September 6, 2011
China is currently responsible for more than 90 percent of the worlds rare-earth production, and some analysts allege that China is using its de facto monopoly to lure a high tech companies to China.
U.S. Magnetic Materials Association president Ed Richardson said, “We’re all losing. They (the Chinese) are using their monopoly of rare earths as a weapon. And they’re going to get what they need.” Richardson added that rare earth element (REE) mining projects currently being pursued by companies worldwide from Mongolia to Africa to counteract the Chinese de facto REE monopoly either will begin significant production too late or will produce only a few some of REEs needed for high-tech products, ranging from cellular telephones to cruise missiles.
Technology Metals Research LLC co-founder Gareth Hatch is tracking 381 rare earth projects outside China and India, involving 244 companies in 35 countries, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.