Ceramic Industry

New Rare Earth Trade Association Formed (posted 9/25/09)

September 25, 2009
The independent trade association is dedicated to the establishment of a sustainable domestic rare earth industry and technology base.

Molycorp Minerals, LLC recently announced the formation of the Rare Earth Industry and Technology Association (REITA). The new association will function as an independent trade association dedicated to the establishment of a sustainable domestic rare earth industry and technology base to meet the growing need for rare earth materials and products for green energy, defense, high-tech and homeland security applications.

“We are extremely pleased to be the founding member of REITA,” said Mark A. Smith, Molycorp’s CEO. “While America has one of the largest and richest rare earth deposits in the world at Molycorp’s Mountain Pass, Calif., facility, it has lost much of the technical and manufacturing capacity to produce the rare earth materials and products that are vital to the nation’s green energy, high-tech and defense applications. In order for the United States to be successful in its quest for energy independence, it will need to reestablish these capabilities very quickly.”

According to Keith Delaney, REITA’s executive director, “Today, China supplies nearly 100% of the world’s requirements for rare earth materials. However, as China’s economy continues to expand, its own domestic need for these strategic materials is skyrocketing, resulting in ever-decreasing amounts of these materials for export to the rest of the world. In addition, much of America’s rare earth technology and manufacturing infrastructure has also moved to China. As a result, there are now significant gaps in America’s rare earth technology, innovation and production capabilities. In some cases, entire supply chains for vital rare earth materials and products (such as high-power rare earth magnets) no longer exist in the U.S. Individual companies or institutions alone cannot fill these supply chain gaps. It will take a consortium of like-minded domestic and international organizations to band together to do so. REITA has been formed to take on this challenge.

“REITA’s vision is to be the premier association of industry, government and academic partners meeting the U.S. need for rare earth materials and products. REITA will be the facilitating entity that pools the necessary capabilities of its members to expedite the domestic development and commercialization of rare earth technologies while helping to mitigate the commercial and technical risk of such initiatives.”

Other charter members of REITA include General Electric Co., Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corp., Electron Energy Corp., Colorado School of Mines and rare earth industry analyst Jack Lifton.

For information, call (303) 409-7603 or visit www.reitausa.org.