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back to article China goes green with rare earth plea

China played the green card yesterday in an apparent bid to settle the on-going dispute over its throttling of rare earth exports, offering foreign firms the chance to co-develop the industry there in a more environmentally-friendly manner. The People’s Republic has maintained for some time that its decision to limit the amount …

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kettle calling pot

You have to hand it to the Chinese. They learn quickly from their political peers.

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Mushroom

Re: kettle calling pot

OPEC, De Beers, Microsoft, apple etc etc.

When you've got a monopoly you can abuse it however you want for your own benefit.

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Silver badge

Re: kettle calling pot

"The recovery rate for rare earths is less than 50 per cent,"

not bad when you consider that slag and spoil heaps are now being considered as valuable deposits

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: kettle calling pot

Western govs are hoist by their own petard here. It's clear that China has a near-monopoly on rare Earths not because they physically happen to be located only in China, but because the environmental corner-cutting allows China to extract them far far cheaper than is possible anywhere else.

The western (+ Korea/Japan) electronics makers want their rare-earths cheap and to hell with the pollution caused in China but they don't want to pollute their own back yards to dig it up, and they don't want the Chinese to clean up their act because prices would spike (except that they can't publicly say that, because they're pretending to be eco-friendly)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: kettle calling pot

China is a Frankenstein.

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Trollface

Yeah Right

Pull the other one - it's got lithium on.

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FAIL

Its about time we introduced reciprocal trade barriers to the Chinese - stop pussy footing around and fight fire with fire, its the only way they will budge.

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WTF?

Won't work. China for one is absorbing massive inflation the west is producing. Money printing etc.

Our CPI baskets are filled to the brim with cheaper Chinese manufactured goods. Which is used to suppress inflation.

Take that out and boom, you'll probably stick an easy 20% onto inflation stats just like that. Thats assuming you believe the official 3.6% inflation figure. What with substitution principle and hedonics to massage inflation.

You reckon the BoE / FED will even dare to raise interest rates to crush inflation? When millions can't pay their mega mortgages at 0.5%

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Not quite that simple

"rare Earths not because they physically happen to be located only in China"

"rare" earth metals are -everywhere-. EVERYWHERE.

The interesting thing is where they are sufficiently concentrated to make extracting them at current prices worthwhile. China has quite a few of those deposits, but (since the stuff is EVERYWHERE) they aren't remotely the only ones. This has been the classic business tactic where China undersold everyone else until they all went out of business, then restricted supply and pumped up the price. Mid-long term investors are looking to re-start rare earth extraction elsewhere, but in today's fast-paced market the delays to roll up the infrastructure are relatively substantial.

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