Re: So what if they are stockpiling?
Imagine this, you have two countries, China and Australia. Both can mine up rare minerals in great quantities. Australia finds it can't compete with China because China is whacking out the minerals are lower prices so their mines are not really as profitable as they would like, so Australia shuts the mines down and China becomes the only supplier.
A few years later and China wants to make more money from the rare minerals so they start to strangle supply to force up the prices. The owners of the Australian mines look at the prices and think "strewth, I'm going to get some of that, no worries" and open the mines again. China then flood the market making the Australian venture not worthwhile so it has to close... again. Then China can start strangling supply....
The only way to remove the stranglehold on rare minerals that China has would be to open up the Australian mines to run at a loss, break even or very small profits, or to open the Australian mines and pay the Australians more than the market value to keep the mines open, how many companies do you know who will pay more to obtain exactly the same item when that in turn pushes up the costs to consumers (or lowers their own profit margins)?