Sweden to challenge China on mineral dominance

A recently published study from Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) reveals an underground rich on Rare Earth Minerals (REE).

This map shows the spots with an unusually large amount of minerals

REE is a core ingredient in the conversion to more energy-efficient technologies such as batteries and wind- and solar power. But as of now, China is the global leader in the industry, not only because the REE is very present in China, but the country also leads in the ability to separate and work the minerals, preparing them for further use.

And as the country moves into a greener future, the demand for minerals such as REE will surely rise. As a core ingredient in the batteries used for sustainable technology such as wind power stations and in electric cars, REE is crucial for the move towards reducing greenhouse emission.

The sole focus won’t be on REE though. The report also highlighted opportunities for mining metals such as graphit, lithium, cobalt and tungsten.

The Swedish Minister for Enterprise, Mikael Damberg, commented that “Sweden is one of the most interesting areas in the world,” in terms of a potential industry.

Currently China is the sole dominator of the REE market with a share of 95 percent of the total market. Congo leads in exporting cobolt with 65 percent of the market.

But aside from the positive words from the Minister of Enterprise, not much is ready to be done yet. Mikael Damberg wasn’t able to predict when a large-scale production would be ready to run.

Nonetheless, the Geological Survey of Sweden has received 10 million Swedish crowns to keep searching for occurrences till 2020.

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