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As new technologies grow in popularity, rare earths and other critical raw materials like lithium and cobalt are becoming crucial to the global economy. But their production is often concentrated in one or two countries, raising the risk that supply could be cut off suddenly. Perhaps most worrisome, China has a stranglehold on many of these materials and their supply chains.
Dr. Frank Umbach
The unique chemical and physical properties of rare earth elements make many cutting-edge
technologies possible. China is richly endowed with the resource and once
attempted to corner the REEs market. Beijing’s predatory policy was thwarted by
the WHO and the global economic slowdown, but the West’s efforts to develop
alternative supply sources have come up short.