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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KORDI Holds Seminar “Rare-earth Elements as Resources, and the Sea”

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  • Date : 2011-02-11

The Republic of Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI; President KANG Jung-keuk) has announced that it will hold a seminar entitled “Rare-earth Elements as Resources, and the Sea,” to help the country secure rare-earth elements at Sejong Hotel in Chungmu-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul on Monday, February 14 at 14:00.


There are 17 rare-earth elements, dubbed the gold of the 21st century. Two of these?scandium and ytrrium?belong to Family III on the Periodic Table, and the other 15 are the lanthanides, which run from atomic numbers 57 to 71. Rare-earth elements are chemically stable metals and excellent conductors of heat, making themselves indispensible in fabricating advanced materials used for optical lenses, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, liquid crystal displays (LCDs), wind power generation equipment, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.


In the latest territorial dispute between China and Japan, China suspended exports of rare-earth elements to Japan, using its supply of resources as a kind of weapon and further awakening major countries to the need to ensure supplies of rare-earth elements.


Advanced countries are doing their utmost to secure their own deposits, increase output, and diversify sources to blunt efforts by any country to use the availability of earth-rare elements as a powerful weapon in foreign affairs. They are busily revising policies regarding these scarce resources to be prepared for the day when these elements become de facto weapons of diplomacy?China has imposed export quotas on them, the US has started mining rare-earth element deposits, and Japan endeavors to secure more of them in ores of deep seabed minerals.


The upcoming seminar is intended for exploration of strategic solutions to secure rare-earth elements for the country and to discuss overall policy to follow. More than 70 people from businesses, academic institutes, research institutes, and government agencies including the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM), the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), KORDI, and POSCO will be invited.


The seminar will have five presentations and general discussion. The titles of the presentations are, in order of presentation, (1) Industrial Usage of Rare-earth Metals: The Present and Future (KIM Taek-su, The Republic of Korea Institute of Industrial Technology); (2) Supply and Demand of Rare-earth Metals and the Prospects (PARK In-hyeok, POSCO); (3) How to Extract and Refine Rare-earth Metals (KIM Jun-su, The Republic of Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources); (4) Reserves of Continental Deposits of Rare-earth Elements and Their Development Status (KIM Seon-su, Republic of Korea Resources Corporation); and (5) Reserves of Rare-earth Elements among Deep Seabed Minerals and the Potential for Their Development (PARK Sang-jun, KORDI).


Mr. GWON Mun-sang (Vice President of KORDI) will facilitate the overall discussion session during which Mr. HONG Rae-hyeong from MLTM (head of the Marine Territory and Development Division), Mr. HWANG Eui-doek from MKE (head of the Resources Development Division), Mr. LEE Ji-pyeong from LG Economic Research Institute (senior researcher), Prof. MIN Dong-jun from Yonsei University (Advanced New Materials Engineering Department), and Mr. MUN Jae-un from KORDI (senior researcher; Deep-sea and Marine Georesources Research Department) will engage in in-depth discussion on how to secure rare-earth elements for the country.


“I hope the seminar highlights the importance and value of rare-earth elements as resources,” said Vice President GWON Mun-sang of KORDI. He added, “I expect heated debate on comprehensive understanding and strategies to secure rare-earth elements at the seminar, and I hope that the sea will serve as the frontier for Republic of Korea to achieve the goal.”




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Last Update : 2020-03-07