Experts warn that the U.S. depends upon China for almost its entire supply of rare earths, and has let its own rare earth production languish despite having about 15 percent of the world's reserves. A draft of a Chinese rare earths plan for 2009-2015 states that China's own industrial demand could soon lead to restrictions or bans on the export of rare earths.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has noted that 91 percent of U.S. consumption of rare earths came from China between 2005 and 2008. Constraints on Chinese exports are creating opportunities for non-Chinese projects.
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