Seeking Alpha

As part of an effort to limit the amount of rare earth minerals it exports, China cracks down on...

As part of an effort to limit the amount of rare earth minerals it exports, China cracks down on illegal mines that account for as much as half of the world's supplies. The availability of illicit riches from these metals has created the gangs, crime, and citizen intimidation familiar to the drug trade.
From other sites
Comments (10)
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8244) | Send Message
     
    Think China is starting to flex its muscles? Wait till they do it with their military.
    29 Dec 2010, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5063) | Send Message
     
    The black market for rees is projected to be as large as what China intends to ship in 2011, so their crackdown should bring prices way up.
    29 Dec 2010, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Armistead
    , contributor
    Comments (5427) | Send Message
     
    A similar situation exists with Tantalum, it's mined in Africa under conditions of forced labor, violence and crime. Tantalum at one time came from a mine in Australia, owned by the sons of Gwahir, an aboriginal group. Apparently they were treated too well and other sources were found.

     

    Rare earths are everywhere, just not in concentrations that make for easy mining. The US shut down its operation due to the ability to get the product cheap from China and not have to deal with all the environmental concerns that the US has.

     

    The whole thing illustrates the problem with global free markets - everything finds its lowest level. There is always someone somewhere who can be enslaved or forced to live with poverty and environmental pjroblems.

     

    It's good to see China do something about it. They have been a huge factor in the global race to the bottom and if they would just respecty their own people and their environment life would get better everywhere.
    29 Dec 2010, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8244) | Send Message
     
    What is tantanum used for?
    29 Dec 2010, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • XTigerX
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    29 Dec 2010, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13542) | Send Message
     
    China has already closed down or transferred possession of the outlaw mines which were supplying the smugglers. OG is quite correct, the prior situation (which was still going strong up into Q2 2010) saw huge quantities of smuggled REE metals, which shipments are now comprising the emergency stockpiles sitting in Japanese (and to a lesser extent, South Korean) corporate warehouses. China has slammed the door shut on this trade - both at the source, in the middle, and at the ports. This happened months ago, and was in an advanced stage when they implemented their trade ban on REE exports to Japan, Europe and the United States.

     

    The source story for this thread is, however, not correct. The actual scale of export quota reductions is NOT "11%", but over 30%. The 11% number is being taken from a faulty Bloomberg/AP story this morning (Bloomberg has since recanted and published a more accurate correction).
    29 Dec 2010, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3384) | Send Message
     
    "China cracks down on illegal mines that account for as much as half of the world's supplies."

     

    Illegal mines are those that haven't greased the palms of local officials. This is all really more of the tit for tat protectionist war that's brewing. China will use all means possible to keep their juggernaut economy operating on all cylinders.
    29 Dec 2010, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2644) | Send Message
     
    Thats ok, before long we will need to get Chinese approval (because of the cost and our debt burden) to build anything with REE's in them anyway. So they'll just tie the supply and approval contracts together and no more problem.
    29 Dec 2010, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • Tony Petroski
    , contributor
    Comments (6373) | Send Message
     
    "The availability of illicit riches from these metals has created the gangs, crime, and citizen intimidation familiar to the drug trade..."

     

    ...as opposed to the cliques, crime and citizen intimidation familiar to communist regimes.

     

    On the theory that it takes one to know one, the Chinese government should make short work of these criminal enterprises.
    29 Dec 2010, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13542) | Send Message
     
    LOL, in a Communist regime, handling organized crime (which is always just operating under some high ranking party official doing some "personal business") is simply a matter of moving a file folder from "Forbidden Activities Allowed for the Good of the State" to "Glorious Accomplishments Listed for Current Five Year Plan".
    29 Dec 2010, 04:53 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector