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Scared Japan to Mine Rare Earth Minerals in Kazakhstan,Vietnam and Surrounding Seas

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Japan and EU were concerned about China’s virtual monopoly over Rare Earth Minerals Production and Reserves.USA had also joined the concerned bandwagon after China sharply restricted REE exports for 2nd half of 2010 thinking of going to the WTO.However the final straw came after the Chinese unofficial embargo on these exports to Japan over a spat in South China Sea.This has made the Japanese Government go to high alert over securing these commodities for its high-tech Industries.Automajors like Toyota,Nissan and Honda are highly vulnerable and are looking to secure non-Chinese supply of these crucial lanthanides.However the production of REE outside of China is almost non-existent and doing so in the short term looks difficult

Japan looks to Unlikely Places for Rare Earth Minerals

Japan is now looking to develop mines in Vietnam and Kazakhstan to secure these minerals which are essential to the green and defense industries.The desperation seems high amongst the Japanese as they  are also looking to prospect for these minerals in the seas surrounding Japan.Besides these efforts to secure these minerals from newer sources,METI is also looking to recycling and efficiency measures.The Government will set up reprocessing plants in Japan in order to reduce dependence as well as invest in newer methods and processes to increase the efficiency of the usage of these Rare Earth Minerals.While the embargo seems to have eased with reports that the Chinese have allowed one ship with Rare Earth Minerals to proceed to Japan,the future seems uncertain.Lynas Corp ,the Australian Rare Earth Miner which is going to start production in 2011 has said that it has got a Japanese customer for its products.

Japan considers moves to secure rare earths- Marketwatch

Japanese officials reportedly are studying the feasibility of stockpiling rare earths minerals in an effort to guard against abrupt supply disruptions.The trade ministry will also help Japanese companies secure concessions for overseas mines, with Vietnam and Kazakhstan among nations that hold promise, Ohata was cited as saying in a Nikkei report.Moreover, the ministry will use its clout to forge closer partnerships with resource-rich nations and bolster cooperation in areas such as infrastructure building, personnel training and in promoting industrial partnerships, the Nikkei reported.Ohata reportedly will seek funding in the fiscal 2010 supplementary budget to implement the new policy.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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