China’s reserves of heavy rare earth just enough to use the next 20 years, or to be imported
made through chemical treatment by the massive earth and rare earth magnetic material made of tiny pieces of raw materials (Photo Source: Beijing Evening News)
the reporter Xue Qing Mu:: newspaper freelance writer Qiyun Hong
Recently, the Western media reports on China’s rare earth emerging, and said China has strengthened supervision of the export of rare earth. So, how many Chinese Rare Earth? Other countries really need to rely on China’s rare earth it? How do we treat such a strategic resource?
China’s future may have to import
rare earth elements have industry “gold”, have been widely used in the manufacture of steel, aluminum, magnesium alloy, titanium alloy. Rare earth or electronic, laser, nuclear industry, superconductivity, and many other high-tech lubricants.
China’s rare earth reserves account for 36% of the world’s total reserves, called the rare earth resources in the country, but that does not mean that other countries do not have earth, in July 2010, U.S. energy policy analyst Mark Huntover Reese submitted to the U.S. Congress’ rare earth elements: the global supply chain “report revealed that China, the United States, Russia, Australia, the world’s rare earth reserves account for 36%, 13%, 19% and 5.5% of total world production of rare earth in China 97% of production, the output of the other three are zero.
because a lot of exploitation of rare earth in China in recent years, China’s rare earth reserves in 1996 and 2009 fell 37%, only 27 million tons. At current production rate, China’s medium and heavy rare earth reserves can only last 15 to 20 years, the future may need to import. In the mining of rare earth, China also paid the cost of damage to the natural environment.
rampant smuggling of rare earth
the title of one of the world production of rare earth did not bring to China the industry’s “dominant” status, due to the lack of China’s rare earth companies unified supervision and disorderly competition and the prevalence of smuggling, resulting in China alone is “the first rare earth power” status, but not control pricing. Between 1990 and 2005, although the Chinese Rare Earth exports increased nearly 10 times the average price has dropped to half in 1990.
face of China’s “cheap cabbage-like” rare earth, countries have to stop mining. “Resource competition”, author Zhang Jie in the “Youth Reference” newspaper reporters, said, in fact, rare earth is not the best way to exploitation of reserves, but China is not easy to implement. In the United States, rare earth mine are all individuals, not mining now, after only more valuable, so many mines have closed mine is not the primary mining of rare earth. China’s situation is different, China’s state-owned rare earth mine, the mine where the local government to develop the local economy, create jobs, to choose exploitation of mines, to allow local people to make a living.
11 5 March, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said the Chinese government for strengthening environmental considerations, some do not meet the environmental requirements of the small rare earth mines had been reorganized and closed a number of small mines in shut down the natural result of China’s rare earth production declined, exports have also decreased.
Japan has said that Japan currently has 92% of rare earth dependent on imports from China, the United States, Britain, Germany, Korea and other rare earth importing countries should unite to exert diplomatic pressure on China. But the British “Financial Times” said Japan imports only about 1/3 for the production of the other as a strategic reserve, the industry has estimated that Japan’s reserves of rare earth has enough for 40 to 50 years.
also rampant smuggling of rare earth. Industry-recognized, there are about 2 million tons per year of rare earth flow overseas through illegal means. Central Party School, said Li Bing international strategic experts, according to estimates, about 20,000 tons of rare earth smuggling Exports 1/3.
cunning smugglers of rare earth in China, some of them according to color, character name to declare a similar product, so it is difficult to judge the customs. Most of the weak from the detection of small port exit. Specifically, the fudge into the iron oxide red, marble, scouring powder, lime powder are, because these goods are not controlled, and some are not customs duties, and even export tax rebates.
In addition, because the rare earth alloy export quota in the separation of rare earth alloy to extract the loss of rare earth in China is another way overseas. Unique to China, especially the heavy rare earth elements, namely gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium and yttrium in nine elements, many countries still empty, even if the expense of the high cost of separation.
the Chinese government to acquire the rare-earth
so, how should China do to curb the outflow of rare disorder? “Resource competition”, author Zhang Jie believes that a complete ban on exports is certainly not a good idea, because the rare earth elements are made of re-export of products to be tested on all exports, it is difficult to do.
Zhang Jie believes that a more feasible way or the Chinese Government to the acquisition of rare earth. Rare Earth itself is not toxic, there was no deterioration of the problem, very easy to store, maintain and increase after the government store, you can be as “hard currency” to use. The 1930s, the United States has introduced silver bill, the United States as a silver storage power, in the case of depreciation of silver all the way, the acquisition by the U.S. Treasury Department to come forward, store silver. Therefore, the Chinese government can now follow suit, and take the rare-earth support for the RMB.