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High-Tech Companies Face Shortages as China Hoards Metals

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posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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High-Tech Companies Face Shortages as China Hoards Metals

Germany is pinning its economic hopes on future-oriented industries such as solar panel manufacturing. But high-tech companies are facing shortages of essential metals as China, which dominates the world market in so-called rare earths, begins stockpiling the highly sought-after resources.

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It's a situation that has been the source of many a headache for Ulrich Grillo. Grillo runs a zinc and sulfur processing company in the western German city of Duisburg, and he also heads the commodities policy committee at the Federation of German Industries (BDI). He notes with growing concern how German companies are becoming increasingly dependent on Chinese sources of raw materials, putting themselves literally at the mercy of the Chinese. What happens, Grillo asks, if China decides to block access?

There are certainly signs that this could be happening. The People's Republic no longer wants to sell off its rare commodities at rock-bottom prices, as it once did. Indeed, government planners have imposed restrictions on exports recently. This could seriously jeopardize German industrial growth, says Grillo. "We are headed for a commodities gap," he warns.

...

Even as it stockpiles its own mineral resources, China is systematically securing its access to other resources around the world, including investments in iron mines in Australia and cobalt reserves in Congo. At the same time, China is filling up its warehouses. Its zinc inventories have more than doubled since March, while its lead supplies have grown by close to 600 percent. With more than $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves, Beijing has more than enough money to fill up its stockpiles. In some cases, it even pays for resources with weapons.

More...



Another warm and fuzzy story for ATS.

I should stop reading the internet.




posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:45 PM
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Every country in the world know what China is doing.

Now ask yourself, why aren't they taking measures to counteract China?

Seems like something else may be going on. I just don't buy that governments aren't doing more to protect their own economy and needs.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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World War II was over resources. The two industrialized nations in the world without natural resources, Japan and Germany, were up against the wall. If China is insterested in world peace, it would be smart of them to release the metals.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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It was nice of our government to help China hoard precious metals by sending the "Cash for Clunkers" vehicle scraps to them.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by loam
 


Damn the Chinese are brilliant. Can we outsource our political decision making to them? Better decisions for one tenth the price and if they get caught being corrupt the Chinese government will kill them for us.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by HotSauce
 


Outsourcing our political decisions couldn't be any worse than the ones made here.

I think you are on to something!


[edit on 9-11-2009 by loam]



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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I always anticipated the water wars, but metal wars never crossed my mind.. pretty amazing.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 10:27 PM
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You know, I gave a presentation on Mackinder's Heartland Theory in class and when asked how I'd redraw the lines (it was last updated in WWII) I said I'd have to include the Persian Gulf (cause of oil of course) and China (for this specifically). My professor chimed in that there had been an article about it in Scientific American recently.

Its really scary how dependent high technology is on these metals, and how one country we criticize for being lax on environmental and human rights laws is supplying an almost monopolistic supply. I think that this is a simmering crisis that'll pop up on the other nations and take the public by surprise. Too bad the public wasn't taught to pay attention to the world and look at what may happen in the future...oh wait...that's what we elect people for *sarcasm implied if you hadn't guessed*



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 10:35 PM
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Considering our *cough* Space agencies around the world could have gotten together and started some mining, instead of P#$$ing around and shoving space junk into the moon and taking ream after ream of pictures, we wouldn't have water wars, metal wars, NO wars. I'm pretty sick of this crap, to be honest- when the untold wealth of the solar system is floating above our heads- and stays up there thanks to lazy , stupid SOBs.

It's well past time to put space to a practical, smart use and not just have it as an exclusive playground for the rich and some celebrity flyboys.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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It's a pretty smart play.

China's 2 Trillion in USD is devaluing faster than you can say "Devalue"... it makes perfect sense that they would wish to trade their near valueless USD for actual resources and REAL wealth.

Even after the USD crashes, Zinc, Copper, Lead, Cobalt, etc...

These resources are still going to be worth REAL money, because industry still uses them.

Try running silicon valley on fiat money.... see how far that gets ya!



-Edrick



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by wylekat
 


LOL, spend a few billion to bring back 20 million worth of minerals from some part of the solar system.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by Edrick
 


Yeah, I have to agree with you. Even though a lot of the geopolitical books and articles I've been reading state that China likely won't be a superpower in the 21st Century, I'm thinking more and more that they're wrong. This just adds another piece of evidence to my theory.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 11:39 PM
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Well, this is interesting. Goldman Sachs could help bail out the United States, but not before finding a little more gold in Washington.

Rare earth mine in California

Of course, China's copper venture in Afghanistan could lead to mining other minerals there. A mutual US/CHINA interest in that country...jobs for Afghanistans, and soldiers to protect those projects. Partnership



posted on Nov, 10 2009 @ 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by Sir Solomon
reply to post by Edrick
 


Yeah, I have to agree with you. Even though a lot of the geopolitical books and articles I've been reading state that China likely won't be a superpower in the 21st Century, I'm thinking more and more that they're wrong. This just adds another piece of evidence to my theory.



