Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 23:34 | SYDNEY
Friday 17 Aug 2018 | 23:34 | SYDNEY

Rare earths: The Australian angle

By

Mark Thirlwell

20 October 2010 09:26

As a quick follow-up to my previous posts on rare earth elements, it's worth noting that Australia has been part of this story. 

Two Australian companies – Lynas Corporation and Arafura Resources – are potentially important players in the REEs market. Interestingly, when the onset of the GFC saw both companies lose access to financing, two state-owned Chinese enterprises stepped up with bids to buy stakes in both companies. In May 2009, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board approved a proposal by East China Mineral Exploration & Development Bureau (ECE) to acquire 25% of Arafura; the company's shareholders approved the A$23 million investment last September.  

Things worked out a little differently with Lynas. After twice postponing a decision on the Chinese bid, the FIRB reportedly asked the China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group to reduce its planned ownership to below 50% (the Chinese company had initially wanted a controlling stake) and to restrict itself to a minority of board seats. At this point, the Chinese bidder pulled out of the deal.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.