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China Moving To Restrict Neodymium Supply 477

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-for-all-the-tea-in-oh-wait dept.
GuyFawkes writes with this quote from the Independent: "Britain and other Western countries risk running out of supplies of certain highly sought-after rare metals that are vital to a host of green technologies, amid growing evidence that China, which has a monopoly on global production, is set to choke off exports of valuable compounds. Failure to secure alternative long-term sources of rare earth elements (REEs) would affect the manufacturing and development of low-carbon technology, which relies on the unique properties of the 17 metals to mass-produce eco-friendly innovations such as wind turbines and low-energy light bulbs. China, whose mines account for 97 per cent of global supplies, is trying to ensure that all raw REE materials are processed within its borders. During the past seven years it has reduced by 40 per cent the amount of rare earths available for export."
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China Moving To Restrict Neodymium Supply

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  • and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zurk (37028) <`zurktech' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:31PM (#30624502) Journal

    They have fought to secure those same elements and done their homework. it gives them an economic advantage with both manufacturing and raw mining/refining done in the same place. most western countries in the same position would do the same as would any corporate entity in the western hemisphere. they can export the finished products at a huge markup compared to what they would get for raw minerals.

    • Re:and why not ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:44PM (#30624626) Journal

      Exactly, and I think we will see much more such too. China is improving its economy fast currently, with the USA's economy crisis and huge debts. They're getting their foot between the door, and I think both China and Russia will be starting to have a lot larger influence on global economy soon. Russian entrepreneurs are already [techcrunch.com] buying big shares of US companies and gaining larger share of US corporations. China (and Taiwan) is attacking from the cheap manufacturing and resources supply front, India is attacking from the cheap programming and computer technology front, and Russia is attacking from the ownership of US companies front. With the huge government debts and economic slowdown, what will happen to US? It's already known the spendings are too much and theres no possibility to live on debt forever.

      • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:06PM (#30624842)

        I think both China and Russia will be starting to have a lot larger influence on global economy soon

        China currently has unprecedented influence on the US, even if none of us wants to come right out and say.

      • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by HungryHobo (1314109) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:07PM (#30624850)

        Funny side note- I thought one of the big points of "green" tech was to cut down on Americas dependence on other countries when it comes to energy.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:01PM (#30625408)

          Shhh! What the hell are you trying to do? Crap on the next economic bubble before it even gets started? Just shut the fuck up and be glad Big Brother gives you an energy ration at all!!!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The chinese economy is a bomb waiting to happen. Not because they will explode with growth but because sections are in an unsustainable bubble (real estate, stock market, speculation, etc) and there will be a major contraction within 10 years. Chances are, it won't be pretty.
    • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Alien Being (18488) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:46PM (#30624652)

      In a free trade system U.S. buyers could negotiate with various Chinese suppliers. It sounds to me like the Chinese government is creating a defacto monopoly where there shouldn't be one.

      We buy far too much chinese stuff as it is and it's largely due to the false economy of the chinese currency. Another factor in the trade deficit is their willingness to simply rip off Western IP. Most of their products are very low quality anyway and end up costing more in the long run.

      • Re:and why not ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:53PM (#30624722)

        > Another factor in the trade deficit is their willingness to simply rip off Western IP

        And the fault for that lies where, exactly? With the countries dumb enough to shift their economy to make trivially copied virtual products? Or the one smart enough to create actual goods which other people want to buy?

        Yep, I thought so. One side is being an idiot. The other is being smart. News flash! Smart eventually wins.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by maxume (22995)

          For all the wailing about such trajectories, Western industrial economies still produce 4 to 5 times as much as China's.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rogerborg (306625)
            4 to 5 times as much what? Good by retail value? Mass? Volume? I ask because I don't think I could find anything non-consumable in my house (or garage, I have a Chinese motorcycle) that's not made in China. I have two French cars, but the Chinese bike is more reliable.
        • Exactly , this is a global economy now , no more isolation , this means in order for us to evolve the rest of the world needs to come to our level , or we need to evolve to the standards of another country.

