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Beijing is drawing up plans to prohibit or restrict exports of rare earth metals that are produced only in China and play a vital role in cutting edge technology, from hybrid cars and catalytic converters, to superconductors, and precision-guided weapons.
The Japanese government has drawn up a “Strategy for Ensuring Stable Supplies of Rare Metals”. It calls for `stockpiling’ and plans for “securing overseas resources’. The West has yet to stir.
Originally posted by ignorant_ape
just my opinion - but i think the truth of this is that the chinese have now realised that , thanks to thier IMHO flawed stragegy during the 90s of state subsedies and explotive labour markets enabling them to undercut every other supplier they were in effect ` selling the family siver ` or more correctly sellying thier reserves of strategic minerals far too cheaply to any one who bid on them
now they are realising that they need them too for industrial growth - and if they exhaust thier reserves - then they will become demendant on foreign supply
as the article partially states - and a bit of google confirms - almost all the listed metals are availiable in know / suspect untapped deposits or mothballed mines in the US , australia , south africa and south american states
the only thing this will do is correctly balance the markets - and make everyone realise the true value of these metals
Every year, each person in the U.S requires more than 25,000 pounds of new nonfuel minerals to make the items we use every day.
It's possible to substitute other materials if there is indeed a shortage of these rare earth materials. Prabhakar Patil, CEO of battery-maker Compact Power suggests the car makers could switch to induction motors and other electronics choices that are not dependent on the rare earth materials. Worldwide demand for at least 15 rare earth materials is expected to exceed supply by 40,000 tons per year, according to a recent Reuters report.
Afghanistan has abundant mineral resources, including known deposits of copper, iron, barite, sulfur, talc, chromium, magnesium, salt, mica, marble, rubies, emeralds, lapis lazuli, asbestos, nickel, mercury, gold and silver, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, beryllium, and lithium (fig. 1). Between 2005 and 2007, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded a cooperative study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) to assess the non-fuel mineral resources of Afghanistan as part of the effort to aid in the reconstruction of that country.