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US: To Combat China, Pentagon Races To Develop Rare Earth Mineral Plants In Australia

A shooting war between the U.S. and China seems far-fetched at the moment, but could be plausible once the Pentagon reduces its rare earth mineral exposure on the Asian country and sets up new processing facilities in Australia.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters Monday that she held meetings with Australian counterparts about “whether or not we could work with Australia to stand up a facility that would take care of our DoD needs, but a variety of other international needs as well.”

Lord’s meeting comes after a series of threats made by the Chinese to block rare earth mineral exports to the U.S., about 17 minerals in total, mostly used in fifth-generation fighter jets, M1 Abrams tank armor, radars, lasers, and engines.

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