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News Release

NEWS

RARE: The Association for Rare Earth

 

Contact: Peter Mirijanian Public Affairs, 202-464-8803, or peter@pmpadc.com

October 13, 2011

 

For IMMEDIATE Release

DOD Report Adds Urgency to Development of New Sources

of Rare Earth Metals, Former Senior U.S. Army Official Says

 

(WASHINGTON) – A new Defense Department report on America’s national security industrial base offers fresh evidence that the U.S. is over-reliant on foreign sources of vital rare earth metals, according to former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and former Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment John Paul Woodley.  Woodley is a member of the Board of Advisors of RARE: The Association for Rare Earth.

           

The Pentagon report to Congress notes that the Defense Department “relies on [rare earth] materials in the production of many of its weapon systems and needs to ensure their continued availability to meet national security objectives and military superiority.”  According to the report, “China supplies approximately 97 percent of the world’s RE, and has been gradually reducing its RE exports to the rest of the world as its own internal demand for RE increases.”  The new report recommends specific actions to reduce the risk of disruptions in rare earth supplies to America’s vital defense needs.

 

Woodley said the report language “brings much-needed focus to the policy debate now emerging in Washington about how to expand domestic and foreign production of rare earth minerals and metals.  No single nation should control a resource that every nation needs.”

 

Woodley added, “Worldwide demand for these materials will continue to accelerate, resulting in significant price and supply pressures.  The supply challenge is solvable when and if we decide to lead.”      

 

Woodley said that the Defense Department findings should prompt U.S. policy makers and private sector manufacturers to better collaborate on ways to stockpile especially critical metals. Longer term, Woodley said the only viable solution is to promote greater private investment in production and processing.

 

The Defense Department report follows Congressional action last year with House passage of Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010, and a hearing last month in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

 

“We need to get a sense of urgency for meeting the challenge of having a reliable, long-term rare earth mineral supply.  Now is the time to build a consensus to solve supply problems while creating and keeping jobs here at home.” Woodley said.

 

About RARE: The Association for Rare Earth seeks to increase the production of rare earth elements; remove barriers to access of rare earth elements domestically and internationally; increase the affordability and trade of rare earth minerals; and increase the affordability and availability of technologically and environmentally advanced products made with rare earth minerals -- all for the betterment of people’s lives and the environment in which they live.                                             

 

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