Rare earths are increasingly important for some high-tech products such as smartphones and hybrid cars. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rare earths, accounting for 90 per cent of

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China should think twice before using its rare earth dominance (again)
In 2010, the Chinese woke up to the fact that they were producing 95% of the rare earths in the world. The metals, such as lanthanide elements and scandium, are largely used in catalytic converters, rechargeable batteries, powerful miniature magnets and for making very hard alloys used in military armored vehicles and projectiles. They are dirty to mine and, as China is also the biggest user, they made a half-hearted attempt in that year to protect the trade by slashing exports by 40%. Others saw this as an aggressive weaponization of the trade, cornering the market and driving up prices. It worked; prices rose by between 10 and 40 times. But these neighboring elements in the periodic table
China should think twice before using its rare earth dominance (again)