LONDON – Toshiba Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mongolia's MNFCC LLC agreeing to discussions on cooperation in the development of Mongolia's mineral resources, including uranium, rare earth and rare metals products.
Many of the obscure minerals, metals and their oxides are used in electronics manufacture and have been rising in price in recent years as China has developed a monopoly position in their supply.
In July China reduced rare earth export quotas for the rest of the year by 72 percent, inflating prices more than six-fold for some rare earth materials vital to the energy, military, electronics and manufacturing sectors. China just has begun exporting rare earths to Japan after a two-month suspension due to a territorial row.
Naoto Kan, the Prime Minister of Japan, met the Mongolian President, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, on Nov. 19, 2010, and the two agreed to build a strategic partnership and to secure mutually beneficial cooperation in developing mineral resources in Mongolia. Further moves to promote an economic relationship between Japan and Mongolia are expected.
Under the terms of the MOU Toshiba will conduct feasibility studies on key social infrastructure essential for securing Mongolia's continued economic growth, including thermal, nuclear and solar photovoltaic power systems and transmission and distribution networks and will seek to promote mutual development of mineral resources in an effort to secure a stable supply.
I agree that we should mine our own minerals in the US first, but the labor cost will more than offset importing from another country. This is the same principle as the outsourcing of many jobs. It's just a business decision.
I think companies can no longer rely on any particular country especially china which is acting like big boss in this particular case, and its better to diversify their partnership with other countries as well. What happened to Japans plan of recycling the Rare earth elements ? Is it not yeilding any results ?
What a great idea. I wonder how many other countries have similar offerings of rare earth minerals? If I understand correctly, the US has rare earth minerals. I would suggest that the US take advantage of our resources and reopen the mines and start refining/production on our own. This would provide us with the needed materials and needed exports (if enough are here).
Mongolians and Japanese have historical bonds. Lots of mongolians are localized in Japan, in Hokkaido island u can meet with them everywhere. Of couse this makes sense to make connection to overcome china. Besides i dont think Toshiba will be willing to add considerable value of Mongolia's future growth. Its all about business. Mongolia is momently 1 of the worlds poorest country. Cheap work power, land Of course for japan good fishing.
The real rare-earth source is neither china or mongolia. Its Kazakhistan where almost all periodic table can be found. Who has the superior connection with kazakh authorities?
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