It's no secret that there is a surplus of cerium (Ce) supply within the rare-earth-element (REE) market. More recently I've been hearing folks grumbling that we will soon be awash with yttrium (Y) too, with more than one junior-mining executive referring to Y as "the Ce of the heavy REE world"…
While I do not agree with this sentiment when it comes to future Y supply, I am always interested to learn about potential new applications for this element, given the greater potential for availability in coming years. So when Ryan Castilloux, author of the recent Adamas Intelligence report "Rare Earth Market Outlook: Supply, Demand and Pricing from 2014-2020" told me about an emerging application that could dramatically increase demand for Y, I was intrigued. When he started talking about another application that could also significantly increase demand for Ce as well, I naturally started to pay close attention.
As part of his recent 12-month study of the rare-earth sector, Ryan uncovered these and numerous other potential new uses for REEs that could significantly impact demand before 2020. Not all of them have the same chances of penetrating the market, and the actual impact on demand will vary, but being aware of these new uses is vital to understanding the medium- and long-term prospects for the sector.
Following our recent discussion on his new report, I got together with Ryan again recently and persuaded him to discuss some of these emerging end uses in more detail. We put together a 40-minute video of the discussion, which I think you'll find to be very interesting.