Anyone with a Telegraph subscription?

This article:

There is no time to waste in the race for rare earth metals

I fear there are at least two errors here. But would like to check. Anyone got a subscription therefore able to post the whole thing in the comments?

25 comments on “Anyone with a Telegraph subscription?

  1. While we have been distracted and gazing at our collective navels in this country over the past three years, the world has moved on. In fact, while we have been largely paralysed, the pace of change has accelerated and there is a new world reality that the UK needs to confront in a post-Brexit era, one that we are woefully unprepared for – resource security.

    Over the past three years, it has become much more obvious that the US and China are in a long-term battle for dominance, particularly in southeast Asia but also globally. More recently, this has manifested itself in a battle for dominance over technological innovation and therefore resource security, particularly rare earth metals such as antimony, magnesium, tantalum and tungsten, to name a few.

    The importance of rare earths and other minerals vital for technology cannot be understated. They are a fundamental component for the manufacturing of wind turbines, capacitors, computers, batteries, healthcare equipment – almost anything hi-tech that we rely upon in today’s society. Commodities such as copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt are particularly important for the development of domestic battery manufacturing capability and thus for national car industries.

    For the past decade at least, China has been razor-focused on creating a strategic supply chain of raw materials from Australia, South America and particularly Africa to supply its economy. China is particularly focused upon developing a global position in rare earths (where it is also blessed with significant domestic deposits) and one of their major products, magnets, which are used in batteries but also in many military applications ranging from night goggles to guidance systems for missiles.

    The One Belt, One Road initiative,which extends Chinese influence around the globe by offering loans for infrastructure projects, is the international reflection of this push. In some areas such as electric vehicles and batteries, China is ahead of the US and one should also expect its military prowess to grow in the coming years.

    Show more
    Wars are always about values, technology and resources and the jostling for position between the US and China is no exception. Particularly in the age of centralised information and surveillance intelligence, it is unclear whether dictatorships or democracy will triumph and what freedoms will survive.

    The initial democratic power of the internet as expressed by the Arab Spring of 2011 both failed to change the status quo in the Middle East and was also rapidly understood, controlled and then manipulated by the intelligence establishments of the global powers. The UK is at least alert to this risk. But in the era of the battle for resources, it has fallen behind.

    The US is fully conscious of the risk to its own security and is seeking to catch up, expanding its budget to develop its own national supply chain for such commodities using in part its development arm Opic. This strategic imperative is apparent in its 
co-operation with Australia on extracting, processing and developing rare earths needed in the tech sector.

    Greenland and icebergs
    Donald Trump cancelled a state visit to Denmark after being told Greenland isn’t for sale CREDIT: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP
    More recently, Donald Trump floated the idea of purchasing resource-rich Greenland. The US is also rushing to develop domestic rare earth processing facilities so as to reduce its dependence on China and to dramatically expand its domestic uranium production capacity.

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    With Japan taking similar steps, it is quickly becoming clear that the global market for certain commodities is breaking down, to be replaced by national supply chains where mining output is for the benefit of an individual country.

    The UK has ambitions to join the technology war. We are leading the EU in terms of wind farm installations this year and we have committed to establish battery charging infrastructure, as well as encouraging manufacturers’ electrification schemes through guaranteed loans such as the £500m made available to Jaguar Land Rover.

    However it will be difficult to fully develop these technologies and enjoy the resultant effect on our economy if we don’t have our own supply chain of the raw materials that are crucial to their production. We could hope to be assisted by the goodwill of the US in this respect, but few would rely upon the charity of others, particularly in the Trump era.

    To achieve self-sufficiency, we need to establish a task force combining the government Department for International Development, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and major private sector automotive, mining, energy and defence companies. They then need to audit our strategic mineral requirements and rapidly plug the gaps.

    Even today a combination of public and private partnerships could acquire a number of strategic rare earth deposits in relatively safe jurisdictions that are independent of Chinese influence. Once acquired, such deposits could be developed to begin producing the materials we are going to desperately need.

    Unfortunately, in conversations in Whitehall, the various arms of the Government currently have no clue as to what is involved and what we should do. This is dangerous for our future and needs addressing.

    The UK has a chance to become a post-Brexit hub for innovation, green leadership and electric vehicles, as the Prime Minister says – but it’s starting from a distracted and neglected position, and needs to get its act together, urgently.

