India, the world leader in Thorium Energy development, and Japan, a high-tech products manufacturer, are now working together to separate Rare Earth Elements (REE) from India’s vast thorium reserves. This can become an important game changer in REE mining industry, where thorium has always been considered as the unfavorable by-product. The collaboration between India and Japan shows that Thorium Energy and high-tech products manufacturing can be sourced from the same ore.
Rare Earth Elements are not really that rare but they are usually not found as concentrated as some other metals, and come mixed with the slightly radioactive thorium. The fact that REE are found mixed with thorium has hampered the growth of REE mining in USA and Europe as REE miners seek to avoid ores that are thorium rich to make the process easier. In the meanwhile China has grown a large REE industry and is dominating the international market today.
Now India is approaching thorium mining with REE considered as an important by-product. This clever approach will result in large quantities of both thorium and REE being produced from the same ore, which might be unique in the world today. The collaboration with Japan aims to satisfy the vast energy need for India through thorium, and the demand for REE in Japan’s high-tech production of e.g. electric cars and energy efficient flat screens.
Future will show if this collaboration will serve as a role model to change the business logic of REE miners. Earlier this year we wrote about Rare Elements Resources, the COO of which thinks that thorium research is important and is following the field of Thorium Energy closely: We will Continue to Follow this Emerging Technology