September 29, 2009 02:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Magnet Materials Supply Chain Players Collaborate to Advance Domestic Rare Earth Issues
Products Vital to Green Job Growth and National Security Technology
The United States Magnet Materials Association (“USMMA”) today announced the addition of Thorium Energy, Inc. This move expands the coalition’s focus to include rare earth materials and the rare earth magnet supply chain.
A September 2009 report by the USGS confirms that Thorium Energy, Inc. holds 90% of rare earth resources in Idaho’s and Montana’s Lemhi Pass, long considered the location of one of the largest documented high-grade deposits in the world outside of China.
The USMMA is committing to:
- Support the work of U.S. mining interests to identify and retrieve highly usable rare earth elements from reliable domestic and North American property holdings;
- Revive the ability of industry to convert rare earth elements into usable metal for domestic magnet manufacturing; and
- Advance the manufacturing efforts of U.S. magnet producers whose products are critical to renewable energy applications and national security systems.
The U.S. rare earth supply chain has been decimated by unfair trade practices of foreign competitors. Currently, China dominates the magnet materials industry and has successfully manipulated the rare earth metals market.
Worldwide demand for these materials is escalating rapidly, and over 95% of currently available rare earth mining occurs in China or is controlled by Chinese-led interests. Nevertheless, sizable deposits of the materials exist in the United States and Canada and are available for large scale mining operations. Chinese rare earth export quotas and taxes have placed U.S. magnet manufacturing at a competitive disadvantage. This has led to an increase in Chinese manufacturing and driven Chinese firms up the value chain.
No significant production of rare earth metals takes place today in North America or anywhere outside of China. In addition, experts worry that Chinese domestic demand for rare earth elements could easily equal Chinese production capacity as early as 2012, further limiting material availability in the United States. Additionally, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is calling for a total ban on some rare earth elements in the near future, cutting off the international community’s access to vital materials.
The USMMA argues that the ability to domestically manufacture permanent magnets including rare earth magnets and supporting materials is vital to the nation’s ability to innovate new technologies, create green jobs, and advance next generation national security systems.
With the company’s recent investments, Thorium Energy, Inc. is committed to providing a long-term reliable source of supply to the North American market. The USMMA was founded in 2006 by magnet manufacturers Thomas & Skinner, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana; Hoosier Magnetics of Ogdensburg, New York; and Electron Energy Corporation of Landisville, Pennsylvania, to advocate on behalf of the specialty metals clause found at 10 U.S.C. 2533b. Today, they are expanding their focus to support the reintroduction of a competitive rare earth supply chain in the United States.
USMMA members have successfully advocated for inclusion of a congressionally mandated study of the rare earth supply-chain in the FY10 National Defense Authorization Act. More information on the USMMA can be found at http://www.usmagnetmaterials.com.
Thomas & Skinner, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of cast and sintered alnico magnets, magnetic assemblies, and transformer laminations. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ceramic Magnetics, Inc., Thomas & Skinner is also a leading manufacturer of soft ferrite magnets.
Hoosier Magnetics, Inc. specializes in the manufacturing of hard ferrite powders used in a wide variety of permanent magnet applications. Founded in 1975 in Washington, Indiana; Hoosier is a privately held company owned by Dr. B. Thomas Shirk.
Electron Energy Corporation is a worldwide leader in samarium cobalt magnet production and offers design services and rare earth magnet assemblies. Electron Energy is the only US operated rare earth magnet company that still melts its magnet alloys in-house.
Thorium Energy, Inc., an American natural resources development company based in Salt Lake City and New York City, holds large resources and reserves of high-grade rare earth metals and the largest documented high-grade thorium properties in the world within its properties in Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, including 80% of known and estimated U.S. reserves.
