Economy March 6, 2023 | 2:43 pm

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Rare soils: studies are requested to clarify potential in the Dominican Republic

Pedernales is the main vestige to date with the highest concentration of what are now called “rare soils” in the Dominican Republic. However, these are not used in any way at the local level, rather they are “gifted” to a company that, in turn, exports them to China “for nothing”, say experts in the field. What are the rare soils? How important are they? What is the current context of the country? These are 17 elements of the periodic table grouped in block F and belonging to the Lanthanide family, which are excellent conductors of electricity and have magnetic properties. Indeed, they are vital for the production of clean energy, the aeronautical world, medical equipment, weapons, and technology.

The global demand for rare soils for this year is 62,230 metric tons (MT). In 2024 it will increase by 2.2%, since about 63,610 MT is projected, and in 2025 around 4.5%, because it is estimated to reach 65,040 MT, according to Statista.

By 2040, the figures are expected to increase significantly, since only electric vehicles (they use 25% rare soils) are seen, with a vehicle park of 50%. These are fundamental raw materials for the main sectors that move the world economy, say the experts, who indicate that it is the main reason why the great powers fight for control of these minerals and countries like China use it as a geopolitical strategy.

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Paul Tierney
March 7, 2023 8:34 am

Wonder what other countries these “rare soils” are export destinations? It cannot be just China alone having a monopoly for them. The RD is in a good position to play various world buyers of rare soil against each other to mine more revenue for itself.