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China Using Rare Earths as a Weapon

By Joao Peixe | Mon, 05 September 2011 23:52 | 4

China is currently responsible for more than 90 percent of the worlds rare-earth production, and some analysts allege that China is using its de facto monopoly to lure a high tech companies to China. 

U.S. Magnetic Materials Association president  Ed Richardson said, "We're all losing. They (the Chinese) are using their monopoly of rare earths as a weapon. And they're going to get what they need." Richardson added that rare earth element (REE) mining projects currently being pursued by companies worldwide from Mongolia to Africa to counteract the Chinese de facto REE monopoly either will begin significant production too late or will produce only a few some of REEs needed for high-tech products, ranging from cellular telephones to cruise missiles.

Technology Metals Research LLC co-founder  Gareth Hatch is tracking 381 rare earth projects outside China and India, involving 244 companies in 35 countries, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
 
As an example of China trading access to REEs for imported high-technology production, citing high costs for cerium, a glass-polishing rare earth, Japan’s Hoya Corp. announced that it will begin manufacturing some optical devices in China, and Asahi Glass Co., one of the world's largest producers of components for LCD television and computer monitor panels, announced earlier this year that it will open a manufacturing plant in Shenzhen. Like Hoya, Asahi Glass suffered from a shortage of cerium. Other Asian major LCD panel manufacturers, including Japan's Sharp Corp., South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp. are intending to shift some of their production into China to ensure the necessary access to REEs.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com

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  • Anonymous on September 06 2011 said:
    This is why we want the out of Spratlys Island. They don't really care about preserving the natural balance of nature they simply want to support their capitalism which is pending doomed in the next twenty years.
  • Anonymous on September 07 2011 said:
    :cry: It won't surprize me to see China being number 1 and India 2 in five years. The US has too much out sourcing overseas.A debt that will never be paid. Defense spending will continue to increase because Americans are always afraid.The US defense spends $663 billion while china spend $78billionj and Russia $67 billion.Rome fell and so will the US.
  • Anonymous on September 07 2011 said:
    Well now Bob, I wouldn't be so pessimistic. One of the most ignorant presidents in US history got us into the present fix, and the gentleman coming after him - GUESS WHO - is completely incompetent. But American voters might eventually learn. The American president has enormous power, and if he uses it the right way, good things can happen.I also wouldn't be surprised to see China move up to the top spot eventually, because they dont waste time trying to bring freedom to ladies and gentlemen who don't have the slightest interest in the kind of freedom you find in many parts of the 'free world'..
  • Anonymous on September 08 2011 said:
    China is already waging war against the U.S. with rare earths dominance, and secret Gold purchases so lets face it, the future is at this point quite predictable.

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