EDITOR: | October 13th, 2013 | 5 Comments

Jack Lifton on the future of rare earths, Professor Kingsnorth, a ‘possible’ market turnaround and Molycorp

| October 13, 2013 | 5 Comments

Weslosky-Lifton-2October 13, 2013 – Tracy Weslosky, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of InvestorIntel, interviews Jack Lifton, founding principal of Technology Metals Research LLC and senior editor at InvestorIntel to discusses his recent five-part series — exclusive to InvestorIntel [P1: The State of the Rare Earth Market, P2: The Driver for Global Rare Earth Demand, P3: Forecasting Chinese Rare Earth Demand, P4: China is officially shifting focus to domestic consumer demand, and P5: The Future Demand for Rare Earths] — on the future forecast of rare earths, a few words to Professor Dudley Kingsnorth, a possible rare earth market turnaround, Molycorp, why it is wrong to refer to REEs as commodities, and the urgent need for North America to develop a total rare earth supply chain, among other topics.

Addressing the very widely read ‘Lifton: Unchained’ series on InvestorIntel, Tracy asks Jack to comment on the misunderstanding regarding some of his commentary regarding Professor Kingsnorth. Jack explained he was merely underscoring some of the assumptions made in Kingsnorth’s forecast and meant no disrespect at all to Dudley. “If Dudley is listening, I certainly apologize for any misunderstanding,” explains Lifton. Jack asks InvestorIntel readers (especially commenters) to read his words carefully, and then react intellectually, not emotionally.

When Tracy asked if the REE market is turning around, Jack commented: “Because of my involvement in the industry as a consultant (and now as a board member to a couple of companies), I can tell you that there is more sophisticated interested in the rare earth market, then there has been in the last chaotic year. But the market (institutional investors on down) has now learned that it is not about ‘pounds in the ground;’ that’s not what this is about. It’s about our access to the pounds in the ground, which is not about shovels. It’s about chemistry, processing engineering and boring subjects like ‘programmable controllers’ for chemical reactors. That’s what it is about. If the chemists can come up with ways of extracting these materials from where we find them — at any level, whether it’s 100% material or .001% — if they do that economically… notice the word ‘economic’. If it’s economical, it’s practical. Otherwise, it’s not. So when you show me a mountain of high-grade material that is encased in silicate rock that cannot be processed; that’s not a (potential) mine… that’s just a curiosity.”

Jack updates readers and clarifies his position on Molycorp, explains why rare earths are, in fact, technology metals and why he doesn’t like people using the term ‘rare earths commodities.’ Finally, Jack discusses US strategy on rare earths and why it is so critical that we develop a North American total rare earth supply chain industry.

Tracy Weslosky


An accomplished entrepreneur Tracy Weslosky is the CEO for InvestorIntel Corp., a company that publishes InvestorIntel.com, a trusted source of online market information for investors ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>

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  • Aat Oskam

    Jack, not react emotionally but intellectually? Trading (in REE’s like I do for years now) is all emotion, because rationally it was (apart from the 2011 bubble, if you took profit of it) a very bad idea till now. But, maybe foolishly enough, I’ll keep my assets in Lynas and Alkane, because in one way or another, I still trust and respect the perseverance of Eric Noyrez (and my tribute to Nicolas Curtis) and Ian Chalmers and their teams. Keep up your independant mind and opinion, it sure helps us investors to stay focussed! Tracy, a good thing to have Jack aboard.

    October 13, 2013 - 5:11 PM

    • Nevada George

      You have company in your thoughts.
      Still holding 4 REE investments… some down
      80%. Holding till 2016… I hope it does not
      turn into another Tulip market crash in Holland.
      It is not over till the fat lady sings in KL.
      Remember the Americas cup….down 8-1 and
      made an improbable come back.
      I like to bet on the undees… keeps an
      old guys adrenaline flowing.

      October 15, 2013 - 5:54 PM

  • vacuum

    Molycorpse clobbered all the recent, building enthusiasm for rareearth shares by announcing today a stock dilution. Now that the company has squandered on Mountain Pass probably needs the dough, well, to pay bonuses to management.

    October 15, 2013 - 5:33 PM

  • Bill Keenes

    what a wonderful revelation :

    “it’s about our access to those pounds in the ground …. which is about chemistry, process engineering ….etc” … “can we extract these materials economically”

    if you knew this all along, why then over the past 3 years or so were you putting forward as the next likely heavy rare earth producers – hard rock rare earth explorers with exotic mineralisation’s and unproven extraction techniques

    October 16, 2013 - 7:28 PM

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