China Plays Heavy Metal: Rare Earth Elements and the US Defence Industry Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In 2010, 97% of the planet 's supply of rare earth elements (REE) came from mines in China. Global demand tripled from 40,000 tonnes to 120,000 tonnes between 2000 and 2010 while China steadily cut its yearly. As alternative supplies of these materials were sought anxieties of a disaster in Western states rose.

REE were used in numerous products, including in the military sector. Reports signaled that the US defence business was "completely dependent" on imports of REE and advised defence contractors to try to limit their dependence on those stuff together with to actively seek substitutes. The USA confronted the challenge of rebuilding domestic REE supplies to attain self sufficiency and protect the environment.

PUBLICATION DATE: November 14, 2011 PRODUCT #: HKU962-HCB-ENG

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