Rare earth crisis in the Far East

ISE-Logo6.02.2014 Institute for Rare earth and metals - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has compared the current situation between China and Japan this week with the English German relationship before the First World War. He continued: „…the two European countries were close trade partners, such as China and Japan today. Globalization- Democracy and friends have preached for a long time, that an expansion of Cross-Border Trade and Investments in the partner countries reduces the likelihood of another war. "

His words have certainly some truth, but worrying is open a likelihood of a coming war between the second and the third largest economy in the world is pronounced and is discussed by anyone. Rather, this statement was accepted tacitly by both Japan and China.

If this policy direction will continue to keep beige, is an addition of the United States as an ally of Japan's only a matter of time. It would take a nation to be included after the other in this conflict.

What has all this to do with rare earth?

Very much. The western world would very quickly feel the dependence of China and its raw material supplies. Not only rare earth, many more metals such as germanium, Gallium, Graphite etc. would only increase extremely in the price and very soon no longer be available.

If China actually break this chain, would complete the Western industrial, especially the high-tech industry in serious trouble. In many areas of technological retrogression would have to be taken into account through the use of substitutes, have been used prior to the application of rare earth.

The current Chinese Japanese voltages should be another wake-up call for the West, to call an independent supply chain for rare earths and strategic metals to life. Governments should take the problem more seriously to the development of an independent supply chain to drive forward. The production of rare earths is extremely expensive and technologically complex. Many rare earth mines do not have enough capital reserves to act with the necessary speed. Any idea of ​​what might befall us, we have over the years 2010 and 2011 experienced, as China with the possibility of an export quota reduction went public. Prices of almost all rare earths are in a period of six months between 300% and 3000% increased.

Still a little hope exists. It originated in the Western world, a considerable number of mining operations, promoting these coveted items. The exploration time can be an average rare earth mine is seven to nine years before the production started. At about 85% rely on these mines to a capital inflow through the stock exchanges in the world. But unfortunately they are rather restrictive very moody and an impending war scenario.

It is hoped, that in the Far East all participants keep a cool head so that threats from the daily political agenda disappear.

Institute for Rare earth and metals Düsseldorf – www.institut-seltene-erden.org

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