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The hand giveth, the hand taketh away

China only has about 30 percent of the world's rare earth metal deposits, but thanks to clever planning it today controls 97 percent of the world's production of these scarce resources.  Deposits of this family of 17 elements -- vital to power electronics found in televisions, smart phones, electric vehicles, and a variety of other devices -- are found in California, Canada, Australia, and Russia, but it will take years to bring them online.

In short the world is at China's mercy for now when it comes to rare earth supply.  And China's biggest rare earth metal producer -- the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) has announced that it is severing shipments to the U.S., Japan, and Europe for one month in an attempt to artificially inflate prices.

Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth also plans to buy rare earth metals in an attempt to further move prices upward.  The company already controls 60 percent of China's rare earth production, thanks to the Chinese government's decision to merge 35 other local companies into the Inner Mongolia business, or fade them out.

Rare earth metals
China controls 97 percent of the world's rare earth metal production.
[Source: Wikimedia Commons]

While the Sichuan province in the southwest and Shandong in the east produce significant amounts of rare earth as well, the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Group's decision should be enough to move prices significantly.

Doing so will benefit China in a couple ways.  First, prices will almost certainly go up, reverse a downward slide.  Lynas Corp., an Australian rare earth producer reveals that since June the price of neodymium oxide has declined 34 percent to $157 per kilogram, while europium oxide is down 35 percent at $2,904 per kilogram.

Sun Fan, a rare earth analyst for Goldstate Securities in the southern city of Shenzhen comments in a Associated Press interview, "The impact on the market supply will be substantial.  The dual measures of suspension and purchase will offer support for the rare earth prices and make the prices gradually pick up in the future."

Aside from raising prices higher, the pause in production will allow China to try to kick start its efforts to produce locally produce magnets.  When it comes to the production of the magnets used in the electric motors of hybrid and electric vehicles, typically the biggest profit is not realized at a commodity level, but at a magnet producer level.  Thus in the past foreign nations like the U.S. and Japan have pocketed the biggest profits.  China hopes to change that.

China hopes to supplant its U.S. and Asian rivals as the main producer of electric motor magnets, by choking resource supply to its foreign competitors. [Source: ThinkGeek]

China's Ministry of Land and Resources in September bragged that rare earth metals were the nation's "21st century treasure trove of new materials."  It argued that exports should be tightened, choking foreign supply and favoring Chinese manufacturers.

Source: AP

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I'm sorry I forgot....
By YashBudini on 10/21/2011 1:02:47 AM , Rating: 5
Remind me again why China has most favored nation status?

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By sgw2n5 on 10/21/2011 1:08:57 AM , Rating: 5
Because they have a 1 billion+ population of people willing to live well below standardized middle class in order to provide "wealthier" countries with cheap plastic shiat.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Kurz on 10/21/2011 9:32:22 AM , Rating: 2
They arent content with poverty. Each day more and more people are moving up to the Middle class. Watch Milton Friedman's 'Free to Choose' on Youtube. Look at Hong Kong, Look at every Major city in China.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By DrChemist on 10/21/2011 12:30:58 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah standard middle class though is considered those families or individuals making $10,000 or more. That's below poverty in US. US minimum wage would make up ~$15,000. That's a huge difference. People are still largely unable to afford homes. A 400sq.ft apt in Shanghai is almost $200k. That requires an income of more than $80k/yr to afford and can really only fit 1 person by US standards. Give it $15 years when it gets so bad that a revolution occurs and Unions develop. Goodbye cheap Chinese labor. US companies will then just move to the next 3rd world country to get cheap labor. As long as the US keeps buying we keep funding other countries like china to do well. Why is the 70% of world consumers (400million US citizens) letting them control us. We have the power but don't care because we don't want to spend an extra $2-$10 for that item we want so bad.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By jefferai on 10/21/2011 1:10:02 PM , Rating: 5
We have the power but don't care because we don't want to spend an extra $2-$10 for that item we want so bad.

I want to. But I don't have a choice.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By JediJeb on 10/22/2011 6:12:20 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly, I would buy an American made fishing pole and reel if I could, but searching I could not find any nearby. I finally found a $400 reel made in USA but it was for offshore fishing, a little overkill for fishing in my local pond.

Many consumers will pay a premium to buy locally produced items but the ones marketing them (eg WalMart) can always get a much better profit margin importing cheaper and lower quality goods. Lower quality means it will not last as long and you have to return and purchase again. I would be happy to pay a 5x premium price if the product lasted even 4x as long simply so I wouldn't have to buy it again so often.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By TheEinstein on 10/23/2011 5:50:04 AM , Rating: 5
You are all missing many many points here.

Wish I had my bookmarks, had to factory reset this phone, so I have to try this myself.

We cannot create cheap goods here because if we mine environmentalists sue and we have regulations requiring a lot more overhead than any other nation on Earth simply because "We are the greatest nation on Earth and we must be better than everyone else" and more expensive with less total output per capita than most nations.

We cannot create cheap goods here because we stop trucks from idling, and require outrageous environmental standards upon them as well as the toughest standards in transportation outside Europe 'because the world will die otherwise' (p.s. see for evidence global warming is false. I plan a $10,000 commercial series highlighting this stuff as part of my political campaign).

We cannot create cheap goods because Unions keep demanding raises. If wages were locked for life there would be no inflation... but I digress... in any event we keep giving them extremely high salaries for sometimes simple work "because fair wages are high wages".

We cannot make cheap goods because of Government Agencies passing new and painful regulations on a 4-6 year cycle. Such as the new cross border pollution act. There is a variety of reasons these agencies use from 'weidling should conserve energy anyways' to 'itthe will save a dozen lives a year' to 'thethe Earth will die otherwise'. China don't care about those things, just saying.

We cannot make cheap goods because Congress keeps playing favorites by taxing all to hell then choosing who gets subsidies and kickbacks. We do this because 'the rich should pay their fair share' when in reality it is 'those other rich need to pay for my friends share'.

