Push for Rare Earth Metal Refining
Source: Joongang Daily (6/11/11)
"Korea will spend $278M until 2020 to develop REE-refining knowhow."
Korea plans to spend ₩$300 billion ($278 million) until 2020 to develop rare earth metal-refining knowhow and build up related industrial infrastructure, the government said yesterday.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said research and development (R&D) funds will support technology independence and commercialization efforts that will allow the country to refine and make components from rare earth metals.
At present, only a few local companies are engaged in the rudimentary refining of rare metals with most manufacturers relying on imports of materials and components to meet demand. Reserves of rare earth metals controlled by state-run Korea Resources Corp. are sent abroad for refining before being reimported for use.
"Of the 35 different rare earth metals, R&D support will go into technologies needed to refine 11 that are widely used by the industrial sector," the ministry said. These include such metals as gallium, titanium, lithium, white gold, magnesium, indium and tungsten.