Pentagon Eyes Rare Earth Supplies In Africa In Push Away From China



The US Department of Defence has held talks with Malawi’s Mkango Resources and other rare earth miners across the globe about their supplies of strategic minerals, part of a plan to find diversified reserves outside 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 hi-tech consumer electronics.

Although China contains only a third of the world’s rare earth reserves, it accounts for 80 per cent of US imports of minerals because it controls nearly all of the facilities to process the material, according to US Geological Survey data.