We cannot create cheap goods because we refuse to fight economic wars against those who are doing so against us like China, because "We clearly have an addiction to their goods and we are the source of the problem" or some other nonsense.

I hope this list educates.

I am Michael Harrington and I endorse this message

P.S. do not read into this that I support changing this or that, this is commentary, not policy.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Strandwolf on 10/24/2011 4:51:49 AM , Rating: 1
Not into hyperbole much...that's good! Where are you running for office? I probably want to support your opponent.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By TheEinstein on 10/24/2011 5:35:56 AM , Rating: 1
I have strict policies regarding what I see as trolling or definitely noncontributing posts, either of which you may be guilty of.

1) I do not provide you material comfort unless you rectify the situation.
Meaning I will not provide follow up posts except to explain my guidelines against such nonsense posts.

2) I do not provide you information requested if you frequently do such posts against me or others.


You could have posted why you disagreed with my post, or why it was such hyperbole to you, but you did not see fit.

You could have quoted one section in particular and provided a counter argument.

You could have posted your own opinions.

You could have asked reasonable questions.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By mars2k on 10/26/2011 10:18:41 AM , Rating: 2
Harrington maybe they didn’t do it your way because you’re kind of a dingbat.

Nobody cares what your “policies” are.

None, as in “not a single one”, how’s that for specific, are anything but a mish-mash of nonsense that you hear on Fox every minute of the day.

I’ll quote specifically from your post….. “TheEinstein” Really?..... You? Come up with an original thought and get back to me on that.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By InvertMe on 10/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Kurz on 10/24/2011 9:47:39 AM , Rating: 3
Heh, I guess the 35% Corporate tax rate has nothing to do with it (One of the highest in the world). Or the Massive Payroll Taxes, Or Forcing Businesses to Provide Healthcare for their employees.

Nah That all cant be the reason why we don't make stuff here.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By curelom on 10/24/2011 11:35:42 AM , Rating: 3
and don't forget all the regulations that have been heaped upon businesses in the past 10 years.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By senecarr on 10/27/2011 4:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that while we have a high MARGINAL corporate tax rate of 35%, compared to the rest of the world, we have one of the lowest actual corporate tax rates? Corporations use so many loopholes to reduce their actual taxes paid that of all developed nations, only Iceland has a lower effective tax rate based on paid corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP?

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By intelcpu on 10/24/2011 12:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you are arguing well but the point in aspects of wealth especially in manner of global unequal labor incomes is a totally different.
Lets go to an auto dealer in Palo Alto to buy a fuel efficient car. Now to support the US economy you may be favoring a US manufacturer but it really does not matter which brand you are buying, since the supply chain for manufacturing a auto is global. Parts are made all over the world and mostly not in the US-Europe. The good news is that it doesn’t matter which company or which brand will get your money if the value is added in the USA than the local economy will benefit from it. We are talking about value added chains.

Recently china is opting for developing its human resources capabilities. If they are able to change the value adding chain in favor of themselves then we are going have a problem especially for the US- Europe labor with a mid-income.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Divide Overflow on 10/27/2011 7:26:04 PM , Rating: 2

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By dew111 on 10/28/2011 5:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
"If wages were locked for life there would be no inflation"

False. In a perfect system this might be true, but in our system, companies and individuals strive for more wealth. This leads to price increases of certain goods which then affects prices of other goods and so on. Your ideals, or anyone else's for that matter, are not going to change this. Unions keep rich management from screwing over the working people--the people who make up the group of consumers who are generally buying the most products. Less wealth for the masses ultimately leads to an economic collapse and/or revolution. Rich people would do well to observe the historical lesson illustrated by France's Bastille Days.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By VooDooAddict on 10/21/2011 2:24:43 PM , Rating: 5
It's not just the consumers, choice. It's US and European businesses that have chosen to move operations/outsource production there. In many lines of products, there is NO western manufactured choice. Many US/EU stores to only stock the shelves with China made goods. They don't give the consumer a choice.

In industries where I have a choice, I spend more for US / EU sourced goods. For the most part these tend to be nitch industries like paintball though. In computer hardware I don't really have a choice :(

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By zmatt on 10/23/2011 4:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
Most computer hardware isn't Chinese. Intel is US and they fab in the states and invest a lot here as well. Most component manufacturers are also either Taiwanese, Japanese or Korean. A fair bit of assembly is done in China (such as most Apple products for example) but the chips, lcd panels and other components are made elsewhere.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By cruisin3style on 10/21/2011 3:53:31 PM , Rating: 5
You have confused your info

The 70% of the US economy is consumption, but the US does not do 70% of the world's consumption...i found info that says the US and western Europe combined consume 60%

and it's also probably important to note that China's currency is kept artificially low compared to the dollar so if the official exchange rate converts to $10,000 the actual value of their wages might be in the $12k to $15k range (i'm not going to do the math but i've heard it is kept 20% to 40% below actual worth)

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By lyeoh on 10/23/2011 3:13:02 PM , Rating: 1
It's also important to note that:
1) The US pays China mostly in US dollars.
2) The US even borrows from China in US dollars ( the last I checked about 2 trillion?)
3) The US can create US dollars on demand as long as oil, wheat, CPUs are all traded in US dollars. In short the rest of the world lives in USA's "US Dollar Zimbabwe".
4) The Federal Reserve has in fact created more than 9 trillion US dollars since 2008 (think about what this means to those who have lent out trillions of US dollars, and/or have large amounts of US dollars).

So when the US grumbles about China's currency manipulation, trade "imbalance", I go: "What the fuck are you bunch grumbling about?".

The USA now looks like a fat slob who buys cheap goods and services from the poor hardworking guy next door using "Fat Slob Bonds" and "Fat Slob Dollars", and then complains about the guy (taking away your jobs, manipulating currency) while stuffing face, watching TV, and then sending toxic garbage to the neighbour for recycling. Who put a gun to your head and forced you to do that?

FWIW, Toyota manages to build cars in the USA that are mostly made in the USA (more US content even than cars from some "USA" car makers). So the US can build some stuff at competitive prices.

