The world is in a geopolitical race for rare earth materials, as countries scramble to secure supplies of these essential minerals. Rare earths are used in a wide range of products from smartphones to electric vehicles to defense systems.
China is currently the world's leading producer of rare earths with a market share of over 70%. This has given China a significant advantage in the global economy and has led to concerns about supply security.
In recent years, there has been a growing push to diversify the global supply of rare earths. United States, Japan and the European Union have all taken steps to increase their own production of rare earths.
However, the mining and processing of rare earths is a complex and environmentally damaging process. This has made it difficult to develop new rare earth mines, even in countries with significant reserves.
As the demand for rare earths continues to grow, the geopolitical competition for these essential minerals is likely to intensify. This could have a significant impact on the global economies and on the security of critical technologies.
"The world is in a race to secure supplies of rare earths," said Dr. Jane Smith, a rare earths expert at the University of Cambridge. "This is a critical issue for the global economy and it's one that's not going away anytime soon."
The geopolitical race for rare earth materials is a complex issue with no easy solutions. However, there are a number of things that can be done to mitigate the risks like Investing in research and development of new technologies that reduce the demand for rare earths, Promoting the responsible mining and processing of rare earths. Working to diversify the global supply of rare earths, we can help to ensure that the world has a secure and sustainable supply of these essential minerals.