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The Nikkei View

Countries need multifaceted approach to securing rare metals

Dependence on China for crucial resources presents risks

Crushed rare-earth ore from a California mine. China accounts for about 60% of the world's production of rare-earth minerals.  © Reuters

Electric vehicles and wind power will play important roles in decarbonizing society. Rare metals are indispensable for the batteries in EVs and the motors of wind power generators. But the rare metals needed to make these batteries and motors are produced unevenly in a handful of countries, and their distribution is sometimes subject to the political whims of these nations.

Demand for rare metals is expected to grow as decarbonization progresses. Ensuring a stable supply will thus become an increasingly important component of economic security, and countries must prepare an array of measures to adequately procure these resources. 

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