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South Korea to purchase 76K tonnes of rare metals by 2016

Steel News - Published on Tue, 19 Oct 2010

Yonhap reported that South Korea will purchase and stockpile some 76,000 tonnes of rare metals by 2016 to ensure steady future supplies of the elements used to produce its key export items, such as semiconductors and displays.

Rare metals refer to 35 elements, including 17 chemical substances that are named rare earth elements, such as scandium and yttrium. They have been in the media spotlight following China\'s recent halt in exports of rare earth elements to Japan over a territorial dispute.

South Korea currently produces nearly none of the rare materials, but needs significant and steady supplies of them to keep producing its high tech products that are also its key export items. As a way to secure future supplies, the country will seek to launch joint exploration projects in overseas countries while closely studying 11 possible mineral zones already identified here by 2013 to determine whether there, in fact, exist rare metals.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said that the country will also start purchasing more materials from foreign exporters to increase its reserve of eight strategic elements, including chromium and molybdenum, to 76,000 tonnes by 2016. To this end, Seoul is currently building a KRW 17 billion storage facility for completion by 2011.

A ministry official said that \"The measures are to at least secure safe amounts of rare materials, whose global demand will definitely rise in the future along with the development of new tech-heavy industries.\"

Under the plan, the country will also boost its bilateral and multilateral cooperation with exporting countries, especially China, which currently produces 97% of global supplies of rare metals, to ensure steady supplies in the future.

In addition, Seoul will work to develop new and indigenous technologies that will help increase the recycle rate of rare metals.

(Sourced from

Posted By : admin on Tue, 19 Oct 2010
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