View Full Version : Rare Earths aren't coming down

Patrick Casanova
03-13-2012, 11:42 PM
It doesn't look like we are going to see any relief in Rare Earth prices... Chinese don't look like they are going to increase exports and are using them as political muscle.


Pete VanderLaan
03-14-2012, 05:58 AM
I was told recently that a 20KG bucket of good quality Cerium was going for about $2,000.00 these days. I have not checked myself. Recently, Scott Benefield was asking me for sources on Neodymium Oxide and I told him I had bought 20 lbs from Seattle Pottery at $25.00 lb as the best price I could find. He (as I do) consider them to be usually very high but it was all I could get. The best price he was able to get was $225.00lb out of China.

Molycorp could start producing this stuff again but not to drive prices down. They will ride the Chinese hijacking and keep supply down. Rare Earths aren't rare, they just compose less than .5% of the earth's crust by definition.

Franklin Sankar
03-14-2012, 07:06 AM
You think we will have enough for the future ?
New products are coming out of R&D faster than light.

Pete VanderLaan
03-14-2012, 07:21 AM
If you can't afford to buy them? Absolutely!

Tom Fuhrman
03-14-2012, 09:18 AM
we either deplete fossil fuels or rare earths. lots of rare earths used in the new batteries and energy sources. and how about copper? 3-5 companies now control the majority of the world's supply.

David Hopman
03-14-2012, 01:10 PM

Looks like Cerium Oxide has gone down over 2/3rds since July.

Matthew LaBarbera
03-14-2012, 01:35 PM
What I have read old mines all over the world are reopening, but it will take a few years for product to become available. The fact is that the chinese and indians are becoming consumers and they have a whole lot more people than we do. Our consumerism will not be driving the world market for much longer. Hold on it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Cecil McKenzie
03-14-2012, 02:33 PM
I read somewhere that if all of China reaches the level of development of Mexico there won't be any metal left anywhere. Of course you can't believe most of what you read.

Pete VanderLaan
03-14-2012, 03:17 PM
China currently has a middle class of 350 million people, or put another way it's larger than our entire population and they all want those things the middle class wants. There are cities in China of 12 million that you have never heard of.

Any mines that open up are mines that had closed down, like Molycorp. They're only going to bother with it while the price is up. Currently Molycorp has a minimum purchase on anything of $3,000.00. They don't want your business.

Michael Mccain
03-22-2012, 05:41 AM
So, has anyone else put two and two together about the silica mining and the 'mysterious booming' noises that are both going on East of Green Bay, Wisconsin?
I believe its called Seneca Guns, and it happens a lot when miners dig too far too fast, letting off underground pressure.
...And somewhere else, that Silica is getting shot right back into the ground for Fracking!
I find it so ironic its almost satire

Pete VanderLaan
03-22-2012, 06:35 AM
I sometimes am inclined to compare it to the stage 4 portion of cancer. Extraction has become seriously difficult since Titusville. We have lived at the height of civilization. My grandfather went from seeing the first airplane fly and the invention of the automobile to seeing men landing on the moon before he died.

Tom Fuhrman
03-22-2012, 08:02 AM
That's why the real futurists are looking beyond earth. Good article in last Popular Science magazine about this subject and where we're headed. Too much $ spent on ""socialized media" i.e.facebook,etc. that has no real technological advancement for society. An interesting read.

Pete VanderLaan
03-22-2012, 09:11 AM
I hate facebook. It's like no calorie intimacy. I actually find craftweb useful.

Ben Solwitz
03-24-2012, 11:37 AM
There are certainly things to hate about facebook, but it's extremely useful as well. Craftweb is awesome but I know more than a few people that are afraid of us and/or refuse to participate because they got into an argument or whatever. I think we're pretty nice, by and large. I have been on the internet for nearly 15 years so I'm pretty used to the way people act online. We've got our real names here so it's really not bad.

Tom Clifton
03-24-2012, 08:16 PM
Craftweb is awesome but I know more than a few people that are afraid of us and/or refuse to participate because they got into an argument or whatever.
As a relative newcomer here (and an infant as far as glass goes) I have found CraftWeb to be a wonderful resource. Collectively there are several centuries of practical experience balled up into an interesting (and occasionally dysfunctional) family. Like a family, there are leaders and followers, teachers and learners, subject matter experts and those with a broad general knowledge. We have authority figures and (well..) the rest of us....

When there are 'tensions' it is usually the result of somebody either not admitting that they are wrong, or even grudgingly admitting there is a chance they may be wrong. Excess testerone (sorry Rosanne) and thin skin are a bad combination to have around here. More than once I have typed up a draft reply to a situation that I saw as becoming heated - urging 'down boy' but never sent it as :

(1) I saw my response as just throwing gas on a fire
(2) I ain't got no dog in that fight...

