#Germany to urge next #Bolivian leaders to revive #Lithium deal


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will seek talks with Bolivia’s next government to revive a deal to exploit jointly huge lithium reserves in the Andean country, as it works to secure supplies for production of electric cars in Europe’s largest economy, officials said.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-bolivia-lithium/germany-to-urge-next-bolivian-leaders-to-revive-lithium-deal-idUSKBN1ZM1IP

#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.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-rareearths/china-to-buy-rare-earths-from-u-s-as-part-of-trade-pact-idUSKBN1ZE2YQ

#Canada unlikely to see long-term benefits of #US rare earth deal

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Canada and the U.S. face stiff competition in the search for independence from China’s supply of the rare earth minerals used in phones, clean technology and missiles, says rare earths expert Anton Chakhmouradian.

An agreement signed between Canada and the U.S. is more likely to stimulate research and exploration than it is to translate into economic benefits from production in Canada this decade, he said.

Canada is “decades” behind China and Russia in research on extracting rare earths at a competitive cost or mass scale, said Chakhmouradian.

The U.S. is attempting to make up the gap. It has a research institute dedicated to rare earths, and views mineral independence as a key factor in its current trade war with China, said Chakhmouradian.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rare-earth-agreement-1.5417128

#CNN Business: New #Lithium-sulfur battery could charge your phone for five days, researchers say


London (CNN Business)Australian researchers claim they have developed a battery that can keep a smartphone charged for five days or power an electric car for 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles).

If the technology comes to be used widely, it would represent a significant breakthrough in the hunt for greener, more efficient energy.
The team from Monash University in Melbourne says the lithium-sulfur battery it has created is the “world’s most efficient,” and can outperform traditional batteries by four times.
The researchers said they are “on the brink” of commercializing the innovation, and touted its benefits for the fight against climate change.

#Forbes: Unstable Mineral Supply Threatens Electric Car, Green Projects, Justifies Undersea, Space Mining; Report


The advent of the electric car is threatened by a few known knowns like range anxiety, high prices, and a thin recharging network, but now, according to a report from the University of Sussex, lurking in the background are possible shortages of the raw materials at the heart of this low-carbon revolution, which threaten to derail the whole project.

Making sure of adequate supplies is so important, mining under the sea, or even on other planets, would be justified, according to the report.

The automotive industry in Europe has been spending massively to embrace the electric car. On Thursday, Europe’s number one auto maker, Volkswagen, raised the stakes of its electric plans by bringing forward its target of producing one million electric cars a year by two years, to the end of 2023. By 2025 this will reach 1.5 million a year.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/2020/01/03/unstable-mineral-supply-threatens-electric-car-green-projects-justifies-undersea-space-mining-report/#a5b43fc3aa61

#ORNL researchers advance performance benchmark for quantum computers


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a quantum chemistry simulation benchmark to evaluate the performance of quantum devices and guide the development of applications for future quantum computers.

Quantum computers use the laws of quantum mechanics and units known as qubits to greatly increase the threshold at which information can be transmitted and processed. Whereas traditional “bits” have a value of either 0 or 1, qubits are encoded with values of both 0 and 1, or any combination thereof, allowing for a vast number of possibilities for storing data.

While still in their early stages, quantum systems have the potential to be exponentially more powerful than today’s leading classical computing systems and promise to revolutionize research in materials, chemistry, high-energy physics, and across the scientific spectrum.

But because these systems are in their relative infancy, understanding what applications are well suited to their unique architectures is considered an important field of research.

Read more at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-01/drnl-ora010220.php

#Australian rare earths producer #Lynas to submit plant tender to #USArmy

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Dec 13 (Reuters) – Australia’s Lynas Corp on Friday said it would submit a compliant tender in response to the U.S. Department of Defense’s call for proposals to build a heavy rare earths separation plant in the United States.

The world’s only major rare earths producer outside China said in a statement the tender period was not yet closed. It gave no other details.

Reuters on Wednesday had reported about the U.S. Army plans to fund construction of rare earths processing facilities, as part of an urgent push by Washington to secure domestic supply of the minerals used to make military weapons and electronics.

Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/

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