The US Department of Defense has held talks with Malawi’s Mkango Resources Ltd and other rare-earth miners across the globe about their supplies of strategic minerals, part of a plan to find diversified reserves outside of China, a department official said on Wednesday. The push comes as China threatens to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used in a plethora of military equipment and high-tech consumer electronics.
Although China contains only a third of the world’s rare-earth reserves, it accounts for 80% of US imports of minerals because it controls nearly all of the facilities to process the material, according to US Geological Survey data. “We are looking for any source of supply outside China. We want diversity. We don’t want a single-source producer,” Jason Nie, a materials engineer with the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, said on the sidelines of the Argus US Specialty Metals conference in Chicago. The DLA, whichContinue reading