The Quad nation grouping which includes India, Japan, Australia and the United States (US) are set to join hands to build a procurement chain for rare-earth metals to take on the Chinese dominance in the global supply of these metals.
According to the US Geological Survey, China produced 58 per cent of the globe's rare-earth metals in 2020. It commands a near-monopoly on the separation and purification of rare-earth metals, processes that create concerns regarding environment and soil damage.
However, some four years ago, China accounted for about 90 per cent of the rare-earth metals produced globally. Its share has come down over the years as the US and Australia have gradually boosted their production.
The Quad nations are said to be preparing to counter the Chinese dominance in the sector by cooperating in funding new production technologies and development projects. They also intend to lead the way in drafting international rules. This gains significance as the four nations of the grouping are set to hold their maiden leaders' summit today (12 March), reports Livemint.
It should be noted that back in 2010, China stopped supplies of its rare earth metals to Japan after Tokyo nationalized the Senkaku Islands, pushing prices of some of the metals up by nearly ninefold.
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