Friday, February 12, 2010

Rare Earth Metals Getting Rarer

While we frequently discuss Gold, Silver and other commodities, there are an entire class of metals that most folks have never heard of, which are referred to as "rare earth" metals.

According to various definitions, "rare earth" metals are broken up into two distinct groups of elements, known as the "lanthanide" and "actinide" series.  A full listing of rare earths can be found here (

Why do we care about rare earths?  Because, they're already rare and getting RARER still!

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, China’s leading producer of rare earth metals has been given government approval to build a strategic reserve, exacerbating concerns that Beijing is tightening its grip on the valuable minerals needed to produce green and high-technology products.

China supplies about 95% of the global market for rare earths, used to produce everything from hybrid cars to iPod music players.  Over the past three years, China has steadily cut export quotas for rare earth elements, saying it needs additional supplies in order to develop the domestic clean energy and high-tech sectors.

This has fed foreign suspicions that Beijing plans global domination of rare earths.  Deng Xiaoping, the former Chinese leader, said in 1992 that, while the Middle East had oil, China had rare earths.  However, foreign and Chinese industry executives doubt Beijing’s goal is to create an Opec-like price cartel.

Fortunately, a variety of rare earth metals are either under development, or currently being produced by two North American companies:  Avalon Rare Earth and Ivanhoe.  Avalon was recommended by James Dines, who writes a very well known newsletter.  Both of these companies are publicly traded if one should want to investigate possible ways to benefit from a potential future extreme world shortage.

I want to re-emphasize that I'm not recommending either of these companies, but want to inform readers of "Marko's Take" that they exist, should your investment dollars need a very high risk, but potentially high returning alternative to the Precious Metals arena.

Comments?  Questions?   TAKE ME ON!

Marko's Take


  1. Good article ,I agree rare earth metals are often neglected,because no one has much expertise in them.China is always way ahead of the curve, and has started to stockpile these metals. One of the most exciting is Lithium ,some say it is the next oil,its used in hybrid cars and many other uses.Since Dines recommended a company,one I like is Li3 energy ,which I own.It is a very strong Lithium company .But do your own due diligence on it.

  2. Thanks RD:

    These are, in my opinion, a MAJOR opportunity!

    I have read some interesting things about Lithium, and will check out that stock.


  3. there are other companies, some which will make better investments and are futher down the path to production. Google it...

  4. Anon:

    Feel free to share any information you have. I don't think readers will know what to google based on your note..


  5. asx:ggg asx:aru to name a few..

    Interesting times.

    BTW I tweeted you.. @rareearthsasx

    also I am not the previous poster :)



  6. Thanks Aus.

    I'll check out the tweet and the stock symbol will be helpful to the other readers. If you already own it, all you can do is benefit if others pile in behind you!


  7. Interesting gossip from UNDERNEWS related to USA v BLAGOJEVICH. I heard some very similar stuff a number of months ago from friend who is political director of AFSCME and is head of WORKERS WORLD PARTY´s Latin America peace group.

    For some reason I can´t copy and past links, but BOSTON GLOBE of Feb 11 has story about Blagojevich rejecting pleas and wanting full trial with Jackson, Jr, and Fitzgerald tapes all 1000s of hours played.

    I have a comment on Facebook along with the Globe story under my real name, Brom Keifetz.

    As I said on RDBR show, the Glen Ford piece at Black Agenda Repòrt, "Obama´s Wars" is indispensible for understanding the violent 1/5 of your WW3 concepts. My ex-partner, Dr Marc Faber, has a finance blog-post which matches up very well with Ford, albeit from the libertarian side. At Marc Faber Channel on Blogspot.

    The political labels, thouhgh, as you can tell from RDBR show are total bullshit. At this point is there ANY DIFFERENCE between a Black Power Socialist and a Libertarian? There´s the intelligent dissent "party" and the govenment "party"




Take me on!