Rare earth prices again sliding into the trough, rare earth industry reflection of the voice rang out again. Protection of resources, export restrictions, collection and storage system, the industrial concentration and so on Suggestions mentioned on different occasions by experts and scholars. According to the information in the research the author in some enterprises, from the new voice of rare earth production enterprises more and more strongly to rare earth an appropriate location and reasonable price.
The traditional positioning real challenge
Zhang Zhong is Inner Mongolia baotou steel rare-earth (group) hi-tech co., LTD. (hereinafter referred to as baotou rare earth), general manager of in recent years he has been sticking to the idea that can't leave from 17 elements as a strategic resource. Two years ago, the author in an interview a rare earth metal production enterprise, enterprise old total also had it. Obviously, it has a long history in rare earth production enterprises in the north.
Because of scarcity, China's rare earth is born with the strategic resource status. According to the ministry of mines in the United States in 1998, the total proven reserves of China rare earth industry accounts for about 80% of the world. In the early 1980 s, our country middle school textbooks impressively write "rare earth" baiyun obo rare earth reserves accounted for 98% of the country.
Strategic purpose is another basis of strategy of rare earth resources status. Rare earth has an irreplaceable role in the field of high-tech, in aerospace, military, and new materials synthesis is indispensable. Allegedly every 4 kinds of new technology in the world, one will be associated with rare earth, so the United States, Japan and other developed countries use it as a strategic element.
However, with the deepening understanding of the rare earth and rare earth application popularization, some changes in quietly. In 2005 the ministry of mines data show that China's rare earth industry reserves had fallen to 58% of the world. Baiyun obo rare earth proportion in the national reserves is 82%. This kind of change, removing the resource consumption, the most main reason is that rare earth mineral deposits are found. Australia's valid mountain, thom thor in Russia, Canada holy HuoNuoLei shigeru, Vietnam's proven reserves of rare earth in succession, 22 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China has found a rare earth mine.
Rare earth application civil trend is increasingly clear. According to national office of rare earths in 2007, more than 90% of the rare earth application in our country about for civilian, used in national defense and cutting-edge technology in the field of only about 5%. Also usually is in the world. Such as neodymium heavily processed into magnetic material, make original driving motor, nuclear magnetic resonance instrument, turbine generator magnets, cerium is used as a high quality polishing materials, used for polishing glass shell, europium as luminescent material is mainly used to screen coating, while lanthanum is regarded as a new energy with the main components of the hydrogen storage material.
On this basis, some rare earth business people think that rare earth elements in general positioning bias in strategic resources. Hold this view, stems from a concern: do not add differentiate to rare earth as a strategic resource, will affect the long-term development of China's rare earth industry.
At liberty to generalize
Exceeds south heavy rare earth distribution in our country. Among them, the stock of light rare earth is big, wide application, heavy rare earth resources are scarce, unique applications. Country but because regardless of weight shall be regarded as a strategic resource, implement mandatory plans for rare earth production. This limitation, to had formed the industrial chain, used primarily to civil pressure light rare earth production enterprises.
Baotou rare earth is China's largest production enterprises, its minerals are the raw materials of rare earth enterprise north. Even so, baotou rare earth concentrate (oxide) only 100000 tons annually production plan, because the source is limited, enterprise scattered, small production scale, to reduce production costs, profits of the whole industry chain is weakened, rare earth wealth does not bring imagination. This approach, however, to the heavy rare earths in the loss of precious opened the door.
Jiangxi, guangdong, fujian, hunan, guangxi and other places there is a characteristic of ionic type rare-earth ore in our country, is a rich source of yttrium, dysprosium and terbium heavy rare earth has a special purpose. These elements amount is few, only 30 years in our country. Because do not distinguish between elements, plan quota for precious presented "ZhunShengZheng" heavy rare earth mining production. Ion ore mining separation is relatively easy to, the state's limit, limit production can not be well. For a long time, steal dig mining, vicious competition, should be a national treasure of heavy rare earth element are dumping at low price. The heavy rare earth production also brought market capacity problem. Because the rare earth elements has symbiotic, for some of the heavy rare earths, some light rare earth output. As a result, light rare earth market space is relatively small. Stock market is large, light rare earth only devalued.
Is the most painful is "generalisations" also caused great hidden waste: northern production sources on baiyun obo, along with the exploitation of iron. But because of restricted by plan, every year, two-thirds complete mining, transportation, crushing cannot separation process of rare earth minerals, such as being directly into the tailings dam. These rare earths in the second use will form the new cost and pollution, at the same time to guard the "intermediate", enterprises put in huge manpower and material resources every year.
Let prices return to nature
Rare earth industry suffered a paradox: on the one hand, is a scale enterprise with no "soil" is available, on the one hand is raw material idle high emissions; On the one hand, on the one hand, the market is out of control is policy require the goods cheap. This makes some rare earth enterprises began to reflect on positioning strategy of rare earth resources, they put forward segmentation 17 kinds of rare earth elements, to each kind of rare earth elements properly. Require the rarity and unique purpose, advantage of irreplaceable heavy rare earth as the strategic resources to protect it. For those stock more, application popularization of lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, let them go under the "altar", reduce production cost, increase the development and application.
Zhang Zhong said, on the issue of strategic resources, society should not be constrained by more than 40 years ago when insufficient understanding of rare earth do judgment, and should keep pace with The Times, the behavior, preferring. In order to protect resources and application resources, maintained China's rare earth resources advantage, already let go of the rare earth industry development space again.
In China, however, almost all regard rare earths for gold. Loess "sell" rare earth "to" price has been drawn to the society. China's rare earth is when "the loess" or as "gold"? Some have scale advantages, complete and stable process of rare earth enterprise idea is that some want to be a gold to sell, to sell when the loess.
Companies are reluctant to sell their products seems implausible, but has a profound realistic reasons. Reason 1: worry about high induction enterprise blindly breed, trigger a vicious competition, harm of rare earth market; Reason 2: high rare earth could suppress the application. The development prospects of rare earth industry depends on the application of rare earth, and to a certain extent of rare earth and rare earth application and low price.
In fact, the scruples, rare earth enterprise and a don't want to say why. The rare earth exports to China in recent years, due to strict control, some countries begin to play other idea: Japan sought to replace rare earth materials, the U.S. plan to open their own rare earth mines, and Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries only rare earth products for export. All of this brings to the domestic rare earth enterprises psychological pressure, they worry that once the loss of price advantage, the international market demand, so just developed China rare earth industry will suffer.
Based on these considerations, some rare earth enterprises (mainly in the north of rare earth enterprises) issued the segment element reasonable pricing, hope that through the price mechanism to curb speculative enterprise, eliminate inferior companies, to protect the market stable. Zhang Zhong thinks, in line with the international economic backdrop, regardless of the law of value up or hit commodity prices are not realistic. Only prices return to the origin, rational trend, the market to avoid ups and downs, and the market environment to support the benign development of the enterprise.