Behind the Times paywall

I was contacted yesterday by a reporter from The Times about the new Chinese plan for the rare earths industry. The piece should be up today. But of course I\’m outside the paywall.

Might anyone who can get through the paywall see if the piece is there so that I can see what they said I said?

4 thoughts on “Behind the Times paywall”

  1. Here you go:

    “Tim Worstall, a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and expert in the rare earth scandium, said that any attempt by China to limit supplies or raise prices could backfire by leading importers to look elsewhere.
    “Over the past few years there has been a rush to develop non-China sources exactly because people are worried about this. Molycorp in the US, Lynas in Australia and GFW in South Africa will all come on stream in the next few years and just those three will provide 30 per cent to 40 per cent of current world consumption,” Mr Worstall said.
    “There is just too much everywhere else in the world for China to be able to keep a credible near-monopoly.””

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Isn’t Lynas having some trouble with their planned plant in Malaysia?

    Tim adds: Yes, usual Woo merchants complaining about radiation. A non-problem and the plant will get licenced.

  3. Published at 12:01AM, June 22 2012
    China has pledged to overhaul its politically sensitive rare earths industry, saying that decades of exploitation and illegal mining are threatening supply of the crucial raw materials.
    In an unprecedented public statement on the subject, China’s Cabinet said it would tighten environmental regulations on rare earths, clean up production and crack down on illegal mines, but stated that controversial export quotas would remain in place.
    Rare earths, which despite their name are not especially rare nor earths, are a group of chemical elements used in hi-tech devices such as smartphones, MRI scanners and bombs.
    While the industry is still small, comprising about 150,000 tonnes per year, demand and prices have soared in recent years thanks to growing demand from the high end technology sector, where they are also used in batteries, oil refining and electric car motors.
    Despite having only 23 per cent of the world’s rare earth reserves, China controls more than 90 per cent of the world’s production in an industry worth 100 billion yuan (£10 billion) a year.
    “After more than 50 years of excessive mining, China’s rare earth reserves have kept declining and the years of guaranteed rare earth supply have been reducing. The decline of rare earth resources in major mining areas is accelerating, as most of the original resources are depleted,” Beijing officials state in a borderline apocalyptic report.
    “Excessive rare earth mining has resulted in landslides, clogged rivers, environmental pollution emergencies and even major accidents and disasters. The state will implement stricter standards for ecological protection… and crack down on all violations.”
    However, experts cautioned that while the environmental impact of mining rare earths was a concern, the white paper could be seen as a political manoeuvre by Beijing aimed at securing the future of its near-monopoly on the resources.
    China has persistently angered the international community with its decision to impose quotas on exports of rare earths, which many say breach World Trade Organisation rules.
    However, under WTO rules countries are allowed to use quotas to restrict exports of certain goods if they are seen as necessary to prevent environmental damage.
    Chinese officials vigorously denied suggestions that the attempt to impose tougher restrictions was a political tactic to retain control of the profitable resources.
    “China’s decision to impose stricter regulations on its rare earth industry was made out of environmental concerns and should not be seen as a pretext for political or economic gain,” Su Bo, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, was reported by state news agency Xinhua as saying.
    Tim Worstall, a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and expert in the rare earth scandium, said that any attempt by China to limit supplies or raise prices could backfire by leading importers to look elsewhere.
    “Over the past few years there has been a rush to develop non-China sources exactly because people are worried about this. Molycorp in the US, Lynas in Australia and GFW in South Africa will all come on stream in the next few years and just those three will provide 30 per cent to 40 per cent of current world consumption,” Mr Worstall said.
    “There is just too much everywhere else in the world for China to be able to keep a credible near-monopoly.”

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