    Julian Treger is chief executive of London-listed Anglo Pacific

  2. “The importance of rare earths and other minerals vital for technology cannot be understated. ”
    I think that should be “cannot be overstated”. It’s easy to understate their importance.

  3. Yet another ‘journalist’ who hasn’t a clue. He’s talking about minerals but ‘rare earths’ sounds scarier. He wouldn’t recognise Erbium if it came & poisoned his cat.

  4. @tractor gent. “Julian Treger is chief executive of London-listed Anglo Pacific”. a mining company. So not a journo, but a CEO seeking taxpayer’s money backed by debt socialisation on a grand scale. The present crop of morons in government is quite likely to accept his offer. Climate emergency and all that.

  5. The perennial Helium shortage came up again on the bbc site. Actually pleasantly surprised they didn’t say that we’d all run out by 20xx and that Russia is expected to introduce new supply, but they did report a chemist who said it should be banned for balloons. As if gold rings should be banned because people need the gold for teeth.

  6. That’s a truly fun bollixing of the argument.

    Yes, entirely right, it’s processing facilities which are the bottleneck. As I’ve been saying for a decade now. But it’s an Oz company palling up to build a facility in the US….

  7. ” razor-focused” Gah!

    Razors aren’t focused. It’s either razor sharp or laser focused. [/pendantry]

  8. These articles always fail to understand what the word Resources actually means. If China blocks access then the economics for everyone else changes. And Resources suddenly expand. The rest of the world has a rare earth supply problem only for as long as it chooses to.

  9. ‘rare earth’ is peculiarly misleading term: it gives the impression that if only the stuff in my veggie plot was the right kind I could make a fortune.

  10. If it’s a problem, how about reducing demand by no longer erecting ecocrucifixes: they’re unreliable, despoil previously unspoiled environments, murder birds and in no way match their claimed generation capacity or lifetime?

  11. “…rare earth metals such as antimony, magnesium, tantalum and tungsten”

    Ahem. None of those is actually a rare earth.

    TIme once again for the world’s greatest mnemonic: “London Communist Party Needs Promising Subjects Every Good Thursday, Do Help Every Thursday You Like”.

    What it means is left as an exercise for the reader.

  12. “it gives the impression that if only the stuff in my veggie plot was the right kind I could make a fortune.”

    Aye, we mustn’t confuse “rare earth” with “magic dirt”.

  13. “What it means is left as an exercise for the reader.”

    Andrew, ok, I’ll bite:

    Lithium, Cadmium, Palladium, Neodymium to start?

  14. China commodity policy is old fashioned mercantilism. It kinda works, as we saw with the Hanseatic League and stuff, until it doesn’t.

  15. @BraveFart: um, no. The first four are Lanthanum, Cerium, Praesodymium, and Neodymium.

    It’s the Lanthanide rare earths. The third word used to be Interesting, but Indium got renamed.

  16. Oops oops rewind! Promethium, not Praseodymium; and Illyrium not Indium. That’s what happens when you try to do clever stuff from memory. Maybe I need a mnemonic or something.

  17. Which is the transparent one used for conductive screens – indium? (which is apparently running out a rate of knots and will cause the end of our civilisation according to BBC experts)

  18. The UK has ambitions to join the technology war. We are leading the EU in terms of wind farm installations this year…

    Installing (useless) equipment that someone else designed and fabricated is not joining any technology war. The technology of erecting the damned things is pretty-much 19th century, albeit with bigger equipment.

    …and we have committed to establish battery charging infrastructure, as well as encouraging manufacturers’ electrification schemes through guaranteed loans such as the £500m made available to Jaguar Land Rover.

    Ditto, and ditto again. The technology that uses rare earths (electronic devices, batteries, display devices, etc) does not require the technology user, owner, or developer to have any involvement in mining the source materials
    Wanker, wanker, wanker – and with an eye on the public purse.

  19. “Installing (useless) equipment that someone else designed and fabricated is not joining any technology war.”

    Yes, good point, dcardno. It reminds me of telling my son that having tatooes doesn’t make you artistic – it makes you the canvas.

  20. Once out of the EU chains perhaps Trump will persuade Johnson to purge green eco-loons from Gov’t and Civil service, schools etc

    Trump: “Boris, which economies are growing fastest?”

    Boris: “Err, well, that depends…”

    Trump: “Boris, it’s USA, China, India; countries that don’t do green crap. Wake up and make Britain Great Again”

    One can hope

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