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US Department Of Energy Shifts Focus To Rare Earths

A Beijing-based trader noted that praseodymium/neodymium metal prices have been rising recently. “It is difficult to buy the material at low prices and news has been heard that suppliers will adjust up offer prices,” he told Metal-Pages.

Lanthanum metal prices remained unchanged in response to persistently weakening downstream demand.

A supplier in Southern China said that lanthanum metal prices have been trading around $12,875 per tonne due to weak demand. “Sales of lanthanum metal have been poor and the market is quiet. Prices lower than 12,875/tonne are acceptable,” he explained to Metal-Pages.

Sources indicate that tightening supply means that REE prices are unlikely to drop again in the run up to Chinese New Year on February 10.

Company news

Pele Mountain Resources (TSXV:GEM) sold its Pigeon River project to Zara Resources (CNSX:ZRI) for $700,000 (payable in Zara stock).

Al Shefsky, president and CEO of Pele, stated: "[i]n order to better focus on advancing development at our Eco Ridge Mine Rare Earths and Uranium Project, our goal is to find qualified partners to fund and operate our non-core projects or to sell them outright. We believe Zara and its team will capably explore the project and we are pleased to convert our stake into an equity and royalty interest."

In 2009, Pele staked the Pigeon River project, which is currently comprised of 418 mining claim units in the Pigeon River area of Northwest Ontario, 80 kilometers southwest of Thunder Bay. The property covers large unexplored magnetic targets near the basal contact of the Duluth Complex.

Mkango Resources (TSXV:MKA) renewed its exploration license for its flagship Songwe Hill rare earth project in Malawi for an additional two years.

The Phalombe licence has been renewed for a further two years, effective January 20, 2013, and grants the company exclusive rights to carry on prospecting operations for all 17 rare earth elements — such as yttrium, strontium and niobium — as well as a number of other elements, including iron ore, manganese, gold and silver, according to a company press release.

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