Imports are tightening and heavy rare earth prices keep rising

Imports are tightening and heavy rare earth prices keep rising

The recent price rise for many types of rare earths has accelerated. The average price of dysprosium iron and dysprosium oxide on the 17th May was 1,640 million yuan / ton, a jump of 30,000 yuan / ton from the previous day. The average price of terbium metal was 4.325 million yuan / ton, which was the same as the previous day. The quoted price of terbium oxide was 3.375 million yuan / ton, an increase of 50,000 yuan / ton from the previous day. For the market outlook, we believe that the stable supply of heavy rare earth varieties such as dysprosium and terbium cannot be guaranteed and that the upward trend will continue in the short term. Although light rare earth has slightly increased recently, the market is still under praseodymium neodymium metal sales pressure.

Successful development of rare-earth selective catalytic reduction (SCR) denitration catalyst

Recently, Inner Mongolia Seagate Environmental Technology Co., Ltd. and the State Key Laboratory of Materials Chemistry Engineering of Nanjing University of Technology have successfully developed and produced a rare – earth selective catalytic reduction (SCR) denitration catalyst, which fills the gap of China’s produced atmospheric desulfurization catalyst on the market. 

US government reconsiders investment in Lynas plant

In April 2020, it was reported that both Lynas in Australia and MP Materials in the United States would receive funding for the construction of heavy rare earth separation plants supported by the United States government . At the same time, Lynas announced in April that it signed a contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD), which allegedly provided funding for the first phase of the project.

At present, due to the US government’s decision to reconsider this investment, Lynas’ cooperation with the US-based heavy rare earth separation plant has shown some signs of uncertainty. Lynas said that this investment is still in the first phase, but understands that the US government is dealing with some challenges, and the progress of the first phase is currently suspended. At the same time, the company expressed its understanding of the government’s decision.

Lynas reassured to be committed to developing their heavy rare earth separation facility and will continue to carry out plant design and engineering work. On May 22, the media said that a government document from April 29th showed The United States decided to set aside this funding decision, pending further research and review of Lynas ’ construction of a rare earth  processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia . Lynas currently mines rare earth oxides in its Mt Weld operations in Western Australia .

Baotou Tianhe Magnetic Materials obtains new patent

Permanent Magnetic Material Production Method (patent number: ZL201710057941.2) developed by Baotou Tianhe Magnetic Materials Technology Co., Ltd. was granted the patent. The invention consists of a plating solution that puts rare earth metal plating on the surface of the sintered magnet to form a magnet with a plating layer. The coated magnet is heat-treated to diffuse the heavy rare earth metal into the interior of the sintered magnet. The electroplating solution is an aqueous solution containing soluble heavy rare earth salt, soluble metal salt and complexing agent, and the complexing agent is a substance capable of positively shifting the deposition potential of the heavy rare earth metal. A complexing agent and a metal salt is added to the electroplating solution, which greatly improves the electroplating efficiency, reduces the reaction between the heavy rare earth element and water, and improves the production efficiency and the utilization rate of the heavy rare earth metal.

Tianhe Magnetic Materials was founded in September 1988 and consists of three companies: Taiyuan Tianhe, Tianjin Tianhe and Baotou Tianhe. Tianhe is the largest sintered neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) and sintered samarium cobalt (SmCo) permanent magnet materials manufacturer in China. As a large-scale production base of Tianhe Magnetic Materials, Baotou Tianhe Magnetic Materials Technology Co., Ltd. was registered and established in Baotou Rare Earth High-tech Zone on May 22, 2008. Baotou Tianhe fully relies on the natural resource advantages of Baotou’s rare earth capital, with an annual output of 10,000 tons of permanent magnet materials. It has its own equipment manufacturing company and has built 5 specialized permanent magnet branches,  processing plant, research and development and quality testing center. Tianhe magnetic products are widely used in hybrid electric vehicles, pure electric vehicles, wind power generation, inverter air conditioner compressors, medical, aerospace, and computer hardware fields.