What I have noted - especially in the last week is that the postings have been especially interesting. Everything from Refractory blankets, Corning Batch and Furnace Rebuilds. For every post I read here, I seem to have two or thee questions that beg Googling for additional information and resources. The very nature of the internet provides a rich stew of old, wrong, misleading and technically superb answers. The challenge becomes determining which one is most likely correct.

The process often ends with a phone call to a manufactures pre-sales engineering support. I am often surprised by how much time they will spend on the phone talking to a little guy. Especially if you let them know you did your homework and have read the product sales literature and MSDS and have specific questions that lead into others as you talk.

Same thing happens here on CraftWeb. If somebody does their homework and digs the archives before asking questions the resulting replies are much more productive. I think it is because you wind up 'asking the right question' And hopefully if you found answers you don't either understand or agree with you go Google'ing and either get more confused, or at least half an answer to ask about...

So - Craftweb - just like being married for 40 or 50 years - sometimes reqires admitting you are wrong even if you still think you are right. Some folks just can't do that (which is why the divorce rate is something like 50% now days). I feel for those that can't get over hurt feelings over words on a computer screen. They are missing a lot...

Pete VanderLaan
03-25-2012, 06:51 AM
I insist on real names and check them out. I have only banned about six people in ten years but I don't put up with a lot of bullshit. I can see aggression in someones first post just about every time. When it does happen, invariably almost everyone is relieved. Beyond that, the site is honest in its evaluations. The advice is competent and that's important.

Dave Bross
03-25-2012, 07:24 AM
So what happens when all the dinosaurs go to the big tar pit in the sky?

Any plans for perpetuating Craftweb?

Sure would be a shame to see everything in the archives here disappear.

I suppose there's always the internet archive.

Pete VanderLaan
03-25-2012, 08:14 AM
No Plans. Books printed only ten years ago are long gone and out of print. This trade has a way of extinguishing all knowledge every fifty years or so. I can't in good conscience break with a tradition that has lasted five hundred years. Are you trying to be a troublemaker or something ?

Tom Fuhrman
03-25-2012, 08:55 AM
No Plans. Books printed only ten years ago are long gone and out of print. This trade has a way of extinguishing all knowledge every fifty years or so. I can't in good conscience break with a tradition that has lasted five hundred years. Are you trying to be a troublemaker or something ?

Pete: well spoken by a fellow old geezer!

Pete VanderLaan
03-25-2012, 09:02 AM
Pete: well spoken by a fellow old geezer!
I sir, am a curmudgeon. I will not attain "Geezer" status for another eight years. Now where is that Damn Applesauce?

Tom Fuhrman
03-25-2012, 10:19 AM
I sir, am a curmudgeon. I will not attain "Geezer" status for another eight years. Now where is that Damn Applesauce?

next to the banana pudding!

Tom Clifton
03-25-2012, 11:47 AM
Now where is that Damn Applesauce?

Don't eat the applesauce. That's where they hide the 'be nice' pills....

Dave Bross
03-25-2012, 07:16 PM

I guess it was probably an asteroid hit that did in the dinos.

There it is....every fifty years we have the glassteroid.

And no, preperation H (G?) is of no help here.

Scorched earth baby! reinvent civilization!

Oh well, keeps the knuckle draggers off the streets and amused until they evolve a bit.

Randy Kaltenbach
03-26-2012, 09:46 AM
Soup. ... I like soup...

Pete VanderLaan
03-26-2012, 11:17 AM
Soup. ... I like soup...
Easier on the teeth...

Tom Fuhrman
03-26-2012, 02:16 PM
What teeth? lost those a long time ago. About the same time as my hair.
But I do like my soup.

Pete VanderLaan
03-26-2012, 03:58 PM
This is worse than being in the confessional at our local Catholic Church. I'm out and just accepting that I'm going to Hell.

Jordan Kube
03-26-2012, 05:01 PM
You're going to Hell for breaking the eleventh commandment Pete.

"Thou shalt not bait the Canadians"

Pete VanderLaan
03-26-2012, 05:53 PM
I can't help it. It's just like a cage match.

Randy Kaltenbach
03-26-2012, 06:22 PM
Meh, whatever. It's just to easy to bait the 'Murcans :D

Lawrence Ruskin
03-30-2012, 03:58 PM
way, way, too easy, just say universal health care.

we got it and you,hoo, don't

Lawrence Ruskin
03-30-2012, 03:59 PM
way, way, too easy, just say universal health care.

we got it and you,hoo, don't...

