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2008-07-18

A case for better recycling NOW

This New Scientist article points to multiple looming shortages in strategic metals and minerals needed for devices now commonplace and important.

Similar tensions over supplies of other rare metals are not hard to imagine. The Chinese government is supplementing its natural deposits of rare metals by investing in mineral mines in Africa and buying up high-tech scrap to extract metals that are key to its developing industries. The US now imports over 90 per cent of its so-called "rare earth" metals from China, according to the US Geological Survey. If China decided to cut off the supply, that would create a big risk of conflict, says Reller.