Heavy rare earths company, Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) today advised shareholders of significant price gains since the beginning of 2020 in the basket of payable heavy rare earth elements produced from its Browns Range project in WA.
Increasing global trade tensions and focus on ‘green’ COVID-19 recovery investment drive-up heavy rare earth prices in 2020;
Key payable elements of dysprosium and terbium from Browns Range production up 22% and 93% respectively since January; and
Governments globally continue to accelerate policies to incentivise change over to electric and hybrid vehicle fleets.
The commercial viability of production from Browns Range is heavily influenced by the ultimate prices achieved for dysprosium and terbium, being the dominant payable elements in the xenotime Mineral Resource at Browns Range.
In 2020, according to data from Asian Metal, the dysprosium price was up 22% from the start of the calendar year.
On 2 January 2020, Asian Metal reported a daily mid-range price for dysprosium of US$244 per kilogram. The corresponding price on 4 December 2020 had risen to US$297 per kilogram.
Northern Minerals CEO Mark Tory said: “The accelerated price increases in 2020 are likely linked to increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, which remains the dominant producer globally of heavy rare earths.
“In addition to global trade volatility, the disruption caused by COVID-19 will potentially act as a catalyst around the world for countries to focus on investment in more sustainable infrastructure projects, including renewable energy capacity, as part of their economic recovery initiatives.”
“We are also seeing an acceleration of government policy settings around the world to further incentivise the purchase of electric and hybrid drivetrain vehicles, while at the same time disincentivise the purchase of new diesel and petrol-engine vehicles.”