China’s dominance over rare earths supply could be challenged in the coming years as investors pour money into exploration prjects outside China, says the CEO of Canadian rare earths miner Quest Rare Minerals.
“China’s intentions to control exports have forced non-Chinese consumers to look for alternative sources,” Peter Cashin told CNBC’s " Cash Flow " on Tuesday.
China currently controls around 95 percent of the world’s rare earths market, but the flood of investment in international projects has seen production outside China ramp up.
U.S.-based Molycorp has been increasing its rare earth production as part of the $895 million modernization and expansion of the Mountain Pass project in California. While Australia-listed Lynas is targeting first production from its Western Australian Mount Weld project this quarter.
Quest Rare Minerals also expects to start production in the coming years to feed this rising demand. The miner is currently developing several rare earth projects in Canada, including the Strange Lake project, which is North America’s largest deposit of heavy rare earths. Cashin is targeting 2017 as the startup date for production at the Strange Lake project.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page