The Cards Are On The Table: China Willing To Meet Reasonable Rare Earth Demand From Other Countries

China is willing to meet reasonable demand for rare earths from other countries, but it would be unacceptable that countries using Chinese rare earths to manufacture products would turn around and suppress China, its commerce ministry said. That would be unacceptable, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, said at a weekly media briefing on Thursday, without identifying any country.President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths plant last week had sparked speculation that China would use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war.Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.
 

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Yep. In U.S.-China trade war, rare earth elements (think smartphones) are latest flashpoint...

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It looks like China has a monopoly over something in practically every communication, vehicular, and military device.

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In my opinion it's a "loud saber-rattling" to get U.S. back to the negotiating table.

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3 minutes ago, 50 shades of black said:

In my opinion it's a "loud saber-rattling" to get U.S. back to the negotiating table.

It could be their  asset. China has a roughly 80% of the world's rare earth, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  The U.S. imports $160 mil. of basic rare earth (mainly from China}.

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Frankenstein was born a long time ago. Loose environmental restrictions and low processing costs have opened the door for China's expansion on it field.

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At least three U.S. companies already have rare earth processing plants under construction. One is set to open next year at Mountain Pass mine, California. Of course, it's a good news, but all that process is long and needs time 

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(edited)

A major economic hurdle in establishing rare earth element supply involves the differences in processing requirements depending on the deposit.  There are super rich deposits of rare earths in the US, but they are mostly in hard rocks that require enormous amounts of energy to process. Mountain Pass area is one such example.  Conversely, there are places in the world (like China) where the same sorts of deposits have undergone eons of weathering at the surface and the hard rock has been altered to clay and the rare earth elements are even more concentrated in the clay soils. Therefore, the ability to access a deposit in which nature has already done a lot of that processing work has a major influence on the price of the resource.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299281407_Lateritic_supergene_rare_earth_element_REE_deposits 

Edited by esgeo
clarity
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This is an area that people will feel, and maybe then they will understand why Trump is touting the "National Security" label. They could cut us off tomorrow and we would be in a world of hurt for a while. They did it before, driving up the price of Tungsten so high that carbide companies had to have price increases three times that year. That was over ten years ago and the Dumbocrats didn't see the writing on the wall. We can get these minerals in other places, but at the time China had the ONLY operating tungsten mine in the world. The WTO is a joke in my estimation, we never should have become a part of that garbage pact. The Dumbocrats don't understand the supply side of S&D, and they allowed the Chinese government to continue to have a monopoly on so many things. So when China gets pissed off at us enough, they WILL cut us off. And now maybe they would understand that we need to be a LOT less reliant on any one country for anything, and we need backup plans for everything, just in case. Almost all of the world's carbide comes from China, and without it the manufacturing in the US will shut down, so no parts for airplanes, tanks, missiles, ships etc...... THAT is a MAJOR national security risk right there. Other consumer goods used to be made here, but the corporations have been led by their noses over to China for cheap manufacturing. I am not a genius, but I saw this scenario playing out decades ago. And the loss of all the machinists and skilled labor to make the things we need is so far gone now it isn't even funny, no one wants to dirty their hands making anything anymore. And with the dwindling skilled labor force comes another national security risk, even if we had all the materials to wage a real war, who is going to make those goods? When I was younger the average age of machinists was around 30. Now it's more like 45 because so few people go into the trade anymore.

   Why is corporate America so ignorant? And our government as well for ever allowing this to happen. During WWII, Korea, and Vietnam we were easily able to mfg the things we used in those wars, but in the last couple of decades we have been struggling just to be able to keep up with supplies for our troops in these skirmishes we are involved in. AGAIN, that should have been a wake up call.....

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49 minutes ago, SERWIN said:

Dumbocrats

I remind you that making aspersive statements is against community guidelines.  Please don't go there. This is intended as an intelligent forum with intelligent participants. Thank you. 

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2 hours ago, SERWIN said:

