Tag Archives: Rare Earth

Creating a Rare Earth Industry in India

Indo-French Workshop, “Challenges in the Processing and Recycling of Rare-Earth (CIPRE)”, Pune, July 19-21, 2016

Lalitha Sundaresan, Visiting Professor, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies 

Professor Lalitha Sundaresan was invited to deliver a talk at the Indo-French Workshop, “Challenges in the Processing and Recycling of Rare-earth (CIPRE)”, organized at Pune from July 19-21, 2016, under the aegis of CEFIPRA (Indo French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research). This workshop was organized to strengthen and consolidate Rare Earth research and development in our country. The workshop focus on rare earths separation technologies (primarily solvent extraction), Recycling and Strategy and Road Map. The event was jointly organized by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Institut de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule (ICSM) France, Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur. The Abstract was co-authored by Prof Lalitha Sundaresan and Prof. S. Chandrashekar.

Abstract of Talk: India has significant rare earth resources and yet does not figure in the global rare earth value chain. In the global rare earth industry life cycle India continues to remain in the early incubation R&D phase. There are many rare earth based products that could be manufactured in India. Technologies for manufacturing rare earth permanent magnets that are used commercially and also find use in the defense sectors are already available. This talk will focus on the critical RE intermediate products that India should manufacture and emphasises the need for developing an RE industry eco-system in the country.

India’s Rare Earths Industry: A Case of Missed Opportunities

Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 51, No. 3, Jan 16, 2016, pp. 27-33

S. Chandrashekar and Lalitha Sundaresan

EPWThe creation of knowledge in the rare earths domain in India is confined to a few government-run complexes with no major links to commercial industry. With interaction between the research community and industry non-existent, India’s position as a player in the global rare earths ecosystem is bound to be weak. Further, in the absence of a cohesive national strategy for moving the country up the value chain in rare earths into the intermediate and final product space, India continues to be a low-cost raw material supplier to the global rare earths industry.

To read the complete article click here

R&D on Rare Earth and Value Addition – The Indian Case

R&D on Rare Earth and Value Addition – The Indian Case

Authors: Lalitha Sundaresan and S. Chandrashekar

For the complete report (in PDF) click here
For earlier reports by ISSSP on the Rare Earth issue click here and here

R&D on RE CoverGlobal and Indian interest on the role of hi-tech materials for crafting strategies that furthers a country’s development and geopolitical interests has been on the increase lately. This renewed interest has come about from the various actions taken by China to establish a dominant position in the global Rare Earths (RE) industry and to leverage this position to further its global interests.

India has a fairly strong resource base in Rare Earths and with further exploration these can increase. It has also been engaged in mining and RE extraction activities for more than three decades. This makes it possible for India to become a fairly important player in the global RE industry.

In this connection a National Conference on Rare Earths Processing and Utilization- 2014 was held on May 2- 3, 2014 at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. This was organized jointly by the Indian Institute of Metals, Mumbai Chapter, Rare Earth Association of India (REAI), and the Materials Research Society of India (MRSI), Mumbai Chapter.

In this brief we, the authors have examined the Abstracts of the conference proceedings and the papers presented at the conference to make a critical appraisal of the R&D conducted within India on RE and the relevance of this R&D for India’s development.

Dominating the World: China and the Rare Earth Industry

Dominating the World: China and the Rare Earth Industry

Authors: Nabeel Mancheri, Lalitha Sundaresan and S. Chandrashekar

To read the complete report click here

china and RE cover page SmallThe available evidence suggests that China’s current domination of the global Rare Earths (RE) Industrial Ecosystem is the result of a well-thought out carefully crafted dynamic long term strategy. China has cleverly used the dynamics of the transition of the RE industry from the growth into the maturity phase of the lifecycle to build a dominant presence in most value chains of the RE ecosystem. China controls not only the raw materials but also the production of key intermediates that go into many hi-tech growth industries.

In contrast the US which actually pioneered many of the breakthrough discoveries in RE materials has allowed its once dominant position in RE to erode. It is now dependent on Chinese largesse to make sure enough RE materials and intermediates are available for its use. The US today has no industrial capacity in RE allowing global market dynamics to move all of them to China.

The use of RE in critical green products like hybrid cars, wind mills, lighting, fuel cells and many other advanced consumer and industrial products suggests that the industry may grow considerably. China is well positioned to use its dominant position in RE as a part of its larger global strategic aims.

Through the tracing of the evolution of the RE industry in China the study also sheds light on how strategy is formulated and implemented in China. The other thing that emerges clearly from our study on RE in China is that strategy implementation is closely linked to strategy formulation. China seems to have in place methods and processes to ensure that the various arms of the government associated with the implementation of strategy, function in an integrated way to ensure that Chinese interests are well protected.

In the case of Rare Earths, China has successfully caught up and even overtaken major global players.

Does India Need A National Strategy for Rare Earths?

Does India Need A National Strategy for Rare Earths?

Author: S. Chandrashekar

To read the complete report click here

cover Nat Strategy for REAt the global level the Rare Earth (RE) industry is in the mature phase. Growth of existing products that use RE will be mainly in large emerging economies like India and China. Through a policy of active intervention China has built up an extremely strong position in the global RE industry. India has no major presence except maybe in the raw material part of the global RE industry. Even here Indian capabilities have withered away due to China’s dominance of the industry and Indian inaction. In a few areas like permanent magnets, Indian organisations in the military/strategic sector have established some limited capabilities.

Though the global RE industry presents a fairly bleak picture as far as India is concerned, it does present India with an opportunity to take stock and come up with a strategy to deal with the RE and other similar problems that India may face in the future. India does have two major advantages in the RE industry. It has a large resource base in RE raw materials. It also has a large domestic market for both civilian and military products that gives it significant leverage if used wisely. India also has a reasonable R&D base especially within the mission organisations of the country. It however has major inadequacies in converting indigenously available knowledge and technology into commercially viable products and services. Though India has in place the institutions and infrastructure it is unable to link grand, national strategy to the more prosaic micro level industry and product development strategies that are the key to any national endeavour.

For a national level strategy to be successful India needs to understand in much greater detail the technology – product – market links in the various key industries likely to be affected by RE shortages.

Chinese Monopoly in Rare Earth Elements: Supply-Demand and Industrial Applications

China Report, Vol 48, No. 4, December  2012, Sage Publications

Nabeel Mancheri, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

china reportThe concentration of rare earth elements (REEs) production in China raises the vital issue of supply susceptibility. Until recently, the global dependency on China for rare earths was a well-kept secret. But word started to spread fast after Beijing cut export quotas by 70 per cent for the second half of 2010, sending prices of some oxides—the purified form of rare earth elements sky-rocketing. This article seeks to evaluate what rare earth elements are and explores China’s role in the global supply-demand equations. It also explores the history of rare earth elements and China’s current monopoly over the industry, including possible repercussions if rare earth elements supply were to be disrupted.

For the complete article click here
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