lørdag 13. februar 2021

Here's how India can end Chinese dominance in rare earths

As US-China geopolitical rivalry becomes a permanent feature of the global economy, the globalised supply chains that have powered India’s economic growth can no longer be taken for granted. Rare earth elements (REEs) are central to this new post-pandemic economic landscape: they underpin everything from advanced ballistics systems to industrial machinery and TV screens, contributing a total value of nearly $200 billion to the Indian economy. They are also crucial to emerging technologies such as renewable energy and electric vehicles.

China today controls nearly 90% of global rare earth production, posing a vulnerability to manufacturing industries, which the rest of the world is moving to redress. New REE investments and partnershipsbetween China’s geopolitical and geoeconomic rivals, such as Australia and the US, are being announced practically every week.

These developments offer India a precious opportunity. India has the world’s fifth-largest reserves of rare earth elements, nearly twice as much as Australia, but it imports most of its rare earth needs in finished form from its geopolitical rival, China.