This is an area that people will feel, and maybe then they will understand why Trump is touting the "National Security" label. They could cut us off tomorrow and we would be in a world of hurt for a while. They did it before, driving up the price of Tungsten so high that carbide companies had to have price increases three times that year. That was over ten years ago and the Dumbocrats didn't see the writing on the wall. We can get these minerals in other places, but at the time China had the ONLY operating tungsten mine in the world. The WTO is a joke in my estimation, we never should have become a part of that garbage pact. The Dumbocrats don't understand the supply side of S&D, and they allowed the Chinese government to continue to have a monopoly on so many things. So when China gets pissed off at us enough, they WILL cut us off. And now maybe they would understand that we need to be a LOT less reliant on any one country for anything, and we need backup plans for everything, just in case. Almost all of the world's carbide comes from China, and without it the manufacturing in the US will shut down, so no parts for airplanes, tanks, missiles, ships etc...... THAT is a MAJOR national security risk right there. Other consumer goods used to be made here, but the corporations have been led by their noses over to China for cheap manufacturing. I am not a genius, but I saw this scenario playing out decades ago. And the loss of all the machinists and skilled labor to make the things we need is so far gone now it isn't even funny, no one wants to dirty their hands making anything anymore. And with the dwindling skilled labor force comes another national security risk, even if we had all the materials to wage a real war, who is going to make those goods? When I was younger the average age of machinists was around 30. Now it's more like 45 because so few people go into the trade anymore.

   Why is America so ignorant? And our government as well for ever allowing this to happen. During WWII, Korea, and Vietnam we were easily able to mfg the things we used in those wars, but in the last couple of decades we have been struggling just to be able to keep up with supplies for our troops in these skirmishes we are involved in. AGAIN, that should have been a wake up call.....

Arrogance - a generation of people told they own the world. Why bother learning or working when you own the world?

Thankfully we don't stick too much W into low efficiency light bulbs anymore.

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13 hours ago, pinto said:

It looks like China has a monopoly over something in practically every communication, vehicular, and military device.

Only a monopoly because we have not bothered to look ahead. We can change that, but at increased cost and time to find other sources. 

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In a sense the term "rare earth" is a misnomer. The materials in question are quite common, but rarely concentrated. So you have to mine a lot of earth to get it. Lots of strip mining. In the great outback of western China, Mongolia, maybe parts of Wyoming, who cares. But you do have to be willing to devastate the land. It suffers from NIMBY.

It's also a slow process to add substantial capacity. 

 

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Serwin,

I agree fully with your comments about no one wants to dirty their hands anymore. I too,  have had a 38 year association with the machinist business as well as highway and heavy utility construction in the Southeastern USA. I shuttered the business and sold off the assets on May 15..not because of financial failure.. but because after 3 months of running ads for help wanted.. I could not hire younger applicants at rates as much as $40 per hour plus benefits. No one wants to work anymore.. and my industry is bursting at the seams with high profits in the present market.  It is almost name your price..with no skilled or unskilled workers available. I guess robots will be the next work generation force.

I gave up on oil  / nat gas pipeline work last year...no workers available for my projects...at any price.

Who will build tomorrow ?? Not the present generation.. they don't know how.. and DO NOT want to learn... and will tell you that. I hear constantly.. I have no experience, but the pay looks good..but I want a low labor position. No such thing in my business sector.

CL Trader

 

 

 

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On 5/30/2019 at 4:34 PM, Jan van Eck said:

I remind you that making aspersive statements is against community guidelines.  Please don't go there. This is intended as an intelligent forum with intelligent participants. Thank you. 

My apologies, sometimes I just can't help myself.....

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On 6/2/2019 at 8:02 PM, CL Trader said:

Serwin,

I agree fully with your comments about no one wants to dirty their hands anymore. I too,  have had a 38 year association with the machinist business as well as highway and heavy utility construction in the Southeastern USA. I shuttered the business and sold off the assets on May 15..not because of financial failure.. but because after 3 months of running ads for help wanted.. I could not hire younger applicants at rates as much as $40 per hour plus benefits. No one wants to work anymore.. and my industry is bursting at the seams with high profits in the present market.  It is almost name your price..with no skilled or unskilled workers available. I guess robots will be the next work generation force.

I gave up on oil  / nat gas pipeline work last year...no workers available for my projects...at any price.

Who will build tomorrow ?? Not the present generation.. they don't know how.. and DO NOT want to learn... and will tell you that. I hear constantly.. I have no experience, but the pay looks good..but I want a low labor position. No such thing in my business sector.

CL Trader

 

 

 

It is true, the new generation has been led to believe that getting a college degree and shuffling paperwork is the only way to make money anymore. Unfortunately those stats are so old they have a layer of dirt all over them, you go to college and no most of them end up with an insane student loan, and are really lucky to make 60K a year. You are basically at poverty level until you can get that loan paid off. They get MBA's and work at Starbucks.....does not make sense does it? A good machinist in Houston can make over 100K a year, no student loans to worry about, just some years of working your way up the pay scale and getting hired in a top notch machine shop, and making parts for the oil industry. It used to be that a machinist making car parts didn't even come close to the salaries an auto assembler would make, but that is starting to turn around now as well. 

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