You guys can do better than this. What happened to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

Rate me down if you want, but it's all the truth- go google if you don't believe me.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By ianweck on 10/25/2011 8:15:00 AM , Rating: 1
You're kind of a dick, aren't you?

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By aguilpa1 on 10/25/2011 2:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
While I tend to agree that most of his facts sound like crap, he has a point. There are far to many lazy Americans. I'm one of them but at least I'm skilled and educated and my career contributes to the technical infrastructure to where I can earn a decent wage.

However, I see hundred if not thousands of "Americans" waiting at the food stamp and unemployment line who look like they have never missed a meal in their life, driving nicer cars than me waiting for that government hand out off my tax dollar. Those same people that complain about people taking their jobs away but if they were offered a job picking crops from a field or washing dishes would rather stay at home. The illegal aliens don't mind doing those jobs but we would rather kick them out because they are to successful at it.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By lyeoh on 10/25/2011 6:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
While I tend to agree that most of his facts sound like crap

And which of them are wrong?

The original post I was replying to was talking about China's currency manipulation. I was pointing out why that should not be a big deal from the US perspective.

As for the "fat slob" remark, I was mainly referring to the country, that's why I said "The USA now looks like a fat slob...".

Regarding your tax dollars, if the US Gov had passed some of the trillions of dollars created by the Federal Reserve to the US people, the cost of the "hand out" would be spread across you, China, and the rest of the world who hold US dollars. Creating US Dollars is just another way of "taxing" EVERYONE who holds or is owed net positive amounts of it. It makes what they have worth less. But who did they give the trillions to instead?

See the deal should be:
The world = Zimbabwe.
The US Gov = Robert Mugabe.
The US People = Mugabe's Friends
And whenever the US Gov creates money, the US People should get a cut, so the US Gov gets richer, the US people get a bit richer and the rest of the world gets poorer.

But recently that didn't happen right? Seems the US Gov is no longer a friend of the US People, and sharing the $$$ with them. So what should the US people do?

If the truth sounds like crap, sometimes that's because the situation really is crap.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By lagomorpha on 10/21/2011 10:30:13 PM , Rating: 4
"Unions develop"

The Chinese are likely to be even less squeemish about using bullets to stop unions than early 20th century America was.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By jvillaro on 10/22/2011 2:19:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but step a little bit outside the mayor cities and be welcomed to the 12th century

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By nafhan on 10/21/2011 10:57:54 AM , Rating: 4
They're willing to live below "standardized" (whatever that means) middle class because it's way the f### better than being knee deep in a rice paddy, and they're hoping to improve things even more for their kids. There's actually a lot of similarities to the US in the early 1900's (and, yes, a lot of differences, too). I don't really like the Chinese government and a lot of things they do, but I'm happy that the standard of living for the Chinese people has been improving.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Ringold on 10/21/2011 11:18:26 AM , Rating: 3
CNBC ran a very, very amateur documentary a few times this year that talked to some sweat-shop girls and whatnot in China. They said pretty much exactly that. At least now they can afford better food and the occasional luxury item, might be able to marry up, and their kids might be able to enjoy better schooling. All superior to occasional hunger, poor housing, and toiling in rice paddies until, finally, death releases them from their worldly toils.

Wages are rising rapidly in China, anyway. A labor union supporter wouldn't understand it, but if China decided it wanted "standardized" (I must've missed the World Socialist Party Symposium that set a standardized middle class definition) middle class wages, they'd all be out of work.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Fracture on 10/21/2011 3:40:21 PM , Rating: 5
"Willing" is a funny way to put it since their government's policy of pegging the yuan to the dollar keeps their buying power and overall quality of life down, and dissenters like those in north China will be "neutralized".

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Talcite on 10/21/2011 1:43:47 AM , Rating: 5
It's a jerk move, but OPEC has effectively been doing this since before the 90s with oil. The rare earth metals are also less critical to our infrastructure. It's not as if the country would grind to a halt tomorrow without it (whereas a lack of oil would be devastating). It's mild in the grand scheme of things.

I do agree it's strange to suddenly cut production to zero instead of scaling back though. It's almost as if they want to generate the negative publicity. Or they don't understand undergraduate economics.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Sazabi19 on 10/21/2011 8:04:03 AM , Rating: 5
More like they don't care. Who else are youg going to go to? The other 3% of refineries? Good luck not getting your orders filled for several weeks if not months. They know they have this market by the balls and they are just reminding everyone. We had stories on this not too long ago about how China had this kinda of control and how the US was worried about it. We still haven't done anything about it and now look at us. It seems we no longer learn.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By jeepga on 10/21/2011 8:32:27 AM , Rating: 5
Apathy, arrogance... But, what they're doing is providing an incentive for competition. As stated in the article they have 30% of the reserves, so spike the prices and now the nations controlling the other 70% step forward.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Mitch101 on 10/21/2011 9:40:21 AM , Rating: 5
What this does is expose a single point of failure and when they inflate the price it provides incentive (Money to be made) in finding alternatives. Granted very difficult here.

This is just like the sheik who wanted oil prices lowered because science started to find way to eliminate the dependency because with $4.00 gallon gas there is money to be made in alternative solutions. At $1.00 a gallon there was no incentive to look at alternatives.

I have faith in Science you make rare materials cost enough then science finds a way to turn worms into plutonium. The problems is generally time.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By mcnabney on 10/21/11, Rating: 0
RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Motoman on 10/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By karndog on 10/21/2011 10:35:36 AM , Rating: 5
Ummm not true, China depends almost entirely on countries like Australia for their iron ore and coal, which are very much a critical resource for any country whos infrastructure is expanding at a rate as fast as China's.

