Dear Reader: Matamec CEO André Gauthier was invited to take part in a panel discussion on the future of rare earths at InvestorIntel’s Cleantech and Technology Metals Summit, held recently in Toronto. Among the topics discussed by the panel was a debate as to what might make the rare earths market heat up again, and when that might occur. “The rare earths market, which gained momentum from 2008 onwards, was driven by new technology developments in the fields of electric cars and alternate energy,” said Gauthier. Since 2013, rare earths prices have been controlled by China, which produces 90% of the world’s supply at low prices. This has forced rare earths projects outside China, including Matamec’s Kipawa rare earths project in Quebec, to develop innovative new processing technologies to be able to deliver individual rare earth concentrates at China domestic prices. The future is looking bright for producers such as Matamec, according to Gauthier. “Small producers are going to see demand in the future for rare earths used in data storage technology, a fast emerging sector. Recent research conducted by IBM and labs in Switzerland have shown that holmium (Ho – one of the heavy rare earths) has immense capability to store data efficiently,” he explained. IBM researchers announced in March that they can store 1 bit of data on a single holmium atom – a capacity that could revolutionize data storage, allowing an entire iTunes library to be stored on a device no bigger than a credit card, for example. To stay on top of the rare earths market and follow updates on Matamec’s progress on its Kipawa rare earths project, please visit Matamec here.