U.S. Aegis radar system is also used by the system of rare earth magnets from China
Data Figure: U.S. Navy Aegis-class cruiser Lake Erie
the reporter Fu Yifei
some time, the topic of rare earth resources is increasingly acute.
began to restrict exports of rare earths from China, Japan and the United States and Europe to protest has never Xie Zhi, along with China’s recent efforts to increase restrictions on exports of rare earth, all the clamor and pressure behavior intensified.
data show that China’s rare earth reserves have accounted for 90% of global reserves. After decades of mining, and now accounts for only about one-third. Many countries, sitting on a wealth of rare earth resources, but refused to exploration and production; At the same time, although the annual production of 120,000 tonnes of rare earth, accounting for 97% of the world, it has failed to grasp the rare-earth pricing, long time, precious resources only in a very low price of exports.
a serious drain on resources, and lack of economic efficiency, so the status quo, is worrying.
“earth power” how to “strong” up?
mining led to the loss of pricing confusion voice
“the world’s reserves of rare earth industry first, but after half a century of development , export prices are getting lower and lower, we do not price the right to speak. “Academician in 2010 during the General Assembly, in over 50 years of Chinese Academy of Sciences study of rare-earth Ni Jiazuan sad to say.
Reporters learned that in 1972 China’s rare earth cascade extraction theory and new technology research, rare earth separation technology in the world has been far ahead of many countries, if you want to make rare earth separation, must be purchased in China technology. However, smuggling, hoarding of foreign goods, the chaotic domestic mining rights, have led to some of China’s loss of rare-earth pricing.
China’s “rare earth” father, Xu Chinese Academy of Sciences has pointed out in the report: Since the 1990s, China’s output of a single high-purity rare earth more than 90% share of the world, but not the amount of rare earth was that is a small industry, so the national leading group of rare earth was canceled, give the macro-control. Also, because when our scientific community, the business community’s awareness of intellectual property protection for the weak, had only three plants in Baotou Rare Earth Rare Earth and other three state-owned manufacturers to promote the separation technology, quickly spread to local and private sector, up to dozens of factories as much production capacity of 12-15 million tons, more than the world demand for rare earth, resulting in oversupply, the price artificially low earth.
Xu was among the first called for restrictions of rare earth production, control the price of rare earth one of the experts. In 2005, he led by 15 academicians to “on the protection of the Bayan Obo mine thorium and rare earth resources in the Yellow River and the header to avoid radioactive contamination of the urgent appeal” in the title, the common letter of the State Council. June 26, 2006, the Ministry decided to restrict the country from 2007 mine production of rare earth, rare earth no more than 74,000 tons of total production. The announcement of the decision, the rare-earth prices went up, and in 2007 remained high. However, in 1995-2005 the decade, exports of rare earth billions of dollars in foreign exchange losses, out of thin air to Japan, Korea and other countries buy low-cost reserves for 20 years, the use of high-quality single rare earth.
“2008 onwards, the rare earth prices down which is important because a lot of Japan and other state-owned reserves, so rare to see high prices do not buy it but they have the pricing power of the International Rare Earth This lesson is very painful. “Xu said.
lack of high-tech resources, no interest is a key factor
2009 year, the U.S. Boeing 787 Dreamliner test flight successful, the use of new materials and rare earth, non-ferrous metals and other raw materials for. People to ponder is that the U.S. is the low price imports from China and other developing countries, these raw materials, made of new materials, assembled into a high-performance aircraft, and then sold at high price countries, including China.
“We do not make our earth advantages into economic advantages.” Xu was regret.
this Ni Jiazuan said: “The lack of high-tech resources, China has no interest is a key factor.”
He said that although China’s rare earth resources in the country, not the rare earth high-tech products the producing countries, many rare earth high-tech products and foreign patents are vested in the hands of a few companies, they will be treated as highly confidential these technologies, but less rare earth products in China high-tech, low-cost long time to rely on exports of rare earth minerals, mixed rare earth and many primary products, and then deep-processing of rare earth high-priced imported products.
