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Metals: China

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 259819, tabled on 4 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Chinese authorities on rare earth metals imports into the UK.

Answered on

12 June 2019

The Department has not made any formal assessment of the security of supply of rare earth elements. However, neodymium and dysprosium are included on the EU’s list of critical raw materials, because of their high economic importance and high supply risk. Tellurium is not on that list, but the Government is aware of its scarcity and importance to manufacturing of alloys and some electronic equipment.

We enjoy strong relationships with a huge range of companies and business representatives and through those conversations we have not been made aware of any specific concerns regarding the supply of these materials.

I can also confirm that I have not held specific conversations with any country regarding rare earth elements. However, the UK Government’s long-held approach to ensuring sufficient supply of materials is through lobbying for free, fair and open global markets. As my rt. hon Friend the Prime Minister has stated, we want to ensure that we promote the greatest possible trade with the world.

Through our day-to-day contacts with industry, we will continue to monitor the situation.