A growing resource list of rare earth element mining companies. Information on this page reflects only the limit of the author's research and understanding based on current and past news articles, government and industry publications, and each company's own website. The information provided is guaranteed to reflect unintentional author biases, and to be neither entirely accurate, nor entirely complete. Nevertheless, I hope it provides a useful resource. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you spot a mistake or would like additional information or mining/exploration companies added to this list. This list is intended to include mining and exploration companies only. Due to limited space and time, it does not include distributors or resellers of refined REE materials, metals, parts, or finished products.
United States. Mining in the US. Molycorp is an established entity in the world of metals mining, and has the strongest history of REE mining of any US company mining within the US. With infrastructure already in place, they stand to be the first US mining company to begin full scale mining and production. Molycorp will, likely, be producing rare earth oxides in substantial quantities by 2012 from their Mountain Pass mine in California. The Mountain Pass Mine contains at least 20 million tons of ore, enough REE resources to keep Molycorp in production well in to the future. The Mountain Pass Mine retrieves ore from a precambrian carbonatite intrusion in gneiss. The ore is primarily bastnaesite, with lesser amounts of monazite and apatite. The mine produces primarily LREE (light rare earth element) REOs (rare earth oxides) at an average of 8.9% of the ore by mass, with Cerium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, and Praseodymium comprising about 99% of REE output.
Canadian. Developing mines in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. Great Western Minerals Group is a well established entity in the world or rare earth elements, will probably be one of the first few companies to successfully produce ore outside of China, and is widely acknowledge to have one of the best business models and infrastructures in the industry. The company also controls Less Common Metals, Ltd. (UK) and Great Western Technologies, Inc. (USA) as wholly owned subsidiaries. Less Common Metals is a producer of rare earth and other refined alloys. Great Western Technologies, in Troy, Michigan, is a research and development center and producer of rare earth components and end products.
Great Western Minerals Group controls or has interest in 8 mining/exploration properties in various stages of production. The predominant, initial ore source is Steenkampskraal Mine, in South Africa, where GWMG has signed an agreement to receive 100% of mine production. This mine has been in prior production, and is being reopened by Rareco, a company in which GWMGF holds over 70% ownership. Steenkampskraal Mine produces extremely high grade rare earth ores from monazite bearing pegmatite veins within gneiss host rock. The mine is also a minor producer of gold and copper. In addition to below ground resources already accessible by well maintained mines, a significant quantity of REE rich above ground material stand ready for processing in tailing piles left by earlier mining for thorium. The Steenkampskraal Mine is fully permitted. Additional permitting allows the mine to process and store thorium co-products safely on site, a potentially substantial market advantage.
The Hoidas lake project, which is 100% owned by GWMGF, is located in Saskatchewan, Canada. This locality has the potential to produce Nd rich REEs from bastnaesite, allanite, and apatite ores in veins paralleling faults that run through local granitic host rock. The companies' Deep Sands project, in Utah, USA, is exploring REE rich placer sands. The companies Benjamin River and Douglas River project both contain exceptional levels of dysprosium, an element critical to high temperature tolerating magnets critical in hybrid car technology.
Disclosure: I have purchased stock in this company.
With the Mount Weld mine in Australia as their essentially 'ready to go' ore source, and an extraction plant under construction, the Lynas Corporation stands as one of the dominant emerging figures in the global race to supply the world's future rare earth needs. The Mount Weld mine, located in Western Australia, is one of the best known REE deposits on the planet, and stands to be one of the worlds top producers, with carbonatite hosted ores averaging up to 15.4% rare earth oxides by weight. Once the mine is in full production and is shipping concentrates to the Lynas owned processing facility currently being constructed in Malaysia, the Mount Weld mine and Lynas corporation are likely to become one of the planet's largest non-Chinese REE producers.
The oxide percentages in the Mount Weld mine rival Great Western's Steenkampskraal location and the volume of oxide rich ore is very high. The extremely high grade ores are adequate for long term production, with over 1.4 million tonnes of rare earth oxides reported in the ground. Substantial stockpiles are stored above ground and ready to ship.
The geological context of the mine is the Mount Weld carbonatite, where weathering of carbonatite minerals within the structure has resulted in significant surface concentration of primarily light rare earth oxides in phosphates and laterites (Lottermoser, 1990). The mine ratios are LREE dominant, according to the company website, with Cerium and Lanthanum making up about 73% of oxides. Excellent percentages of Neodymium and Praseodymium (about 23.8% of oxides), along with lesser percentages of a few other elements provide the mine with a solid basis for long term competition. Niobium and tantalum provide potentially valuable co-products.
Australia. Mining in Australia. Arafura is developing the Nolans project, which includes the Nolans Bore Mine and a refining and processing facility, the Whyalla Rare Earths Complex, in North Central Australia and South Central Australia, respectively. Arafura is ahead of the curve compared to many of its competitors, hoping to be producing and selling 20,000 tonnes/year of rare earth oxides (REO) from its mine, through the Whyalla facility, by 2013. The Nolans Bore Mine location is producing REEs, along with marketable quantities of uranium and phosphate, in masses and veins of fluorapatite, allanite, and carbonate host ores, all found within an unusual intrusion in an otherwise granitic and mixed metamorphic regional context. The Nolans Bore Mine appears to contain at least 850,000 tonnes of REE oxides. The REOs will be produced along with 3 coproducts: gypsum, phosporic acid, and uranium oxide. The company expresses a strong commitment to both sustainable development and environmental care.
