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China opens rapidly-built national rare earths R&D centre

Industry base ribbon-cutting will help reassert the country’s hugely dominant position in the metals and minerals mining sector

China opens rapidly-built national rare earths R&D centre 

China is the planet’s biggest supplier of the metals and minerals vital to the tech industry.

China opened a new National Rare Earth Research Institute R&D Base on Tuesday – just a few days after its global rivals unveiled plans for an alliance to counter the country’s dominant industry position.

Rare earth research leaders in China and business chiefs gathered at the Yellow River estuary for the opening ceremony at the Dongying Rare Earth Industrial Park.

More than a year ago, the land in the Dongying Economic and Technological Development Zone was still wilderness when the first foundation stone was laid. Built at top speed, the centre will be a new base for the vital industry which “turns soil into gold”.

The ribbon-cutting came as China was showing signs of concern over its rare earths rivals’ plans for a global alliance to combat Beijing’s dominance of the world market.

The planet’s biggest supplier of the metals and minerals vital to the tech industry has benefited from being the dominant force in the sector for a long time but now its rivals are joining forces to take it on

US and European countries have already formed alliances in rare earths development and on March 12, the leaders of the United States, Japan, Australia and India held an online summit agreeing to build joint rare earths industries.

SUPPLY CHAINS

This would involve supply chain structures, research and development of low-cost rare earth refining technology and low-level radioactive waste discharge systems.

This came after US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on February 24, requiring federal agencies to conduct a 100-day review of the supply chain of four key products, including rare earths.

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