Chinese media are trying to downplay Turkey’s discovery of the second largest rare earth sanctuary


Turkey has revealed that it has discovered an estimated 694 million tonnes of huge rare earth reserves in the Central Anatolia region.

It is the second largest soil reserve in the world and is understood to be the largest in China’s 800 million tonnes site.

Turkey’s statement was attacked as China’s state media questioned rare earth reserves and Turkey’s ability to develop them, emphasizing that China’s dominance in the world’s rare earth supply remains unchanged.

Rare earth deposits were found in the Beylikova district of Eskisehir, according to Turkish media Turkiye.

Metin Çekiç, a member of the Board of Directors of the Istanbul Mineral Exporters Association (IMIB), said Turkey has now found sufficient rare earth reserves to meet global demand for 1,000 years.

The report also states that of the 17 rare earth elements known around the world, 10 are contained in newly discovered reserves.

“Industrial vitamins”

Rare earth elements have excellent optical and electromagnetic properties and can be used to form new materials. In particular, it can be used to improve the quality and performance of other products. Therefore, these are called “industrial vitamins”.

Rare earth elements also play an important role in clean energy transformation. Neodymium, placeodium, dysprosium, and terbium are important raw materials for the production of electric vehicles and neodymium magnets (permanent magnets for wind turbines). Yttrium and scandium are used in certain types of hydrogen electrolysis cells.

America-rare earth
Matt Green, MP Materials’ mining and crushing supervisor, will showcase the crushed ore before being sent to the MP Materials Rare Earth Mine plant in Mountain Pass, California on January 30, 2020. (Steve Marcus / Reuters)

Since the end of the last century, when China used its low-price strategy to defeat Mountain Pass, the world’s largest source of rare earths, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has dominated the world’s rare earth industry, supplying more than 90%. At some point of the rare earths of the world. Supply rates fell to almost 60% in 2020, but are still dominant.

China is currently ranked number one in the world in terms of both recoverable years and production. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s rare earth reserves in 2020 were about 120 million tonnes, of which China was 44 million tonnes (37%).

However, it is unclear how much of the approximately 700 million tonnes of ore reserves are minable rare earth ores, as there is no detailed resource description of Turkey’s new reserves.

Turkiye also reports that IMIB’s Çekiç has revealed that the newly discovered Beylikova mine is one of the finest ores in the world. He said the pilot plant was installed at the site in the first phase and has a capacity of 1,200 tonnes of ore per year. At the end of the early stages, the site will have an annual processing capacity of 570,000 tonnes of ore.

Supported by Chinese state media

Following the announcement of the discovery of a new rare earth in Turkey, CCP-managed media such as NetEase, Sohu, and Global Times responded cynically to the news.

These media question the actual amount of new rare earth resources in Turkey, and if one ton of rare earth minerals produces 1 kg to 4 kg of rare earth, the actual amount of rare earth in the new mine in Turkey is 700,000 to 2.8. It states that it is between. One million tons. The article also argues that the fear of Chinese rare earth companies that their control is being challenged is just a false alarm.

But in reality, years of reckless overfishing have significantly reduced China’s rare earth reserves. From 2013 to 2020, China’s rare earth reserves fell from 55 million tonnes to 44 million tonnes, down 20%, according to the USGS.

In addition, China’s retaliation against Japan for stopping the supply of rare earths in 2010 has raised widespread concerns in the international community about the management of China’s rare earth supply, and countries have begun to build credible supply chains.

Epoch Times Photo
Overview of the Steenkampskraal (SKK) rare earth mine on July 29, 2019, approximately 80 km from the town of Vanrhynsdorp in the Western Cape. (Roger Bosch / AFP via Getty Images)

Since 2009, important rare earth resources have been discovered in Greenland, Brazil, Canada, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Norway, and some African countries, according to the USGS database. From 2010 to 2020, 261 companies in 37 countries other than China have a total of 429 rare earth projects, adding 80,000 to 100,000 tonnes of rare earth production capacity.

However, according to the Global Times, China is currently the only country in the world to have a complete chain of rare earth production, and the benefits of this treatment are not compromised by the discovery of other rare earths.

Nevertheless, as pointed out in a survey published by Acta Geoscientica Sinica in China in March 2021, China is not the only global source of rare earth smelting and separation products. The United States is currently building a supply chain consisting of a mountain pass mine, a Mount Weld mine in Australia, and a factory in Kuantan, Malaysia, producing approximately 60,000 tonnes of rare earth ore and 20,000 tonnes of segregated products annually. .. The first supply chain of rare earth resources independent of China.

Ann Chan


Ann Chan is a writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on topics related to China. She started writing her Chinese version in 2014.