The “No Fossil” future!
With an end to the Fossil fuel regime, will the world settle down to be more peaceful, or will it be the curtain raiser to a new world order? Some of the worlds’ best minds predict a total collapse of the monetary system as such, followed by civil war. The very commodity because of its rising demand was banked upon has disappeared from the reachable face of earth could technically under common beliefs bring out a collapse of the world economy, a rearrangement of world order, a hard decline to the Middle East syndrome and a bend in almost everything that defines the modern day world. Will the newer Eco-friendly technologies spell the doomsday to the concept of strategic resource or is the game getting bigger than ever before.
Welcome aboard to the new world of central Asian domination, the REMs(Rare Earth Metals). For the new world envisioned to run on clean energy, it’s not the energy form that’s going to boggle the international strategy makers, but the raw materials for manufacture. It’s not about iron and steel, or copper which is more concentrate and easier to extract but of Scandium, Lanthanum and 15 other elements from the periodic table termed to three letters “REM” or simply Rare Earth Metals. These metals whose use was confined to the Si-Fi projects of yesterday is fast gaining importance and dominating every man’s modern day necessities from mobile phones to laser guided parking systems. The newer Eco-Friendly Hybrid and Fuel Cell technologies are totally dependent on REMs.
All sounds well, but whose gona be the big guys in the REM business. Considering that REM’s use is in the Si-Fi industry, the world’s major consumer should be none other than Japan. The major distributor of REMs to the world today, accounting for 95% of world supplies, China lately pulled the emergency brakes to REM export considering its new found entry into hi-tech industry. India with its REM rich southern soil and early exit of China, has already contracted with Japan for export. But there’s more to the whole REM thing than India and China. Welcome in Afghanistan, the less known electronic Raw Material cradle of the world. This seems to put in perspective the US peace restoration process at Afghanistan. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has already conducted extensive tests around Afghan geography analyzing potential for ore development and a so called restructuring of Afghan lives. Early studies reveal an estimated 1Trillion dollar worth of REMs in Afghanistan. This means business to the US corporate world and in a way betterment of Afghan lives.
Japan’s reach out to India for its REM needs is something Government of India should consider with caution. REM ores are not eternal and preservation of this future Strategic Resource is vital to India’s future. US though rich in REM deposit (estimated to be about 13 million metric tons ) largely depend on imports for its consumption. With a definite long future for REMs, preservation of this resource could mean something that could be banked upon in the future.