TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Hudson Resources said on Thursday it is in talks with several parties about potentially partnering on its rare earth mining project in Greenland to take advantage of demand stemming from trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The Vancouver-based company is seeking a partner to advance the Sarfartoq project, which holds neodymium and praseodymium deposits, to capitalize on increased interest in supplies of rare earth elements that do not originate in China, it said in a regulatory filing.
As trade tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated, Beijing has hinted it may use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage.
Shares of thinly-traded Hudson rose as much as 9 percent on the Toronto venture exchange, and were up 2.6 percent at 40 Canadian cents in late morning trade giving it a market value of C$71 million ($52.56 million).
The trade tensions have also boosted other tiny Canadian rare earth metal explorers, which are largely seen as speculative plays.
Avalon Advanced Materials Inc jumped 28% to a 20-month high, while Critical Elements Corp. advanced 28% on Wednesday and remained close to that level on Thursday. Ucore Rare Metals shares have nearly doubled in the last two days.
Hudson is focused on production at White Mountain, its anorthosite mine, also in Greenland, but wants to continue to move the Sarfartoq project forward, President Jim Cambon said in the statement, adding the company is open to discussions with other interested parties.
With efforts to build rare earth processing plants in the United States still in the early stages, China currently accounts for 80% of U.S. imports of the group of 17 minerals used in military equipment and high-tech consumer electronics.
Major U.S. companies from defense firms Raytheon Co and Lockheed Martin Corp to consumer electronics companies like Apple Inc use rare earth elements in their products.
Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Alistair Bell