China: Artificial Intelligence Searches for Rare Earths

by | 22. Jun 2023 - 12:04 | Politics

Scientists discover raw material deposits in the Himalayas.

Australia, the USA and other countries are entering the market for rare earths, promising themselves and other nations greater independence from China in the supply of raw materials. But the Middle Kingdom has also long been in the process of securing access to critical minerals abroad, for example through investments in emerging mining companies.

At the same time, the search for new raw material deposits at home is being driven forward. Chinese scientists are also relying on the use of artificial intelligence (AI), as reported this week by the South China Morning Post (SCMP). With the help of AI, satellite images and other data from the Himalayan region are being analyzed to find special rock formations that are considered rich in raw materials. This is based on the results of field studies. The deposits in the area could have similar dimensions to those in Inner Mongolia. This autonomous region, with the Bayan Obo mine and its associated refineries, is virtually the engine room of the Chinese rare earth industry.

But there is a significant catch to the discovery, according to the SCMP, because the deposit is located near the border area with India. Time and again, incidents occur between the two countries, as the exact course of the border is disputed.

Photo: iStock/Yuanping

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