#TMS2013 PT1: “rare earth industry cage fighting at its best”
The Technology Metals Summit – Renewable Energy: the next industrial revolution or #TMS2013 as I referred to is over and I am a little worse for wear. Literally shook everyone’s hands and ran to the airport.
Yes, I selected London for respite with little care to detail. Overindulged in champagne in a dingy pub, ate German chocolate covered gingerbread, over inflated my toxicity rates with bread containing gluten and ate cheese that was aptly referred to as “Stinky Bishop” at tea time that I will never touch or hope to smell again.
So if you are wondering where your thank you notes is, let me assure you that I will be in the office this weekend and it is on its way…next week. I wanted to post all of the PPTs but within 16hrs of a final presenter, I received a threatening letter on the positing of one of the PPTs and had a flashback to one of my esteemed colleagues during #TMS2013 came to mind. “You are going to post my quote as the tweet of the week, right?” he said. I sighed in response. No, I thought – posting “rare earth industry cage fighting at its best…” is not within my best practice mantra. This said I am indeed sharing it with you this morning because I have decided that it is my writing that is missing on ProEdgeWire and while I always enjoyed my all-positive perspective, I do draw the line at disrespect and misguided communications with the intent to misinform.
#TMS2013 started with the last minute hospitality reception in the Royal Suite on Saturday afternoon that started out harmless enough. Jet lagged Australians started arriving while I finished an excellent interview with Chris Tonkin from Arafura on how they intend on carving a billion dollars down from their budget in the adjoining room. A Bay St. promoter who has recently fallen off the wagon felt he was doing me a service by being accompanied by half a dozen characters of suspicious means and consumed booze like frat boys and ran a multi-grand drinking bill they graciously left for me. If that was not enough of a thank you, one of my guests from the States sent me an email that he was being sexted (that’s Gen-Y lingo for sex texting) by one of the Bay Street promoters illustrious guests who then started harassing me…this said, Sue was managing the noise and the panels flowed like a river full of information, knowledge and vision.
Day one was intense, with Ron MacDonald, Executive Chairman and Director — American Vanadium Corp. kicking off the morning with his powerful forecasts of the future in our sector. Being the catalyst for this year’s theme, his speech was aptly titled: Renewable Energy, the next industrial revolution. Perfect yang to my opening yin presentation where I featured the REE Leaders Index since I launched REE Stocks Company Ltd. last year. Here’s the visual:
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Now we all know that I am an optimist and very bull on the future of our sector, so let me counter attack the above graph with the last 5-day’s action in our newly formatted graphing system:
Yuriy has literally just completed the finishing touches for our rare earth index and ROW market indicator that is calculated by FTSE and to which I was in London about this week, while of course – taking a much needed vacation. So please do take some time and see how you can evaluate our market daily, weekly, monthly or annually that myself, Raj and Yuriy review daily for the last year and a bit since launching REE Stocks Company Ld. (www.REE-Stocks.com) last year.
The first panel #TMS2013 Panel A: Law of Attraction – Magnets in Renewable Energy: production today, demand tomorrow, impact of Dy-Less and Dy-Free magnets…was moderated by James Hedrick, President — Hedrick Consultants Inc. & Sr. Editor, REEHandbook.com. As per usual, James kicked off a strong debate and this panel brought up the fact that there are very few magnet manufacturers in the ROW and why dysprosium magnets continue to dominate the market. While the discussion of substitute or Dy-Free magnets was raised, this group of experts were far from believers that they would sustain any relevant market positioning. James also said that end users are not seeing the prices of resources dropping while the automotive sector is rebounding, generating more demand.
Noteworthy is that many patents will expire in 2014, which should ’embolden’ Chinese manufacturers and there is a risk of ‘market flooding’. Research and high technology remain the most competitive aspects: the stronger a magnet, the smaller the end-use application can be (batteries, electric motors). And it was discussed that there is a strong need for technological advancement which is where the West can compete with China vs. the costs for processing and there was a conversation on the quest for manufacturing advantages and improvements. Moreover, in one of main target markets, wind turbines, the mechanical aspects are starting to outweigh magnetic issues. Engineering issues limit the size needed to achieve required energy output. New materials are needed to deal with stress on turbine blades – a new potential application for some rare earths (scandium).
Please note that I will post all of the PPTs by Friday at noon, once I complete the process of requesting authorization and final edits from everytone involved. From the dinner honoring Dr. Anthony (‘Tony’) Mariano with the TMS Lifetime Achievement Award that Constantine Karayannopoulos, CEO for Molycorp graciously presented to Ian Gandel, non-managing Director for Alkane Resources aptly described what was needed for financing and survival in these markets on the capital panel…this was an outstanding opportunity for the industry to engage in not only where we have been; but where we are heading. And a glorious one at that if you share my position that renewable energy and the innovative technologies that require rare earths and critical minerals like graphite, vanadium and tantalum are the catalysts for these gates of growth.
Tracy Weslosky is the CEO of InvestorIntel Corp., a company that publishes InvestorIntel.com. A leading source for investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders alike, InvestorIntel is ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>