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Rare earths get rarer

8/8/2011 03:58 PM EDT
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krisi
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re: Rare earths get rarer
krisi   8/8/2011 6:42:26 PM
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These shortages will create short term pain but will force poeple to use more widely available materials in the future so I am convinced we will recover from this problem...Kris

chanj0
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re: Rare earths get rarer
chanj0   8/8/2011 7:16:05 PM
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As the increase in demand and hike in price, the potential profit is like higher. By supply and demand model, there will be more suppliers in the future. Whether the price will go down as the model describes is another story. I agree with Iniewski, we will recover from this problem until we hit the real wall, a real shortage of supply.

R_Colin_Johnson
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re: Rare earths get rarer
R_Colin_Johnson   8/8/2011 8:04:56 PM
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The irony about rare earths is that they are not really that rare (n the Earth's crust)), but rather that there are just not very many mines open. As more mines do open (outside China) the problem will also be mitigated by alternative materials, like the nitirdes mentions here, which can be synthesized in the lab without the need for any mining at all. In the short term, however, China will probably convince many manufacturers to move operations there.

krisi
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re: Rare earths get rarer
krisi   8/8/2011 8:10:12 PM
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Good point Colin...this might be ultimately a plot to force many corporations to open operations in China...Kris

Some Guy
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re: Rare earths get rarer
Some Guy   8/8/2011 8:28:35 PM
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Back in 1886, Hyacinth Secretan and the Copper Syndicate tried to corner the market on copper, all the rage at the dawn of electricity. In the end, all he did was encourage switching to other materials, and make the reclaimation of copper profitable -- at which point the market collapsed and his syndicate was sitting on more copper than it could pay for. I suspect that the same is in the offing for the Peoples Republic of China. Ironic if it leads to the revolution that finally overthrows the provably defunct centrally planned economy.

Bert22306
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re: Rare earths get rarer
Bert22306   8/8/2011 9:23:02 PM
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When it comes to phosphors needed in lighting, I may suggest that a better way to create white light, at least for LEDs, is to mix the three primary colors. You get a more useful white light, more easily adjustable, could even be made user adjustable, and no need for any phosphors. Of course, it goes without saying, any reliance on an individual country for a needed raw material will lead to artificial price hikes and shortages. It's entirely up to the rest of us to mitigate the problem, I think.

Code Monkey
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re: Rare earths get rarer
Code Monkey   8/8/2011 10:47:18 PM
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America plays Monopoly, China plays chess.

Brian.Faley
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re: Rare earths get rarer
Brian.Faley   8/8/2011 11:15:12 PM
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This is no new news. China has been flexing its rare-earth bully card for years. What is a greater concern is why the US was so willing to sell out its domestic production for a song, and then complain that China was hording.

Bert22306
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re: Rare earths get rarer
Bert22306   8/8/2011 11:23:28 PM
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Exactly! My bet is, the bean counters determined that importing from China was cheaper than producing our own. As always, you attempt to maximize profit. No surprise that this gives China leverage. It's up to us to create the opposing force. As always in business. No sense whining about what we do to ourselves.

dleske
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re: Rare earths get rarer
dleske   8/9/2011 2:52:41 AM
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Does it surprise anyone, that once the Chinese have acquired a supply monopoly (under-cutting prices, so other rare-earth suppliers shut down), they now capitalise on it to boost their domestic phosphor, LED and fluorescent manufacturing industry?! It has been obvious to me for years that China's long-term plan was to become the world's manufacturer by price cutting, than later milk that dependence for profit and influence. Now no-one can afford to anger China.

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