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Fancy a quick profit? Bit of smuggling?

Want to piss off the prodnoses at Enough Project and Global Witness?

So, in my inbox:

We are the end Seller of Tantalite 500 Tons (+ or-30-46%) Ta205. In 3 x 20 feet Containers. 30-46% Ta205 minimum, %U3O8 + THO2 0,5% maximum Radiation measured in MicronSv/h in 5 points inside the containers not exceeding 5 times the ambient radiation in open air at least 15 meters of the container.

OK, there’s a few problems there, 500 tonnes will not fit in three containers and so on. However, this is from DR Congo. As such, to send it to a western processor you will need the certificates showing that it is not from conflict mines. And most western processors won’t accept those certificates. They will just not purchase from the area at all.

So, your option one is to cough up for this and hope that you can finagle to get it accepted by a western processor. Margins on this would be 50% at least.

Because, given the requirement for those conflict mineral status certificates, and given that no western processor will touch the stuff anyway, the Chinese are the only people who will. And they’ll only pay 30% or so of “market” value.

Which leads to your option two. Buy the stuff even cheaper and ship it to China.


So, the end result of Global Witness and Enough Project hoping to protect legitimate miners in the area, and punish the militias running the minority of mines using slaves and forced labour, is that all miners in the area see their prices cut by 70%.

Yes, that really does help development: chalk up a great victory for the Social Justice Warriors.

By the way: this process costs $4 billion to impose. What a wonderful use of humanity’s resources that is.

5 thoughts on “Fancy a quick profit? Bit of smuggling?”

  1. Dear Mr Worstall

    Once some people are comfortably off compared with others, maintenance of status, a la Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, can be more easily achieved by denying opportunities to those less well off than creating more wealth to stay ahead.

    I suspect your average social justice warrior is a lazy bastard who would rather see people starve while feeding his own face to excess than allow the poor to be anything other than poor. Without the poor he would have nothing to berate the rich with.


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