#Reuters: #China to buy rare earths from #US as part of trade pact
China has agreed to buy two types of rare earth metals from the United States as part of an initial trade deal inked on Wednesday, a move likely to boost U.S. production of the strategic minerals. The agreement, signed in Washington by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump, gives China two years to ramp up purchases of hundreds of U.S. products, including scandium and yttrium, two of the 17 rare earths commonly used in lighting and computers.
The trade agreement does not involve neodymium or praseodymium, the two most commonly used types of rare earths. China dominates their production, as well as the manufacture of rare earths magnets. After rare earths are processed, they must be turned into magnets, otherwise they are of little value to electronics and weapons manufacturers.
Neither scandium nor yttrium are currently produced in the United States. However, several junior miners are developing U.S. mines to produce them and other rare earths.