As rare earth prices stabilise, Vietnam’s sector expansion is hindered by the detention of industry officials for suspected infractions of mining laws.
Strong prices for rare earth elements are anticipated by S&P Global in the upcoming years as a result of supply not keeping up with demand.
China’s strategic dominance of the world market exacerbates the Balance Problem, a major problem for exporters of rare-earth elements.
Why is China dominant in the rare earth market?
China’s global dominance in the rare earth market is attributed to its low-cost labor, lax environmental laws, and targeted industrial policies since the 1980s.
With 90% of the metals and 85% of the oxides produced there, China leads the world market for rare earths. Reforms are intended to improve productivity, safeguard the environment, and stop illicit mining.
The US and Japan, who place a high priority on diversifying their sources of rare earth metals, are concerned about China’s domination in the rare earth market.
Rare earth elements
Scandium, yttrium, and lanthanides are among the 17 metallic elements known as rare earth elements (REEs). These are found in the crust of Earth. The remaining 15 elements are called after the elements lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, and terbium.
Due to special qualities, its elements or particles are used in varous kind of applications, like- magnets, catalysts, electronics, chemical refining, cellphones, electric cars, and wind turbines.
Although their availability in minable deposits is restricted, low concentration minerals are the main source of economically significant rare earths, including bastnasite, monazite, and loparite.
Extract rare earth elements from the ground
Leaching is the process of removing rare earth elements from the earth by dissolving the earth in concentrated acidic chemicals, turning it into soluble salts, and then flushing them out.
Through the use of lanmodulin protein to bind to elements and then drain and remove other metals, an experimental recycling method extracts rare earths from waste products using organic acids produced by bacteria.
Rare earth elements, including neodymium, can be extracted from abandoned permanent magnets, mining tailings, industrial effluent, and copper salts.
Fluctuations in rare earth prices impact industries
Prices for rare earths vary a great deal, affecting production costs and the cost of different products in sectors such as electronics, renewable energy, and defence.
Growing price of rare earth elements could make it more pricy for creation of electronics like computers and smartphones. The result could be in higher consumer prices and less demand for these goods.
Decreased costs for rare earth elements may stimulate demand for goods made with these components, resulting in higher output and cheaper final costs for consumers.
In case of businesses that have made more investments in type of rare earth materials, the price of these kind of materials can have a substantial negative effect on profitability and generation costs.