U.S. and Japan Seeking to Break China’s Grip on Rare Earths Production

IEEE Spectrum  July 23, 2020
Over time China has monopolized the rare earth elements (RREs) production with government partnerships and lax production regulations. China restricts REE exports when aggrieved. The Japanese were quick to respond to the threat of blocked exports by encouraging recycling and diversification of REE supplies. The state and private sector collaborated to and importing more rare earth from Asian countries. They discovered rich supplies of REEs in deep sea mud within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean. In 2016 the U.S. and Australia agreed to work together on securing REE resources and to support private industries in achieving that goal, and this January the U.S. signed a similar agreement with Canada. Under a DOE sponsored project researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pennsylvania University, and Idaho National Laboratory are jointly developing a new protein-based environment-friendly process to extract and purify REEs from low-grade sources…read more. Related article: China’s public policies toward rare earths, 1975–2018, Mineral Economics volume 33, pages 127–151(2020)

Posted in National security and tagged .

Leave a Reply