Canada. Avalon Rare Metals has an exceptionally good ore resource at Thor Lake, and is likely to be in production by 2013. Their ratios of heavy REEs is excellent, giving them an additional potential market advantage. Avalon Rare Metals, Inc. has shown a truly remarkable commiment to environmental and social responsibility, and despite their likelyhood of becoming one of the world's largest rare earth producers in coming decades, also stands to be one of the greenest producers of the the elements critical to an environmentally sustainable economy.
Canada. Mining at Bear Lodge, Wyoming, USA. The Bear Lodge REE project targets REE bearing bastnaesite and ancylite ores in a carbonatite-alkaline (sovite and silicocarbonatite) igneous intrusive complex (a series of dikes) that shows singificant quantities of accessible, mineable material. Other potentially valuable mineral co-products in the REE claims owned by the company include substantial gold and some recoverable copper, as well as some possible, but unconfirmed, silver and molybedenum. Already built access roads into the property give this company a lead on several of their exploratory U.S. and Canadian competitors in terms of actually bringing their property to production. Rare Element Resources also has HREE rich deposits in earlier stages of exploration and development in Canada.
United States. Mining in Missouri, USA. Wings Enterprises is developing the Pea Ridge iron mine near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The company is working (Oct, 2010) with commodities trader, Glencore International, AG, in order to bring the mine back into production as a producer of iron, with REE oxides as coproducts. The Pea Ridge (Wings) mine ore body consists of a massive, very high grade, primarily magnetite iron emplacement, which contains several, more recent, cross cutting pipes of REE bearing breccia. The mine resources consist of both inground rock and recoverable tailings in substantial quantities. The regional host for this deposit is the locally exposed precambrian volcanic terrane of the St Francois Mtns. Though this terrane reaches the surface in only a few places, and is little explored, much more recent (Mississippian) hydrothermal interactions with this mass are believed to have produced, also in Missouri, some of the richest zinc and lead deposits in the world. Much necessary infrastructure is on site. Wings may be producing iron from tailings as soon as 2012, and hopes to be producing iron and REEs from the ground by 2013 to 2014.
Australia. Mining in Australia. Navigator is primarily a gold mining company, but holds 100% interest in an explored rare earth property as well. Navigator Resources' 'Cummins Range Rare Earth Project' is a carbonatite diatreme in Western Australia. Exploration drilling has indicated at least 71,700 tonnes of (primarily light) rare earth oxides mixed with a small amount of mineable uranium, tantalum, and niobium. The resource area has been only partially drilled, and may contain significantly more REEs.
Exploration and development in the Strange Lake and Misery Lake areas of Quebec, Canada, as well as in the Plaster Rock area of Northwestern New Brunswick.
Canada. Uranium and rare earth elements.
Exploration and Development in British Columbia and Quebec, Canada. Though they appear to be primarily involved in tantalum and niobium exploration and development in a series of carbonatite sills near Blue River, British Columbia, the company is also involved in two rare earth projects, the Eldor and Carbo projects, that are showing promising results in early stages of exploration.
Canada, Exploration and development in Greenland. Hudson Resources is persuing REEs located in a Carbonatite formation in Sarfartoq, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The location is not yet fully assessed, but appears promising according to the companies statements. Primarily LREE REO percentages in 3 high grade prospects have shown mineable REOs ranging from less than 2% to over 8% oxides. The surface exposure of the site is large and it has a potentially very large total ore volume. The site also contains unusually high levels of Neodymium, potentially providing a substantial impetus towards full development. Variable REO distributions within the assayed ores may indicate multiple phases of mineralization, meaning the full potential of this site may not yet be realized. Hudson is also involved in diamond exploration in Greenland.
Canada. Mining in the U.S.A. and Canada.
Canada. Mining in Kyrgyzstan. Stans Energy purchased an old soviet era mine, and is intending to reopen it. The company has been negotiating with Russia and Canada in order to attempt to create an effective supply line.
Australia. Mining in Australia.
Germany. Mining in South Africa.
Canada. Mining in Sweden and Finland.
United States. Exploration. U.S. Rare Earths has mining claims on one or more potemtial REE mining properties in the Lemhi Pass district of Idaho, and Montana, as well as in the Diamond Creek district in Idaho. Resources, according to the company website, seem to be in early stages of assessment and exploration, but show indications of being high in both mineable Thorium and REE ores.
Canada. Exploration. Rare Earth Metals, Inc. "is in the business of the acquisition and exploration of mineral property interests." This exploration company is working on at least 3 projects in Canada, which are in various stages of exploration and assessment. The Clay-Howells project, in Ontario, consists of iron mineralized zones within a large carbonatite complex. This projects shows indications as a possible producer of Fe ore with modest REE and other metal co-products. The Coldwell project, in Ontario, is an alkalic complex in very early stages of exploration and assessment. The company's Red Wine Project, in Eastern Canada, is a series of several ore exposures within a partially mapped peralkaline complex of substantial dimension. The company's reported (website) TREO percentages are variable and moderate, but HREE to LREE ratios show possible indications of being exceptional within this project area
Canada. Potential mining property in Canada.
Please let me know if you would like your company added to this list.