TOKYO, April 17 Honda Motor Co said on
Tuesday it would start the world's first mass-production process
to extract rare earth metals from used car parts and recycle the
expensive materials mainly controlled by China.
Honda has partnered Japan Metals & Chemicals Co to begin
extracting rare earth metals this month from nickel-metal
hydride batteries collected from used hybrid vehicles at its
dealers around the world, the Japanese automaker said.
China produces about 95 percent of global rare earth
supplies and has ratcheted up export controls, sending prices
Honda said the newly developed process enables the
extraction of more than 80 percent of rare earth metals in
nickel-metal hydride batteries. It plans to also use the process
for other parts, feeding the extracted metals back to its
Japanese automakers and other heavy users are researching
ways to reduce rare earth usage or replace the metals, including
with the help of government subsidies.
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)