Headline, September 15 2023/ WORLD : ''' CRITICAL -'' MINERALS ''- CRAVING '''




THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY - the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student in the world - SHOULD ONE DAY, SOME DAY, FOCUS ON PROFITS AND WEALTH CREATION. WHY SHOULDN'T WE?

JUST AS OIL WAS WEAPONIZED BY ITS SUPPLIERS in the 1970s, so China's dominance in the supply and processing of critical minerals could really prove very, very threatening.

COBALT - GRAPHITE - LITHIUM - NICKEL, the rare earths and more are called critical for good reason. 

They are critical to defence, smartphones and other digital technologies. A handful are essential to wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles. A clean-energy future is inconceivable without them.

CHINA has a near monopoly on many of these minerals. It supplies nearly 90% of processed rare-earth elements.

It is by far the biggest processor of lithium. In the Indo-Pacific region, this is driving Australia, Japan, South Korea and others to seek to diversify from China - in the process defining a new resource-based geopolitics.

PLANS for new critical-mineral supply-chains are being drawn up in multilateral forums such as the  Quad grouping of America, Australia, India and Japan. Resource rich-countries like Australia and Indonesia [ with lots of nickel and plans for a battery industry ] aim to profit from a minerals bonanza.

The focus of much of the strategising, according to the National Bureau of Asian Research, a think-tank in Seattle, is on three things :

''Friend shoring'', shifting supply chain management from ''just in time'' to ''just in case'', and ensuring space capacity in minerals processing.

Minerals-related initiatives are coming in droves. China's dominance, says Australia's resources minister, Madeleine King, is a ''strategic challenge''. On June 20th her government unveiled a critical-minerals strategy to address it.

Australia is the biggest producer of Lithium, the third biggest producer of cobalt, and fourth-biggest of rare earths - yet a processing minnow. It aims to become by 2030, '' a globally significant '' producer of  processed critical minerals. It can '' play its part in making sure we build secure supply chains'', says Ms. King.

To that end Australia is committing A$ 500 million [ $343 million ] to projects under its new strategy. That is in addition to an existing A$ 2 billion fund to get early-stage critical minerals projects off the ground, among them a rare-earths refinery.

This year Australia's government blocked a Chinese entity from raising its stake in a rare-earths company on national security grounds.

As a free-trade partner of America's, Australia hopes to qualify for green subsidies under President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

In April a delegation of Australian producers visited Tokyo, hoping that Japanese investment and long-term purchase contracts will do for Australia's critical-minerals industry what they did for its now pre-eminent iron-ore and gas sectors.

LAST YEAR Japan made critical minerals one of a strategic sectors deserving of government support. In March, Japan and America agreed to co-operate on minerals supply chains, including by countering  ''non-market'' actors. [ie, China]

SOUTH KOREA, with global ambitions for electric vehicles and batteries, looks especially vulnerable to competition between America and China on this issue [ and others ].

As part of President Yoon Suk-yeol's commitment to '' comprehensive resource-security measures '', his government earlier this year released a plan to secure critical-mineral supplies.

The aim is to cut the country's import dependence on China from 80% to 50% by 2030 and to increase its use of recycled minerals, from 2% to 20% of the total. South Korea has struck partnerships with  countries including Australia, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, as well as the EU.

The Honour and Serving of  the Latest Global Operational Research on Critical Minerals and Resource Competition continues. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With most respectful and loving dedication to the Global Founder Framers of The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world, - and then Leaders, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers.

See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X-!E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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