rare earth elements may affect future global relations
But will future global tensions be a question of getting SC, nd or rare earth?
Or may conflict because of any other element in 17 rare earth elements that are becoming more and more important in the development of the latest high rare earth elementstech products?
Rare earths are hidden on the periodic table of elements. In a short section that chemistry teachers once ignored, rare earths are now everywhere.
They are in your iPod or tablet and are critical to the red color on your TV screen, whatever you have, make your headphones small enough to fit in your ears.
They\'re in a hybrid car.
Battery or fuel.
In a new generation of wind turbines, missile defense systems, solar panels, and even F-16 fighter planes
At present, China provides 97% of the world\'s rare earth elements, which makes the United States nervous from an economic and security perspective.
Their prices rose 1000% in a year, making it worth mining them again in the US.
A deep hole in the mohawai Desert Highlands is the only rare earth mine in the United States, and as there are only a few places in the world that have enough reserves to make mining practical, competition is underway to tap supply to meet demand. \"The world -
United States, United Kingdom, all
\"Relying on products exported from China to meet their needs,\" said Jim Sims of Molycorp, a mountain pass mining company in California.
\"Due to restrictions on China\'s exports, we are considering a complete shortage of rare earths, probably this year and next year,\" he added . \".
As a result, huge excavators and trucks are moving a large number of rocks around them, and daily explosives explode on the slopes and are harvesting one of the world\'s largest deposits.
Ten years ago, the mine was closed when a large number of cheap Chinese rare earth elements made it difficult to maintain profits.
Until a few weeks ago, Molycorp was still seeking help from the US government to cover the cost of digging these elements, separating them and forming them into metal alloys.
But the price of rare earths has risen so fast that it looks like a good business at once.
Last year, China\'s rare earth exports to Japan were disrupted by political disputes over territorial waters, sending the world shudder.
\"When any country has full control over any raw material supply, we should be concerned,\" said Christine Palmer of the new US security center in Washington, DC.
\"I don\'t think China has a unique fault in this case, but they are using political leverage that comes from monopolizing markets like any country.
\"I believe the United States will do the same,\" he added . \".
In so many green technologies, the creation of permanent magnets is one of the key uses of rare earths.
They make the new generation of wind turbines more efficient and reliable.
But these elements are used more and more until the glass is polished so that there is not enough raw material to use.
China\'s growth rate means that it is consuming more rare earths, which has led to a decline in exports.
\"Strictly speaking, this is a safety issue because these minerals are used in key military components of their performance and we don\'t have a replacement at the moment,\" said Christine Parthemore . \".
\"If prices rise or there is a shortage of actual supplies, it may push up the price of military procurement in the long run --
Or that may mean we can\'t make parts in the US anymore.
\"This adds to the need for an industry to extract ore and process materials.
\"The elements in the ore we are mining are all mixed together,\" said Jim Sims . \".
\"We turn them into liquid and let these elements settle into oxides, just like powder,\" he added . \".
There are dozens of huge white bags in a warehouse in the mine, weighing one metric ton per bag, worth $200,000 (£125,700).
\"These powders are subsequently converted into metal as magnets or used in the form of oxides for various uses of various different substances,\" Mr Sims said . \".
As new uses of materials such as rare earth elements are discovered, there will be more competition, and the acquisition of rare earth elements may change the shape of global politics.