          The us needs to figure out how to bring production and industry back within our borders , or we suffer the fate of becoming the 3rd world countries we currently abuse. The Brazilians are building an alternative fuel future , to power south america soon. The russians are buying up "profitalbe" companies, w

          • I'm unclear on your final statement.
            If you mean, without damaging the planet like china inflicts damage the planet, then okay.

            If you mean to learn to not damage the planet the way china does not avoid the planet, you are seriously mistaken about china. They are like Russia in that they do enormous damage.

          • Illusion (Score:5, Insightful)

            by stabiesoft (733417) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:23PM (#30625650) Homepage

            The global economy is an illusion. China controls its exchange rate. If they let it float, chinese products would double
            triple or maybe even 10X in price almost overnight. China controls imports thru numerous techniques (as do we and everyone else).
            They just recently clamped down on even what web sites will be visible. China is a tightly controlled economy which plans on being number 1 in 5 to 10 years. They think long term and are willing to abuse its citizens in the process. My big worry is once they get those subs they are bulding up & running, the west is screwed. They will now be able to offer the one "product" that up until now, only we could offer. Security. Imagine if you are the Arab nations with all that oil and you can either trade with the US and collect "dollars in an account" and a guarantee of protection or you can get "computers, cars, boats, appliances, furniture, pillows, blankets, screws, bolts, steel, aluminum, pipe, tools, and pretty much anything you want" AND protection from the chinese, who would you sell your oil to? For that matter, ANY raw material producing country will do biz with the chinese, not us. China has played the capitalists over the past couple of decades very well.

      • Ever been to a foreign country ? As I sit in Colombia at the moment , every local store has rip offs from china , in every form , they are cheap enough that they can use them here for low cost and not worry about it for a year.

        This sentiment is being drilled into the american consumers head as well. It's really disappointing. I see so many pirated products it's scary. We need to start developing a world money very soon or we will face countries like China falsely inflating and under inflating values.

        It took

      • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by phoenix321 (734987) * on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:43PM (#30625224)

        The rule you're looking for is "If it works, it isn't stupid."

        And for China, the current economy works wonders of almost biblical proportions. Millions have now decent homes, electricity, food, water and clothing who previously had none. Billions in the world now have cheap commodities and consumer goods. They will not stop any time soon and frankly I can't hold it against them, because currently it works extremely well.

        While we spend our energy battling ecological strawmen and Islam, China will begin to top out the US in terms of power and wealth.

        I would rather ask what we did wrong so it could come to this, what our faults were concerning the trade balance, national debts, tax, regulations, protective tariffs and all that.

        • It's a competition and lately we've been hobbling ourselves trying to protect the income of existing corporations by killing new businesses.

          Software / business model patents are not helping us compete. They're crippling our new businesses.

        • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by drsquare (530038) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @10:33PM (#30628616)

          I would rather ask what we did wrong so it could come to this, what our faults were concerning the trade balance, national debts, tax, regulations, protective tariffs and all that.

          America hasn't done anything wrong, it's just that everyone else has caught up. The US being the sole economic and military superpower was just a temporary blip in history. China is just returning to where it was centuries ago, and the US is returning to being just another first-world nation.

          Bear in mind that the US only achieved its superpower status by default after the rest of the world was destroyed by two world wars. Unless there's a third, I can't see the current trends changing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Znork (31774)

        Another factor in the trade deficit is their willingness to simply rip off Western IP

        You mean, the west is willing to damage it's own economy by implementing the various privatized taxation equivalents called IP, while the Chinese economy practices a freer market, gaining the advantages of lower costs through competition. Not to mention that those IP taxation rights are more and more often held by companies in other countries anyway, which means it'll end up creating even further deficits.

