Author Topic: What China’s rare earth metal ban means for the West  (Read 645 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Elderberry

  • TBR Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 24,400
What China’s rare earth metal ban means for the West
« on: April 13, 2023, 01:54:37 am »
UnHerd by  Philip Pilkington 4/11/2023

If Beijing fulfils its threat, Europe and the US will need to diversify their supply

China is threatening an export ban on rare earth metals in response to Washington’s recent decision to impose restrictions on exports of high-end semiconductors to Beijing. This is not the first time that China has mooted such a ban, with rumours circulating since at least 2019 as well as formal threats in 2021.

If such a ban came into effect it could, in theory at least, be quite damaging. Rare earth metals are needed to produce the magnets that are used in everything from wind turbines to hard disk drives to electric vehicles. Everything from a smartphone to a Tesla has a substantial need for these elements, while US military technology is also dependent on them, with the F35 fighter jet requiring 417kg of rare earth metals.

China is by far the largest producer of usable rare earth metals, accounting for 60% of rare earth mining, 85% of rare earth processing and 90% of high-strength rare earth permanent magnet manufacturing. Yet there are questions that arise about whether the sanctions would work. We have seen since sanctions were imposed on Russia last year how difficult it is to regulate commercially available technology. There is every chance that even if China banned exports of rare earth metals to the US, America could simply buy it through a third party — just as Europe is buying Russian oil via intermediaries in India.


Offline Smokin Joe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 56,646
  • I was a "conspiracy theorist". Now I'm just right.
Re: What China’s rare earth metal ban means for the West
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2023, 05:14:33 am »
Or (Gee whiz!) we could just develop our own supplies and process them here. Instead, Domestic miners are hung up in endless EPA/environmentalist red tape, and the Chinese retain a decades long lock on the supply.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C S Lewis