By Electio Alternative Investments, a subsidiary of the Electio Invest Group.
In actual fact, the US Geological Survey’s 2014 report on Technology Metals shows that eight countries are producing these chemical elements. Below is a brief review of these nations and a look at the amount of Technology Metals these countries put out in 2013. The data in this report is in metric tons (MT).
No. 1: China – Mine production of 100,000 MT
It’s not surprising that China heads the list, with Tech Metal production in 2013 of 100,000 MT. This is the same amount as in 2012. However, China’s production and export quotas for 2013 were 93,800 metric tons and 31,000 metric tons respectively. It’s hoped that in the future these quotas may be relaxed. This is partially because in March 2014 the World Trade Organization ruled that China’s export restrictions on Technology Metals, tungsten, and molybdenum, are inconsistent with its obligations as a member of the WTO. This flew in the face of China’s position that the restrictions were put in place, not to give it a competitive advantage in the Technology market, but to conserve minerals and to protect the environment. Nothing is certain at the moment because China has appealed this ruling.
No. 2: United States – Mine Production of 4,000 MT
The output figure for 2012 was just 800 MT, however last year the United States increased this figure to 4,000 metric tons of Tech metals. Because of this, the value of refined Technology Metals imported by the United States was down from $ 519 million the previous year, to $ 260 million in 2013. Molycorp was the only company who mined Technology Metals in 2013 in the United States. This was done at its California Tech Metal facility in Mountain Pass.
No. 3: India – Mine Production of 2,900 MT
India’s production of Tech Metals in 2013 was unchanged from its 2012 output of 2,900 metric tons. Indian Technology Metals is run by the Government, and has been in business since 1950. It mines the heavy Technology Metals and then separates the elements from beach sand. In addition, it processes some Technology Metals by creating others for final sale. The Indian Bureau of Mines anticipates an increasing demand and a rise in prices in the years to come for Technology Metals.
No. 4: Russia – Mine Production of 2,400 MT
Russia’s Tech Metals production stayed steady in 2013and came in at 2,400 metric tons, the same as the 2012 figure. Russia may increase its production in the coming years, because, according to Reuters, last year Russia decided to invest $ 1 billion into Tech Metal production by the year 2018, in an effort to reduce its dependency on China imports. Its plan is to extract Technology Metals from its monazite concentrate stored in warehouses. According to a source from state industrial and defense conglomerate, Rostec, Vladimir Putin and his government have set a goal to expand Technology Metals production because stocks in Russia are almost diminished. “China, as the main producer, has increased prices sharply, so stocks need to be replenished”.
No. 5: Australia – Mine Production of 2,000 MT
In 2012 Australia produced 3,200 metric tons of Tech Metals; however in 2013 its figures were down to 2,000 metric tons. Geoscience Australia notes that Australia’s REO reserves sit at 1.65 million tons. Producing projects are in New South Wales and the Northern Territory; however most are located in Western Australia.
No. 6: Vietnam – Mine Production of 220 MT
Vietnam produced 220 metric tons of Tech Metals in 2013, the same figure produced in 2012. The journal ‘Nature’ stated that, in 2012, Vietnam and Japan decided to work together to produce Technology Metals. With this goal in mind they created a joint research center in Hanoi to study more efficient methods of both extracting and processing Technology Metals. The chief representative of the Hanoi office of Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National, Yoshiaki Igarashi, said: “Properties of minerals differ between mines, so we aim to establish the optimal methods to produce high-quality Technology Metal products”.
No. 7: Brazil – Mine Production of 140MT
Consistent with its 2012 figure, Brazil produced 140 metric tons of Tech Metals last year. The Wall Street Journal noted that Brazilian miner, Vale, discovered a significant Technology Metal deposit at its Salobo copper project in the Amazon in 2011. This is still the primary source of Technology Metals in Brazil. Like many other countries, Brazil is looking forward to reducing its dependence on China’s Technology Metals.
No. 8: Malaysia – Mine Production of 100 MT
And finally, just as it did in 2012, Malaysia produced 100 metric tons of Tech Metals in 2013. Lynas Corporation, an Australian Technology Metal miner, processes Technology Metals in Malaysia, with huge financial effect, but the materials it’s processing there are actually mined in Australia.
Electio Invest a premier alternative asset manager dealing primarily in Technology Metals and other industrial commodities. Electio Invest is the first company worldwide to introduce a regulated structure of investing into these alternative commodities for private investors. Clients are able to invest in and trade the elements through a secure online platform.
Further information can be found at www.electio-invest.com or by phoning Electio Invest directly on +27 (0) 11 684 1747.