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China tightens rare earths export quotas

Adding fuel to the fire of the rare-earth crisis we have been following on our blog, the Australian Associated Press reports that the Chinese government announced today its decision to further tighten rare earths export quotas, previously applied to “pure” rare earths only, to include iron alloys containing more than 10 percent of rare earths by weight.

If reports are true – and we’ll be watching for more detailed assessments – this latest tightening by China, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the world’s rare earths supply, could cause prices for these critical materials to soar even higher, and underscores the urgency of the situation. It is time for import-dependent nations including our own to rethink our mineral policies and end dependencies that are politically and economically unhealthy – and more than that, unnecessary.