Friday, 19 November 2010

Coal vs Rare Earths

So I posted about how the Chinese have us by the balls over rare earths for the current time and how it would take us 10 years to bring our rare-earths production back on line.

An interesting tidbit:

The Chinese have 14% of the world's coal reserves and 47% of the world's demand.
We on the other hand have 30%, Australia has 10%, South Africa has 5% and Canada has 2%.

Interestingly, a report has now come out of Hong Kong that the Chinese government want to cap their coal production so their reserves last longer.


Looks like the Chinese don't have the bargaining position they thought they had.

I think the new argument is going to go like this:

China: "We got the rare earths suckers! Pay what we want or you get none."
Us: "Oh really? We got the coal suckers! Give us the rare earths at a *reasonable* price or your lights go out."

Some people think that may lead to saber-rattling. I on the other hand think that it will tend to stabilize things. If we have each *other* by the balls, then we're less likely to fight. MAD works.

Interesting times.

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