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Metal Miner

Metal Miner

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Will China’s Rare Earth Dominance Ever Be Challenged?

  • China is looking to reassert itself as the dominating global rare earth power. 
  • While China was “closed,” new rare earth trade initiatives began to emerge.
  • Sweden and the United States are two challengers that could gain a sizeable share of the market in the years to come.
Rare Earths

Via AG Metal Miner

The Rare Earths MMI (Monthly Metals Index) rose considerably over the past month, climbing by a total of 7.05%. The primary factor influencing the rare earth price forecast over the past several months was zero-COVID. Now, the focus is on those restrictions being lifted. Currently, China reports that the country’s COVID cases are dropping. China’s manufacturing sector hasn’t sustained too much damage over the past month. As a result, China seems ready to retake its position as the dominating global rare earth power. However, with China being “closed” for so long, new rare earth trade initiatives have started forming.

And while China still presents itself as a huge player in global rare earth trade, other countries continue to emerge as challengers. This is largely due to the global green energy push.

Global Rare Earth Mining Initiatives Spike

The rare earth price forecast can expect support from the green energy push. However, global rare earth supply must meet this demand. MetalMiner, in previous rare earth MMI’s, touched on the fact that the world, as a whole, is rare earth rich. The problem lies in the difficulty in mining rare earths. Despite rare earth deposits being abundant, those deposits are widely scattered and mixed in with other naturally occurring metals like iron. As any rare earth expert will concur, this posts a serious challenge.

Fortunately, new mining initiatives and rare earth logistics continue to appear as various countries kick up their rare earth game. Sweden, for instance, recently announced discovering massive rare earth deposits in the nation’s arctic region. The find gives Sweden significant traction against Chinese rare earth dependency.

Outside of Sweden, mining companies all over the globe continue to step up their own rare earth initiatives. In fact, American Rare Earths Limited, a large mining corporation based in Sydney, could soon challenge China in the global rare earth game. The corporation currently has magnet-metal-based projects operating in both Wyoming and Arizona, two areas projected to contain the largest rare earth deposits in the U.S. The presence of initiatives like this indicates that the United States’ rare earth market continues to expand at a rapid pace.

Rare Earth Price Forecast

The rare earth price forecast could see a further short-term uptrend as these new trade initiatives solidify. Looking outside of China for rare earths could mean higher prices. However, it means less dependence on Chinese rare earths in the long run.

Still, it remains possible that Chinese production will increase after the chaos of the recent COVID case spikes. Combine this with new rare earth sources popping up all over the globe, and the marketplace could see an abundance of different rare earths supply options.  

Pulling away from Chinese rare earth dependency and the push toward clean energy have worked together to alter the face of the global rare earth trade. The bottom line is this: the world needs rare earths for countless different things. Therefore, demand will remain high.

By Jennifer Kary


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