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Tuesday, 20th March 2012

A 21st Century Scramble: South Africa, China and the Rare Earth Metals Industry

Source: South African Institute of International Affairs

From the publication web page:

The paper analyses the peculiar structure of the rare earth elements (REE) industry, a sector dominated by China, and the global implications of current upheavals within the sector, especially as they concern South Africa’s (re)emerging rare earths production. REEs are a hitherto obscure group of metals that have now assumed global significance. They are especially critical to modern high-strength magnets and constitute vital inputs for a growing range of mass consumer, ‘green’ technology and military applications. It is important to understand that REEs altogether comprise 17 different metals which, although found together in various combinations, differ in relative abundance and breadth of possible applications. There are therefore large variations in prices and criticality of supply between the different elements.

+ Link to full report (PDF; 727 KB)


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Peggy Garvin, of Garvin Information Consulting, is the author of United States Government Internet Directory (Bernan Press) and Real World Research Skills, 2009 (TheCapitol.Net). In her 20 years in the information business, Peggy has managed electronic information products and services in a variety of environments, including commercial publishing, e-commerce, law firms, and the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Peggy's work has been recognized with the 2011 SLA Dow Jones Leadership Award. She has a Masters of Library Science degree from Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

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