Tom Fuhrman
03-30-2012, 06:28 PM
just read an artice in US Glass Magazine that stated that China had activated a $100/KG tax for all cerium shipped outside their country. they mentioned all kinds of things companies were doing offset the high costs 0f the material.

Rich Samuel
04-08-2012, 06:24 PM
And in today's news: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/08/us-china-rareearth-idUSBRE83707G20120408

Tom Clifton
04-08-2012, 07:38 PM
And in today's news: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/08/us-china-rareearth-idUSBRE83707G20120408

And while I applaud China for seemingly caring about the impact to the environment, it does seem odd that they don't give a rats ass about mining or burning coal or oil or other industries such as recycling lead-acid batteries etc...

I guess I'm not the only sceptic in the crowd regarding somebody with a 97% market control doing price manipulation.

Having stated that, I do have to wonder about the economic/regulatory situations that have shut down North American production. Perhaps related to the same concerns of those that make color regarding the white Chevy's on their parking lots?

Lawrence Ruskin
04-09-2012, 10:04 AM
The Chinese government actually cares very little about the environment.

They occasionally will make noises to the contrary but if a dollar can be made out of the deal the government will support industry over the environment every time.

Same with India, Taiwan and to a lesser extent Japan.

South Korea; it's a long list, and it's just so they can sell stuff to the western world.

That's why whenever I buy something I make sure it's going to last so I won't have to buy it again in 5 years.

Usually that means I buy local, or things made in the US, but for high ticket items I buy northern European.Their stuff lasts.

Rich Samuel
08-08-2012, 04:03 PM
Doesn't look like things will get better any time soon:


Pete VanderLaan
08-08-2012, 04:45 PM
That actually shows that neodymium is down from earlier this year. I have been promised some cerium oxide when I go to Shanghai. Erbium looks bad. selenium and cobalt really do work pretty well and it's silly to buy it decolorized if you use any color at all. You'll never see the green tones.

Josh Bernbaum
08-08-2012, 07:15 PM
Any recommendations for a Neodymium supplier? I have a recipe for a violet that calls for just 2 ounces of it or so to be mixed with some manganese and maybe a tiny bit of cobalt. I know, Pete, the recipe can't 'cross the street' but it's a starting-off point to mess around with I think.

Pete VanderLaan
08-09-2012, 05:09 AM
Neodymium can go about anywhere. I can get you two ounces but even I have a limited supply. Do keep in mind that manganese is a lot happier in a potash based glass than sodium based one and that manganese doesn't like to perform well in the presence of antimony, so your base glass really matters.

What we will see here is the price of color rod gradually being reflected in these price increase. No one can absorb this kind of stuff.

Josh Bernbaum
08-09-2012, 09:16 AM
Is this neodymium oxide that I'd be looking for, or something else?

Pete VanderLaan
08-09-2012, 04:38 PM
yes, NdO. .

Josh Bernbaum
08-11-2012, 11:56 AM
OK, I found Nd2 O3 from some guy online who's in Irvine, CA.
It's 99.9% pure, I guess, and $5/gram. Minimum order is $100,
which is what I would get. Sound like ok stuff to throw in a melt?

Pete VanderLaan
08-11-2012, 12:14 PM
Sounds good and sounds expensive. Bless its multivalent little heart with the unstable inner electron ring.

Try melting the manganese without the neo first and see if you like it. Keep it out of reduction! The neo won't change it all that much.

Josh Bernbaum
08-11-2012, 06:34 PM
Bless its multivalent little heart with the unstable inner electron ring.

What's the emoticon for 'over my head'?...
Lookin forward to taking the class, Pete

Pete VanderLaan
08-12-2012, 05:10 AM
I won't really teach you much chemistry in the class. What I really teach is process which is far more important. The rare earths are in what is known as the Lanthanide group and they are noted for giving up and taking on electrons in their inner ring instead of the outer one. That's why they change colors in different wavelengths of light.

Neodymium can come in varying forms. NdO, Nd2O3. I prefer NdO since I don't want all that oxygen in a melt with manganese which has a lot of O2 anyways. The oxygen makes it harder for the color to show purple. I would really advise you to get the color right with just the manganese first and then add the Neo later- even to the cullet from the first melt. It goes in easily. . Back when it was just $8.00 lb you could screw around but $100 a lb for the O3 version is pricey. It takes a lot of Neo to show good color- between 1-2 %. It tones some glasses nicely.

And Chris Sherwin is taking the class but is in class 2 Since I had someone want to sell their spot. If you want to be switched into his, I can probably do that.

