Great Western Links with Toyota

Jim Engdahl, CEO of GWMG said, “There has been a long term relationship between our companies and it is reassuring to know that ASC of the Toyota Motor Group will provide the cornerstone of demand for our Rare Earth products over the coming years. This Co-operation Agreement ensures a guaranteed market for an important segment of the Rare Earth alloys we produce.

One of my top 10 picks for REE success just keeps on getting better. Below the latest news from Great Western Minerals. Of course giant Toyota will be looking to cut other REE deals as well, but this deal implies that much if not all of Great Western’s rare earth alloy supply, at least initially, will be headed  out to Japan. Other giant end users get more nervous each time deals like this get announced.

Less Common Metals already has a long term relationship with ASC supplying ASC with neodymium iron boron (“NdFeB”) alloys. In that sense, this GW announcement isn’t that much of a surprise. Still, Toyota’s rattling the bars on quite a few cages. Well done GW’s management. I just love announcements like this, it tends to confirm my feeling that we’re under estimating demand 2015-2025.

Great Western in rare earths cooperation with Toyota
27th April 2011

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Great Western Minerals, which last week announced it would accelerate as well as double production at its South African rare earths mine, on Wednesday said it had inked a cooperation accord with a unit of Japan’s Toyota conglomerate.

Under the agreement, Great Western’s UK subsidiary, Less Common Metals, would over the long term supply rare earth products to Toyota’s Aichi Steel from the Steenkampskraal mine in the Western Cape.

The TSX-listed rare earths junior said the accord removed some risk .

“This cooperation agreement ensures a guaranteed market for an important segment of the rare earth alloys we produce. It also provides a level of stability to our company that enables us to evaluate the expansion of our planned operations at Steenkampskraal in expectation of increasing demand,” commented CEO Jim Engdahl

More.

Great Western announced on April 21 that it would double the previous planned production levels at Steenkampskraal to 5 000 t/y of rare earth oxides, and bring forward the start of underground mining to the first quarter of next year.

If China really is about to become a heavy rare earth element importer from about 2014, we are likely to soon see a stampede of end users seeking similar deals. As each potential source of non Chinese early supply gets locked up, the more desperate it becomes to the other large Toyota like users.  There aren’t that many HRE sources that can be up mining and refining by mid decade. A project coming alive in 2019 doesn’t do much good until then. So who’s secretly talking to who, and who will announce next, becomes a large  part of the REE sector investment guessing game. Will the next big announcement involve a Chinese manufacturer?