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Rhenium Market Reliant on Aerospace for Recovery

July 28, 2010

LONDON, July 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ –

– Roskill Information Services

– Rhenium: Market Outlook to 2015 (8th edition 2010)

The rhenium market went through a significant downward correction in 2009
after a period of strong demand growth and an escalation in prices up to the
last quarter of 2008. The credit crisis and associated recession,
particularly in North America and Europe, severely affected the major markets
for rhenium and demand dropped by 16% in 2009. Primary production of rhenium
responded by falling by almost 10%, but this was not enough to stop prices
plummeting from a peak of US$12,000/kg on a spot basis towards the end of
2008 to around US$4-4,500/kg in mid 2009 before bottoming out. Rhenium metal
prices are currently around US$4,500-5,000/kg.

Consumption of rhenium in 2009 was estimated at 53,500kg, of which 78%
was consumed in superalloys, 14% in catalysts and 8% in other end-uses
including space, alloy mill products, petrochemicals and medical targets. The
USA is the world’s largest producer of aerospace superalloys and is therefore
the biggest consumer of rhenium. Consumption of rhenium in the USA has
increased by 5.4%py over the last nine years, reaching 52,200kg in 2008.
Consumption of rhenium in Europe peaked at 9,000kg in 2007, whilst
consumption in other countries has increased from 3,000kg Re in 1998 to
4,500kg Re in 2009.

Roskill’s base case growth scenario for rhenium is that total demand for
rhenium will increase at an annual average rate of almost 5%py for the period
2009 to 2015, taking total rhenium demand to 71,500kg. This rate is slightly
above forecasts for world GDP over the same period, but is well below the
growth rates seen up to 2008, due to the severe drop in demand in 2009, the
possibility of recycling/re-use of rhenium and greater control over the unit
consumption of rhenium in superalloys. It is unlikely that consumption for
rhenium will follow a linear growth trend, particularly given the cyclical
nature of the aerospace industry. As the global economy recovers from the
current recession, demand is expected to recover strongly for the period
2010-2012 before flattening in 2012/13 and then recovering in 2014/15

Primary production of rhenium totalled 41,200kg in 2009, a 10% drop from
45,600kg in 2008. In 2009, almost two-thirds of primary rhenium production is
estimated to have been carried out in Chile. Other important primary
producing countries were the USA, Poland, Kazakhstan, and China. Lesser
amounts of rhenium were produced in Uzbekistan and Armenia.

The scarcity and high value of rhenium are an incentive to recycle used
material. Capacity for secondary rhenium production could be as high as
30,000kgpy Re, but a large part of this capacity is for recycling of spent
catalysts, which is a closed loop and the rhenium recovered is not available
to the open market. The majority of secondary production is carried out in
Germany and the USA, but significant amounts of secondary rhenium are also
recovered in Estonia and Russia.

The forecast growth in demand for rhenium is likely to be satisfied by
expansions at existing facilities (e.g. Molymet, KGHM Ecoren) and new
projects (e.g. Codelco, Kennecott Utah Copper, Xstrata Copper, Ivanhoe
Australia). In addition, superalloy scrap will be a significant potential
source of secondary rhenium units, as the recycling loop in the superalloy
industry is currently far less efficient than the system in place in the
catalyst sector. Superalloy scrap falls into two main categories; ‘revert’,
which is essentially material that can be re-used ‘as is’ to produce the same
or a different alloy and scrap, which is other material that tends to be
processed to extract the constituent metals, such as rhenium.

Roskill has forecast future rhenium metal prices to 2015 on a “spot”
basis. Prices are expected to start recovering in 2010, but are unlikely to
regain the average levels of 2009 due to the steep nature of the decline in
prices from 2008. Roskill expects spot prices to continue to rise steadily
over the forecast period to reach an average of around US$6,500-7,500/kg in
2015, although there may be a slight correction in prices in 2012 as demand
for rhenium in superalloys is expected to level off in that year. Contract
prices should follow a similar trend and are likely to close the gap on spot
prices as contracts are renegotiated with reference to spot prices.

Rhenium: Market outlook to 2015 (8th edition, 2010) is available at
GBP3500 / US$7000 / EUR5600 from Roskill Information Services Ltd, 27a
Leopold Road, London SW19 7BB, England. Tel: +44(0)20-8944-0066. Fax
+44(0)20-8947-9568 Email: info@roskill.co.uk Web:
http://www.roskill.com/rhenium

Note to editors

The report contains 130 pages, 73 tables and 25 figures. It provides a
detailed review of the industry, with subsections on the activities of the
leading producing companies. It also analyses consumption, trade and prices.

