Milton Financials: China’s rare earth cut back has energy designers seeking cheaper alternatives.

China’s recent clamp down on it’s rare earth exports has makers of batteries, wind turbine and other products scrambling to redesign them to be fewer dependants.
Nov. 18, 2010 - PRLog -- Prices of rare earth minerals, used in everything from iPods to fluorescent light bulbs, have rocketed in recent months after authorities in Beijing announced a 40% cut in exports earlier in the year, claiming that China needed them for domestic economic development.

Milton Financials has learned that miners outside of China, including Molycorp Inc. and Australian based Lynas Corp have already moved to increase production.

Leading U.S. consumers of rare earth argue that the sudden increase in price serves as an important wake-up call on the importance of the efficient use of raw materials. Numerous natural resources are likely to become scarcer in the mid-to-long term as the rapidly expanding economies of developing nations demand more.

Many resources, form oil to copper are expected to become scarcer in the next few decades as the rapidly developing economies of China and India require more.

"The fact is a lot of (products) have been designed and the manufacturing processes have been designed at times when the material was not at risk," Steven Duclos, chief scientist at General Electric Co's global research centre told Milton Financials sources.

The biggest U.S group, as an example, is currently busy with a partly U.S. Dept. of Energy funded project which aims to reduce the amount of rare earths in its electricity-producing wind turbines by around 80%, a significant number when one considers that a commercial
wind turbine contains around a ton of rare earth.

"An 80 percent reduction goes a long way to solving the problems," The G.E. source told Milton Financials sources.

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