"Analysis: Rare Earth Monopoly A Boon To Chinese Clean Tech Firms"

"In the race to build hybrid cars and wind turbines to feed growing demand for green technology, China has one clear advantage, it holds the world's largest reserves of rare earth metals and dominates global production.

Wind turbines, made by No.2 wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, and hybrid cars, being developed by Warren Buffet-backed Chinese automaker BYD are among the biggest guzzlers of rare earth minerals, which analysts say are facing a global supply crunch as demand swells.

This little-known class of 17 related elements is also used for a vast array of electronic devices ranging from Apple's iPhone to flat screen TVs, all of which are competing for the 120,000 tons of annual global supply.

China controls 97 percent of rare earth production."

Leonora Walet reports for Reuters August 13, 2010.

Source: Reuters, 08/13/2010