I wish these countries would try and use these same tactics on China. Let them horde all the precious rare metals they want, they won't do them any good when they can't even build or power factories to make use of them, let alone power their homes and build their cars etc. But alas it won't happen in my lifetime. Multi national companies just look at the easy $$$ and ravage countries national resources while sending all the profits overseas.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Motoman on 10/21/2011 10:41:04 AM , Rating: 1
My point was that anything else they needed that they did normally import by sea they could get from Russia and/or other neighbors by land.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By karndog on 10/21/2011 10:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
They could, but with China currently importing about 70 million tonnes of iron ore per month, and 90 million tonnes of coal per year, (expected to double by 2015) then it would look a little strange if Russia all of a sudden started importing an extra 80 million tonnes of iron and coal each month. Limits could be set on surrounding coutries so if they did decide to be a middle man to China, they would have to do so out of their own reserves.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By mcnabney on 10/21/2011 12:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
I knew that China got iron from Australia, but coal is kind of a surprise. China is right behind the US with the second largest coal deposits in the world. I never thought that they would go to the expensive of moving coal across the ocean. Some european nations buy a lot of coal from south America, so I guess the short hop across the Coral Sea isn't too bad.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By maven81 on 10/21/2011 11:51:50 AM , Rating: 5
China and Russia aren't exactly friendly. Russia is happy to sell them stuff to get their money, but don't think for one second they aren't worried about that border when there's a precedent for the Chinese trying to expand beyond it.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By TSS on 10/21/2011 11:12:43 AM , Rating: 4
Your underestimating how far the rest of the world is behind. I read a bit into this a while back when china first announced it was cutting exports of these materials. The US did have it's own rare earth metal mines as well as canada and australia, but they where mostly *shut down*, because the chinese where basically flooding the market.

Now rare earth metals are hard to get out of the ground. There's a reason they call em "rare". You can set up a new mine, but it will take 10-15 years to get a new mine operational, let alone running at full speed.

So if the chinese spike the prices for a month, that's not going to do anything. Considering the chinese should already have cut their export volume of 2009 of these metals by atleast 75%, i'd almost guarrantee you mines in other countries are already rapidly being set up or expanded. But the amount of time that takes means that for the next decade atleast, the chinese can do whatever they want and the prices will move with them. Thats the price we pay as kapitalist countries beliving a communist country wouldn't corner the market if they got the chance.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By Ringold on 10/21/2011 11:21:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've also read suggestions it can be comparatively heavy on pollution for whatever reason to extract them. That means any advanced democracy would have to go through all the convulsions and spasms of NIMBY/Green Peace anger to get anything done.

Good long-term opportunity for autocrats, middle-income democracies, etc., though.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By BZDTemp on 10/21/2011 12:55:35 PM , Rating: 3
One of the place where there looks to be great chance of really getting the rare stuff from the Earth is Greenland. It's still early but the the prognosis looks good.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By kingmotley on 10/23/2011 12:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
You mean the nations controlling the other 3%.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By wookie1 on 10/21/2011 4:15:00 PM , Rating: 3
OPEC only controls about 1/3 of the world's supply. The US gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Mexico.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By shin0bi272 on 10/21/2011 5:22:41 PM , Rating: 1
because clinton was a communist and the chinese people work for 2 cents a day.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By YashBudini on 10/22/2011 3:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
That explains how it started, not why it's continuing, which is far more important.

RE: I'm sorry I forgot....
By ttaerum on 10/21/2011 6:37:04 PM , Rating: 3
It's quite remarkable but if you go to you will see that this plan was hatched back in 2008. Unfortunately, this Administration seems more concerned about challenges to their election bid than challenges to U.S. sovereignty. Most recently there was open bidding on Afghan resources and U.S. bids were no where to be seen. Instead, India and China were top of the list of bidders. It seems to me, if we're sacrificing blood and treasure, this Administration should also be doing their best to insure U.S. companies are the "most highly favored".

Tree hugging retards.
By priusone on 10/21/2011 1:15:18 AM , Rating: 1
I love how China is doing this. We have our own natural resources and we should use them. "OMG, it's going to kill the environment!" Yep, but unless you are sleeping in a tent in the middle of the forest, you benefit from modern technology, and thus, you contribute to the destruction of the environment as we as humans extract resources from our mother earth. Now shut up and reopen OUR mines.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By Talcite on 10/21/2011 1:35:15 AM , Rating: 5
This has nothing to do with tree hugging retards. Your history is poor.

The US had several active rare earth metal mines, but they were closed due to an inability to compete with lower prices elsewhere. "Through the 1960s until the 1980s, the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California was the leading producer [of rare earth minerals in the world]"[1]

This was a case of poor economic policy. If the US can already justify the economic inefficiency generated by agricultural subsidies and deep sea drilling subsidies, policy makers should have had no problem keeping the mines open.

Also, if your willingness to shift blame on NIMBY/environmental types without solid evidence indicates that you are getting caught up in partisan ideologies and are poor at analysing situations objectively.


RE: Tree hugging retards.
By Solandri on 10/21/2011 2:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed it had nothing to do with environmentalists. However, it was good economic policy. Someone was willing to sell us their rare earths for much cheaper than it cost us to mine ours. Better to buy theirs and save ours for later. Mining and refining aren't exactly cutting edge technology, so there was literally nothing to lose by doing so.

A few mining companies who paid for land leases for those rare earth mines got burned, but the U.S. lost practically nothing. If there was a screwup, it was not stockpiling enough of those purchased rare earths to tide us over until we could get our own mining and production up to speed.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 3
We can't really consider that a "screwup". We depend on MANY foreign supplies/etc, to stockpile them all to that scale of reserve would be a large economic burden.

While in hindsight we could idealize that we're "saving ours for later", that's not really the case at all. It was simply a matter of it not being cost effective to pay more to mine than it costs for the ore constituents... but you already stated as much.

It did have to do with environmental issues though, that makes it more costly to process in countries with stricter regulations.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Tree hugging retards.
By bigdawg1988 on 10/21/2011 9:38:40 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, maybe you ought to read the articles before you cite them. It's the 3rd sentence in the article.
The facility is currently undergoing expansion and modernization, and expected to be back up to full production in 2011.

