Apple stops sourcing rare earth minerals from Russia

13 April, 08:40 PM
Apple refuses to buy Russian tungsten, tantalum and gold (Photo:Zhiyue\Unsplash)

Apple refuses to buy Russian tungsten, tantalum and gold (Photo:Zhiyue\Unsplash)

U.S. tech giant Apple has officially stopped importing tungsten, tantalum, and gold directly from Russia, Russian business news outlet Kommersant reported on April 13, citing Apple’s Q1 report.

Kommersant notes the company made the switch at the request of the U.S. government. At the same time, Apple still receives tungsten shipments from the Moliren plant in Moscow Oblast.

Citing a source close to the Solikamsk Magnesium Plant in Russia’s Perm Krai, the newspaper writes that the company has never interacted with Apple directly.

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"SMZ's main partner in tantalum, and we are talking about its oxide, that is, a substance in powder form, is the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan," the source told Kommersant.

The report says that shipments of tungsten concentrate to the United States from Russia in 2021 amounted to about $3 million, or 3.5% of the U.S. market.

Experts say Apple could instead import rare earth metals from China. The latter, in turn, can use Russian concentrates for its own domestic metal production.

Russian companies used to supply the United States with about 200 tons of tungsten and less than 10 tons of gold per year. Now, these volumes can be compensated by Chinese and Indian producers.

The main buyers of Russian metals are now Chinese companies, which later resell these raw materials to various factories.

Earlier, NV reported that Apple's computer shipments fell by 40% last quarter, in line with a sharp decline experienced by all major electronics manufacturers.

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