For further information or a review copy of this report, please contact

Mark Seddon (mark@roskill.co.uk). To receive press releases via email, please
contact Prakash Ramachandran (prakash@roskill.co.uk).

    Table of Contents

    Page

    1                 Summary                                         1

    2                 Occurrence of rhenium                           8

    3                 Reserves and resources of rhenium              11

    4                 Rhenium recovery processes                     13

    5                 World production of rhenium                    15
    5.1               Production by country                          15
    5.2               Primary production of rhenium                  16
    5.3               Secondary production of rhenium                17
    5.4               Supply of rhenium from stockpiles              18
    5.5               Outlook for the production of rhenium          18

    6                 Current and potential rhenium-producing
                      countries and companies                        22
    6.1               Argentina                                      22
    6.1.1             Yamana Gold - Agua Rica Project                22
    6.2               Armenia                                        23
    6.2.1             Producers of primary rhenium in Armenia        23
    6.2.1.1           Armenian Molybdenum Production (AMP)           24
    6.2.1.2           Yerevan Pure Iron Plant (YPIP)                 24
    6.2.1.3           Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Company (ZCMC)      24
    6.3               Australia                                      25
    6.3.1             Potential producers of rhenium in Australia    25
    6.3.1.1           Ivanhoe Australia Ltd.                         25
    6.3.1.2           Other projects                                 26
    6.4               Austria                                        26
    6.5               Belgium                                        27
    6.6               Bulgaria                                       27
    6.7               Canada                                         27
    6.7.1             Production of rhenium contained in molybdenum
                      concentrates in
                      Canada                                         28
    6.7.2             Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Canada                   28
    6.7.2.1           Imperial Metals Corporation/Japan Group        28
    6.7.2.2           Taseko Mines Limited                           29
    6.7.2.3           Teck Resources                                 30
    6.7.3             Potential producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium
                      in Canada                                      30
    6.7.4             Producers of secondary rhenium in Canada       31
    6.7.4.1           Recapture Metals                               31
    6.8               Chile                                          31
    6.8.1             Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Chile                    32
    6.8.1.1           Amerigo Resources                              33
    6.8.1.2           Anglo American Sur                             34
    6.8.1.3           Antofagasta plc                                34
    6.8.1.4           Corporacion National del Cobre de Chile
                      (Codelco)                                      36
    6.8.1.5           Cia Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi             40
    6.8.2             Production of primary rhenium in Chile         40
    6.8.3             Producers of primary rhenium in Chile          41
    6.8.3.1           Molibdenos y Metales S.A (Molymet)             41
    6.8.4             Exports of rhenium from Chile                  47
    6.9               China                                          48
    6.9.1             Producers of primary rhenium in China          49
    6.9.2             Producers of rhenium products in China         49
    6.9.3             Exports of rhenium from China                  50
    6.1               Czech Republic                                 50
    6.11              Estonia                                        50
    6.12              France                                         51
    6.13              Germany                                        51
    6.13.1            Producers of secondary rhenium in Germany      52
    6.13.1.1          W.C. Heraeus GmbH                              52
    6.13.1.2          H.C. Starck GmbH & Company KG                  52
    6.13.1.3          Buss & Buss Spezialmetalle GmbH                53
    6.13.2            Exports of rhenium from Germany                53
    6.14              Iran                                           54
    6.14.1            National Iranian Copper Industries Co (Nicico) 54
    6.15              Japan                                          55
    6.16              Kazakhstan                                     55
    6.16.1            Production of primary rhenium in Kazakhstan    55
    6.16.2            Producers of primary rhenium in Kazakhstan     56
    6.16.2.1          State enterprise (RGP) Zhezkazganredmet        56
    6.17              Mexico                                         57
    6.17.1            Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Mexico                   57
    6.17.2            Production of rhenium in Mexico                58
    6.18              Mongolia                                       58
    6.18.1            Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Mongolia                 59
    6.18.2            Producers of primary rhenium in Mongolia       59
    6.19              Netherlands                                    60
    6.2               Papua New Guinea                               61
    6.21              Peru                                           61
    6.21.1            Production of rhenium contained in molybdenum
                      concentrates in Peru                           61
    6.21.2            Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Peru                     62
    6.21.2.1          Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC)        62
    6.21.2.2          Cia Minera Antamina SA                         63
    6.22              Poland                                         63
    6.22.1            Producers of primary rhenium in Poland         64
    6.22.1.1          KGHM Ecoren                                    64
    6.23              Russia                                         64
    6.23.1            Producers of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in Russia                   65
    6.23.1.1          Strikeforce Mining and Resources (SMR)         65
    6.23.2            Production of primary rhenium in Russia        66
    6.23.3            Producers of primary rhenium in Russia         67
    6.23.3.1          A/O Metallurg                                  67
    6.23.3.2          JSC Pobedit                                    67
    6.23.4            Former producers of primary rhenium in Russia  68
    6.23.5            Producers of secondary rhenium in Russia       68
    6.23.6            Former processors of rhenium in Russia         68
    6.23.7            Exports of rhenium from Russia                 68
    6.24              Serbia                                         69
    6.25              Tadjikistan                                    69
    6.26              United Kingdom                                 69
    6.27              USA                                            70
    6.27.1            Production of molybdenum concentrates
                      containing rhenium in the USA                  70
    6.27.2            Production of primary rhenium in the USA       71
    6.27.3            Producers of primary rhenium in the USA        71
    6.27.3.1          Climax Molybdenum (Freeport McMoRan Copper &
                      Gold)                                          71
    6.27.4            Future producers of primary rhenium in the USA 74
    6.27.4.1          Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.                    74
    6.27.5            Producers of secondary rhenium in the USA      75
    6.27.5.1          Gemini Industries                              75
    6.27.5.2          Colonial Metals Inc.                           75
    6.27.6            Downstream rhenium sector in the USA           76
    6.27.6.1          AAA Molybdenum Products, Inc.                  76
    6.27.6.2          BASF/Engelhard                                 77
    6.27.6.3          Cannon Muskegon                                77
    6.27.6.4          Certified Alloys Products Incorporated         77
    6.27.6.5          Climax Engineered Materials                    77
    6.27.6.6          Concept Alloys L.L.C                           77
    6.27.6.7          Criterion Catalysts and Technologies L.P.      78
    6.27.6.8          H. Cross Company                               78
    6.27.6.9          Powmet Incorporated                            78
    6.27.6.10         Rhenium Alloys Incorporated                    78
    6.27.6.11         Ultramet                                       79
    6.27.7            Imports of rhenium into the USA                79
    6.27.8            Consumption of rhenium in the USA              80
    6.28              Uzbekistan                                     81

