Reference News Network reported on May 22 that recently, foreign media reported the news of the establishment of joint venture between American and Australian rare earth suppliers, which attracted a lot of attention. Some analysts believe that this is to fill the key gap in the U.S. rare earth supply chain. But is it really so easy to fill the gap?
According to the Wall Street Journal website on May 21, Blue Line, an American chemical company, and Lenas Mining, Australia hope to establish the first rare earth separation plant in the United States, seeking to increase the supply of important commodities.
Taiwan's Zhongshi E-Newspaper website also paid attention to the news. It said that Lenas announced on May 20 that the company had signed a memorandum of cooperation with Blue Line, an American chemical company, and established a rare earth extraction and separation plant in the United States.
According to Reuters, Lenas is the only major producer of rare earths outside China and Blue Line is the leading brand in the U.S. rare earth supply chain. Next year, the two sides will cooperate to set up a plant in Texas, the joint venture's major shareholder is Lenas.
According to Lenas, the joint venture between the two sides has made up an important part of the domestic rare earth supply chain in the United States in recent years. With the advent of the digital age, rare earth is very important for the development of high-tech industry. The two companies will provide a local supply source in the United States together, and the complete supply chain of rare earth in American enterprises will be continuously split.
Some analysts believe that the Blue Line Corporation and the Lenas Mining Co-operation program highlight the growing concern of the American business community about the Trump Administration's speech.
According to the Wall Street Journal website, China dominates rare earth production, while some of the world's largest rare earth consumers are American manufacturers of advanced technologies such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and military equipment. That's why, despite the escalating trade frictions, the United States has been reluctant to impose tariffs on Chinese rare earth commodities.
Taiwan Zhongshi Electronic Newspaper also pointed out that rare earth is widely used in agriculture, industry, consumption, military and other industries. In addition to being an important raw material for the development of high-tech industries, rare earth is also used as raw material for many components of consumer electronic products. The United States is highly dependent on such resources.
However, it is very difficult for the United States to build a domestic rare earth supply chain in a short time.
In February 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Bureau released a report on rare earth materials. According to its estimates, it may take 15 years for the United States to build a domestic rare earth supply chain.
According to the analysis of Thorium and Rare Earth Consulting Company in the United States, less than five of the 400 rare earth start-ups in the United States have entered the stage of production, and only two of them can produce in large quantities, one of which has a Chinese background.