South Korea, Japan to Cooperate on Mining Rare Earths


"Nations agreed to collaborate on mining rare earths, developing processing technologies."

South Korea and Japan agreed to cooperate on mining rare earths and developing processing technologies as they seek to ensure supplies of the raw materials used in electric cars and wind turbines.

The South Korean government proposed working-level meetings over the joint effort, the country's Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement today. The governments will also work together on development projects for liquefied natural gas, the statement said.

Japan is seeking to secure long-term supplies of rare earths after China, the world's biggest exporter, slashed exports in September. South Korea plans to reduce its dependency on Chinese supplies after cutting overall imports of the materials by almost two-thirds since 2005.

China restarted shipments of the minerals to Japan after a diplomatic row between the two countries disrupted trade in September, Japan's trade ministry said on Nov. 24.

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