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Heavy rare earths prices double in two weeks

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posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 04:20 AM

Heavy rare earths prices double in two weeks

RIO DE JANEIRO -(MarketWatch)- Prices of heavy rare earths, used in products including magnets, plasma TVs and smart phones, have more than doubled over the last two weeks after China announced plans to centralise control over its rare earth mine assets, according to U.K.-based publication Industrial Minerals.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 04:20 AM

Prices for rare earth elements have been rising continuously since last year but are now escalating, according to the publication.

"Prices of heavy rare earths have surged since the start of the month as the Chinese government announced further plans to centralise control over the country's mining assets," Mark Watts, Industrial Minerals online news editor, said in a statement.

"Heavy rare earths, which are largely mined in the southern Chinese province of Jiangxi, have been subject to tighter environmental controls and a government crackdown on historically widespread illegal mining."

Five hundred years ago, we fought over silver and gold, then we fought over spice trade and for the past six decades it's been oil. Now China and its neighbors are fighting over water and now we've got rare earth elements. I recently read that Japan has anticipated on China's move for tighter control over its reserves by implementing a recycling program. Obviously, we have been way too wasteful with the "treasures" that earth provides us, but hey it's all in the name of greed and as soon as you run low, you simply go to war and take what you need.

By the way, it's not just home appliances that make use of rare earth metals, but also highly sophisticated weapons; I read that the US military has already begun stockpiling rare earths.

In 2005, it was believed that China possess over 70% of total rare earth reserves, but guess what: Afghanistan is not all but desserts:

U.S. Geologists Uncover Staggering $1 Trillion Cache of Unmined Mineral Resources in Afghanistan (Updated)
With huge quantities of rare-earth elements valuable to high-tech industries like lithium-ion battery production, will Afghanistan become the "Saudi Arabia" of the future?

How convenient.
edit on 17-6-2011 by Mdv2 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 04:55 AM
While it is convenient.. one the driving forces behind these price rises is to do with Western *cough* recycling methods.

I PM'd an EU wide/multi-billion WEEE program at first I thought really good as I was doing something for the environment but the deeper I got into the project and mired in EU legislation corporate interests took over and the main aim of WEEE from the corporate perspective was to reclaim those rare earths.

Imagine all the crap that has been sold in Western markets and now imagine how peeved China is that Western nations are reclaiming and using their rare earths to undermine their market share.. it was/is a method of directly confronting China's supremacy in this area so it is no wonder China has kicked off a price war.

We are mired in an economic and technological war that has being on a while and is now really showing it's ugly face as China rises to meet the confrontation.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining operates as one of the world's largest precious metals recycling facilities. This business unit of Umicore is the world market leader in recycling complex waste streams containing precious and other non-ferrous metals.

We recover and sell precious metals (silver, gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium), special metals (indium, selenium, tellurium), secondary metals (antimony, tin, bismuth) and base metals (lead, copper, nickel). We put them back in the cycle for a better life.

This particular recycler also claims it has it's own Fort Knox!

while marketing it's own 1kg gold bars..

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 05:17 AM
This thread reminded me of article i had read some time ago, took few minutes to undig it, but i got it. Take a look at this: National Geo article dated Jan 2008 regarding computer trash and what's happening to it. Simply to say, it shows how raw market recycles electronic trash, and '''''recycle'''' rare earth metals. Don't think there was any improvements on this field. propably looks even worse now.

here's also gallery of pictures for this article, quite deppresing, but strongly recommend to watch it. Especially for people wondering what the heck happened with those millions CRT's

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 05:32 AM
This is so sick. But inevitable.

I think over the last few years the rare earth market (such as it even was) was only preserved by a very, very thin strand of trust. That trust has blown away, vanished. Most people do not yet realize how crippling a rare earth lockdown can be to the economy. They are going to get am education, perhaps. But aside from that, as a short term signal it seems to point to an evaporation of trust in general which could easily cause all kinds of panicky side effects.

edit on 6/17/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 05:52 AM
reply to post by thoughtsfull

Thanks for the most interesting insight; it shows that the recycling initiative is less noble than pretended. Not too surprising though.

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 06:11 AM
reply to post by Mdv2

I got suckered into what I thought was something noble and found to my utter disappointment that it is so much less... The question is.. which is cheaper in the long run. mining and refining or smelting and refining!

China is on a loser either way.. It sells products to us that we then use to compete against China.. while increasing the prices makes the smelting/refining process even more profitable.

Way back in 2006 I thought something has to give and eventually bumping of heads will occur as this war for resources continues and escalates.
edit on 17/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 06:29 AM
if they are more expensive maybe we will be more careful about how we use them....

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 06:40 AM
The US has plenty rare earth minerals still in the ground.

And these same mine also have what use to be a problem byproduct Thorium that is now not a problem as its now in being look at for melt down proof nuclear reactors

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:54 AM

April 11th 2011 post by boncho

What about Palladium and Yttrium? Seem like a way better play don't they?

Gold and Silver are horrible investments because everyone is flocking to them right now. And shucksters are marketing them beyond belief. Just like you are by posting this thread.

Gold and Silver, bubble, bubble, bubble....

Anytime someone wants you to buy something, it is usually a red flag.

Hmm, I wonder if anyone took my advice back in April?

posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:50 AM
reply to post by Mdv2

Hmmm are there any other organizations tied into this drastic decission taken by China?
Nope I do not believe it would happen cause a lot of people would be pretty mad and technology can not cost too much. Because it would cause a mass problem for many companies and mostly result in some shutting down.

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