National Security Conference In Cleveland To Focus on Materials Critical to the Military
Posted by admin @ 1:40 pm
Cleveland – The Defense Metals Technology Center (DMTC) of North Canton will host an inaugural Conference here on April 6 and 7 focused on the importance of maintaining domestic sources of specialty metals and materials that impact national security.Invited to the gathering at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Cleveland Clinic is a cross-section of government, business, and academic leaders, as well as elected federal officials.“The Conference is designed to create a comprehensive initiative to address America’s supply-chain vulnerability and ensure the long-term availability of strategic materials for national defense,” says Charles D. Clark, Executive Director of the DMTC.In 2007,
Congress funded the creation of the DMTC as a Center of Excellence to coordinate academic, government, and industrial entities involved with highly specialized strategic materials.Two related Centers of Excellence – the National Center for Defense, Machining, and Manufacturing (NCDMM) of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and DSN Innovations of Pittsburgh – are co-sponsoring the Cleveland Conference.
Through the efforts of then Congressman Ralph Regula of Navarre, the DMTC was located at Stark State College in Stark County, which is in the middle of what the DMTC calls America’s Metals Heartland.“We are the broker between the military’s specific specialty-metals needs and academia and industry in the Metals Heartland,” says Clark, who was Director of Government Relations for the University of Akron before his appointment as the first head of the DMTC.Clark points out that economic globalization has led to a significant increase in the defense supplier base, particularly from abroad.
Accordingly, there is a growing concern in government and industry that certain specialty metals used in military applications – such as titanium – come too frequently from countries that compete with the United States, mainly Russia and China.“The Conference is NOT designed to promote a ‘Buy American’ policy,” insists Clark. “Rather it will focus on the implications of a growing gap in the military’s use of domestic strategic materials and how that also impacts American industry.”“The forum will thus address how to make America’s specialty metals industry more competitive with foreign suppliers,” says Clark. “At the same time, it will ascertain how American companies can be more competitive abroad.”Featured speakers will include:
Barbara Snyder, President of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.U.S. Rep. John A. Boccieri (Ohio, 16th District).Gary Powell, Under Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, Washington, D.C.John Neumann, Assistant Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C.Peter Dent, Electron Energy Corporation, Landisville, PA.Ed Richardson, Thomas & Skinner, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.John Ashburn, Molycorp Minerals, LLC, Greenwood Village, C).
Also scheduled is a panel on “Danger in the Supply Chain: A Case Study on Chinese Manipulation of the High Performance Magnet Market,” which will be moderated by Dr. Luis Proenza, president of the University of Akron.Clark says that suppliers of materials needed by the military are encouraged to attend. “This Conference also is intended to call attention to the opportunities for the metals’ manufacturing base of Ohio and nearby states,” he says.After the Conference, Clark notes, the DMTC will work closely with companies that produce specialty metals and materials. “We also will continue to serve as a credible source of information nationally on the issue,” he adds.For more information about the Conference, including registration, visit www.defensemetals.org.
Posted by admin @ 4:29 pm
The mission of United States Magnet Materials Association is to promote domestic production of the entire supply chain of materials used in magnet systems production to serve our nation’s defense needs. If domestic magnet industry disappears, China will become a critical US defense supplier.
3 Alnico magnet producers
1 Samarium Cobalt magnet producer
0 Neodymium Iron Boron magnet producers
2 electrical steel producers (mills)
0 Rare earth oxides or rare earth metals production
2 non-captive Ferrite producersFile:
USMMA Presentations General 5-08 (PDF)Important Links:
Electron Energy Corporation the only remaining US SmCo producer
Thomas and Skinner, Inc. one of three US Alnico producers
The Thorium Action Group:
Thorium Energy, Inc. is a founding member of the “Thorium Action Group” which consists of five of the leading companies involved in America’s nuclear renaissance. The companies; Thorium Energy, Inc., Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas, LLC, Energy Solutions LLC, and Thorium Power, Ltd. have agreed to work together under the auspices of the newly formed “Thorium Action Group” (TAG).
TAG has joined together to:
· Support efforts to explore the development of the nation’s thorium resources.
· Help improve the performance of current uranium based fuels.
· Strengthen America’s nuclear industry by developing new technologies and procedures that take advantage of thorium’s inherent properties.
· Significantly reduce production of plutonium and reduce quantities of spent fuel.
· Support the re-introduction of thorium based legislation submitted in the previous Congress by Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Harry Reid of Nevada.