It’s a National Emergency!: U.S. Seeks to Break China Dominance of Production of Rare Earth Metals Essential to EVs, Cell Phones, & Wind Tunnels

SITUATION:
China controls & dominated rare earth metal market & production.
Has stranglehold on the mining of minerals essential to modern technology,
China’s lax environmental regulations make production easier, cheaper.

SIGNIFICANCE:
U.S, needs to develop the capability to process rare earth minerals.
Will take years for U.S, to gain mining & market control.
U.S. has no production of 14 of the 35 rare earth elements.
Further, U.S. lacks expertise in rare earth sector.

SOLUTIONS:
Companies like Techmet are recycling battery nickel & cobalt resources.
U,S. has only one mine in California and no processing plants.
Tariffs and grants being offered by U.S. government to kickstart production.
Defense Dept has provided funding of process facility.
Other countries are stepping up—European Union & Canada

STATS:
There are 35 rare earth elements used in batteries & electronics
U.S. imports 80% of rare earth minerals from China.
China supplies 50% of U.S. need for barite used in oil fracturing.
Has on average, has accounted for more than 90% of the global production and supply.
140 M tons of rare-earth elements in subterranean reserves across the globe.
 China holds an estimated 61 million ton

SEZ:
“ To dislodge China’s overwhelming dominance of rare earth is a mulit-year process” – “There are no quick fixes” – TechMet CEO, Brian Menell

Companies in Rare Earth Mining & Production:
TechMet
Neo Performance Materials
Ucore
USA Rare Earths
Texas Mineral Resources Corporation

SOURCES:
WSJ – U.S. Steps Up Efforts to Counter China’s Dominance of Minerals Key to Electric Cars, Phones – https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-steps-up-efforts-to-counter-chinas-dominance-of-minerals-key-to-electric-cars-phones-11601884801

Here’s why China’s trade war threat to restrict rare earth minerals is so serious” – CNBC – https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/30/heres-why-chinas-trade-war-threat-to-restrict-rare-earth-minerals-is-so-serious.html

The U.S. Needs China For Rare Earth Minerals? Not For Long, Thanks To This Mountain – https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimvinoski/2020/04/07/the-us-needs-china-for-rare-earth-minerals-not-for-long-thanks-to-this-mountain/#1834885c28b9

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