• 3 hours UK On Track To Approve Construction of “Mini” Nuclear Reactors
  • 7 hours LNG Glut To Continue Into 2020s, IEA Says
  • 9 hours Oil Nears $52 With Record OPEC Deal Compliance
  • 12 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 14 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 15 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 4 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 4 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 4 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 5 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 6 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 6 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 6 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 7 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 7 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 7 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 7 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
Alt Text

Will Ecuador’s Mining Sector Return To Its Golden Days?

Despite the recent political problems…

Alt Text

Copper Prices Ignited By Chinese Demand Growth

Copper prices saw some gains…

Pentagon Says Rare Earth Elements Less at Risk

Pentagon Says Rare Earth Elements Less at Risk

China controls the rare earth elements that US defense relies on for its high-tech equipment, and now the Pentagon is claiming that the balance is shifting.

There is always a risk that China, which monopolizes extraction of rare earth elements, could disrupt supplies diverted for use in US military applications, but a new report by the Pentagon now says that the market is changing and the risk is lessening.

“Global market forces are leading to positive changes in rare earth supply chains, and a sufficient supply of most of these materials likely will be available to the defense industrial base,” said the Pentagon report. “Prices for most rare earth oxides and metals have declined approximately 60 percent from their peaks in the summer of 2011.”

There are 17 rare earth elements that are used to manufacture not only a wide array of today’s electronics, but also defense equipment from cruise missiles to missile guidance systems, smart bombs and night-vision technology.

There are military applications for seven of the rare earths: dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, neodymium, praseodymium and yttrium.

China controlled 95% of the rare earths market in 2011, and its government was limiting exports and placing restrictive taxes on their sale, causing prices to soar and creating panic that US demand for commercial and military applications would not be met.  

The new Pentagon report says supplies from outside China have now increased, and this trend should continue with US Defense Department efforts to come up with a better domestic production strategy for rare earth metals—one that would be “economic and environmentally superior”.  

Some say it’s a long shot, though, because there is no planned investment that could make significant domestic production a reality.

“These conclusions are wishful thinking, not a defense strategy,” Jeff Green, president of J.A. Green & Co. in Washington, who represents miners and users of the elements, told Bloomberg via email.

While this may be true for the wider commercial uses of rare earth metals, for military applications, the Pentagon report claims that in 2014 the US will be able to domestically produce six rare earth elements on scale with demand. The seventh element used in military applications—yttrium—is very rare and used in precision lasers and rocket stabilizers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, the US, the European Union and Japan filed complaints against China’s rare earths export restrictions with the World Trade Organization. The move came after Beijing made it clear it would not budge on the issue, insisting the controls it has put in place are legal.

"The policy aims to protect resources and environment, and realize sustainable development," a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Shen Danyang, told a Beijing news conference on Thursday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. "China has no intention of restricting free trade or protecting domestic industries by distorting its foreign trade."

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News