Oh, also:
The company paid more than $1.4 million in fines and settlements. After preparing a cleanup plan and completing an extensive environmental study, Unocal in 2004 won approval of a county permit that allowed the mine to operate for another 30 years. The mine also passed a key county inspection in 2007

Really? They only paid $1.4M in fines and settlements for allowing radioactive and hazardous waste to be released? They got off pretty good in my opinion. Probably would have cost a lot more than $1.4M to dispose of 600K gallons of waste properly. If you actually read the article you'll see they spent $500M to reopen the mine. Should be coming online soon. Should reduce the impact of what China is trying to do.

The strangest thing about this is that the Chinese company is actually telling everyone what they are doing instead of just trying to sneak and do it. Either they have some sort of weird sense of fairness, or they were educated in a super-villain school.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not so strange, if they didn't give a reason why they did it people would presume as much anyway. Otherwise if they claimed there were supply problems it would either appear dishonest or sooner cause competition which they don't want.

It's only a month... a disruption for sure but hardly super-villainous unless they are in direct violation of supply contracts.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By sorry dog on 10/21/2011 12:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
The strangest thing about this is that the Chinese company is actually telling everyone what they are doing instead of just trying to sneak and do it. Either they have some sort of weird sense of fairness, or they were educated in a super-villain school.

Nah...just trying to use the publicity to manipulate the market prices. They probably tipped somebody to sell a bunch of now probably worthless put options for some kickback. In the mean time they will probably still sell but to middlemen in the country who arbitrage it on over to us.
We still get our stuff but a few new actors to pay off in the deal...and the central planning big wigs probably get a get back too to approve it.

You gotta love free market communism...makes AIG & Goldman Sachs look 12 year olds trading baseball cards by comparison.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/22/2011 5:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
Take a step back and re-read my post. Try comprehending this: did I once say anything about Mountain Pass not being made ready? Answer: no.

So what was my post trying to convey? Ah, something about EnviroNuts. I am a conservative so I believe we are to be good stewards of the resources given to us. I do not believe in operating Zinc mines, for example, below industry standards, ad nauseum, and then when the media gets wind of a potential scandal, sell the mine thereby making it somebody else's problem. I say this so you may at least realize I have some intelligence -- which your denigrating little post denies me.

The real story behind Mountain Pass is that, yes a $1.4M penalty is tiny. What your crass microscopic brain is so close to understanding though is all the stuff behind the scenes. Connect the dots. Unocal was able to get the fine reduced by promising to jump through the hoops. Those hoops: extensive environmental study, county inspections, massive renovation. Who's buddy was Unocal forced to hire to perform the environmental study? How much time did the county inspector spend on just Mountain Pass? Do you think maybe it was his livelihood for about 10 years? Cush city man. Cushy. Renovation done by county approved contractors? No opportunity for kick-backs there ... oh wait! And lets not even think about counting all the billable hours put in by the lawyers on both sides.

Are you getting the picture yet? $500M. It's one thing to protect the environment but it is another to sit back and call this a win for the environment. It is sheer hypocrisy given the level of graft involved.

Mountain Pass would've been on-line a decade ago if not for all the damn gov't bureaucratic red-tape. China ought never have been in a position to pull their little stunt.
the Chinese company is actually telling everyone
Is this supposed to mean something?
Either they have some sort of weird sense of fairness, or they were educated in a super-villain school.
Fallacy of the False Dilemma. Not very objective of you.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By Strandwolf on 10/24/2011 5:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
Got any evidence to bolster your libelous remarks?

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/24/2011 5:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Got any evidence to bolster your libelous remarks?
That's a good one. I think I'll use that on some unsuspecting boob in the future.

Just think ... the mere statement is libelous in itself. Kind of like asking "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" If they answer "yes" they're screwed. If they answer "no" they're screwed. Is not that a funny-haha! And it puts the burden of proof on whomever you drop it on. Makes them do all the work while your lazy fat butt just sits back and rides. "So I'll just wait... all back-of-the-bus for now."

Don't have to answer any of the intricate questions. Avoids content whatsoever. Puts the conversation on your terms [which advantage, your friends tell you, you need].

Ever have boiled stone for soup?

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By DNAgent on 10/22/2011 11:25:46 AM , Rating: 1
Get your facts straight before you start running your mouth, man. For example, there is no such thing as "Title IX funding."

Title IX simply requires gender equality in schools that receive federal funding (typically regarding sports) or else that funding gets cut.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/23/2011 3:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
schools that receive federal funding
Fine. Stop the Federal funding then. It was suggested to cut oil and agricultural subsidies. Ok. My reply, I check that and I raise "all in". Now it's your call. You still think I'm running my mouth? Put up or shut up.

Environmentalism is a good thing. We are to be good stewards of our resources. But let's be objective here. Al Gore is making a killing off the so-called Green Movement. It's such a watered down standard any dope on TV just adds a "new improved" green label to their product. Is there even a point where you would think 'this seems to be hypocrisy' ?

When Environmentalism strangles our national competitiveness, it is a bad thing. Tell me how that statement is wrong. Especially in light of China's ability and willingness to put melamine in food products. Etc. When the prices on your electronics dohickey's go up, don't b*tch to me about it.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By Strandwolf on 10/24/2011 5:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
Come on. The people responsible for the melamine scandal were private businessmen and they paid for their greedy ways. Their lives, and their relatives chipped in for the ammo.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/24/2011 5:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
If you'd like to address the issues I'll consider replying. Otherwise, are you deliberately trying to waste my valuable time?

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By priusone on 10/21/2011 12:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously I did a poor job at getting my point across. What I am referring to is the 'raping and pillaging' of our environment. At one point, we used our own natural resources to produce our goods. Sure, toxic mineral levels are still high a lot of former mining sights.

"This was a case of poor economic policy... policy makers should have had no problem keeping the mines open."

The problem is, responsible mining is expensive and time consuming, which is something that China doesn't have to worry about. Yes, it subsidies would have been nice, but mining as a whole is looked at negatively. Think nuclear power; "It's great, just not in my backyard."