Xu told the media expressed a “1:10:100″ point of view. He said that if the value of rare earth ore is 1, then the separation of the product value is 10, while the value of the downstream applications of more than 100. “Now the ’1: 10 ‘we have done, and the back of ’10: 100′, is still not done.”
reserve system has become imperative to establish earth
2010 年 10 August, 2010, the provincial Land and Resources announced the development of mineral resources such as rare earth integration focus mining supervise the handling of the list, Xu then recommended the establishment of China’s rare earth reserve system to prevent future controlled by others.
According to reports, the U.S. ranks third in the world rare earth reserves, but production is zero, the required resources are mainly imported from China Rare Earth; Japan without rare earth resources, but it is up to the national reserves of rare earth resources, and its 90 % of rare earth supply is dependent on China.
“With China’s huge loss of rare earth, rare earth in China great power status will be threatened.” Xu said. For example, he said, the main East Baotou Bayan Obo rare earth ore utilization of less than 10%, waste 10% to 15% retained in 75% of the tailings to 80%, while the thorium utilization is zero. According to the current production rate, the mine will be exhausted in 30 years. “China’s annual demand for rare earth about 5 to 6 million tons, accounting for more than half of the total mining, according to the current development speed, a few years later, China will be ‘rare power’ to ‘rare scarce country’ This high-end technology for the development of China’s very bad. “he said.
He also pointed out that the earth is only 1985 half the price, there is much room for growth. Developed countries will seal up the country’s rare earth resources, access to high-quality low-cost Chinese rare earth. If, after decades of China’s rare earth resources are scarce, may face hundreds of times the rare-earth price.
a result, Xu strongly urge States to strictly control the extraction of rare earth, rare earth reserve system set up, and set aside funds for the acquisition of rare earth when the prices are low as a strategic reserve in order to recover the rare earth international pricing.
rare earth mining to improve the environmental threshold of
Recently, the State Environmental Protection Administration and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine jointly issued a “rare earth industry emission standards “The standard from October 1, 2011 onwards.
“China rare earth industry is the key to the problem of pollution.” Rare earth industry experts, China Nonferrous Metallurgy Design Wang Guozhen, vice president of the media said the total. He said, “rare earth industry emission standards” will improve the earth’s “green barriers” so that the rare earth industry quickly took to the green development.
China’s rare earth production accounts for more than 90 percent, from the 1990s, has become the world’s largest rare earth mining country. At the same time, the rapid development of the industry on the ecological damage to the environment has become increasingly severe.
“is currently the most important reason is that pollution of rare earth, rare earth mining after the ecological damage caused by lack of effective remedies, indiscriminate deforestation are quite serious.” Mineral Resources Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences Institute researcher Zhong-Xin Yuan said.
the State Council Development Research Center, Lu Zhiqiang, deputy director wrote: “pool leaching mining one ton each rare earth, to destroy 200 square meters of surface vegetation, topsoil stripping 300 square meters, resulting in 2000 cubic meters of tailings , every year 12 million cubic meters of soil erosion. “
According to South China rare earth ion-adsorption ore for example, this is a unique new type of rare-earth minerals, deposits with large-scale, widely distributed , the heavy REE, easy to mining and other features, the mining has gone through the immersion pool, heap leaching and in situ leaching of three different processes.
pool dip called “moving mountains” campaign after the first weeding cutting trees, bulldozing the entire mountain with earth dug the pond water with ammonium sulfate immersion. After dipping into the mother liquor, and then ammonium bicarbonate or oxalic acid precipitation. “Moving mountain sports,” Wherever he went, the mountain vegetation has been devastating, to be mined hills have become bald mountains, the natural recovery of vegetation alone is very difficult. Meanwhile, after the tailings pond dip was usually unconsolidated or semi-consolidated state, whenever the rainy season flash floods, a lot of water discharged with the tailings, will result in total farmland pressure, blockage of the river and a series of ecological problems. Today, in this way the government has gradually been disabled, but the simple, low cost, there is still illegal to use.
