|8/11/2016 by mdc|
|Robin Bromby reports that an important quote was included in a paper written a couple of months ago for the London-based Royal Society of Chemistry by David Abraham, Director of the Technology, Rare and Electronic Materials Center in Washington, DC. The Abraham comments, and some new developments this week, add evidence to the strong case made here in InvestorIntel by Jack Lifton that, essentially, China wants to maintain its rare earth hegemony.|
This week we have seen:
1. Fears expressed from South Korea that China could disrupt REE supplies if it takes offence to Seoul latest defense policies.
2. News that China is planning to upgrade REE technology.
3. And there are plans for a new crackdown on illegal mining in China.
The point made by Abraham recently was that while the rest of the world is trying to figure out how to use fewer rare earth materials, China seeks ways to use more. It is a key point, as China has increased its production of rare earths, innovation in its rare earth industry has evolved, while in the U.S. it has fallen.
Abraham makes the very good point that the rare-earth market is also at the heart of the Chinese government Made in China 2025 strategy, a plan that focuses on developing green and high-tech industries in China. He concludes by saying that anyone who thinks China is about to willingly let slip control over rare earths should reflect on the words of Quinhua Wang.
...We have not enough influence on rare metal in the world and we do not get reasonable profit, by Qinhua Wang, Vice-Chairman of the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association, speaking in 2014....
He complained that China had received poor prices for exporting its rare earths (presumably referring to recent years, not the 2011 bonanza).
A REE transformation fund has so far backed 22 projects, including
Industrialization of high-performance REE magnets
Rare earth hydrogen storage
Rare earth polishing powder
Rare earths for magnetic resonance imaging