Your next smartphone might come from Myanmar, not China.

Yangon China enjoys a monopoly on rare earth that is needed as much in your smart phone as in hybrid cars. The world is now looking at Myanmar to have an alternate source of this precious commodity.

Myanmar is known to have rare earth like Xenotine, Monazite, Columbite and Tantalite, says

The reforms brought about by President Thein Sein has led the tech-savvy and wide-eyed industrial giants to look at Myanmar's deposits.

Despite their name, rare earths are relatively common within the earth's crust. But because of their geochemical properties, they are not often found in economically exploitable concentrations.

China has a stranglehold over rare earths, controlling over 95 percent of the worldwide trade. AFP


China has a stranglehold over rare earths, controlling over 95 percent of the worldwide trade.

It produces the majority of two important rare earths, Dysprosium (99 percent) and Neodymium (95 percent).

Other countries do have rare earth but China's low-cost labour and not too tight environmental restrictions have given it a big advantage.

Knowing well the politics of business, South Korea struck a rare earth deal with Myanmar in 2010.

Rare earths are vital for technology products including smart phones and hybrid cars. It is also used in computer discs and guided missiles as well as in TV screen and microphones.

According to the US Geological Survey, approximately 13 million metric tonnes of rare earth elements (REE) exist within known deposits in the US.


Updated Date: May 28, 2012 17:51 PM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See