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Government Science

China Considering Cuts In Rare-Earth Metal Exports 456

SillySnake sends in a report from the Telegraph on draft plans in China to restrict exports of rare earths. "Beijing is drawing up plans to prohibit or restrict exports of rare earth metals that are produced only in China and play a vital role in cutting edge technology, from hybrid cars and catalytic converters, to superconductors, and precision-guided weapons. A draft report by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs."

China Considering Cuts In Rare-Earth Metal Exports

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  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:35AM (#29364961)

    By Chinese standard, the fact that the US has so much porn is just unheard of. Porn is not only illegal but also considered immoral.

    Hold it, I thought only right wing Christian nutjobs wanted to make porn illegal? Are you trying to tell me that the Chinese government is controlled by right wing Christian nut jobs?

  • Re:Update (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:42AM (#29365033)

    I would point out that works in reverse. The Pacific fleet is far bigger than China's fleet and to get those troops into Alaska they need to cross the water. You don't need to kill 300M people, just sink the 49 amphibious craft that china has ( China is extremely limited and isn't able to invade Taiwan because of that water between them. China also doesn't have any aircraft carriers and their newest jets were obsolete by western standards before they even came out. And the Logistics for a large army means it would be very easy to deny them supplies.

    China fears its own people, everything else is just them trying to saber rattle and distract their citizens.

  • by Zcar ( 756484 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:14AM (#29365461)

    Actually the bottleneck has been the impossibility of bringing additional refining capacity online in the US.

    True. And actually this isn't just the case in the USA; there are virtually no new refineries anywhere in the world.

    While the US hasn't built new refineries, existing ones have been expanded with a near 2 million barrel per day increase (over 12%) from 1985 to present (most of the increase has come since 1995).

  • Re:The new "oil" (Score:4, Informative)

    by Eddi3 ( 1046882 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @11:40AM (#29366683) Homepage Journal

    That's not at all what happened to Bush. He served two full terms, and then was no longer eligible for office. He was never voted out.

  • by AJWM ( 19027 ) * on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @11:48AM (#29366779) Homepage

    Two or three hundred years of oil combined with a sensible usage & conservation policy should be sufficient to see us start to harvest comets and other off-planet resources for hydrocarbons. (emphasis added)

    Right. Like that's going to happen.

    Of course we no longer have two or three hundred years' worth of oil, and as for harvesting off-planet hydrocarbons . . . for what? To burn them? If you though the greenhouse effect was bad now . . . .
    (BTW, all the propane on Titan wouldn't meet the US's propane needs for more than a year and a half, although we'd do better with the ethane.)

    The other options - nuclear, solar, etc may not be infinitely sustainable, but they're a lot closer to it in human terms than oil or even coal.

  • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:15PM (#29367103)

    Until about 10 years ago, there were many magnesium manufacturers around the world, including one in my home town of Porsgrunn (in Norway).

    When China decided that light metals was a crucial market for them, they started a bunch of very low-tech/high-pollusion magnesium smelters, and many/most Western competitors folded.

    In the latest (for the year 1998) SFT (Norwegian EPA) regulations for the Porsgrunn factory (in norwegian []), the limit on some pollutants was set to maximum 1 gram/year, I suspect the Chinese smelters are many orders of magnitude above this level.


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