Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSXV:MDL) CEO Don Lay was interviewed on CEO.CA, where he spoke about the rare earths markets and provided an update on the company. In the interview, Lay says “Now, it looks like the long bear market in rare earths are over. The rare earth prices appear to have bottomed sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016 and have firmed up substantially since that time.”
As quoted in the article:
PB: Great, thanks Don. I admit that I wonder if we will ever see those crazy prices increases again and I guess time will tell. Please can you tell me about what Medallion Resources is doing?
DL: Medallion initially got involved in rare earths as an explorer. Bill Bird, who was a former CEO of the company, is a geologist who ran Rare Element Resources for several years prior to the boom. He was a former academic who took it upon himself to learn all about rare earth geology and processing. When he left Rare Element Resources, Medallion was basically a trading shell and I was the largest shareholder. Bill said to me “I have some ideas about rare earths” and I was keen to listen.
DL: Bill told me that Jim Dines had written about rare earths at that time, and even gotten involved in Rare Element Resources. Jim Dines is a smart guy and tends to be prescient in looking forward at trends. Bill thought that, if Dines is right, then there might be a boom coming in rare earths where we can get some projects and companies funded. Bill said, “I have a decent background and understand it, I can probably find us some good projects to explore initially, but if those don’t work out then I have some other ideas for processing.” So, we went out and got a couple projects — one in Labrador and one in Manitoba. We did some basic exploratory work on the projects, but our view was that they weren’t worth pursuing and have subsequently dropped them. Ultimately, Bill’s view was that finding rare earths as byproducts was the best way forward and that is what we have been working on for the last four years or so.
PB: Wow. I think that is the first time I’ve actually heard about a junior miner getting started up in association with Jim Dines’ ideas. What an interesting story.
DL: As you know, Peter, rare earths are not exactly rare, with respect to their preponderance in the earth’s crust, but they tend to be scattered. You don’t find a lump of neodymium the way you might find a nugget of gold. Because of that dispersion and the fact that the processing is a bit challenging, we decided that production of rare earths as byproducts was the best method to look at.