        The west could cer

    • Re:and why not ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by abigor (540274) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:49PM (#30624686)

      No, China is a signatory to the WTO and curbing raw materials exports is a violation. The WTO is looking into the issue: http://www.purchasing.com/article/441486-WTO_to_study_China_s_raw_material_export_curbs.php [purchasing.com]

      No Western country could get away with limiting raw materials exports for secondary and tertiary onshore processing, though some have tried.

      • Re:and why not ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BosstonesOwn (794949) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:24PM (#30625012)

        China is in the drivers seat here , do you really think they will stop abusing the power they have ? China is not going to give in easily , more then likely they will agree to some agreement that allows them to do what they want , and then cut production to fall under the line and keep doing what they want.

        Everything is made in China , they can be penalized and they won't care. They will keep doing it until we bar all Chinese products , good luck doing that.

        • Re:and why not ? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@gmail.cGINSBERGom minus poet> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:28PM (#30626260) Journal

          We just pulled a large chunk of our production back from China. Shipping costs are too high.

          This move by the Chinese government may effect things a small amount but it will drive the profitability of recycling efforts skyward. It will stimulate innovation in the area of metamaterials that can take the place of scarce single element resources. It will also stimulate innovation in moving us as far as possible away from scare resources.

          This will again set China behind everyone else in the long term. And they will be making investors in new technologies piles of cash.

        • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Informative)

          by evilviper (135110) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:19PM (#30627806) Journal

          Everything is made in China , they can be penalized and they won't care. They will keep doing it until we bar all Chinese products , good luck doing that.

          No economist in the world will deny that China needs the US a lot more than the US needs China.

          Everything is NOT made in China. China remains the #3 economy, a very large margin behind the US and Japan. The US remains the #1 manufacture in the world... almost double that of #2.

          You think China makes "everything" because you see the little "Made in China" label on every $2 item you buy, and assume that's all there is to the world. You don't buy turbines, heavy construction machinery, commercial jets, etc. There are lots of Chinese business owners bemoaning the fact that "Everything is made in the USA and Japan."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phoenix321 (734987) *

        When the WTO issues a huge fine, will we send the Marines to Beijing to collect it? Will we settle it against the national debt?

        Our forces are overextended enough as it is. Within five years, we have Iran or Israel burning and in desperate need of democratization and/or support. Within fifteen years, we will probably have an open insurgency somewhere in the Greater London, Brussels or Paris when their Muslim reaches the size of a small Arab state like Lebanon and Syria. And neither Afghanistan or Iraq will

        • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by couchslug (175151) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:53PM (#30626514)

          "Our forces are overextended enough as it is. Within five years, we have Iran or Israel burning and in desperate need of democratization and/or support. Within fifteen years, we will probably have an open insurgency somewhere in the Greater London, Brussels or Paris when their Muslim reaches the size of a small Arab state like Lebanon and Syria. And neither Afghanistan or Iraq will be a stable democracy by then and will collapse as soon as we leave or already did."

          If Israel wants to fend off its neighbors in the next war, it has tactical nukes. We don't need to mess with Iran, because it will remain Jihadist and no outcome we could influence will change that. Unless they have some wonderful equivalent of the French Revolution where they slaughter the Mullah, it will be "same shit, different day". T

          he Iranian protestors aren't rejecting Islam, they chant "God is great!". Don't ever forget that.
          Like the Cultural Revolution in China, not our problem and the more violent things get in an _enemy_ country the better.

          "If the national deficit spending continues, China could buy back all of Taiwan simply by relieving some percent of our national debt and we will still be thankful to have some room in our budgets again."

          Works for me. Taiwan is in Chinas sphere of influence, which it why it is full of Chinese. The cult of Suicide for Taiwan doesn't benefit the US.
          How many dead G.I.s is Taiwan worth? None by my metrics. Go enlist in their Army if you like.

