Trump ordered the expansion of rare earth mining on the ground of Chinas threat

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 Trump ordered the expansion of rare earth mining on the ground of Chinas threat


Trump signed an executive order to address the threat of reliance on foreign key minerals on domestic supply chains, instructing the U.S. Department of the interior to explore the use of the defense production act to speed up mine development, according to Reuters on October 1. In novel coronavirus pneumonia, the US government has accelerated the production of medical supplies. Reuters said the rare earth administrative order could lead to tariffs, quotas or other possible import restrictions.

Trump signed the order on his way to Minnesota, where he hopes to win the support of miners and residents in iron range for his re-election, according to the U.S. Bloomberg News Agency.

Key minerals have always been the focus of attention in the United States. According to the text of the rare earth administrative order released by the White House, 80% of the total imports of rare earth compounds and metals in the United States came from China last year. Although the United States was once a major producer of rare earths, Chinas influence in the rare earth industry has played an important role in Sino US trade disputes, Reuters said.

In 2019, trump asked the U.S. Department of defense to find better ways to obtain samarium cobalt rare earth permanent magnets, which are often used in precision guided missiles, smart bombs and military aircraft. Two U.S. Republican senators have proposed separate mineral related legislation in the past year, but they have not yet been passed.

Geng Shuang, then spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of foreign affairs, once said at a regular press conference last year that it would not be feasible to dominate or monopolize a certain field or market, or to artificially cut off or exclude a certain chain in the era of globalization.

Geng Shuang pointed out that China has always adhered to the principle of openness, coordination and sharing to promote the development of domestic rare earth industry. China is willing to use rare earth resources and products to meet the legitimate needs of the development of all countries in the world and play a positive role in promoting the development of Chinas economy and the world economy.

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Source: Global Times report

Rare earth (data map). Source: First Financial Daily - Dongfang IC

Lets talk about the history of mace

As we all know, there are 18 kinds of weapons in China. They are: swords, spears, halberds, axes, axes, hooks, forks, cudgels, swords, swords, axes, axes, hooks, forks, sticks, swords, maces, maces, and hammers, it is said that there are 18 kinds of weapons in China. Among them, whip, mace and hammer are one kind of blunt weapons and heavy weapons. According to the system of the Song Dynasty, mace is 1.2 meters long. It is made of refined iron. There is a handle on the bottom. On the top is an iron stick with four sides, that is to say, it has four edges. According to textual research, the single mace should be more than 20 jin. If it is used by people with infinite strength, it may be close to 100 Jin. Why? Because mace is different from sharp weapons such as swords and spears, it has no edge and no point. It relies on a strong blow. Its useless if its light.

18 kinds of weapons (overview picture), see how many you recognize (picture source network, invasion and deletion)

But it also has a problem, that is, a horse carries a variety of armor and equipment, up to 78 kg, which is not the weight of a person. This makes the mobility of heavy armour cavalry very poor. During the peasant war at the end of the Sui Dynasty, Li Yuan and his son set out to attack. In their army, there was a light cavalry from Western Turks. They went around behind the heavy Armored Cavalry of the Sui army to launch attacks, and they won many battles. In the Tang Dynasty, light cavalry replaced heavy Armored Cavalry. You can think of the relief of the six steeds of the Zhaoling Mausoleum of Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty. These horses are not armored. And among them, Zhui was shot with five arrows and Qu u00e1 nm u00e1 Ogu u0101 with nine arrows. We can imagine the intensity of the war at that time. Lets talk about it again. Although the Tang army was good at using light cavalry, with the development and progress of technology, especially the introduction of foreign armor, the protection ability of Tang Dynasty armor was still very strong.

Liujun (national treasure) of Zhaoling (636)

The six horses were originally listed in the northern palace of the Zhaoling Mausoleum of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty. The two horses, SA Lu Zi and Quan Maoli, were lost abroad in 1914 and now exist in the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. (source: Xian Beilin Museum)

So why did mace become popular in this period? Because it has a core function, is to hit the enemy protected by armor. In the battlefield, guns are used to pierce, knives are used to scratch, and Maces and hammers are used to smash. In the face of people and horses wearing heavy armor, sharp weapons cant make them strong, but maces and hammers, with their own weight, combined with the strength of the users arm and the inertia brought by the horses, can penetrate the armor with a great force and break peoples muscles and bones. This is the first feature of mace, which is specially used to deal with heavy armor.

