Thursday, 12 April 2018

Japanese researchers uncover huge reserve of rare earth metals used in electric vehicles, smartphones and wind turbines.

Japan set to bust China's monopoly on rare-earth metals.

Researchers in Japan have uncovered and mapped enormous reserves of rare earth metals, which are vital to the production of modern electronics, in a finding that will undermine Chinese producers' de facto monopoly on the key materials. 

Fifteen elements in the lanthanide chemical family and two metals -scandium and yttrium - comprise the rare earth metals market.

These elements are fundamental to the production of electric motors, nuclear reactors, mobile phones, conventional and electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and missile guidance systems. 

The Chinese government is believed to have tried to corner the global market on behalf of Chinese firms for strategic political reasons, by subsidising production until non-Chinese rivals went out of business. Chinese producers now account for 95 per cent of the global market. 

By Lee Bell.
Full story at V3.

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