Oz to mine more rare earths
From Jane's Defence briefs;
"Australia says it wants to guarantee the supply of rare-earth materials for itself and allies, including the UK and the US.
The move comes as US-China trade war intensifies and China threatens rare-earth export restrictions.
Australia will look to position itself as a supplier of rare-earth materials used to produce high-tech military systems, the country’s Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said on 12 August.
Speaking at a conference in Perth on Indo-Pacific defence issues, Reynolds said Australia’s resources of such materials could be used to support allies such as the United Kingdom and the United States.
Her comments come as the US-China trade war intensifies, with potential ramifications for China’s exports of rare-earth materials."
- Rare earths are not in fact all that rare. However mining and processing of them can be a somewhat toxic process, which is why production tends to be dominated by nations and regimes that don't have the highest regard for either the environment, or the health of workers.
Thus it's good to see the Aussies stepping up to the plate. They'll do it properly, and as cleanly as possible, and lessen the West's dependence on China at the same time. Oh, and make a few bucks for themselves as well. They're very pragmatic where the extractive industries are concerned - unlike New Zealand, which appears to want all the good things in life that mining provides, but doesn't want any of the associated mining activity in its own back yard.