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AssessmentsAug 19, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Laborers work at a Lynas plant in Gebeng, 270 kilometers east of Kuala Lumpur, on April 19, 2012.
A Malaysian Rare Earth Processing Plant Looms Large in the U.S.-China Trade Spat
A key link in the global rare earth supply chain is set to stay in business -- albeit perhaps not for very long. The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board officially decided on Aug. 15 to extend an operating permit for Pahang state's Australian-owned Lynas Advanced Materials Plant, which processes rare earths that the company mines in Australia, for an additional six months ahead of a Sept. 2 expiration date. The decision addresses an eight-month dispute between Lynas and Kuala Lumpur regarding the processing and disposal of low-level radioactive materials like thorium that are mined alongside rare earths but become waste after the rare earth elements are separated.  As the only major processing facility outside of China, the Lynas facility is critical to buyers like Tokyo and Washington, especially at a time when China is threatening to cut off exports of rare earth elements, which are essential in the manufacture of
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AssessmentsApr 8, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
The skyline of the Inner Mongolian city of Baotou is blackened by pollution from factories processing rare earth elements, which are essential for the production of mobile phones and computers.
The Geopolitics of Rare Earth Elements
Tucked into the sixth row of the periodic table, often represented by a single square expanded like a footnote at the bottom of the table, are the 15 lanthanides. When combined with yttrium and scandium, these materials are better known as the rare earth elements. Though they are used in very small amounts, their significance to the U.S. defense sector and to emerging and potentially disruptive technologies, combined with China's control over the majority of the market, has given the rare earth elements outsized geopolitical relevance.
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AssessmentsOct 13, 2010 | 11:21 GMT
Dark colored mineral Molybdenite and the metal contained within the mineral called Molybdenum.
China and the Future of Rare Earth Elements
China's suspension of rare earth elements (REE) exports to Japan offers Stratfor an opportunity to examine the future of industries dependent upon these elements. (With STRATFOR graphics)
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