INDUSTRY BULLETIN: Avalon Participates in Four Industry Events in November with Sustainability, CleanTech and Supply Chain Themes
December 1, 2011
In this Industry Bulletin, Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX and NYSE Amex: AVL) (“Avalon” or the “Company”) presents some of the highlights from Avalon’s participation at a series of higher profile events: the Securing Raw Materials Supply -- Opportunities for German Companies in Chile and Canada Symposium in Berlin on November 7, the Sustainable Development Technology Canada Cleantech Conference in Toronto on November 9-10, the 7th International Rare Earths Conference in Hong Kong on November 15-17, and the inaugural Schulich School of Business International Case Competition on Sustainability in Mining in Toronto on November 25-26.
Schulich School of Business International Case Competition on Sustainability in Mining – Toronto, Canada
Avalon was a sponsor of the Schulich School of Business International Case Competition, held on November 25 and 26. The inaugural competition, focused on sustainability issues in the mining industry, was attended by seventeen teams representing twelve MBA schools from across Canada and the U.S., including: Queen’s, Dalhousie, Tufts, Simon Fraser, Alberta and Toronto, Columbia, Carleton, Concordia, Ryerson, Bainbridge and Schulich. Avalon team members Mark Wiseman, VP Sustainability, Ian London, Energy and Market Development Advisor, Virginia Morgan, Director Communications and IR, and David Connelly, Avalon Board Member and Chair of the CSR Advisory Committee, served as four of the 28 judges invited from industry and academia. Other sponsors of the events included Barrick, Goldcorp, Hudbay Minerals, IAMGOLD, Kinross, New Gold, Dundee Precious Metals, Inmet Mining, and Teck.
Competing teams were asked to propose effective solutions on how legacy environmental and social issues of sites and operations being acquired as part of a larger merger and acquisition transaction be assessed during the due diligence process, and then managed post-merger. The case example provided was Barrick Gold Corporation’s experience with the Porgera Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea.
Mark Wiseman, VP Sustainability noted, “The enthusiasm, depth of understanding and dedication that these MBA students have for sustainability in mining was inspirational. These leaders of tomorrow will be integral in championing the adoption of stronger sustainability practices in the future.”
7th International Rare Earths Conference – Hong Kong
The 7th International Rare Earths Conference co-hosted by Roskill and Metal-Pages was attended by a record 350 delegates. Avalon was represented by CEO, Don Bubar and VP Sales and Marketing, Pierre Neatby, and was the sponsor of the two luncheons providing the Company with a high profile presence. Due to the recent high prices of rare earths, recycling and substitution were popular topics. However, even at higher prices, there continues to be a lot of research on developing new applications or improving on existing applications using rare earths.
Constantine Karayannopoulos, President and CEO of Neo Materials, was the keynote speaker. In his remarks, he commented on how Chinese export quotas are likely to be reduced in 2012 due to unused allocations in 2011, that demand inside China continues to grow and could represent 70% of world demand in the next few years, and that magnet demand will resume strong growth when rare earth prices decrease. He also stated the need for new heavy rare earths producers outside of China as demand continues both inside and outside China, with China becoming a future importer of heavy rare earths. He believes there is need for, and room for, two to three primarily heavy rare earth producers.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada Conference – Toronto, Canada
Co-produced by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (“SDTC”), Canada’s leading supporter of cleantech commercialization, and Cleantech Group, a leading global research firm focused on cleantech innovation, the SDTC Conference is one of the premiere cleantech events of the year. The focus of the one and a half day conference (Nov 9 and 10) was on how Canada can lever its wealth of natural resources with a culture that supports research and innovation and passion, to drive Canada’s clean economy forward.
Ian London, Avalon’s Energy and Market Development Advisor, addressed the 200 delegates at the opening breakfast. Mr. London clearly made the connection between cleantech principles and technologies with developing a domestic rare earth supply chain that could also serve global demand, and how mining can be done in a sustainable manner. Avalon co-sponsored the event with Royal Bank of Canada, Innovacorp, Cassels Brock, and Ontario Centres of Excellence. The delegate list included entrepreneurs, corporate executives, investors, trade delegates, and policy makers.
“We were encouraged by the attendees’ enthusiasm of Avalon’s participation and their acknowledgement of cleantech’s reliance on rare earths.” commented Pierre Neatby, Avalon’s VP Sales and Marketing, “The industry’s collaboration towards realizing opportunities across the supply chain and in highlighting government’s role in mitigating risks and supporting innovation was inspiring.”
Securing Raw Materials Supply: Opportunities for German Companies in Chile and Canada Symposium – Berlin, Germany
Avalon was represented at this Symposium hosted by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (organized by the Canadian-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Chilean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) by IR Manager, Ron Malashewski and Senior Project Geologist, Martin Heiligmann. The overarching theme of the Symposium related to Germany’s concerns as a major importer of raw materials for its manufacturing sector, particularly in regard to the security of supply of raw materials. Emphasis was placed on the technology metals, since Germany is a significant manufacturer of products in which these elements are used.
Approximately 100 people were in attendance representing a wide range of interests including industry, academia, research organizations and government officials. Also in attendance was PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans, who presented on mining investment opportunities in Canada, particularly in exploration.
This Symposium provided an excellent forum from which to hear the concerns of the German industry and government and to discuss some of the opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between the two countries and the related industries. The opportunities include developing closer relationships and stronger links (e.g. joint-venture partnership, strategic partnerships, and technology transfer) between raw materials producers in Canada, and the end users in Germany.
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About Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (TSX and NYSE-Amex: AVL)
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is a mineral development company focused on rare metals deposits in Canada. Its flagship project, the 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT, is emerging as one of the largest undeveloped rare earth elements resources in the world. Its exceptional enrichment in the more valuable 'heavy' rare earth elements, which are key to enabling advances in green energy technology and other growing high-tech applications, is one of the few potential sources of these critical elements outside of China, currently the source of 95% of world supply. Avalon is well funded, has no debt and its work programs are progressing steadily. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones. Avalon's performance on community engagement in the north earned it the 2010 PDAC Environmental and Social Responsibility Award.