"your willingness to shift blame on NIMBY/environmental types without solid evidence indicates that you are getting caught up in partisan ideologies and are poor at analyzing situations objectively."

I blame the environmentalists for making it easier to just close down mines and import material from China. I live in Oregon and I love going out and experiencing nature, but if it takes ripping apart a few dozen mountains to get to the rare earth minerals, I think Mother Earth should just take one for the team.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By bupkus on 10/21/2011 12:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
The economic gain of letting mother nature "take it for the team" is the economic loss of destroying natural water supplies that support water biology that provides safe food harvests to feed the hungry.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By ekv on 10/22/2011 6:01:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm curious, what rare earth mines in the US are "destroying natural water supplies"? or, even in a broader context, what mines are near natural water supplies?

If perchance you were referring to Mountain Pass (CA), then I have to ask ... I take it you've never driven HWY 15?

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By TheEinstein on 10/24/2011 5:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
PriusOne I am running for office in Oregon, Portland to be exact....

We need not 'take one for the team' to still get at these materials, and other ores.

Oregon is one of the most beautiful States in the Union as I have driven in 47 of them proffessionally I can attest my opinion with clarity.

We can mine a location, then use reverse fill when the mine is 'used up' and then use renaturalization methods to restore the ecosystem.

Mining companies would see most of this as trivial if they can get the right costs... and I am supporting a system where companies bid on mining rights, and so long as they show intent to mine right away they can bid, and they must incorporate a guarantee (with fiscal and criminal penalties) of no contamination reaching humans (IE drinking water) and a full restoration of the area (within some allowances, after all if they remove large amounts of coal filling the mine would be impractible, but sealing it, and replanting the affected exterior areas would be neccessary)

I support NO subsidies on this what so ever.

The bid profits would goto our general fund and an appropriate monitoring power such as the BLM or such.

This, or other proposals I have, could easily provides tens of thousands of jobs. This example would include miners, mine staff, drivers (moving the ore to where it will be refined), refiners, the manufactore of required tools and equipment, and so forth.

We can balance real environmentalism (not this for profit crap, or for power over others crap) with smart economics.

I am Michael Harrington and I endorse this message.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By priusone on 10/24/2011 1:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
Talk to Armadillo Mining in Grant's Pass. They have a sticker that says "Earth First! We'll Mine the Other Planets Later".

Look, the spotted Owl pretty much destroyed the town that I grew up in. Oh, wait, it wasn't that stupid owl, it was stupid people. Stupid people are happy with their pretty trees and pretty colors, but they do have destruction, which is what we do to the environment.

Take a stroll out some random BLM road down here in Douglas County. An ex-friend made the comment about how ugly logging makes the forest. We loaded up Google Maps and drove to a few of the clear-cuts that showed up on Satellite View. Sure, new trees had been planted about 7 years prior, and money from the sales of wood products had helped OUR economy, but alas, my ex-friend couldn't see past the 'poor environment'.

Yes. Mining is bad for the environment. Oregon has a naturally high occurring amount if Mercury in it's rocks, among other little nasty minerals. For as much as I would love to see mines opened up, Oregon jobs created, and the US being ever so SLIGHTLY less dependent on China, you can't make those tree hugging idiots see the light.

Then again, I've seen numerous log mills open up in the past few years, so who knows, hopefully I'm wrong.

RE: Tree hugging retards.
By TheEinstein on 10/24/2011 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
There has been a slight increase in logging though Conservatives like myself would like more.

The irony is that in the environmentalist effort to protect Old Growth by tying the spotted owl to it they have probably doomed the spotted owl to extinction.

A number of activists admitted years ago of placing dead spotted owls in old growth trees and in other owls nests to make their case. The sad truth is they live in about Christmas tree sized growth and the small amount of these now after two decades of growth and rhe fact a superior owl shares this habitat means the Spotted Owl is nose diving in numbers.

Logging responsibly could actually save that species.

I will look that mining company up. Thx for heads up!

By thisisaname on 10/21/2011 1:11:13 AM , Rating: 2
It's just as much as our (the western world) fault for relying on China for all our goods, as it is them. But if this isn't a blatant act of aggression, than I don't know what is.

RE: Well
By Samus on 10/21/2011 4:32:16 AM , Rating: 5
We invested in Japan after World War 2 and turned them into the economic superpower they are now. In the 70's and 80's, we did the same thing for China by giving them technology and business. But they went about it in an entirely different way.

In Japan, they distributed the wealth and took pride in quality. In China, there is no middle-class; there are a wealthy few, and a majority that are lucky to eat a decent meal on a daily basis. They take no pride in quality because they have no reason too. close together, yet so far apart.

RE: Well
By zorxd on 10/21/2011 9:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
The income distribution in China and the USA is about the same (close GINI index). Which mean that if there is no middle class in China there must not be one in the US either.

RE: Well
By Kurz on 10/21/2011 9:35:04 AM , Rating: 2
Every Day Thousands of people enter the Middle class in China. Free Trade, the ability to choose who you conduct business without Government interfering greatly is the only way to have an even distubution of wealth.

RE: Well
By mcnabney on 10/21/2011 9:55:11 AM , Rating: 2
Which China are we talking about?

I was only aware of the China that held tight control of the economic reigns. Business owners are executed all the time if they do something wrong - this mineral extracting company most certainly had explicit approval from the party to do something like this.

RE: Well
By Kurz on 10/21/2011 10:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
The China we know today are not Free trade at all, besides Hong Kong. Though to ignore what Market forces does to an economy is shortsighted. Just like we tout our Free Trade, but in actuality it is gimped by the government.

RE: Well
By nafhan on 10/21/2011 11:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
Contrast China now with China 30 years ago. I'd actually say the "economic reigns" in China are looser than they are in the US. A lot of that is probably due to corruption and lack of needed regulation... but overall economic freedom is decent. Political and social freedom on the other hand, not so much.

RE: Well
By Ringold on 10/21/2011 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
People say that, but their weak property rights would make me nervous investing..

Then again, no guts no glory, right?

