You can’t go far…


…without running into Chinese dominance in some form of production and Goldman Sachs. It’s after midnight, so I’m researching (what else) some earmarks. I came across a company, Molycorp Minerals, that might get $3 million from taxpayers to develop metal separation techniques in the U.S. so that we’re not dependent on the Chinese for magnetic ores. The taxpayer money “will be leveraged against more than $20 million in private capital to accelerate the engineering and scale of this work.”

Leveraged struck me as an odd word choice — “added” would be more appropriate. In any case, I googled around for Molycorp, and found this press release, courtesy of Reuters:

Molycorp is a Delaware limited liability company with headquarters in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and is a private, US mining and technology company that produces and markets rare earth products. Molycorp is primarily owned by Resource Capital Fund IV L.P., Pegasus Partners IV, LP, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Traxys North America LLC. As the owner of one of the world’s richest rare earth deposit outside of China and a leader in rare earth technology development, Molycorp’s expertise has provided breakthroughs in industries as varied as military, computing and automotive. As the leading western supplier, Molycorp markets rare earth materials from its world class rare earth deposit and mining operation in Mountain Pass, California. In addition, Molycorp maintains a joint venture with Sumitomo Metals, called Sumikin Molycorp, which markets rare earth products in Asia and produces permanent magnet materials in Japan.

I was looking for a different connection in connection with Molycorp and didn’t find it (I’m totally in fishing mode, so about 99.999999 percent of the stuff I’m looking at tonight is precisely what I am not looking for) but I thought it was interesting enough on its own merits that it warranted a post. Who knew China had cornered the market on magnets?