Pentagon in talks with Australia on rare earths plant
The U.S. Department of Defense is in talks with Australia to host a facility that would process rare earth minerals, part of an effort to reduce reliance on China for the specialized materials used in military equipment, a senior American official said, APA reports citing CNN.
The push comes as China threatens to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals found in fighter jets, tanks and high-tech consumer electronics.
China is the world’s largest processor and producer of the minerals accounting for more than 80 percent of global processing capacity.
“We’re concerned about any fragility in the supply chain and especially where an adversary controls the supply,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters at a Washington event on Monday.
Lord said the Pentagon is looking at several options to partner on rare earth processing facilities, adding “one of the highest potential avenues is to work with Australia.”
Australian Department of Defence officials said that cooperation on critical minerals that had begun in 2018 was ongoing.
“Continuity and guarantee of supply of rare earths and critical minerals is vital to a range of sectors, including defense. Cooperation with international partners is integral to this effort,” a Defence spokeswoman told Reuters.
The Pentagon update came after the U.S. said earlier this year that it would look to Australia and Canada to develop rare earths reserves around the world to reduce the global reliance on China. It has also held talks with rare earths projects across Africa.
Lord said she has held several talks with Australian officials this year about whether such a plant could supply the Pentagon’s needs.
U.S. President Donald Trump last month ordered the Pentagon to find better ways to procure a range of magnets made from rare earths, warning that the nation’s defense would suffer without adequate stockpiles.
Australia’s Lynas Corp is the world’s largest rare earths miner and processor outside of China and plans to have an initial processing plant up within the next four years as well as developing a plant in Texas.
Rare earth developers in Australia are edging closer to building plants. The country contains only 2.8% of the world’s rare earth reserves, but accounts for more than half of the new projects in the global pipeline.
Northern Minerals which has built a demonstration plant at its Browns Range project in Western Australia, will be ready to decide on the final form and funding of a full scale plant in about a year, a spokesman told Reuters.
Rare earth minerals need to be processed after they are extracted from the ground. There is only one operational rare earths mine in the United States, though the country has no processing facilities.
California’s Mountain Pass mine is building a processor and hopes to have it online by next year.
Azerbaijan's MoD: International organizations were informed about rocket attacks on our regions
President Ilham Aliyev: We want to see Japanese companies in the area of renewable energy which is now one of the priorities
Azerbaijani President congratulates peoples of Azerbaijan and Iran on ensuring full control of over state border
Azerbaijani President: 13 more villages and one settlement of Zangilan liberated from occupation
Azerbaijani President: Several villages of Fuzuli and Jabrail regions liberated from occupation
Russia’s State Duma: Zatulin doesn’t have authority to comment on paratroop operation in Garabagh
Azerbaıjanı President: Turkey must be actively involved, is involved and we strongly support it
President Ilham Aliyev was interviewed by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper - UPDATED
Zakharova: Russia continues its active mediation efforts regarding Nagorno Garabagh conflict
Chief Ombudsman of Turkey: “What happened in Ganja are atrocity”
Azerbaijanis held rally in front of building of Guardian publication - VIDEO
Russia's FSB has prevented a terrorist attack in the Moscow region
Date of next plenary meeting of Azerbaijani Parliament unveiled
Azerbaijani MFA: Launch of rockets at Siyazan, Kurdamir and Gabala indicate Armenia's attempts to expand geography of conflict zone
Kremlin: Involvement of third countries in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement is possible only with the consent of Azerbaijan and Armenia
OIC: We are in solidarity with Azerbaijan, Armenia should withdraw unconditionally its military forces from occupied territories
MoD: Artillerymen of the Azerbaijan Army continue to inflict precise strikes at the enemy's firing points - VIDEO
Kamran Aliyev: “18 are women, 8 children among civilians killed as a result of Armenian provocation”
Edward Snowden obtains Russia’s open-ended residence permit
Chief Ombudsman of Turkey visits Ganja
MFA: Armenia must quit its attempt to mislead the international community by giving erroneous statements
Boeing discussing new plane
Office of the Cabinet of Ministers and UN Country Board discuss initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to Azerbaijan
Armenia's GDP may decline by 1 billion US dollars in 4th quarter of 2020 - FORECAST
Number of confirmed coronavirus cases reaches 47,418 in Azerbaijan, 648 deaths
President Ilham Aliyev disclosed his expectations from Washington meeting of heads of MFA of Azerbaijan and Armenia
Azerbaijan confirms 825 fresh COVID-19 cases, 171 recoveries, 6 deaths
Russia applies to Non-Aligned Movement, chaired by Azerbaijan, for observer status
Reconstruction of historical roads leading to Sugovushan and Talysh villages begins
U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO: The conflict should be resolved within the sovereign boundaries of Azerbaijan
President Ilham Aliyev received Turkish Chief Ombudsman - UPDATED
President Ilham Aliyev: By breaking the back of Armenian fascism, we will save our region from great troubles and great tragedies
Israeli Ambassador: Attacks on civilians unacceptable regardless of nationality or religion
Draft law on renaming Khojavend's Vang village as Chinarli recommended to plenary session of the Parliament
Military expert: “Kasprzyk and his field assistants deceived Azerbaijan during these years, they should be brought to responsibility”
Another UAV of Armenia was destroyed
Azerbaijani President: “The view of the liberated cities and villages shows what savages we are face to face"
Video footage of another seized military equipment of the enemy - VIDEO
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry: Armenian servicemen refuse to fight
Azerbaijani President: Fascist regime in Armenia is the biggest threat to our region, to the world
Prosecutor General's Office: Armenians target Oguz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline
Turkish Defense Minister: "Armenia must leave occupied Azerbaijani lands!"
One civilian injured, five houses damaged as Armenia inflicted rocket attack on Azerbaijan's Gabala
ANAMA: Armenia launched ballistic 8K14 rockets to Gebele and Kurdemir regions of Azerbaijan
Israeli ambassador visited destroyed houses in Ganja
Russian Foreign Intelligence Chief arrived in Minsk
Coronavirus death toll in Russia exceeds 25.000
Banksy's take on Monet masterpiece sells for 7.6 million pounds
Liberation of Zangilan will increase Azerbaijan’s production and export of mineral resources
Georgia records 1 595 coronavirus cases over past day
Video footage of another seized military equipment of the enemy - VIDEO
Footages of military equipment left by the enemy on the battlefield while fleeing
Azerbaijan's MoD releases video from liberated Chereken village of the Jabrayil region
Armenians target Azerbaijan's residential settlements, civilian population, and civilian facilities - PHOTOSESSION
Azerbaijani MP suggests to establish shelters for beggars
Azerbaijan commemorates Khojaly genocide - PHOTOSESSION
14 years pass since establishment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations: They always come to your aid in any difficult moments - PHOTOSESSION - VIDEO
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva attended opening ceremony of rebuilt Azerbaijan pavilion at Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy in Moscow - UPDATED
President Ilham Aliyev: Zangilan city and 6 villages of the region, 18 villages of Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Khojavend regions liberated from occupation
President of Azerbaijan: “So far, the enemy’s 241 tanks have been destroyed, 39 tanks were taken as military trophy”
Hikmat Hajiyev: “About 24 thousand missiles were launched on Azerbaijan’s residential settlements, civilian facilities by Armenia”
President: "A number of villages of Jabrayil, Fizuli and Zangilan regions were liberated"