          "We will never recover from our debts and we cannot survive without China giving us more loans every year, so they can practically demand whatever they want. In our world, politically correct may trump factually correct, but in the real world, all lunches must be paid for."

          China is the natural master of Asia, NOT the US! Such neocolonial nostalgia is disgusting and no wonder the ChiComs are pissed when it is expressed!
          China is tough enough to help fight radical Islam. China is progressing at an amazing pace, so the old idea of preparing for confrontation is silly.
          We should be cooperating to carve out influence instead of competing. We have mutual cultural enemies in the Jihadists.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by phoenix321 (734987) *

            All the points you mentioned are factually correct and I'm not politically correct enough to disagree with that.

            It will however mean a huge loss of influence, leading to an equal reduction in trade and wealth influx and also require the forfeit of several of our ideals of humanity, civilization, freedom, democracy and all that.

            I don't know if we're ready to sacrifice our holy cows just yet. Ironically, the refusal to deny or cut back on any of our holy ideas is what brought us the wealth in the first place

        • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SEE (7681) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:03PM (#30626622) Homepage

          The WTO doesn't levy fines, it authorizes retaliatory tariffs. You know what that sort of thing does to an export-based economy?

    • by mochan_s (536939)

      They have fought to secure those same elements and done their homework. it gives them an economic advantage with both manufacturing and raw mining/refining done in the same place. most western countries in the same position would do the same as would any corporate entity in the western hemisphere. they can export the finished products at a huge markup compared to what they would get for raw minerals.

      Well said.

      Especially, since China has sold out almost everything in pursuit of money: their labor, their en

    • Right, we're pretty well pwned in this case. Even if we ("we" being the nation as a whole) were smart enough to deal with this, it's probably too late.

      In theory though, your "and why not?" attitude suggests at least three solutions.

      1. One obvious and somewhat suicidal solution is war.

      2. Another solution in keistering. Keistering is what you do when you realize that these metals are already so expensive that it's no big deal to pay somebody to hide it up their butt.

      3. Another solution is neodymium gold clubs

    • Re:and why not ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:23PM (#30625006) Homepage Journal

      If you think about it, it's allowing China to profit twice on the same resource. They get mark-up on the material, and then if you have to process it in-country, they get markup a second time in processing. They'd be fools to do it any other way, since there's approximately zero chance of anyone bringing rare earths INTO China and providing them with processing business for ore other than that produced in-country. Processing their own ore is the only way they make business on it, may as well demand all you can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Boronx (228853)

      That's funny, the Western Country I live in, the USA, purposefully let it's manufacturing advantage wither on the vine so that the investor class could get richer.

  • by russlar (1122455) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:32PM (#30624506)
    China is mining a vein of Unobtainium!
  • So, no export of raw materials so that we buy finished parts from them. And support all the industries in between mining and retail in in China. Sounds like the WTO could have a bit of leverage considering how much comes out of China right now that could be gradually restricted...
    • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:37PM (#30624548)

      Sounds like the WTO could have a bit of leverage considering how much comes out of China right now that could be gradually restricted...

      And replaced with what? And what if the Chinese decide to retaliate and simply shut down exports for a couple of months? Who do you think will cry uncle first?

      • Replace it with what you ask? Where do you think the Chinese get their cheap shit made? Places like Vietnam.
      • The Chinese government would hurt more. Since Deng Xiaoping the CCP's legitimacy has come almost entirely from its ability to bring continued economic growth to its citizens, and that economic growth is in turn based almost entirely on its export economy. See, for example, the mass unemployment, bankruptcies, and economic disorder that hit the manufacturing-and-export-heavy Guangdong Province with the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008. One thing is for sure: the Chinese government would do ever
  • I don't know what is.

    After all, last time, all the Chinese did to warrant invasion by Britain was cut off the opium supply. (google it if doubtful.)

    • by lkcl (517947)

      you're forgetting something: china has 1.3 billion people, and a millenia-long tradition of practicing tai ji martial arts. oh. and you've also forgotten the fact that they're a nuclear superpower. so the days of war-mongering are over. get used to it.

