Rare earth crunch

Rare earth crunch
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First Published: Wed, Oct 27 2010. 11 18 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Oct 27 2010. 11 18 PM IST
The European Union and the US said on Tuesday that they were pressing for solutions to concerns that China may be exploiting its stranglehold on rare earth metals, crucial in the making of everything from portable phones to wind turbines. Officials and industry executives in Berlin and Washington warned of severe repercussions from a scarcity of the minerals with magnetic, luminescent and other properties which go into products such as hybrid cars, solar panels and windmills. The near monopoly China has in producing 97% of the world’s supply of rare earths has been well known among industrial users for years, but came under the international spotlight after reports that Beijing halted shipments to Japan over a territorial dispute with Tokyo last month.
Also See The Crunch (PDF)
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First Published: Wed, Oct 27 2010. 11 18 PM IST