Mobile Phone Production May Suffer Due to Rare Earth Mineral Shortage

Apparently a rare earth mineral used in the production of technological gadgets such as mobile phones, cameras, PC hard drives, and military equipment and the like is becoming low and there could possibly be a global shortage warns the United States government according to an article over on the Australian.

Apparently 97% of the world’s supply of said elements that have special electromagnetic properties are processed by China says the US Government Accountability Office and while the United States does have deposits of the rare earth ore it will not be produced until 2012.

Also apparently the US has lost the necessary refining capability of the rare earth mineral and it will take up to 15 years to rebuild the supply chain and to the availability of the elements will largely be controlled by Chinese suppliers for several years to come.

The US Government Accountability Office has said “China’s dominant position in the rare earths market gives it market power, which could affect global rare earth supply and prices.” Although industry officials and the government believe China will not increase export taxes on the minerals to 15 to 20% and is producing quotas to limited supply.

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