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Sumitomo to bypass China in EV rare-earth supply chains

Japan trading house eyes Southeast Asia, U.S. for crucial resources

The Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California owned by MP Materials. (Photo courtesy of company)

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. plans to supply rare earth elements for electric vehicles without involving China, the world's biggest supplier of rare metals that are key to the production of clean-energy systems, such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, Nikkei has learned.

Sumitomo will substitute U.S. and Southeast Asian companies for rare earth element production, which involves a long and complex process from mining to smelting.

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