I wwould advise getting the copy of Volf from Joe. It's a great book and I don't think he'll reprint it. When it's gone, it's gone.

Josh Bernbaum
08-12-2012, 08:39 AM
And Chris Sherwin is taking the class but is in class 2 Since I had someone want to sell their spot. If you want to be switched into his, I can probably do that.

Maybe, what are the dates of the 2 classes again? I just remember reading that one was before (or during?) GAS, and the other after. Would be nice to be in the class with Chris, but sounded like the first one was gonna have more "entertaining" guests come by.

Sorry for hijacking this thread...

Pete VanderLaan
08-12-2012, 09:34 PM
Lets not hijack it then. We can talk about Chris. Don't melt the color with the Neo until you have a purple tone you like. Manganese is about .40 cents a pound. Neo costs more...lots more.

Rollin Karg
08-18-2012, 06:27 PM
Don't melt the color with the Neo until you have a purple tone you like. Manganese is about .40 cents a pound. Neo costs more...lots more.
I found the Neo underwhelming and I like Pete’s advice to start with just Manganese. My first additive would be Chrome and my second would be Cobalt, both in small amounts.

Color making is a very rewarding process.
Good luck

Pete VanderLaan
08-18-2012, 07:03 PM
Neodymium is really at its most beautiful in very thick work. It doesn't cloud up and have its refractive index messed with when really thick- like four inch weights or bigger. That is not true of most colors. In thin ware it's hard to perceive it. It does take upwards of two percent to have a good effect.

Josh Bernbaum
08-19-2012, 08:01 AM
Thanks Rollin and Pete, I'll hold off on it for now then

Barb Sanderson
08-29-2012, 11:29 PM
Just rec'd this email today:
Dear Sirs,
It is my pleasure to write you here!
Would you plz kindly find the materials interest you:
1) Rare earth oxide 3N-5N
2) Cobalt Oxide ( Co:70%-74%)
3) Zinc Oxide 80%-99.7%, 99.8%
4) Zirconium Dioxide
5) Copper Oxide
6) Nickel Oxide 72%-78%
7) Titanium Dioxide
8) Manganese oxide
9)Iron oxide
All in serious control at quality, fast delivery and safe shipment, etc.
We can produce as per your requests, if you need.
Kindly reply at your earliest convenience!
Best regards,
Diana Wang (Sales Manager)
Hebei Merlin Trading Co., Limited
Tel-Fax: 86-311-67368160
E-mail: rtyywl@hotmail.com liangyanhu@163.com
MSN: rtyywl@hotmail.com
Skype: bcdianawang

Pete VanderLaan
08-30-2012, 05:53 AM
Neodymium can come in a variety of purities based on the oxygen attachment. NdO would be the purest form. When it has multiple oxygens, ( like 03), you are really paying for oxygen, so watch it.

I have to confess I am always suspicious of hotmail addresses.

I will be in Shanghai this fall and will have opportunity to see what can be purchased and shipped here. The Chinese government currently has huge export taxes on rare earths, as in $100 per KG.

I will take a look at prices. Thanks Barb.

Tom Fuhrman
08-30-2012, 08:57 AM
best prices on rare earths are from the"grey market" Chinese stuff coming out of other ports and countries and don't have the duties on them coming direct from China. I have lots of Cerium oxide for sale but minimum quantity is a ton. suppliers aren't interested in less than that. pricing is good on a ton, also all the other rare earths, ship from Hong Kong or Taipei.
be aware that to be in the import business you have to understand shipping to other ports and re-invoicing, etc. LOts of stuff going thru Viet Nam and Singapore for example.

Rich Samuel
02-04-2013, 07:49 PM
Future source?


Greg Vriethoff
02-04-2013, 08:56 PM
Future source?


Pete VanderLaan
02-05-2013, 04:07 AM
I love my new cheap Chinese cerium with the Panda eating bamboo on the bags. It also is ISO 9001.

China's export tax may have backfired on them since they do have an export quota and they are 9,000 metric tons behind the quota limits. No one can afford it. The manufacturers are not happy campers. I read about it in the Shanghai times.

Rollin Karg
02-05-2013, 05:39 AM
Backfire !!!!

Pete VanderLaan
02-05-2013, 10:55 AM
Actually, 20KG was free. The backer is bringing me more. One happy camper.

Franklin Sankar
02-05-2013, 11:22 AM
I will talk to Portia and get a deal for us.
Yes its next door. I hope they dont smoke rear earth or the supplies will shrink again.:)

Pete VanderLaan
02-05-2013, 03:02 PM
"Rear" earth. Perfect.