TOKYO — Japan signed an agreement to import 4,100 tons of rare earths a year from
India in its second deal this month to diversify supply from China for the
metals used in mobile phones and hybrid cars to missile guidance systems,
according to reports from Bloomberg and other sources.
the world’s biggest importer of rare earths, signed a memorandum of
understanding in Tokyo today for India to supply as much as 20 percent of the
country’s rare earth imports, according to a briefing by the Ministry of
Economy, Trade and Industry. On Nov. 2, Sumitomo Corp. opened a rare-earth
processing plant in Kazakhstan that will produce 3,000 metric tons by 2015.
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the agreement today, Toyota Tsusho Corp., a Japanese trading company, will set
up a joint venture with India Rare Earths Ltd. Production and supply will start
moves come as China, the supplier of more than 90 % of the world’s rare earths,
sets lower export quotas for the metals. Rare earths are a group of 17
chemically similar elements identified by the U.S. Defense Department this year
as critical to the operation of military equipment.
earths became a political issue after China cut domestic output and exports in
July 2010 by 40 percent, which caused prices to double for some rare earths.
The move soured ties with major users including the U.S. and Japan.
will get 9,000 tons a year of rare earths from Australia’s Lynas Corp. and
10,000 tons per year from Molycorp Inc. (MCP) of the U.S. in the second half of
next year, according to Yasunaga.