WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rare earth elements are used in a wide range of consumer products, from iPhones to electric car motors, as well as military jet engines, satellites and lasers.
Rising tensions between the United States and China have sparked concerns that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war between the two global economic powers.
ARE - RARE - EARTHS - USED - IN
WHAT ARE RARE EARTHS USED IN?
Rare earths are used in rechargeable batteries for electric and hybrid cars, advanced ceramics, computers, DVD players, wind turbines, catalysts in cars and oil refineries, monitors, televisions, lighting, lasers, fiber optics, superconductors and glass polishing.
Earth - Elements - Neodymium - Dysprosium - Motors
Several rare earth elements, such as neodymium and dysprosium, are critical to the motors used in electric vehicles.
Some rare earth minerals are essential in military equipment such as jet engines, missile guidance systems, antimissile defense systems, satellites, as well as in lasers.
Lanthanum - Example - Night - Vision - Devices
Lanthanum, for example, is needed to manufacture night vision devices.
The U.S. Defense Department accounts for about 1% of U.S. demand, which in turn accounts for about 9% of global demand for rare earths, according to a 2016 report from the congressional U.S. Government Accountability Office.
COMPANIES - ARE - MOST - DEPENDENT - ON
WHICH COMPANIES ARE MOST DEPENDENT ON CHINESE SUPPLIES?
Companies such as Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and BAE Systems Plc all make sophisticated missiles that use rare earths metals in their guidance systems, and sensors. Lockheed and BAE declined to comment. Raytheon did not respond to a request for comment.
Apple - Inc - Earth - Elements - Speakers
Apple Inc uses rare earth elements in speakers, cameras and the so-called “haptic” engines that make its phones vibrate. The company says the elements are not available from traditional recyclers because they are used in such small amounts they cannot be recovered.
Since 2010, the government and private industry have built up stockpiles of rare earths and components that use them, according to Eugene Gholz,...
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