Russia plans to spend $1.5 billion to weaken China's dominant position in the rare earth field
Senior Russian government officials say Russia plans to invest $1.5 billion in rare earth mines to become the largest rare earth producer after China by 2030.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Russia's production in 2019 will be 2700 tons, and rare earth minerals are crucial to defense, telecommunications and renewable energy fields.
Russia's actions are in line with other countries, such as the United States, which are also trying to reduce their dependence on China.
Besprozvanih said China would maintain its dominant market position, but Russia's goal was to be at least behind China by 2030, with China accounting for 63% of the world's rare earth production and 37% of the world's rare earth reserves. He said Russia's projects would require at least $1.5 billion in investment.
Russia has 12 million tons of reserves, 10% of the global total, and the Russian government is willing to support any foreign investment.
Alexei besprozvannykh, Deputy Minister of industry and trade, said Russia was offering tax cuts and low interest loans to investors in 11 rare earth projects aimed at increasing Russia's share of global rare earth production from the current 1.3% to 10% by 2030.
The 11 projects, including the development of tomtor in Russia's Far East, will enable Russia to become almost self-sufficient in rare earth elements by 2025 and begin exporting them in 2026, the vice minister said.