* Sees final approval for listing in 4-6 weeks
* Listing to address growing interest from U.S. investors
TORONTO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Rare earth exploration company Avalon Rare Metals (AVL.TO) said on Tuesday it had received approval from New York Stock Exchange regulators to apply for a listing on the NYSE Amex exchange.
The Toronto-based company said it must still meet certain conditions before the listing will be official, and it expects the review process to take four to six weeks.
“Listing of the company’s shares in the United States will better accommodate the growing interest amongst American investors in Avalon’s rare metals business,” Chief Executive Don Bubar said in a press release.
Rare earth oxides, a processed form of rare earth elements are used in a variety of high-tech products from smartphones to wind turbines.
China produces over 95 percent of the world’s supply of rare earths, but cut exports by 70 percent in the second half of 2010, causing prices for some rare earth oxide to soar as much as 850 percent.
The 17 rare earth elements are not actually rare, but finding an economically viable deposit is difficult.
Avalon’s flagship project is the Nechalacho deposit in northern Canada. The company needs over C$1 billion ($975 million) to build the mine and related processing facilities.
The Toronto-based company has no debt and C$39 million in cash, earmarked to fund a feasibility study at Nechalacho.
Shares of Avalon closed down 3.76 percent at C$3.58 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Rob Wilson)