Rare Earth monopolies breed competition
I have the privilege of being able to roam freely over the beautiful (and not so beautiful) landscapes of VietNam, and Indochina generally, and I noticed that there are teams of white boiler-suited types scouring the land in VietNam who were definitely not Vietnamese in facial characteristics.
I took a relaxing lunch-break near of of these teams and one of them men wandered across and he was able to speak passable English.
He explained, voluntarily, what they were doing. In fact, he handed me an envelope of material that detailed their endeavours.
They were a Japanese team searching the old mining tails (debris) of VietNam looking for rare earths. In fact they had found some, just south of Ha Noi, where they discovered sufficient quantities to financially justify opening a new mine.
Elsewhere in the country the finds were only sufficient to process the tailings - with success.
Unlike the Australians, the documents advised, they are moving the untreated soils, by ship, from VietNam, to Japan where they have a low-emissions refining plant.
So, Thank You, China, for hogging the market, you are creating jobs and enterprises in other countries.