The reason why rare earths have attracted widespread attention from the governments of the two countries and the public is because rare earths have important strategic value. Some people have vividly compared the strategic value of China’s rare earths: “There is oil in the Middle East and rare earth in China.” Rare earth is an “industrial vitamin” that has important strategic value in high-tech, high-end manufacturing, defense and military, aerospace, new materials, new energy, and all emerging industries involved in the future, in fluorescent, magnetic, laser, and fiber-optic communications. The fields of hydrogen storage energy, superconductivity and other materials have an irreplaceable role. Rare earth is the “military core”. Almost all high-tech weapons require rare earths, and rare earth materials are often used in the core of high-tech weapons. Our lives are inseparable from rare earth materials, such as mobile phone screens, LEDs, computers, digital cameras, etc., leaving the rare earth, whether it is emerging industries or new energy, new materials, whether military, industrial or life, will lose Eye-catching brilliance.
In 2015, China’s rare earth reserves accounted for 42.3% of the world’s total reserves, ranking first in the world. China is also the only country that can provide all 17 rare earth metals. In 2015, the global rare earth mine production was 120,000 tons, and China provided 105,000 tons, accounting for the world. 87.5% of total production. It is said that China has enough reserves and China’s production is high enough. It should be able to have a dominant position and strong pricing power in rare earths. But this is not the case. China’s rare earth highland has been completely lost for a long time and has been passively affected by the madness of the United States, Japan and Europe. plunder.
China’s rare earth reserves once accounted for more than 80% of the world’s total monopoly position, but in recent decades, especially after the 1990 “marketization reform” quickly caused China’s rare earth, China’s rare earth was A large number of disorderly developments, dumping precious rare earths such as gold to the world at the price of cabbage. China’s exports of rare earths accounted for 95% of the world’s market share, making China’s rare earth reserves fall from 90% of global reserves. Below 50%, there are only 6 kinds of 45 major mineral resources needed for China’s modernization. According to the current scale of mining and export, China will use resources from tungsten, antimony and rare earth mines for another 30-50 years. Great powers become small countries. The medium and heavy-earth rare earth industrial reserves in the five southern provinces of China are about 1.5 million tons. Now it has been mined more than 900,000 tons, leaving only 600,000 tons. If it is mined indefinitely, it will be mined in 10 years! At that time, China can only look back and buy it in a country with a large number of strategic reserves, such as the United States and Japan, at a price that is hundreds of times higher.
At the same time, the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries with rare earth mines generally implement policies to restrict or stop the development of their own rare earth mines, and instead import them from China as strategic reserves. For example, the United States has 13 million tons of rare earth reserves, accounting for about 10% of the world’s reserves. Due to China’s cheap rare earth supply, the United States has sealed its largest rare earth mine, the Mountain Pass mine, and stopped mining. As a strategic reserve. At present, the high-quality single rare earths purchased and stored by the United States, Japan and other countries can be used for more than 20 years in industrial production. The resource trade and production enterprises in developed countries have completely controlled the international rare earth prices, while the rare earth reserves in China have rapidly declined.
China lacks a national strategy for rare earth resources, does not effectively use the scarcity of the international market and the monopoly of China’s rare earth resources to form high-end industries and pricing discourse rights. When China’s entire rare earth minerals are wildly abused, China’s rare earths are facing extinction, China When the government was preparing for rectification, China was attacked by the wolves of the countries with rare earths such as Europe, the United States, and Japan. When the WTO v. China monopolized the rare earths, China lost the case. It can be said that this was a major failure and a painful lesson.
It is to formulate the “Rare Earth Law” as soon as possible, implement legal protection for rare earth resources, resolutely crack down on illegal and open-minded acts in accordance with the law, regulate the export of rare earths on the basis of protection, and strictly prohibit the export of certain rare earth varieties that are already in a critical state. Protect the rare earth as a strategic resource. After the formulation of the “Rare Earth Law,” China must give priority to the implementation of Chinese laws, and completely prevent countries such as the United States, Japan, and Europe from using China’s WTO in the World Trade Agreement to plunder the rare earths in China. ,
The second is to formulate China’s rare earth resource protection and industrial development strategy, raise rare earth resource protection and industrial development to national strategy, and formulate overall plans for rare earth protection, production, research and development, and export. From the long-term development strategy and interests of the country and the nation, there are plans. Rare earth production and development in accordance with the degree of importance and classification.
The third is to reorganize all rare earth resources and development enterprises as soon as possible. At present, China has six major rare earth groups such as Chinalco, Northern Rare Earth, Xiamen Tungsten, China Minmetals, Guangdong Rare Earth, and Southern Rare Earth. I think this is still very scattered. It is not conducive to price competition and resource protection, and is not conducive to the subsequent concentration of the development of the rare earth industry chain. Therefore, I believe that all the rare earth resources and enterprises must be immediately reorganized into one or two large-scale rare earth groups in order to benefit China’s rare earths. The protection, development, production and export of resources are legal, orderly and standardized.
Fourth, after the establishment of the national large-scale rare earth group, all the national rare earth R&D institutes and universities and related enterprises will be set up to form national key laboratories and national-level rare earth research institutes, and all the forces will be concentrated on scientific and technological research, not only in the separation and purification technology of rare earths. Continue to stay ahead, and research and development in the subsequent use of rare earths, forming a global rare earth industrial chain leading the world in rare earth development technology.
such as new energy vehicles, aerospace, military, medical, electronics, new materials and other industries, to build a comprehensive industrial chain coordination system, to do a good job of the military and civilian integration of the rare earth industry. At the fastest speed, the advanced rare application technology developed by the company will be used for military purposes, and the rare earth application technology on military equipment will be transformed into civilian use at the fastest speed.
At present, rare earths are becoming the focus of Sino-US trade wars. China can use some of its advantages in rare earths to launch counterattacks against the United States and impose a rare earth embargo on the United States. But more importantly, using this trade war, resolutely rectify the chaos of the rare earth industry, gradually establish China’s dominant position in the international rare earth market, seize the pricing power of rare earth resources and industries, and form a China-led rare earth industrial chain. In terms of emerging industries and new materials with rare earth as the core, we have achieved technological breakthroughs and leading positions. This is the most critical and core.
The rare earth chaos and the rare earth mourning have left us with profound lessons, but it is not too late to make up for it. From now on, we must raise the rare earth strategy to the national strategy. We must set up a national large-scale rare earth group as soon as possible, and legislate as soon as possible to formulate a national rare earth strategic plan. In this way, China’s rare earths can still become one of the most promising, most profitable and most influential strategic pillar industries in the future Chinese economy. China will also have complete dominance and pricing power in the rare earth market. The most important thing is to make valuable rare earth resources no longer cheaply plundered by countries such as the United States, Japan and Europe, and truly make rare earths a strategic industry and strategic weapon for China.