NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/27/12 -- Rare earth elements are a set of seventeen chemical elements crucial in the manufacturing of popular products such as mobile phones and hybrid cars. According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service the current global demand for rare earths is approximately 136,000 metric tons a year. That number is expected to grow to 185,000 tons by 2015 and top 200,000 tons by 2020. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Rare Earth Industry and provides equity research on Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) and Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE: REE).
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Global reserves of rare earths are estimated to be at 110 million metric tons, with approximately 50 percent of reserves in China. It has been reported that China will begin providing subsidies to state-owned rare earth producers in an attempt to revive the struggling industry. Falling rare earth prices have recently caused some of China's largest producers to suspend production.
"In the long run, the policy can promote resource protection and effective utilization of rare earths," said Chen Zhanheng, deputy secretary-general of the China Rare Earths Industry Association. "[The subsidy] is aimed at supporting technological upgrades, energy conservation and environmental protection."
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To date, Molycorp has succeeded in bringing 80% of their new facilities at Mountain Pass up to -- or greater than -- Phase 1 operational capability. The project remains on track to achieve a Phase 1 run rate of 19,050 metric tons of rare earth oxide equivalent per year. Shares of the company surged nearly 20 percent last week after it was reported that executives and a director bought shares in the company.
Rare Element Resources is a publicly traded mineral resource company focused on exploration and development of rare-earth elements (REEs). In addition to the REE exploration and evaluation efforts, the Company controls the Sundance gold project, which is located on the same property in Wyoming. The company expects to submit a revised Plan of Operations for their Bear Lodge REE Project to the U.S. Forest Service before the end of 2012.
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