Keyword: Rhône-Poulenc

The new raw materials at centre of global disputes: rare earth elements

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Huge pipes removing polluted water from a rare earth refinery in Inner Montgolia. © Reuters Huge pipes removing polluted water from a rare earth refinery in Inner Montgolia. © Reuters

The Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose country is embroiled in a trade war with the United States, has threatened an embargo on Chinese exports of what are called rare earths. These metallic elements have become essential raw materials both for the technological transition to greener energy and in the digital world. And China has a near-monopoly on them. Mediapart's Martine Orange spoke about the issue with French expert Guillaume Pitron, author of a recent book on the growing global battle over these crucial elements.