China’s communist regime owns 85% of the world’s valuable rare earths, giving it near absolute control over a wide range of industries that depend on these metals and minerals. However, Australia plans to build a mine and processing facility for these same elements, which could challenge the regime’s monopoly.
Located 80 miles north of Alice Springs, Australia, the Nolans Project run by mining company Arafura will invest millions of dollars to mine these minerals and supply much of the planet with minerals such as neodymium and praseodymium.
Both elements are key in the electronics industry, which in turn affects a large part of the world’s most important markets such as smartphones, computers, chips, batteries, wind turbines, and an endless number of products that we may use on a daily basis without knowing that they could not work without these materials.
The extraction of these minerals is an industry mainly dominated by the Chinese regime, which places it in a privileged position with respect to its commercial competitors such as the United States and other countries, who depend on China to sell them these materials in order to produce their own goods.
China’s current position in the mining world
China not only has significant reserves of mineral resources, but also leads the world in the extraction of many. This gives it a notable geopolitical advantage as a resource essential for global technological production.
In just two decades it has become the main supplier of many of these raw materials, far ahead of the United States and Europe, its main commercial competitors.
This dominance is due in part to existing deposits in China itself, but also to deliberate planning to extend its mining apparatus throughout the world, even in isolated regions such as the Brazilian Amazon and marginalized countries in Africa.
Regarding rare earths, they are found in everyday objects, and many have been the backbone of the development of modern industry. Therefore, all countries need them, which puts those with the largest deposits of these metals at a strategic advantage over the rest.
In recent years, Chinese companies have managed to develop sufficient technology not only to exploit mining deposits, but also to process the extracted products.
For this reason, it has also become a major importer of these raw materials, which are processed in China and then exported again, either as minerals or transformed into finished products.
In short, the Chinese regime not only has the largest deposits of these valuable minerals but is also the world’s number one exporter.
Apart from extraction, the country also refines and manufactures components from these minerals and in many cases even manufactures the final product. In other words, it is involved in the entire production process.
The Chinese regime uses mining to expand its power in developing countries
Using various strategies, the Chinese communist regime has managed to take a leading role in the world mining industry, either by directly importing minerals, by purchasing existing international mining companies, by participating in its own mining companies abroad or by investing in developing countries to take control of their mining products.
Latin America and Africa are being plundered by bad local policies that allow the Chinese regime to take a large amount of natural resources. At the same time it floods the markets with its cheapest products, destroying the national industry, generating dependency, and finally breaking the financial system.
In the case of minerals, the CCP depends almost exclusively on sub-Saharan Africa for its imports of cobalt and manganese, the latter mainly from Gabon, South Africa and Ghana. While Latin America became its major supplier of iron ore and copper, mainly Brazil and Chile.
The Chinese regime has secured direct shareholdings in mineral reserves in several countries, in local mining companies, and in multinational holding companies, with contracts that ensure the flow of raw materials for decades.
What role does Australia intend to play in rare earth mining?
The Arafura mining company is not just a group of adventurers who decided to invest in minerals for profit. Arafura has the support of Australia, one of the countries that has historically led the mining industry in the world.
Australia, an iron ore and coal exporting superpower with rich mining traditions, believes it is in a good position to join the race to acquire rare earths.
Its rulers, in addition to recognizing that mining generates one of the country’s main revenues, understand that the activity as a whole plays a key role in the geopolitics of any nation.
Australia seems to be a country in a position to confront the Chinese regime in its attempt to monopolize the mining sector, and more specifically the exploitation of rare earths.
Another important fact is that Australia has the support of major Western powers such as the United States that also understand that accepting China’s leadership in the exploitation of certain minerals implies a risk for the whole of humanity.
Incidentally, the U.S. Department of Defense announced in February 2021 that the Australian company Lynas Rare Earths Ltd., received authorization and corresponding funds to process rare minerals in the city of Hondo, Texas, in an attempt to end dependence on China for these valuable mineral resources.
The agreement includes $30 million, which if successful, Lynas will produce up to “25% of the world’s supply of rare mineral element oxides.”
Surely the Chinese regime will not take kindly to the Australian company’s initiative, and is unlikely to relinquish its vicious stranglehold on the international rare earth sector. So it is expected that the regime’s usual strategies to deter its competitors and adversaries will soon come to bear.