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Dan_Wasson
20:10:43 Thu
Aug 27 2009

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Wonder what this will wind up like

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6082464/World-faces-hi-tech-crunch-as-China-eyes-ban-on-rare-metal-exports.html

The comments at the end of the article are as interesting as the article its self.
[1 edits; Last edit by Dan_Wasson at 20:30:28 Thu Aug 27 2009]

  
jjedwab
08:54:50 Fri
Aug 28 2009

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Re: Wonder what this will wind up like

There are huge untapped rare-earth-element ores as well as other rare metal ores out of China, notably in Central Africa and Brazil. Dumps of classical polymetallic ores of base metals, gold/silver, etc. are probably the next frontier for these metals. But as long as Chinese manpower and environment are rated at such low prices (or of no cost at all), we are condemned to remain kibizers.

The case of tellurium is interesting: with a bright future predicted for Cd-Te photovoltaic pannels, there are no readily accessible ores, except those ressembling the Mother Lode (California, Trans-sylvania), mostly exhausted. But the dumps are still there, stripped of their gold, and should be rich in Te. But who will be daring enough?

  
overtheedge
16:27:41 Fri
Aug 28 2009

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Re: Wonder what this will wind up like

Just my opinion, but the limiting problem will be the smelting/refining plant.

In the last century, environmental concerns have chased smelting/refining out of the U.S. Were we right in doing so? Perhaps, perhaps not. Global economics and environmental efforts will always trump U.S. productivity.

Any new smelter/refiner will cost mega-bucks before it is built, face an uncertain future due to lawsuits from NIMBYs and never forget the potential for the Chinese to dump refined goods on the world market driving U.S. profits into the dumpster. Never forget that our deposits are small comparitively. If we export to the Chinese for refining, will it come back to the U.S.? The mining concern might make some money, but the nation could remain rare-earth metal poor.

It doesn't look good for the hometown team. Welcome to the new global economic community. The U.S. is a service industry-based economy anyway. Licensing, royalties and tourism are our main economic generators. We take in each other's laundry. And each transaction just gives another cut to the government in the form of taxes. We are living in the twilight of wealth generation in the U.S.

Logic and reason are not effective tools to turn this around. The enviro-nuts, NIMBYs and our youth have no concept of where anything comes from. Even our recycleables are, for the most part, exported for remanufacturing. Everyone uses the material fruits of mining and harvesting in thier finished goods, but don't want it processing done in the good ole USA. Yet we allow labeling inferring that it is made in the USA when it is actually only assembled here.

But what do I know? I still think the economy is headed for the toilet, but the experts say otherwise.

  
baub
20:44:13 Fri
Aug 28 2009

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Re: Wonder what this will wind up like

Well said OTE, as usual.

b

  
baub
20:49:58 Fri
Aug 28 2009

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Re: Wonder what this will wind up like

Thanks for bringing that up, Dan.

b

  
skate
21:19:09 Fri
Aug 28 2009

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Re: Wonder what this will wind up like

Welp, if we were headed for an economy required to make goods, then we lose.

But i'm thinking we don't lose because we are much more into Banks, Insurance, RandD, Education, Health Care.

Not to say , our attitude should just be complimentary.

[1 edits; Last edit by skate at 21:19:52 Fri Aug 28 2009]

  

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