Tag - rare-earths



Tools at an exploration site run by KoBold Metals in Chililabombwe, Zambia, on June 11. A complex AI-driven technology that data crunchers at KoBold Metals painstakingly built over years helped identify a copper bonanza deep below a site in Zambia, and the company’s process could radically transform the discovery of metal and mineral deposits critical not only to the tech industry but to the fight against climate change.
Jul 18, 2024
AI joins search for needed metals just in time
KoBold’s find comes as the United States and China are increasingly clashing over global access to minerals.
Workers transport soil containing rare-earth elements for export at a port in Lianyungang, China, in October 2010.
Jun 30, 2024
China issues rare-earth regulations to further protect domestic supply
The rules focus on the mining, smelting and trade in the critical materials used to make products from magnets in electric vehicles to consumer electronics.
A rare earths plant owned by Neo Performance Materials in Sillamae, Estonia
Jun 27, 2024
In race to regain rare earth glory, Europe falls short on mineral goals
EU demand for rare earths is forecast to soar sixfold in the decade to 2030 and sevenfold by 2050.
An ingot of a rare earth metal used to make components for technology products at a factory in China. The country is the world’s top exporter of rare earth elements, but that may change if deep-sea mining gains traction in nations like Japan.
Jun 25, 2024
We’ve got to get deep-sea mining right
Seabed mining could muddy the waters of critical minerals' supply chains by tapping into new sources. But will environmental and legal concerns sink the project?
Professor Yasuhiro Kato of the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo (center right) and Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation (left), hold manganese nodules, a seafloor resource found in the waters surrounding Minamitorishima, Tokyo, on Friday.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jun 22, 2024
Over 200 million metric tons of rare metals found near remote Tokyo island
The sea-bottom mineral concentrations abundantly contain rare metals such as cobalt and nickel — both essential for lithium-ion batteries.
China's Premier Li Qiang visits Western Australia's only operating lithium hydroxide plant Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia (TLEA) in Kwinana, on the outskirts of Perth, on June 18.
Jun 18, 2024
Chinese premier's Western Australia tour spotlights global race for critical minerals
Western Australia supplies more than half of the world's seaborne iron ore, with China its top customer.
Jars containing rare earth minerals produced near Laverton, northeast of Perth, Australia, in 2019
BUSINESS / Markets
Jun 18, 2024
Brazil sees opportunity in race to loosen China's grip on rare earths
Rare earths projects in Brazil are expected to be a test for how effectively the West can build a new advanced industry almost from scratch.
Globally, the area covered by mines has doubled over the past three years, driven by demand for critical minerals, according to a 2023 study.
BUSINESS / Markets
Mar 25, 2024
For mineral-rich Philippines, green metals rush is a balancing act
The county has the world's fourth-largest copper reserves, fifth-biggest nickel deposits and is also rich in cobalt — which are important for clean energy.
Mining magnate Dan Gertler in Congo in 2012
Feb 20, 2024
China's dominance of EV metals prompts U.S. to revisit stockpile 'panic button'
Budget cuts have shrunk U.S. strategic reserves to record lows, leaving it facing shortages of the raw materials needed to execute an energy transition.
Vietnam is sitting on around 17% of the world’s known rare-earth reserves, second only to China. 
Feb 6, 2024
Vietnam should seize a 'rare' opportunity to take on China
Vietnamese officials have approved plans to supercharge rare-earths production, aiming to process as much as 62,500 tons of the minerals by 2030.
Workers disassemble vehicle battery packs in a workshop in Dongguan, China.
BUSINESS / Economy
Dec 22, 2023
China bans export of rare earths processing tech over security
China has significantly tightened rules guiding exports of several metals this year, in an escalating battle with the West over control of key minerals.
The MP Materials rare earth open-pit mine in Mountain Pass, California, in January 2020. Western startups are focusing their attention on the process of refining rare earths — some of them pivoting from mining — that China has spent the past 30 years mastering.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 5, 2023
Western startups seek to break China's grip on rare earths refining
The companies are looking for faster, cleaner and cheaper ways to process the minerals that are critical for billions of electronic devices.
A building housing a rare metal-related company in Baotou in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in July 2020
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 23, 2023
Chinese employee of Japan firm held over alleged rare metal info leak
The move comes as the Chinese Communist Party-led government steps up export controls on the materials essential for cutting-edge technologies.
A lithium mine near Itinga, Minas Gerais state, Brazil
Oct 6, 2023
We’re not even close to running out of green minerals
Rising reserves challenge fears of mineral shortages in green transition.
Japan Times
Jul 19, 2023
Explorer Victor Vescovo says deep sea mining numbers don’t add up
Vescovo said the technological and financial uncertainties of mining metals far from shore and deep below the ocean surface have been grossly underestimated.
Japan Times
Jul 13, 2023
A showdown in Jamaica is deciding the fate of the deep ocean
Seabed mining has the potential to become a trillion-dollar industry as the transition to electric vehicles spurs demand for metals like cobalt and nickel.
Japan Times
Jul 6, 2023
Xi’s metal curbs risk backfiring as G7 seeks China alternative
China’s decision to control the export of two key metals showed it has some power to retaliate against the U.S., Japan and Europe, but the measure is also a double-edged sword.
Japan Times
Apr 23, 2023
Magnets will be minting tomorrow’s billionaires
“Lodestones” started out as lightning-infused magical rocks that could cure baldness. Now they’re an essential part of our machine-driven world.
Japan Times
Feb 22, 2023
Sole U.S. rare earth producer will ship to Japan in new deal that skips China
Output from the Mountain Pass mine in California has typically gone to China for processing, with Japanese companies purchasing from there.
Japan Times
Feb 14, 2023
We’re not even close to running out of green minerals
A U.S. Geological Survey suggests concerns over the securing of materials needed to shift to cleaner energy such as lithium, cobalt, copper and others may be overblown.


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals