Canada’s Globe and Mail leads with a quote well-known in rare metals circles: “The Middle East has oil…and China has rare earths.” Following Xiaoping
Deng’s 1992 dictum, China developed its rare earths production to the point where, today, it provides 97 percent of the world’s supply.
But don’t blame China for capitalizing on its market choke-hold. If China has a near-monopoly, it’s because the U.S. gave it to them, discontinuing all rare earths mining nearly a decade ago. Little known fact: as much as 15 percent of global rare earths resources can be found under American soil. As in the case of other metals and minerals, our rare earths dependency is of our own making.