BLUFChina 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.
- 2019 Canadian Government Rare earth elements facts
- Feb 2021 FT China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US defence industry
- Mar 2021 iNN Rare Earths in Australia
- Mar 2021 FinReview Morrison to launch 10-year critical minerals ‘value-add plan’
- Mar 2021 Market Watch U.S. looks to ease China’s monopoly on rare earths
- Mar 2021 USA Defense News The rare earths crisis requires more than free markets
- Mar 2021 Forbes China Shoots Itself In The Rare Earth Foot; Again!
- Mar 2021 Nikkei Asia Quad tightens rare-earth cooperation to counter China
- Mar 2021 mint “Quad nations may build rare earths to outplay China