Originally posted by @sonhouse
Japan finds major source of rare earth elements, will throw monkey wrench into China's monopoly. Will be game changer, a really big deal.
The US has reopened rare earth mines but are way behind in any production but this Japanese island will change everyth ...[text shortened]... d up.
It is said we will have literally hundreds of years of rare earths from that one find.
One should not assume (amidst ignorant Sinophobia) that China always has had a 'monopoly' in rare earths.
In the early 1980s, China had hardly any presence in the rare earths industry.
China's government (advised by its scientists) perceived a great opportunity and then
pursued policies toward its fulfillment.
As I recall, Deng Xiaoping wrote an article about China's development in which he made
the point of mentioning rare earths and asserting that the government's policies would
make it possible for China to become a major player in the rare earth industry.
At that time, some Westerners responded with the usual racist sneering, presuming that
Deng Xiaoping must be delusional and what he wrote could never happen in reality.
(It's hard to imagine any Western leader taking a personal interest in rare earths.)
"In 1980, the Chinese Society of Rare Earths was created and just five years later,
they established the China Rare Earth Information Center (CREIC)."
"It is estimated the world has 99 million tonnes of rare earth reserve deposits. China's reserves
are estimated to be 36 million tonnes or roughly 30 percent of the world's total reserves."