RARE EARTHS ARE THE “NEW OIL”
Russia and Ukraine combined are a treasure trove for all the raw materials the West desperately needs to power its planned digital and green revolution.
The breakaway territories of the Donbass contain abundant reserves of ‘new economy’ materials including lithium and titanium.
Everything from smart cities, the digital economy, Internet of Things, AI, renewables and the surveillance state relies on the West gaining unrestricted access to, and control over, the worldwide supply of rare earths.
Russia in particular is home to one of the biggest and richest rare-earth deposits in the world.
It could well be the biggest, given the full extent of Russia’s reserves has never been properly mapped or exploited.
The Ural mountains alone contain some of the most diverse polymetallic resources on the planet, including manganese, copper, zinc, high-grade nickel and neodymium.
Another of its vast repository of ‘new economy’ minerals is Siberia, which also contains one of the three biggest reserves of Niobium globally.
Niobium is used in everything from jet engines, rockets, beams/girders for buildings and oil/gas pipelines, to particle accelerators, MRI scanners and NMR equipment.
Russia also supplies most of the elements needed for making the world’s semiconductor chips, particularly C4F6, Neon and Palladium.
Neon is almost 100 percent sourced from Russia’s steel plants, while the country also supplies 45 percent of palladium globally.
According to TECHCET, “Russia is a crucial source of C4F6 which are indispensable for advanced node logic device etching and advanced lithography processes for chip production”.
C4F6 and Palladium are used to make permanent magnets, a key component of modern weapon systems and other military technology.
They are also key components in the production of EVs.
80 per cent of the world’s sapphire substrates are supplied by Russia.
These are thin plates of artificial stone used in opto- and micro-electronics, including every processor in the world – AMD and Intel included.
Another key ingredient for the West’s military-industrial and transportation capabilities is antimony. It is used in everything from armour-piercing bullets to night vision goggles.
According to traders, much of the world’s supply of the rare earths on which the military-industrial complex depends, come from Russia.
The prices of all these elements are now skyrocketing and we are seeing a growing worldwide shortage of materials like steel, titanium, nickel and aluminium.
These are all materials needed to fill orders of countless downstream industries from aviation to shipbuilding.
Without them, the world’s manufacturing base will grind to a halt.
Rare earths ARE the “new oil”.
That’s why instead of “oil wars”, we will see more and more “rare earth wars”.
Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution!