LONDON, June 16 /PRNewswire/ --

- Fifth International Conference on Rare Earths, Hong Kong 17-19 November 2009

There have been some radical changes in the rare earth industry over the last twelve months. In the short term, the downturn in the global economy has led to the price of key rare earth oxides such as neodymium falling by more than 50%, as well as temporary plant closures.

In the longer term, control of supply of rare earths has become of increasing interest. In China, the government has moved to consolidate mining, processing and sales of rare earths as Baotou Iron and Steel extended its control in Inner Mongolia, newly consolidated companies have emerged in Jiangxi and Guangdong, and Jiangxi Copper has increased its control of the industry in Sichuan.

Outside China, the focus has been on the limited availability of rare earth resources as an increasing proportion of Chinese production is consumed in its domestic market. Japanese companies are looking to source material from Vietnam, Neo Materials Technologies plans to source heavy rare earths from Brazil, Molycorp is examining ways in which it can develop its Mountain Pass operations, and exploration results from new deposits are being reported with increasing frequency. In the midst of all this activity Chinese investors acquired a significant stake in one existing and one potential rare earth mine in Australia.

In the context of a year of intensive change in both corporate control and exploration activity, the 5th International Conference on Rare Earths, in Hong Kong in November 2009, will be an essential forum to learn more about recent developments. Speakers include CEOs from both producing and consuming companies, leading traders, and industry analysts. Find out more at

Contact Judith Chegwidden of Roskill Information Services Ltd. on +44-20-8944-0066