RE: Well
By shin0bi272 on 10/21/2011 5:25:45 PM , Rating: 1
how does it feel to be a communist? seriously I want to know. You just said "the economic reigns in china are looser than they are in the us" then proceeded to say that we need more regulation to fix the problems in the US. Hypocrite says what? Go drink some lye then play in traffic.

RE: Well
By someguy123 on 10/22/2011 5:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
I get the feeling he's referring to safety and quality regulations. Wasn't too long ago that they found lead leaked into products, and now there's that whole riffraff from CCTV about the massive amounts of pollution and waste being dumped by companies like Meiko and foxconn.

China's lean regulation is technically more free than what we have here in the states. Background damage to the environment is not something that can be easily fixed by market competition, though. Public perception is much more influenced by price than business practices.

RE: Well
By nafhan on 10/24/2011 10:16:41 AM , Rating: 3
how does it feel to be a communist?
that and the rest of your comment made me laugh! Anyway, since reading comprehension doesn't seem to be your strength, I'll clarify: the economic reigns in China are (at least arguably) looser than they are in the US. That doesn't mean it's a place I'd want to run a business, but it does mean if you ARE running a business there's a good chance you can get away with whatever you want (especially if you know the right people). Also, I was talking about corruption and lack of regulation in China, NOT the US... So, you can stop with the angry mouth breathing.

RE: Well
By YashBudini on 10/22/2011 3:26:32 PM , Rating: 3
Free Trade, the ability to choose who you conduct business without Government interfering greatly is the only way to have an even distubution of wealth.

I can't think of a single criminal who would disagree with this statement. There's a difference between a free economy and a "free-for-all" economy. Basic lesson ECO101.

Did you know congressmen are exempt from insider trading laws? Is that what you had in mind?

RE: Well
By chmilz on 10/21/11, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
If a product is represented as fit for a purpose, it's not the buyer's fault if that product is not actually fit for the purpose. Doesn't matter if it costs $200 or 5 cents, "buyer beware" doesn't hold water in legally binding agreements.

RE: Well
By mcnabney on 10/21/2011 12:18:47 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure there is someone in China waiting to take your job too. Since you are posting here you obviously aren't working hard. And of course, your replacement would accept a fraction of your salary. So next time you gripe about the American worker, be sure to hold up a mirror while you are talking.

If the US had any brains in it's government...
By Motoman on 10/21/2011 10:10:41 AM , Rating: 1'd make it illegal to trade with China. Period.

We can get our crap from other countries. Human rights issues notwithstanding, China's finance and trade stances are just flat-out abusive of it's trading partners.

So screw them. Shut off the tap, and let's see what they do then.

RE: If the US had any brains in it's government...
By Kurz on 10/21/2011 11:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
Then the Standard of Living will decrease in the USA.

By Motoman on 10/22/2011 9:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
Nah. Well, not any more than the economy is already causing.

Other countries would step up in short order to do the stuff China does...outside of rare earth minerals, which will take time to ramp up anywhere else. All the basic manufacturing of cheap goods that China does though can easily be replaced pretty much anywhere else. Existing companies in South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, etc. can ramp up to meet demand.

By YashBudini on 10/22/2011 3:29:07 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it. Free trade was suppose to lower prices more than outsource jobs, did that happen?

I wouldn't mind seeing us build more stuff.

RE: If the US had any brains in it's government...
By wookie1 on 10/21/2011 4:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
They'd probably stop buying our debt - then what! Massive default on the US debt would follow.

By Motoman on 10/22/2011 9:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
...yeah, we'd default on them. Not exactly news though...the way everything's going, everybody's going to default.

By bbomb on 10/21/2011 1:07:55 AM , Rating: 1 will work in their favor. It will be years before anyone in the U.S. can get past government red tape and citizens that cry NIMBA.

Then them same citizens will bitch and cry about how the cost of everything used by them materials is skyrocketing. Smart move in the short term for China. In the long term, as other producers come online, they can in turn do the exact same thing to China.

RE: And...
By mcnabney on 10/21/2011 10:05:26 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, probably not a smart move by China.

We are about to start an election cycle, one dominated by poor economic news and high unemployment. A lot of political points could be made in the US turning the Chinese into aggressors and opening up a major trade war. It could even turn military if we use our Navy to cut China off from African resources in retribution.

RE: And...
By gamerk2 on 10/21/2011 11:23:24 AM , Rating: 1
That assumes the US would win a trade war with China. Which do you think will break first: The American people, or the Chinese government?

Nevermind China always has the option of demanding the US government honor its ~$4 Trillion in US Tresuries. And its not like Europe is in position to give the US a loan to meet that obligation...China basically has the power to force a US default, which would destroy our economy [and don't try and argue otherwise].

In short: The US can't and won't win a trade war on China. I suspect we are seeing the first retaliation in regards to the tarrifs Congress is currently trying to pass on Chinese goods...

RE: And...
By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:41:29 PM , Rating: 3

1) People are not going to vote on a pro-trade-war platform or military action against a superpower. It's same thing different day, more jobs, less taxes, control of government spending. People will vote for the better liar.

2) We cannot replace our Chinese imports within a period one or two election terms would encompass.

3) Even if we could, it would be the same situation we already face, buying domestic (and building infrastructure to supply) or paying less for the import.

4) The EU would never stand for the US taking military action for so blatant a financial reason. Just to stay in the middle east with sufficient military resources we have to go and invent /wars/.

5) We can't win a trade war until our standard of living drops to the same (risen) standard the Chinese have and even then we could not win because our capitalist society causes great redundant, wasteful, and anti-competitive practices. The Chinese communist state is simply the more efficient means for production.

What exactly do you expect from China
By p800asia on 10/21/2011 2:05:23 AM , Rating: 4
1. China keeps exporting at low prices: It is dumping its natural resources at its own environmental peril and killing our rare metal mining industry since we cannot compete in price.