Another feature of mace is that at the cultural level, it symbolizes loyalty. Lets see who is using mace. The first one was Qin Qiong and Qin Shubao in Sui and Tang Dynasties. He used the double mace, and he was brave. It is known as the mace strikes both sides of the Yellow River, and the horse steps on half of the sky in Shandong Province; it is also known as SaiMeng taste and like Zhuangzhu, which means that this person is filial to his parents and extremely loyal to his friends. In the Sui and Tang Dynasties, when 46 friends of Jias house were worshipped, Qin Qiong ranked second and was honored as the second Lord of Qin. So Shandong man used to have a honorific title called Er Ye. No matter who he is, he will be happy if he is called second master.

The second famous general with mace is Yue Fei. Yue Fei mainly used spears, but he was also good at using iron mace. This history has been recorded. Id like to tell you that if you use mace alone, its usually double mace. There is another situation, that is, this person has a high level of martial arts. He can hold a long weapon and a mace. For example, in our various romance novels, we often say that whoever has a whip in his gun or a mace in his gun. The whip here refers to iron whip, which is similar to mace. This is the case with Yue Fei. He not only used guns, but also used knives. He was good at riding and shooting and mace.

Lets go back to loyalty. I dont need to introduce Yue Fei. We all know this famous general and national hero very well.

In fact, there is a man with a mace in his hand. Thats Zhao Defang. Todays young friends may not know that there was such a prince with a golden mace in Pingshu Yang Jiajiang and three swordsmen and five righteousness. He defeated the emperor at the top and slandered the minister at the bottom. He often used gold mace given by the emperor to protect Yang Jiajiang and Bao Zheng. He was the fourth son of Zhao Kuangyin, Emperor Taizu of Song Dynasty. However, his story is fictitious. He died at the age of 22.

So why is mace a symbol of loyalty?

u2014u2014Because this kind of thing may break bones and tendons when it hits a person, but it cant see blood and is not as bloody as a sword. Therefore, it is also known as the good weapon in weapons, which is the kind goodness. In addition, the moral model of Qin Er Ye used mace, and Yue Fei, the national hero, also used mace. Therefore, mace has cultural meaning when he loves Wu and Wu.

Mace and rare earth

The first reason is that the three characteristics of mace are similar to those of rare earth. We often say that the U.S. armed to the teeth, just as the so-called wearing heavy armor, holding sharp weapons. And mace is used to smash heavy armor. As for the United States, it is not afraid of the weather and the earth, but when it comes to rare earths, it is very sad. So in our opinion, even if rare earth cant do a fatal blow, at least it can kill him and cant take care of himself. In addition, since ancient times, people who use mace are mostly loyal and righteous people. Isnt that a compliment to us.

The second reason is more important. That is, I hope that everyones way of thinking can be similar and interconnected. The knowledge and skills we learn are all one by one. We should connect them into lines, and then connect them into surfaces. Only in this way can we discover the wonder of the world, we can see through the problems, and we can sit firmly on the Diaoyutai despite the wind and waves.

How important are rare earths?

Now, lets talk about rare earth. Rare earth is the general name of 15 lanthanide elements and 17 metal elements of scandium and yttrium in the chemical periodic table. As a strategic scarce resource, its unique physical and chemical properties make it have optical, electrical and magnetic properties that many other elements do not have.

Photo source: Encyclopedia

Modern information equipment is inseparable from chips, and the manufacturing of chips can not do without rare earth elements. To a great extent, it depends on the chip that the precision of attacking is not accurate, the detection distance is not far, the anti-jamming ability is not strong, and the reaction speed is not fast.

The electric motor is a necessary equipment for many high-tech equipment. The electric propulsion system of a 10000 ton warship and the generator on a missile are inseparable from the motor. Rare earth elements can improve the performance of the motor obviously. Rare earth permanent magnet is called super permanent magnet because of its superior magnetic properties. It is small in size, light in weight, simple in structure, reliable in operation and high in heat dissipation efficiency. Almost all the air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles in the United States use rare-earth permanent magnet motors to control the rudder surface. The permanent magnet mentioned here is permanent, the magnet of magnet. This thing can not keep the original magnetic state unchanged forever, but its magnetism is relatively stable and its decay period is relatively long.

Rare earth elements are also widely used in optical devices. At present, most laser materials involve rare earth elements, ranging from laser rangefinder, lidar to laser guided weapons. For example, the main battle tanks in western countries, such as M1 series, leopard 2 series and Challenger series, are equipped with a laser rangefinder, in which rare earth elements are used. Laser guided weapons, such as laser guided bombs, laser guided shells and so on, also rely on the use of rare earth element laser irradiator to irradiate the target. Rare earth luminescent materials have also been successfully used in night vision devices.

