China is the major supplier of rare earths; Australia needs a strategy for the mining and processing of rare earths to reduce our dependence on China.


First, worth noting what rare earths (REs) are; see what are rare earths. ASPI notes that an F-35 uses about  420 kilograms of REs. Rare Earths are also essential for batteries, high-powered magnets, electronic equipment, phones, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. Despite its importance, China is the major supplier of most REs, even though RE’s aren’t that rare. The problem is finding them in commercially viable quantities and mitigating the environmental effects of processing REs. As part of critical supply chain management, the US is reducing its dependence on China by contracting the Australian company Lynas to develop a REs processing facility in Texas using Australian mined REs. The Northern Territory government argues Australia should process REs in Australia to reduce Australian supply chain vulnerabilities and create jobs. Think about the REs you need to run your own tech devices and maintain your current standard of living.