Friday, September 7, 2012

India Makes Rare Earthy Pitch To Rival China

Arial image of Mountain Pass RE mine in California.
The mine was recently reopened after closing in 2002.
NEW DELHI (DNA) -- India might emerge as one of the countries that can challenge China’s rare earths (REs) hegemony. China overviews 97% of RE production; however, US Geological Survey estimates that China has half of the world’s reserves at 55 million tons (MTs). Forecasts show that the currently estimated world consumption of 136,000 tons/year is likely to grow to 185,000 tons/year by 2015. Based on current estimates, the US has 12% (13MTs) of global reserves, Australia (1.6 MTs), and Commonwealth of Independent States (19 MTs). Latest Indian government statistics show that India may have 9% (10.7MTs) of global RE reserves. India used to be the world’s leading RE producer in the 1950s, followed by the US through the 1960s and 1980s. Source:  DNA special: India makers rare earthy pitch to rival China (Reliability: Medium)

Comment: As a consequence of Chinese export restrictions on REs, some countries are likely to reopen their RE mines, which were closed down because of low-cost Chinese production. This will results in higher costs compared to Chinese domestic production; however, foreign companies do not have to worry about the theft of their trade secrets in China.

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