The pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have shown just how quickly supply chains can be disrupted by geopolitical instability.
More than ever we are beginning to appreciate how important it is to secure access to alternative energy supplies. But, paradoxically, the resources the world needs to make this happen are tied up by the very people who have restricted access to the traditional energy resources.
Not only is it countries that are desperate to secure access to the key rare earths that will enable us to secure our energy supplies, but it is also companies with P&Ls bigger than small countries. This is making for a very interesting time when it comes to commercial deals, as well as geopolitical tensions.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Tesla has been in talks to buy a minority stake in Glencore, the Swiss mining giant. Already the one-man show has secured a deal with the company to buy cobalt but it looks like they want even more of a direct-line to the good stuff.
Tesla is not an outlier when it comes to worrying about its rare earth supply lines. According to Baker Steel Resources Trust, “Demand for magnet rare earth is forecast to more than double by 2030, driven by the green revolution. Outside of China there is already a real issue in securing enough material and processing to the magnet stage.”
The Trust expects to see “demand to more than double by the end of the decade for the magnet rare earths. Value-in-use estimates for [rare earths] in EVs and wind turbines are orders of magnitude above current levels.”
The report brought to mind comments Dr Stephen Leeb recently made when speaking to GoldCore’s Dave Russell. The New York Times best selling author’s depth of knowledge when it comes to geopolitical insights is nothing short of exceptional, especially when it comes to Russia and China.
Today we bring you just a short excerpt of our interview with Dr Leeb, where he talks about how the current environment is both exciting and treacherous, and that this is all thanks to access to raw materials.
How a Shortage of Rare Earth Metals Will Impact Us All
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GOLD PRICES (USD, GBP & EUR – AM/ PM LBMA Fix)
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