The Economist: 澳洲能否打破中國壟斷關鍵礦產的局面

作者:The Economist
來源:The Economist
日期:Jun 20, 2023



  • 美國及其印太盟友,如澳大利亞、印度和日本,透過友誼、多元化來源和確保礦物加工的充足產能,重新規劃關鍵礦產供應鏈。
  • 澳洲是鋰、鈷和稀土等關鍵礦產的最大生產國之一,但與中國相比,其目前的提煉能力還很微弱。然而,澳洲希望到2030年成為關鍵礦產加工領域的主要參與者,以建立安全的供應鏈。
  • 印太地區國家提出了多項倡議,以加強彼此之間供應鏈的相互依賴,減少對中國的依賴。
  • 中國在關鍵礦產領域的主導地位使其能夠扼制供應鏈,並以此作為經濟武器打擊反對中國的國家。
  • 除此之外,COVID-19和俄烏戰爭造成的供應鏈中斷,也凸顯了供應鏈多元化的重要性,各國都須確保持續供應並,防止資源武器化。


  • 由於中國在供應鏈中占據主導地位,它可以利用市場力量來改變礦產品的價格。
  • 稀土加工需要較高的環境安全加工成本,而且可能因環境問題遭到當地居民的抵制。
  • 印太地區的國家需要長期支持礦產加工業,與其進行密切協調,提高供應鏈的韌性,減少對中國的依賴。
China has a near monopoly on processed critical minerals crucial for modern technologies. Amid the US-China geopolitical tensions and fears of another massive supply chain disruption, Indo-Pacific countries seek to diversify their supply away from China.

The New Era of Minerals Geopolitics

  • The US and its Indo-Pacific allies, such as Australia, India, and Japan, are redrawing the critical mineral supply chains through friend-shoring, diversifying sources, and ensuring sufficient capacity in mineral processing.
  • Australia is one of the largest producers of critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and rare earth materials, but its current refining capacity is miniature compared to China. However, Australia hopes to be a major actor in processed critical minerals by 2030 to build a secure supply chain.
  • Indo-Pacific countries introduced initiatives to bolster their mutual dependence on their supply chain and reduce their reliance on China.
  • China's dominance in the critical minerals gives it a chokehold over the supply chain, which it can utilize as an economic weapon against countries that oppose it.
  • Further, the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russo-Ukraine War highlighted the importance of supply chain diversification to ensure continuous supply and prevent the weaponization of resources.

Tough Road Ahead

  • Since China dominates the supply chain, it can use its market power to shift the prices of the minerals.
  • Rare earth processing requires high environmental-safe processing costs and may meet with local resistance over environmental concerns.
  • Indo-Pacific countries need long-term support for mineral processing companies and close coordination to improve their supply chain resilience and reduce their reliance on China.