      • by QuoteMstr (55051)

        they're a nuclear superpower

        But amazingly enough, they're also a developing nation and deserve favorable trade and carbon treatment. Go figure.

    • by PatDev (1344467) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:51PM (#30624710)

      Umm, the Chinese did not cut off the supply of Opium. They cut off the demand for opium. The British were illegally smuggling opium from India into China, then the Chinese enforced their laws, leading to war.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:35PM (#30624532) Homepage Journal

    The whole point of free trade was to unlink, fundamentally, resources from national ownership. Now that the Chinese have crossed the rubicon on the basic issue of access to materials on open markets, what is really the point of pretending that they are genuinely interested in free trade? Do we still want to pretend that they are interested in moving towards western liberalism. As much as Republicans called liberals Chamberlins on other issues, conservatives still ignoring the growing failure of free trade with the east are really, fundamentally, the genuine Chamberlins of our day. I hope they choke on their Walmart stock.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I think you're confusing Corporatists with Conservatives.

      And Corporatists come in all political flavors. Did you think the left wing of that particular ugly flapping bird won't be choking on their Target stock?

      • by tjstork (137384)

        And Corporatists come in all political flavors. Did you think the left wing of that particular ugly flapping bird won't be choking on their Target stock?

        Good point. Really, the entire health care bill the Democrats are building could be renamed:

        "The National Walmart Has to Buy Health Insurance for Its Employees Act".

        They aren't fundamentally changing the balance of things, just throwing a little sugar on it for the masses.

    • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:58PM (#30624758)

      Indeed, and the comparison is apt. Fundamentally, China is practicing mercantilism, but we've hamstrung ourselves by making it politically impossible to fight back.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jandersen (462034)

      The whole point of free trade was to unlink, fundamentally, resources from national ownership

      I think you are wrong. Ownership doesn't enter into the question at all - free trade is simply a matter of making it easier to conduct business; there is nothing to say that national governments or state-owned enterprises can't take part in that.

      I think your attitude is bizarre; it seems that you think that anything done or provided by society is by definition evil. I guess this is the sad result of the Cold-War conditioning that afflicts so many Americans - you have learned that government is a sort of Com

  • With the world economy falling downward China may well soon be willing to sell their sisters' socks with their sisters still in them.

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:43PM (#30624612)
    This has been discussed here on Slashdot before, but rare earths are not as difficult to mine and produce as the term "rare" implies; they are rare only in a relative sense compared to other common elements of the Earth's crust. They are mostly not rare on the same order as gold or platinum group metals, although there are exceptions. There are plenty of sources for most of these elements in the continental United States and other nations outside of China; it just costs a certain amount of money to mine and refine them. If China chokes off supplies from their own mines and processors then it will make those same sorts of mines and processors cost-competitive again here in the United States and elsewhere in the world. This really isn't that big of a deal.
    • I think what is important here is not the availability of the resource, but their behavior in controlling it.
    • by Vellmont (569020)

      This really isn't that big of a deal.
      And it might even be a good thing for the United States long term. Relying on one country for an important mineral is almost always a bad thing. Doubly for a country like China that's we've not always been on the friendliest terms with.

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:33PM (#30625120)

      Yeah, the current Chinese monopoly on current production for many of the elements is just because they've undercut all other producers, so rare earths are too cheap to be worth mining outside of China. There was quite a lot of rare-earth mining in the U.S. in the 1980s and 90s, and many of those mines are still waiting to be restarted when the price gets high enough to be worth it. Here's [molycorp.com] a timeline from the largest U.S. miner (currently not mining, but sitting around processing some existing stocks of ore).

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:43PM (#30624620)

    Time to explore for new deposits. If the price of rare earth elements increases enough, it'll be worthwhile. Australia, the American west, and Africa still have vast unexploited mineral wealth.

