17 Mar 2021 -

Scramble for rare earths raises fear of China’s dominance

DRAM components

China is likely to dominate for decades production of these 17 minerals that are indispensable to the manufacture of smartphones, electric vehicles, military weapon systems and other advanced equipment, according to Lewis Black, the CEO of mining company Almonty Industries, as reported in EETimes.

Prices of rare earths are surging as news media report that China may again use the materials as a weapon in the trade war with the US. EETimes says shortages of the raw materials would further impact electronics supply chains already constrained by a dearth of chips that started last year.

“The supply chain issues experienced as a result of COVID-19 have sharpened the focus of government and manufacturers around the world on diverse and sustainable supply chains,” Lynas Rare Earths chief executive, Amanda Lacaze, tells the Financial Review.

“We are seeing more government action on critical minerals than ever before, including significant investment. While they are used in small quantities, many modern technologies cannot be made without critical minerals such as rare earths, and this has put them front and centre in government responses to COVID-19.”

To avoid electronics supply-chain disruptions, you may also wish to consult an expert in electronics component supply. With more than three decades of supply-chain expertise, Astute Electronics is ideally placed to work with you on your daily component requirements.

Either through the hundreds of manufacturers we purchase directly from, or the international network of component supply-partners offering full product traceability, Astute Safe-Supply, run by sourcing experts and offers a deeper insight into the global components markets.

With real-time access to the latest listings and prices cultivated through several decades of close supplier partnerships, we are able to spot price disparities and leverage product price variances to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers, whilst ensuring a quality, risk-free supply.

For more help with looking at supply chain options, contact Astute Electronics here

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