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Rare Earth Cheap Export Status Needs To Be Reversed
Mar 12, 2018

From: Shanghai Mental Market

China has always been the world’s most important supplier of rare earths. According to statistics, in 2017, China’s rare earth ore production accounted for 81% of global rare earth supply. In addition to China, Brazil, Vietnam, Russia, India, Australia, the United States and other countries are also rich in rare earth reserves. However, the global supply of rare earth has long relied on China. According to the predicted speed and scale of rare earth mining, China's rare earth resources will be depleted in the next 25-30 years and will become a rare earth importer. The mining and refining of rare earths does not require high technology, but why do other countries with rare earth resource reserves basically do not mine rare earths? Because from mining to smelting, rare earths cause pollution to the environment, including vegetation destruction, soil erosion, and unbalanced ecosystems. They may also precipitate waste water, pollute water sources, and pollute the air with various gases. Even some of the impacts are difficult to recover. Therefore, relative to the current international rare earth price, the high cost of resources and environment is the main reason why Brazil, Russia, Australia, the United States and other countries did not mine their own rare earth.


Rare earth is a non-renewable strategic resource. Key metals for low-carbon energy development China's new energy development will drive the continued and substantial growth in demand for rare earth metals. Since the government regards rare earths as strategic resources, it is necessary to have strategic thinking in the mining of rare earths. At the same time, China itself is also a major consumer of rare earths. If it does not change the current status of exporting rare earths at a low price, China’s demand for rare earths will inevitably be controlled by others.


The black rare earth industrial chain is the biggest concern for the sustainable development of the Chinese rare earth industry. If we do not really extinguish the illegal black rare earth supply chain from the policy design as soon as possible, it will be difficult to reverse the current status of the cheap export of rare earths in China. Therefore, the government needs to intensify policies to internalize the resources and environmental costs of rare earth mining as much as possible. First of all, the strict remediation of black rare earth is the primary task of reducing environmental damage. Second, there is a need to further reduce the environmental hazards of rare earths. Finally, the protection of resources and the environment needs to further increase the concentration of rare earth industries.