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US President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to increase land production rarely in fear of the Chinese supply cut scenario.
Reuters on July 23 reported that US President Donald Trump first mentioned the possibility of America producing rare earths and magnets made of rare earth.
Mr. Trump then ordered the Pentagon to find ways to increase production of rare earth magnets, which are used in special engines for the US military.
Rare earth is a combination of 17 chemical elements, a raw material used to make weapons, consumer electronics and a variety of other goods without any other alternative materials.
President Trump said that the United States is not capable of making permanent magnets made of rare earth, can withstand high temperatures and is resistant to corrosion. Permanent magnets are often used in high-precision guided missiles, smart bombs and military jets.
The President of the United States warned that the national defense would suffer if it did not fully prepare this stockpile of materials, in the face of a threat from Chinese suppliers.
Instruction from the US leader was also sent to the leaders of the National Assembly committees, as required by the Defense Production Act (DPA), which was established in 1950, allowing the US President and the Pentagon to be Purchase the necessary equipment for defense.
America has been a world leader in the production of rare earth and rare earth magnets. However, to date, China currently dominates the rare earth mining industry. Beijing may use rare earth tricks to create a competitive advantage in the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.
According to estimates from the US government, China is producing nearly two-thirds of the world’s rare earth magnets.
This is the first time President Trump directed the self-exploitation of rare earth. But the idea of self-extracting rare earths to diversify the supply of this particular material has long been planned by the US Department of Defense.
In an official announcement last May, the US Department of Defense is seeking new federal funds to boost domestic production of rare earths to reduce dependence on China. The move came shortly after it was reported that Beijing considered cutting rare earth exports to the United States.
The Pentagon’s proposal was made in a report sent to the White House and reported to parliament at the end of May.
The Pentagon’s proposal was made in a report sent to the White House and reported to parliament also about the exploitation of rare earths in the United States.
US defense companies Raytheon and Lockheed Martin use rare earth in guided systems and sensors for missiles. Rare earths are also essential for other important military equipment such as aircraft engines, lasers, and night vision equipment. It is not difficult to use US concerns about this unique material.
80% of rare earths entered into the US during the 2014-2017 period are from China while there are not many other suppliers that can compete with China.
The US Defense Department spokesman said the Pentagon “continues to work with the president, parliament and US industry to improve US competitiveness in this mineral market.”
Mountain Pass in California is currently the only active rare earth base in the United States. But the MP Materials company, Mountain Pass owner, said every year they would transfer about 50,000 tons of rare earth concentrate from California to China for processing, according to Reuters.
At least three companies in the US are building rare earth processing plants, one of which is expected to go into operation next year. The other two factories cannot be put into operation until 2022.
Recently, the rare earth mining group Lynas, which operates in Malaysia, has formed a joint venture with Texas-based Blue Line Mining to establish a rare earth production plant in the United States.
This means that the US may have Chinese technology that Lynas is using to exploit in Malaysia and bring it to Texas. It is not clear whether this plan has a lot.