Solar Energy for Rare Earths: Are China and North Korea getting into business?
December 2019 | Market
China appears to want to further expand its rare-earth production capacity in the territory of its southern neighbor, North Korea. The Trade Association of China Rare Earth Industry issued a notice at the end of October. In the area of the communist state, there are presumed prolific deposits for which China wants to secure mining concessions. In return, China is to build a large solar factory in the neighboring country in order to stabilize the extremely unreliable energy supply.
But the deal is by no means certain: North Korea is not considered to be particularly reliable in business matters. And the Chinese leadership in Beijing is also unaware of a possible deal when asked. The UN sanctions against North Korea that still exist could also stand in the way of the project. But if China manages to get a foot in the door, it could further strengthen China’s dominance in the world market.