Research from the Colorado School of Mines has found that rare minerals that are less-often mined do not always have a greater price volatility than more common metals
The belief that the prices of certain metals fluctuate more stems from the extraction processes required for these metals. Because some of the rarer metals are harvested in smaller amounts, and demands may fluctuate greatly, it seems that the prices would indeed be more volatile.
However, the school researchers found that in the last decade, the data concerning the price volatility of byproducts has been mixed.
"There’s actually been very little empirical evaluation of the conventional wisdom, and this was an attempt to test that," Rod Eggert, deputy director of the Critical Materials Institute, said.
A number of factors can weigh into the price volatility of byproducts, including the need for more transparency in markets that produce byproducts and the small number of companies that work in their production.
In the end, Colorado School of Mines is dedicated to understanding the prices of materials, such as rare earth, and are willing to do the research necessary to gain answers.