China Blocks Exports of Rare Earth Metals Needed For Green Technology

January 2, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The Independent has an interesting piece today on China’s plans to choke off the export of rare earth elements that are crucial to green technologies, as well as electronic devices from iPhones to X-ray machines. They are also used to produce fiber-optic cables and missile guidance systems. The co-called rare earth elements include about 17 metals, such as neodymium, lanthanum, terbium and dysprosium. And at the same time that there is growing demand for the rare earth metals, China, which produces 97 percent of the world’s supply is sharply curtailing exports of the precious commodities, leaving Western nations scrambling to find other supply sources, before a worldwide shortage affects global industry.

According to The Independent, global demand for rare earth metals has tripled from 40,000 tonnes to 120,000 tonnes over the past 10 years. But China has cut annual exports from 48,500 tonnes to 31,310 tonnes. And Beijing announced last month that it intended to curb exports at 35,000 tonnes for each of the next six years. Additionally, an internal report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology suggested that the Communist country intends to ban outright, the export of five rare earths and restrict supplies of the remaining metals.

That means that Western nations need to quickly locate alternate sources. European and North American companies are opening mines in Canada, South Africa and Greenland. And corporations are seeking government-backed loans from the United States to establish supplies of rare earth metals needed for guidance systems of missiles and laser-guided weapons.

The United States and the European Union have called on the World Trade Organization to intervene in China’s export restrictions on vital rare earth metals, citing various international trade rules that China has violated. China called the complaint “ridiculous and unacceptable.”

See The Independent for more.


7 Responses to “China Blocks Exports of Rare Earth Metals Needed For Green Technology”

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  5. Krisna on January 3rd, 2010 3:32 am

    China is one of most pollution generator country…

    if they won’t share the source for green tech, we can call them earth destructor….

  6. Rare Earth Investing News | Objective, unbiased news on rare earth mining, exploration, and rare earth industry investing on January 8th, 2010 1:33 am

    […] on a sour note for this sector. On January 2 came the news that China was seriously thinking of stopping exports of  rare earths, a move that could impact the manufacture of, among other things, low carbon technology, that in […]

  7. Justice on March 10th, 2010 3:46 am

    The evil rich countries like those who keeps sealing the rare earth metals for future use while advertising worldwide including this site that China is limiting its resources being exploited totally by rich countries. China sacrified so much and sold these rare earth metals to other rich nations for garbage low price. China never realizes that its good heart to other countries always earn despise and dishonor instead of praising and respect. Those richest nations in the world keeps their reserve cunningly and try their very best to exploit China and other countries’ resources (including oil). This is totally barbarian behaviors while use its media to promote the so-called 97% provider cut its export. It should say China being so nice to contribute to world science and technology and advance by selling rare earth metals to USA, Japan, Korea and European countries at garbage low price, and even sell them extra to refill their tanks under sea, under soil; the reserve is enough for them to use for several decades to come for business and most importantly military purposes. While those nations do not feel appreciation for China’s good contribution, they keep on misleading other people to blame China! This is sinful and evil!!! China has the full right to limit its export as China is getting shit after it gave gold to those countries! Do not be idiots! Do research yourself and find out how rich countries rob China’s resources while keeping all those resources at their own countries for all the bad purposes! Those rich countries have too many political experts who know how to attract votes from innocent citizens. After they got elected, they change face and become big pirates! They use the same skills here to cheat innocent rich country citizens! SAD!

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