South Korea and U.S. Initiate Joint Rare Earth Project in Vietnam

SEOUL - South Korea and the United States have embarked on a joint research initiative to extract rare earth elements in Vietnam, Seoul's foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

According to a new release by the Yonhap News Agency, the project aims to strengthen cooperation in the supply chain of critical minerals. Starting in October, experts from both countries will be in Hanoi for three months to work on extracting these elements from coal ash, under the U.S. Embassy Science Fellow (ESF) project.

This project marks the first time Washington has dispatched its scientists to a third country in collaboration with a foreign partner. Both countries are collaborating closely with the Vietnamese government to facilitate the research. The initiative aims to promote environmentally friendly technologies for the extraction of rare earth elements and bolster international cooperation in processing critical minerals. It also aligns with the existing multilateral efforts like the U.S.-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), which aims to strengthen the global supply of and promote investment in critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

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