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Rare Earth Industry Overview – Before PCL (B.P.)

Global rare earth industry demand is segmented into four major regions: U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. Europe includes all 27 countries belonging to the European Union, plus Switzerland. Asia Pacific refers to Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea. All the remaining countries are grouped under the segment “Rest of the World.”

As shown below, 54.3% of the current participants are headquartered in the Rest of the World (primarily Australia and Canada), 25.2% in Asia Pacific, 13.4% in the U.S., and 7.1% in Europe.

Seven participants 5.5%) are involved in mining of ores that contain rare earths (such as heavy mineral sand or phosphate) but are not currently refining or selling rare earths, since their main business is the sale of other products (e.g., uranium or fertilizers). Seventy-one firms (55.9%) are involved in projects to explore, develop, and produce rare earths; however, these projects are currently either in their early stages or at an advanced stage but have not yet been completed. The remaining 49 companies (38.6% of the total) are currently involved in the mining, production, refining, and trading of rare earths, most of them located in China.

The number of participants in the rare earths industry has almost doubled in the last three years, indicating the rapidly growing interest in the exploration and production of these materials. 

Geographical Distribution of Key Participants 2011-B.P. (Number of Companies)

Region Mining of
Ores Containing
Rare Earths
Exploration and
Production, and
Europe 3 3 3 9
U.S. 0 6 11 17
Asia Pacific 0 0 32 32
Rest of the World 4 62 3 69
Total 7 71 49 127