Rare earth as an industrial gold

Johannes Fritsche

Black Forest Messenger, 04.12.2014 18:52 Clock

With No Rare earth would modern life and its technologies inconceivable. Therefore, it was only a matter of time, that the main producer China stops the export and the West puts pressure.

A not so Common, but important issue presented Mayor Thomas Herzog marketing talk of the town at the 26. November: “Rare earth – the search for the gold industry”. Many business owners and those interested in economic issues had come to the lecture hall of the District Savings Bank to host the Economic Development.

The lecture was a speaker, the expert alike as insider was. Bernd Grieb, Managing Director of Magnequench GmbH Tübingen, a company of Molycorp, Inc. headquartered in Greenwood Village in Colorado. Outside of China, one of the few owners a mine for rare earths in California.

Many key technologies would not work without rare earths, resulted from Grieb: Tubular, Plasma- and LCD screens, Wind turbines, Fluorescent, Radaranlagen, PC drives, Mobile phones, and not least the permanent magnets in many products.

“In modern car up to 100 Mounted electric motors, in a wind turbine up to 3,7 Be installed tons of magnetic materials”, Grieb led to examples.

What many in the audience did not know: MS-Schramberg GmbH & Co. KG in Sulgen, with its more than 500 Employees and a turnover of 92 Million euros the second largest producer of rare earth magnets in Europe.

Prior to joining Molycorp Grieb was Head of rare earth magnets in MS-Schramberg. 16 various elements are counted among the rare earths. “They do not come so rarely, economic extraction sites are rare”, reported Grieb.

In the past, China was 95 Percent of the deliveries of the largest and practically the only supplier of significance. 2010 it suddenly became closely for customers in Europe and worldwide, prices shot up: China slowed the export of rare earth radically. In response, activated Molycorp mine again their (Mountain Pass). One to one and a half billion dollars it would have cost, to develop a new mine

Even in the nineties, the US was the main producing country, the promotion but were unprofitable, because China supplied much cheaper. However, at the cost of huge pollution from the local primitive extraction and processing. Toxic residues (For example, thorium, Uranium, Heavy metals, Acids, Fluoride). fallen an, In addition, the permanent risk for the leakage of radioactivity, as many rare earth containing radioactive substances. Grieb also mentions the important role of rare earths for sustainability and environmental protection. Ten percent of the total energy consumption can be saved, when controlled motors are used with rare earth metals. When consistent use in the 87 Million heating pumps in Europe could two nuclear power stations can be saved.

That there is no collection systems and no recycling market despite good separation systems, regrets Grieb. At the conclusion of the expert still showed an informative video about the mining and processing of rare earths at the Molycorp Mine in California.

Wolfgang Flaig director of the office of the District Savings Bank Schramberg Rottweil thanked after the lecture with a gift and invited all visitors to, to share with a snack further, to maintain existing contacts and make new ones.

For more information: www.molycorp.com

 

Those: http://www.schwarzwaelder-bote.de/inhalt.schramberg-seltene-erden-als-industrielles-gold.1927252d-cfdc-4e8f-bc40-1fbb9e99c06d.html

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