the production of the heap leaching and tank leaching process is similar, but the widespread use of heap leaching of large mechanical dredging, shipping, production scale tank leaching than the large, it will also cause great damage to vegetation.
situ leaching method abandoned heap leaching direct damage to soil and water conservation practices to reduce the extent of the damage to vegetation. Surface to reduce soil erosion, but as time goes on, likely to cause landslides, or even collapse. And in situ leaching method used in the recovery of ammonium sulfate solution can not be completely effective, residual ammonium sulfate solution into the soil and water can also cause pollution.
In addition, rare earth ore extraction process required to use a lot of acid, chemical raw materials extraction agent, will produce large amounts of waste gas, waste water, waste, environmental pollution is very serious.
In recent years, our government has clearly prohibit or restrict the energy-and pollution project development, rare earth smelting projects are also listed. Therefore, the rare earth industry, you need through technological innovation, reduce pollution, in order to achieve long-term sustainable and healthy development.
Wang Guozhen, said in the past is not included in the price of rare earth environmental costs, with the “green barriers” and the establishment of rare earth industry is conducive to survival of the fittest, to accelerate the industry consolidation.
(the reporter Fu Yifei order)
earth – twenty-first century gold
“little people do not recognition of rare earth in the new energy, environmental protection, new materials, new industry plays a vital strategic role. “former State Council Leading Group for members of the Group of rare earth bears Garcia, in March 2010 interview with the media says.
rare earth elements in the periodic table is the 15 lanthanide elements, and the two closely related elements – scandium and yttrium, collectively, the widely used and important. Xinhua News Agency Research Center for World Affairs recently published a long article that Lee, not only in high-tech industry, and mobile phones, computer hard drives, monitors and other daily necessities of a large number of rare earth production are inseparable. Therefore, the rare earth is also known as “The 21st century gold.”
According to reports, the rare earth is the manufacture of precision-guided weapons, radar and night vision goggles and other weapons and equipment essential elements. U.S. “Patriot” missiles to intercept incoming missiles able to accurately, thanks to the guidance system used in about 4 kg of tungsten-cobalt-titanium-iron boron magnets and magnet; U.S. “Aegis” system of spy-1 radar is also used China Rare Earth made by the magnet. Without these elements, these weapons will “blind.”
2009 year, the U.S. Boeing 787 Dreamliner test flight a success. The main structure consists of carbon fiber composite materials and titanium materials, the voyage can save 20% when fuel, fewer emissions of greenhouse gases. The aircraft used in new materials and rare earth, non-ferrous metals and other raw materials for.
development of energy-efficient hybrid vehicles and rare earth elements are closely related. British “The Independent” published January 2010 article describes the Toyota Prius hybrid auto output will reach 100 million units, while production of Prius cars need 16 kilograms each rare earth. Xiongjia Qijie Shao said that a Prius cars on the rare-earth applications may include: rare-earth hydrogen storage materials, batteries, motor rare earth permanent magnet materials containing rare earth elements of the exhaust treatment catalyst, oxygen sensor, rubber tires, rare earth materials, ceramics, and to reduce vehicle weight and used ultraviolet light rare earth alloys and glass.
dysprosium and terbium in rare earth elements are very scarce, because they are the magic ingredients of green energy products. Very small amount of dysprosium in the magnet to the motor 90 percent lighter, Tb can make 80% energy saving light bulbs.
Today, as China’s strategic and emerging industries, rare earth functional materials as the representative of the new materials industry has been much market attention. In energy saving, new energy, new energy vehicles three areas, rare earth functional materials has unparalleled advantages, rare earth permanent magnet, light, catalysts, hydrogen storage, polishing materials, new materials will become the next star.
(the reporter Fu Yifei order)