Heh. I've felt that way since the Berlin Wall came down and everyone went "Yay!" China might have been somewhat backwards technologically and militarily but they have a diverse supply of resources and people with which to exploit them. They've flown under the radar for the most part and it's only recently that many people took notice of them. It was only a matter of time before they caught up with the west and it wouldn't be surprising to me to see them become the dominant world power and have most if not the rest of the world dance to their beat. They're holding more and more of the cards and are expanding their presence well beyond their borders.

China's history is vast, lengthy and storied compared to the United States. While their political/leadership structure has varied over time, their culture and sense of nationalism as a people dwarfs that of the US, which has already changed in the last 50 years. Whether a NWO is coming or not, I doubt that China will fall in line with everyone else.



posted on Nov, 10 2009 @ 03:49 AM
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There are a couple rare earth mines in Alaska that are in development but the biggest problem is the environmentalist.
www.seacc.org...

Normally it takes about 7 years to permit a mine but even after the state and federal government have approved all the environmental permits all it takes is less then $100 for a environmental group to file a frivolous lawsuit to block the project for years. and once that suit is decided in court another group can file another suit and it all starts over again.

And since the government is not loosing millions of dollars because of the delays (like the mining company)they are in no hurry to take the case to court..
In many cases this money could be better used to safe guard the environment.

In many cases the lawsuits are not even filed against the mining companies but against the state or federal government for not requiring what the environmentalist believe is the right paperwork from the mining company.

In many cases the environmentalist don't even live in the same state.
many lawsuits against mining project in Alaska are from people that live in san Fransisco Calif that have never even been in Alaska.

All this kills american jobs and manufacturing.
www.sitnews.us...
www.nps.gov...



posted on Nov, 10 2009 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


Oh crap!

China is a huge threat to the world.

And they do not care about their workers, their children (who are their workers), humanity or animals.

If China takes over, that is it.



posted on Nov, 10 2009 @ 06:47 AM
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reply to post by HotSauce
 





LOL, spend a few billion to bring back 20 million worth of minerals from some part of the solar system.


And there's part of my rant- IT JUST SHOULDN'T. Who came up with these numbers? Why does it cost so much to put anything in space? We hear of all these new ways to launch stuff- do we see them? NO. Here's something to wrap the brain around: Nasa spends dual digit thousand, possibly 3 digit thousand to get pics and data from a weather balloon so far up, it almost could go into orbit. A school did the same thing for a few HUNDRED. You have model rocket enthusiasts who I am sure can put a rocket into orbit On a fraction of NASA's budget. I'll bet, if I had the $$, I could get a probe to the moon- IF The PTB and NASA didn't do anything to botch it up on me.

Artificial gravity- achieved by finding a way to rotate a ship a certain amount of revolutions a minute. Is the ISS built to do that? NO. We went to the moon in 1969. Why haven't we done it again? Why the screwing around? Why do we see Nasa play with some new toy, only to discard it (even tho it worked), or waste money on some mission (think the water prospecting ones) that brings in the same tired results: "duh... we're not reeeeallly sure"- and then, they do it again, and again, and again? We're getting a whole lot of NOTHING from an agency that's whining about needing more $$. Do I need to even point out the disgusting, HUGE debris field around our planet, full of junk, old satellites, and who knows what else? An amazing waste of our planet's resources right there, and obviously hazardous!


I say that mining of anything, including the moon can be done cheaply, safely, and effectively! I say billions have been wasted on showboating and making the public feel like our 'space' agency is doing something. When all it is is a magician with some moldy old tricks and a sickly rabbit in his hat.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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I think this problem is much larger than anyone realizes:

From today:






Concern as China clamps down on rare earth exports

Neodymium is one of 17 metals crucial to green technology. There’s only one snag – China produces 97% of the world’s supply. And they’re not selling...

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 lightbulbs.

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.

Industry sources have told The Independent that China could halt shipments of at least two metals as early as next year, and that by 2012 it is likely to be producing only enough REE ore to satisfy its own booming domestic demand, creating a potential crisis as Western countries rush to find alternative supplies, and companies open new mines in locations from South Africa to Greenland to satisfy international demand.

...




Feels like a secret war, huh?

[edit on 2-1-2010 by loam]



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 01:27 PM
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Just one littler sentence, those that control resources control the world, China version of the Art of War.

Still decades of reading the book in military academies in the US and around the world, nobody has taken that piece of literature truly serious.

But it only shows how superpowers emerge while others lie to rest.

[edit on 2-1-2010 by marg6043]



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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UPDATE




China Said to Widen Its Embargo of Minerals

China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted some shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said this week.

The Chinese action, involving rare earth minerals that are crucial to manufacturing many advanced products, seems certain to further intensify already rising trade and currency tensions with the West. Until recently, China typically sought quick and quiet accommodations on trade issues. But the interruption in rare earth supplies is the latest sign from Beijing that Chinese leaders are willing to use their growing economic muscle.

“The embargo is expanding” beyond Japan, said one of the three rare earth industry officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of business retaliation by Chinese authorities.



Funny how this thread never received any serious attention.

I wonder if it will be noticed now?




China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles.



Things look rather peachy, huh?




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