Canberra [Australia], September 18 (ANI): In order to break China's monopoly in processing rare earth elements, the Indo-Pacific Quartet composed of India, Japan, Australia and the United States is working together to concentrate resources to quickly build the rare earth sector Of collective self-reliance.There are 17 crucial strategic elements in the production of various products, from notebook computers, electric vehicle batteries to missile guidance systems and lasers. The Sydney Herald reported: “There are 0.15 grams of palladium (a rare earth metal) in the iPhone, 472 kilograms of mixed rare earths in an F-35 fighter jet, and 4 tons of palladium in a Virginia-class submarine.” The Herald reported.So far, China has actually monopolized the processing of rare earth elements. In the context of deteriorating relations with the United States, Beijing has hinted that Washington may be refused to supply minerals produced in China.
The Quartet countries look forward to using this opportunity to quickly establish collective self-reliance, because their dependence on China in key areas may pose a serious threat.
It is believed that Australia is the second largest producer of rare elements, and its fulcrum can free the democracies and like-minded countries in the region from the distortion of communist China, and the latter can use its monopoly on rare earths for key politics control.However, so far, Australia’s output has been much smaller compared to the huge amount produced in China.
However, as Australia is making serious efforts to close the production gap with China, this fragile state may change quickly.There are four Australian companies with advanced rare earth projects. Three of them are in Australia and the fourth is in Tanzania. Their research focuses on producing ferrets from neodymium (a mixture of rare earth metals), which gives high strength permanent magnets.These super magnets are widely used in electric car engines. Funds have been allocated along two large corridors of 2500 kilometers for further exploration in Australia.
In June, Australia signed a preliminary agreement to provide key minerals to facilitate India’s transition to a new energy economy.Australian Resources Minister Keith Pitt said Canberra has the potential to become India's largest supplier of cobalt and zircon.Antimony, lithium, rare earth and tantalum can also be added to the list. Pete said: "India offers more and more opportunities for Australia's key minerals, especially when the country wants to build its manufacturing, defense and space capabilities." He pointed to the attractiveness of New Delhi's "Made in India" program. And its goal of achieving fully electric mobility by 2030-this policy shift will drive India’s massive demand for key minerals.The deal was carried out after a major military logistics agreement was reached between the two countries, which laid a strategic foundation for the special relationship between New Delhi and Canberra, both of which faced disadvantages from China.The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) will allow the two militaries to use each other's military logistics facilities to conduct more complex joint military exercises and improve interoperability between the security forces of the two democracies.Australia has also reached an agreement on rare earth elements with the United States, which is the strongest partner of the Indo-Pacific Group of Four.Lynas, an Australian rare earth miner, will work with the Pentagon to process minerals in a factory in Texas. In addition, the Australian company Syrah has designated a production line in Louisiana, USA to convert graphite into superconductor graphene for use in electric vehicles.
After the dispute between Tokyo and Beijing on the islands in the East China Sea, the partnership between Australia and Japan in the field of rare earths has been established. Fearing that its high-tech industry might be harmed, the Japanese decided to invest in the mountains and mines of Mount Weld in Western Australia, which has one of the most abundant major rare earth deposits in the world.With the financial support of the Japanese government, the Japanese trading company Sojitz Co., Ltd. signed a $250 million rare earth mining supply agreement.The agreement also stimulated the rise of Australian company Lynas, which can now fund the construction of a processing plant in Kuantan, Malaysia. Recently, Lynas signed a 10-year loan extension agreement with a powerful Japanese consortium on easier terms.With the repayment period extended to 2030, the company will be able to relocate its controversial processing facility from Malaysia to Western Australia, not far from the Mount Weld mine.
Since they no longer rely heavily on China, the Indo-Pacific countries decided to work together to establish their own dedicated supply chain without being affected by Beijing.
Earlier this month, the trade ministers of Japan, India and Australia agreed to finalize the details of the new supply chain network, which may include rare earth elements, by the end of the year.They also invited other countries in the region with common views to join the initiative. The three ministers agreed to expand contacts with ASEAN countries, which is the next step in expanding key resources and technological tracks, independent of Beijing's influence. (ANI)