    7                 Consumption of rhenium                         82
    7.1               Consumption of rhenium by end-use              82
    7.2               Consumption of rhenium by country              83
    7.3               Outlook for rhenium demand                     84

    8                 End-uses of rhenium                            86
    8.1               High performance alloys/Superalloys            86
    8.1.1             Use of rhenium in nickel-based superalloys     87
    8.1.2             Markets for superalloys                        88
    8.1.2.1           Aerospace applications                         88
    8.1.2.2           Non-aerospace applications                     94
    8.1.3             Consumption of rhenium in superalloys          96
    8.2               Consumption of rhenium in catalysts           101
    8.2.1             Rhenium use in catalytic reforming            101
    8.2.1.1           Catalytic reforming processes                 101
    8.2.1.2           Principal platinum-rhenium catalytic
                      reforming processes                           102
    8.2.1.3           Market for reforming catalysts                104
    8.2.2             Rhenium use in catalysts for BTX production   106
    8.2.3             Gas-to-liquid catalysts                       107
    8.2.4             Catalyst regeneration and recycling           108
    8.2.5             Outlook for rhenium in catalysts              109
    8.3               Consumption of rhenium in other end-uses      111
    8.3.1             Use of tungsten-rhenium and
                      molybdenum-rhenium alloys                     111
    8.3.1.1           Use of rhenium alloys in lamp filaments       112
    8.3.1.2           Use of rhenium alloys in other filament
                      applications                                  112
    8.3.1.3           Use of rhenium alloys in heater elements      113
    8.3.1.4           Use of rhenium alloys in X-ray tubes and
                      targets                                       113
    8.3.1.5           Use of rhenium alloys in thermocouples        113
    8.3.1.6           Use of rhenium and rhenium alloys in
                      electrical contacts                           114
    8.3.2             Use of rhenium in booster rocket nozzles      115
    8.3.3             Uses of rhenium compounds                     115

    9                 International trade in rhenium                117
    9.1               Trade flows for rhenium                       119

    10                Rhenium supply/demand balance                 121
    10.1              Forecast rhenium supply/demand balance        122

    11                Rhenium prices                                124
    11.1              Rhenium price mechanism                       124
    11.2              Rhenium price history                         125
    11.3              Rhenium price forecast                        128

SOURCE Roskill Information Services


Source: newswire



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