycling facility project.
“The industrial negotiations for this project are advancing. The technical discussions to define the distribution of tasks and responsibilities are being finalized in line with the initial schedule. The negotiations will be entering the commercial phase. Furthermore, both companies plan to expand their cooperation in the fields of operational support and maintenance of the future facility as well as the used fuel logistical chain which is expecting strong growth in China over the coming years,” an AREVA statement said.
Rare earth mining companies aren’t exactly setting the investment world on fire, but for that same reason, prepare to hear about more electronics andautomotive manufacturers seeking ways to “mine” these and other precious metals out of end-of-life or discarded products—everything from mobile phones to wind turbines to spent batteries.
One notable example is Honda’s move last year with Japan Metals & Chemicals (JMC) to start reusing rare earth substances in used nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in new ones—after announcing its intention to do so in 2012. The automaker is using molten salt electrolysis to pull the materials out of an oxide extracted from the batteries: removing about 80 percent of what’s in the original. Those substances are being supplied to a battery maker, which is using them for negative electrode materials in hybrid vehicle batteries.
BHP Billiton boss Andrew Mackenzie says he is optimistic about Australia’s economic prospects, despite the departure of the car makers and last week’s closure of the Alcoa smelter at Point Henry.
But Mr Mackenzie told Channel Nine’s Financial Review Sunday program the swath of job losses in manufacturing highlighted the importance of the nation uniting behind a single productivity agenda.
Mr Mackenzie has been particularly upbeat about the future of the Australian economy since taking over as chief executive in May, and his mantra that Australia still has ”everything to play for” has often been at odds with the gloomy prognoses of federal governments.
Mr Mackenzie has regularly urged Australia to help itself by reforming industrial relations, taxes and its productivity performance, and said the high-profile corporate closures were a reminder of that.
CHANGSHU, China, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sutor Technology Group Limited (the “Company” or “Sutor”) (Nasdaq: SUTR), a leading China-based non-state owned manufacturer and distributor of high-end fine finished steel products and welded steel pipes used by a variety of downstream applications, today announced that it has made significant progress on developing B2B Internet Trading Platform.
As of today, a number of globally well-known companies have joined the platform, including AkzoNobel, Minmetals USA, China Minmetals Corporation, Baogang Group and China Railway Group Limited.
Data released on Tuesday showed German manufacturing orders surged ahead of economists’ forecasts in June, and a reading on U.K. industrial production also beat estimates. The data were the latest in a set of recent data on the health of the global economy that have propped up expectations for copper demand.
The German data in particular gave copper “a decent boost,” said Michael Turek, a director of metals with brokerage Newedge.
Data out of the U.S. last week showed the pace of manufacturing-sector growth last month was the greatest since June 2011, while a similar reading on China showed the sector there returned to growth in July. The metal is used in a wide range of products, including automobiles, wiring and plumbing, making prices sensitive to shifts in economic-growth expectations.
Deliveries are 95 percent complete, represents 19,000 nuclear warheads converted to civilian use
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The National Nuclear Security Administration on Monday announced it has monitored the elimination of more than 475 metric tons of Russian highly enriched uranium, or HEU, under a landmark nuclear nonproliferation program, commonly known as Megatons to Megawatts.
Honda to Reuse Rare Earth Metal Extracted from Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries in Hybrid Vehicles for the Motors for Hybrid Vehicle Motors
Tokyo, June 19, 2013 – (JCN Newswire) – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. agreed with TDK Corporation and Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., Ltd. (JMC) to jointly pursue the reuse of a rare earth metal extracted from nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid vehicles for magnets of new hybrid vehicle motors.