  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:45PM (#30624638) Homepage Journal

    The following link is ESSENTIAL reading

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/178225-on-the-rare-earth-crisis-of-2009 [seekingalpha.com]

  • Dupe (Score:5, Funny)

    by olsmeister (1488789) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @02:51PM (#30624712)
    This was discussed previously on http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/09/08/2119201/China-Considering-Cuts-In-Rare-Earth-Metal-Exports [slashdot.org]

    If you hurry up and copy/paste a few comments from there, you may be able to get a cheap +5 Informative. :)
  • by Greg Hullender (621024) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:02PM (#30624800) Homepage Journal
    A lot of the reliance on neodymium has been because it was cheap. Apparently there was a big switch to it from cobalt some years ago because cobalt had got expensive due to unreliable suppliers.

    http://www.choruscars.com/Chorus_NEO_WhitePaper.pdf [choruscars.com]

    There are plenty of prospective or former mines around the world; it's just that China was so much cheaper that it made little or no sense to exploit those sites until now.

    The real trouble here is the sudden change in price, but at the rate demand for it has been going up, it seems inevitable that engineers are going to need to find alternatives to it -- regardless of what China does.

    --Greg

  • ...when we rely so heavily on China for its exports. If they want to play this, levy tariffs on products coming from China (if they aren't going to ship anyway might as well show them how expensive their strong arming can be), and while we're at it, restrict their students coming to the US for education so they can't go back and show their countrymen how to process mined quantities or engineer mining safety equipment or safe mines.

    Hold them to higher standards also when it comes to mine safety. There a

  • All it really means is that products which currently require large amounts of rare earths will continue to evolve and require less of the stuff over time. This has in fact already happened to some degree with mature technologies such as catalytic converters. The same thing will happen with newer technologies. An increase in the cost of rare earth materials will also push nanotech development over time, in particular nano-featured surfaces.

    So it is hardly a catastrophe.

    -Matt

  • by cdrguru (88047)

    What do you suppose the total use of "raw materials" in the US was in the last couple of years? Likely as not, nearly zero. Manufacturing of anything in the US has nearly ended and what manufacturing there is consists of putting parts together that were made in other countries.

    So I guess you could say that Dell "manufactures" computers by taking the parts made in other countries and putting them together. Does Dell make any of these parts? No.

    Most of the parts in cars which are assembled in the US come

  • How long are we going to ignore China's blatant flouting of trade and IP law? Laws don't exist if they are not enforced. The world salivates at the thought of having access to the anticipated Chinese consumer base and keeps letting things slide to not endanger that opportunity. Are they really going to give us access?
  • The article says

    Nearly all of China's supply of rare earths comes from a single mine near the city of Baotou, in Inner Mongolia.

    I can't believe it would be a big problem to find those are earths somewhere else.

  • Just how green is an energy that relies on a non-renewable resource?

    Or are these rare metals, once used in green tech, easily recycled?

  • Having most actual mines don't mean that in the country is the only resource of the mineral, just the place that have in this moment most mines of it. If you can't build new mines for it in your own country or in a willing to sell country, you can try alternate approachs if can be done in an efficient way. Not sure if there is feasible to mine under the ocean (if could be there) or filtering it from the ocean itself, but in both places should be enough "rare" resources to make them look abundant.

    There are w
  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:28PM (#30625710)
    I saw a documentary a few months ago where the Chinese had secured much of the lithium (as in batteries) mines and were negotiating in Bolivia if I remember correctly for their undeveloped resources which apparently are enormous. The problem here isn't China hoarding up the resources.. imho, it's our next quarter mentality.
  • by mycal (135781) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:06PM (#30626642) Journal

    California Has Enough a Neodynmium at the Mountain Pass Mine to supply all US needs for the foreseeable future. Though the environmental movement has shut down the mine, it can be opened back up in very little time to provide these materials to the US.

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