Us new M1 tank (photo source: Netease News)

Rare earth elements, known as penicillin in steel, play a role in purification, modification and alloying of steel. Adding some rare earth elements can improve the toughness of steel, which can be used in armored steel, gun steel, aircraft carrier deck steel and other fields. In the Gulf War, the M1 series main battle tanks of the United States can penetrate Iraqi tanks at a distance of 2000 meters. One of the important reasons lies in the high strength, toughness and high bore pressure of the gun barrel. The ESR technology is usually used in the barrel of tank gun. The toughness of alloy steel can be improved by adding rare earth elements into ESR steel, which is beneficial to improve the bore pressure, muzzle kinetic energy and gun range. The impact resistance of armored steel can be improved by adding rare earth elements. Rare earth elements used in other alloys can also play a good role. For example, the rare earth titanium alloy casing of a certain type of engine in China has a good weight reduction effect.

Rare earth elements can also be used to make radar absorbing materials for stealth aircraft. Ferrite is an important stealth coating for aircraft. In addition, rare earth materials can also be used for nuclear radiation shielding, nuclear reactors, sonar and other aspects.

U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter (image source: Global Times)

Rare earth can be replaced in some fields, but not in some industries. For example, in the fields of military materials, new energy vehicles, wind power, smart phones, chips, etc., it is really impossible to leave rare earth elements

Application fields of rare earth elements (photo source: Zhongtai Securities Research Report in April 2018)

The distribution of rare earth elements in China is light in the north and heavy in the South. The light rare earth deposits are mainly distributed in Baotou, Inner Mongolia and Liangshan, Sichuan. The ionic medium heavy rare earth deposits are mainly distributed in Ganzhou, Jiangxi and Longyan, Fujian. Medium and heavy rare earth, with rare total content and high use value, is mainly used in national defense and military industry and high-end fields.

Rare earth ore metallogenic belt and distribution of major rare earth minerals in China (photo source: National Geographic of China)

First of all, China is a big country of rare earth resources. According to the data of the US Geological Survey in 2019, the global rare earth reserves are 120 million tons, including 44 million tons in China, 22 million tons in Vietnam, 22 million tons in Brazil, 12 million tons in Russia, 6.9 million tons in India, 3.4 million tons in Australia, and 1.4 million tons in the United States.

At present, China is the country with the largest reserves, production and exports in the world. In 2018, China exported 53000 tons of rare earth, with a total export amount of about 3.39 billion yuan. According to other data, from 2014 to 2017, 80% of the total rare earth imports of the United States came from China. In the field of permanent magnet materials, the worlds demand is 160000 tons of rare earth per year, and Chinas annual supply can reach 140000 tons.

Second, we have both advantages and disadvantages in rare earth technology. The advantage is that China has formed a complete rare earth industrial system. At the level of science and technology, China has developed a number of internationally advanced technologies in the fields of rare earth mining, smelting and separation. In rare earth separation and extraction technology, China has incomparable advantages over other countries. Our rare earth separation purity has been over 99.9999% for a long time. So, why cant the United States have rare earth mines? Because the technology of separation and purification is in the hands of China.

So what are our weaknesses? Thats the core technology of high-end applications. In terms of core patents, there is still a big gap between China and developed countries. For example, Chinas largest consumption of NdFeB rare earth permanent magnet materials, all core patents are in the hands of Japanese and American companies. Therefore, Chinas rare earth industry is a big country in terms of output and consumption, but technically, it is not a powerful country. This is similar to that in rural areas, although grain raw materials are produced, the real high-end food still needs to be purchased from urban food processing plants, and the main profit and added value are still in the industrial link of deep processing.

Nevertheless, Chinas rare earth industry still has a strong voice, and our rare earth policy has a strong influence on the international market. However, with the increase of rare earth mining in other countries, China is facing new challenges in maintaining its influence.

Schematic diagram of major distribution countries and regions of rare earth minerals in the world (photo source: National Geographic of China)

After talking about the above contents, I think you can have a comprehensive and objective understanding of rare earth.

So what do I want to say in the end? That is, in the eyes of Americans, rare earth should be the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. In our opinion, its a high-rise mace. Its right there if its smashed or not. What we should do now is to tackle key problems in core technologies and use more and precious rare earth resources in our high-tech weapons and civilian products. Only in this way will the sword edge become sharper and sharper, and the assassins mace will become heavier and heavier

(function(){( window.slotbydup=window .slotbydup||[]).push({id:u5811557,container:ssp_ 5811557, async:true }Trump ordered the expansion of rare earth mining. Source: Global Times global network responsible editor: Zhao Yaping_ NN9005

Trump ordered expansion of rare earth mining