2. China limits the production: China is trying to control the supply and price and suffocate our high tech industries.

OK when rare metals are cheap, we cannot reopen our mining factories. When the prices go up, we still cannot reopen them because of environmental concern and the red tape.
In short, nothing constructive will be done no matter what.

China has been talking about this issue for many years and is very clear that it doesn't want to exhaust its 30% world reserve.
You could blame them IF they actually had 97% of world supply, but not when the fact is some countries simply sit on their huge pile of rare metals, do nothing for the past few years but keeps complaining.

China was willing to sell them for cheap before doesn't mean it is obliged to do that in the future. Rare metals are natural, non-renewable resource after all.

RE: What exactly do you expect from China
By Kurz on 10/21/2011 9:42:01 AM , Rating: 3
All your compliants stem from Central Planning of Economies.

By bupkus on 10/21/2011 12:33:30 PM , Rating: 1
All your compliants stem from Central Planning of Economies.

Maybe you can get the "Swift Boat" people working on altering the outcome of China's Presidential elections?

Future Iraq?
By hkscfreak on 10/21/2011 5:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
next thing you know we'll be sailing a couple of aircraft carrier battle groups over...

RE: Future Iraq?
By mead drinker on 10/21/2011 9:51:02 AM , Rating: 3 need. Although we are in debt to them, the risk is all theirs. Sanctions, not paying the debt, change in trade policy, etc would decimate the country economically.

More like they would send a couple battle groups our way.

RE: Future Iraq?
By p800asia on 10/22/2011 1:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
"Although we are in debt to them, the risk is all theirs. Sanctions, not paying the debt....."

Do you realise US needs to keep getting new loans to pay for existing debt's interest AND to pay for current expense?
Go ahead and play with fire, just try not to pay the debt and see how you can borrow money in the future.

By sleepeeg3 on 10/21/2011 4:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
What happened to this?

Not profitable?
TheRegister seems to thinks so, but I am not sure they are looking at it based on economies of scale:

By mcnabney on 10/21/2011 10:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
Minerals, including things like oil, are really only considered functional if prices allow them to be extracted profitably. For example, the oil in Canadian tar sands, deepwater wells in the Gulf, and under a solid plate in North Dakota are only being developed now because they require high petroleum prices to be a profitable venture. There are mineral resources everywhere, but the only ones that count are the ones that can be brought to market at a profit. Those minerals in Japan are tough to get at.

By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't jump to that conclusion so quickly, that it hasn't happened within a few months means nothing, even if they were full on pursuing the mining we'd still know nothing about it yet unless there were an intelligence leak.

However I do agree that the scale of it is a bit large at this point in time considering the setbacks Japan has recently faced.

Thank's God!
By Zingam on 10/21/2011 2:09:04 AM , Rating: 2
...the Chinese don't control the Unobtanium supply too!

RE: Thank's God!
By mindless1 on 10/21/2011 12:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
For a month, unobtanium is what they are.

When those you do business with have no ethics...
By masamasa on 10/21/2011 11:00:43 AM , Rating: 2's time to find new business partners. I don't think the trading/business partners fully understand the ramifications of doing business with China. There are no ethics, there are no rules and it's cheat or be cheated.

By Kurz on 10/21/2011 11:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well... Let the individual Business decide whats best for themselves. Legislating will just make things worse between China and us. Though it would be nice if our own government allowed us to tap our own resources.

It is a war.
By danjw1 on 10/21/2011 12:50:37 PM , Rating: 4
China has been in an economic war with the west, and most of the rest of the world for years. It is past time that we start fighting back.

And yet
By FITCamaro on 10/21/2011 1:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
This is the direction that the world wants to go. Rely ever more on China.

RE: And yet
By YashBudini on 10/22/2011 3:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
After Irene I needed a dehumidifier. Good luck finding anything other than Chinese or Korean in a store.

Perhaps some of the commercial ones are made in the US, but while I'm willing to spend more for a US made product I could not afford a couple of grand for something way too big.

On top of which a lot of stuff, even what should be long lasting appliances, are now all disposable crap. Here again I want to choose better, but my options no longer exist.

Given a choice of really cheap Chinese pens or less cheap Mexican pens I bought the latter because I figure every person working there is one less thinking about crossing the border illegally. The lesser of 2 evils as it were.

Tick-Tock Tick-Tock BOOM
By IcePickFreak on 10/21/2011 1:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
There's that "Stop dependence on foreign oil!" working for us.

Blame Wall Street
By dark matter on 10/21/2011 3:13:14 AM , Rating: 2
And the short term sociopaths who only see $$$'s and their own quick fix.

Carbon Nanotubes and graphine?
By dnoonie on 10/21/2011 6:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
Might Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene replace some applications of rare earths?

Check recent and past articles here at DT and over at IEEE Spectrum on Carbon Nanotubes.

I think in the long run this will look short sited.

thanks greenies
By DockScience on 10/24/2011 7:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
I sure am glad that the greens shut down the largest US rare-earth mine, which is only now trying to find its way through the helpful regulations to re-open.

And Bill Clinton signed a special allowance so that the Chinese could transfer the technology to make high quench rate magnets from the US to China. George W Bush likewise sat by when the Chinese moved the last of US production to China.

Who needs jobs when you have good intentions, right?

More to the point
By mars2k on 10/26/2011 11:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
Everybody seems to have gotten off topic. The real issue here is competition for resources.
China is taking strategic steps to provide for their future. It isn’t just about manipulating markets for these minerals it’s about who is going to control these important substances when supplies get low.
Many of these minerals are crucial to support our technology driven existence.
The US does not think strategically the Chinese do. They are looking down the road a bit we are not.
We are vulnerable to bottlenecks in supply here just as we are with oil.
Another choke point will be chip manufacturing. China wants Taiwan back. What happens then?
Do we have onshore supplies sufficient to meet our needs in any of these areas? I don’t think so

Lithium-ion Battery
By lxtbattery on 10/27/2011 7:26:34 AM , Rating: 2
The rare earth is important to the IT industry. Lithium-ion Battery

By mongoliarareearths on 11/2/2011 4:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
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