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I'll just say..."Center of the American Experiment" is an ultra-conservative, Minnesota (mining)-based organization, founded by a former Reaganite.
In other words, an organization that knows what they're talking about?
 

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At the end of the day, the mines will be where it makes the most economic sense (i.e., cheap enough). Everything else, whether for or against mining in any particular country, is just grandstanding.
Exactly. It's capitalism and always has been despite the political posturing on this site.
 

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Some of you are acting as if these child labor mines just popped up in the last 5 months. This has been going on FOREVER over Republican and Democrat administrations as we have ZERO CONTROL over what's going on over there.

Is it a shame that it's happening...yes, but lets not for a goddamn minute think that this is Biden's fault some kind of way.

The problem w/ the world today is that no one really gives a **** about the 3rd world unless it suddenly has something that we want. Child Labor/Child Soldiering/genocide/and so on has been going on there for decades and we turned a blind eye to it, now all of a sudden since we have a sudden need for their resources and the party of the opposite is in power the same people that previously didn't give a shirt suddenly care.

Its like this old Key and Peele sketch circa 2014:
 

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Some of you are acting as if these child labor mines just popped up in the last 5 months. This has been going on FOREVER over Republican and Democrat administrations as we have ZERO CONTROL over what's going on over there.

Is it a shame that it's happening...yes, but lets not for a goddamn minute think that this is Biden's fault some kind of way.

The problem w/ the world today is that no one really gives a **** about the 3rd world unless it suddenly has something that we want. Child Labor/Child Soldiering/genocide/and so on has been going on there for decades and we turned a blind eye to it, now all of a sudden since we have a sudden need for their resources and the party of the opposite is in power the same people that previously didn't give a shirt suddenly care.

Its like this old Key and Peele sketch circa 2014:
I think it's the fact the United States can have the resources to do the mining but we just choose not to and when the administration blatantly says, nah, hard pass and chooses other sources it's an odd feeling.
 

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I think it's the fact the United States can have the resources to do the mining but we just choose not to and when the administration blatantly says, nah, hard pass and chooses other sources it's an odd feeling.
It's what we've always done...we use other people's shirt while not using our own...then when everyone else is depleted tehy'll have to come to us. We did it with oil and we're going to do it here w/ REMs as well
 

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It's what we've always done...we use other people's shirt while not using our own...then when everyone else is depleted tehy'll have to come to us. We did it with oil and we're going to do it here w/ REMs as well
Ehhhh, hows that importation of computer parts going on now? It's not like the United States doesnt have deep mineral reserves either (aside from Lithium) so it's literally putting our future in other countries hands again.
 

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Ehhhh, hows that importation of computer parts going on now? It's not like the United States doesnt have deep mineral reserves either (aside from Lithium) so it's literally putting our future in other countries hands again.
I agree...to an extent, the problem is that we (Americans) want cheap products, but we also want to be paid more for our labor...so it takes us out of competition w/ countries that have unethical labor practices (slavery, borderline slavery, etc) to produce those cheap products...so to deliver those affordable products, corporations resort to those sketchy sources to maintain and fatten their bottom line. What's the magic bullet solution....?!?!?!?! IDK, but we have to get out of blaming Washington when Wall Street is the real culprit.

Also think about it this way, we start recycling those REMs bought from the outside, it turns into us literally hoarding everyone else's resources, which at the end of the day IMO, works out in our favor.
 

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I agree...to an extent, the problem is that we (Americans) want cheap products, but we also want to be paid more for our labor...so it takes us out of competition w/ countries that have unethical labor practices (slavery, borderline slavery, etc) to produce those cheap products...so to deliver those affordable products, corporations resort to those sketchy sources to maintain and fatten their bottom line. What's the magic bullet solution....?!?!?!?! IDK, but we have to get out of blaming Washington when Wall Street is the real culprit.

Also think about it this way, we start recycling those REMs bought from the outside, it turns into us literally hoarding everyone else's resources, which at the end of the day IMO, works out in our favor.
No denying the Wall Street effect but the policy is being written in DC by those being influenced by WS. It's a dumb cycle that is just going to keep hurting more and more people.
 

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If raw materials are mostly coming from Canada, Australia and Brazil
well, there’s two countries that are close allies and ethical supplier.
and that’s not intended to disparage Brazil.

The more Australia’s lithium flows to the US and away from China the better…
I'm all for supporting our friends! Just for strategic reasons, we should have at least one USA based mine for each type of needed metal needed to support the military, if necessary. Australia is a long distance to get raw materials from were a war to break out with the USA vs. China. We can get most of the raw materials from allies, but have some at home.
 

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Exactly. It's capitalism and always has been despite the political posturing on this site.
Yep... If they can deliver product, lowest quote the gets the business.
 

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At the end of the day, the mines will be where it makes the most economic sense (i.e., cheap enough). Everything else, whether for or against mining in any particular country, is just grandstanding.
Yup.
Besides, the US doesn't have nearly the cobalt deposits that other countries do.

What companies can do, as purchasers of cobalt, is ensure that ethical mining practices are used by the mining companies, and ensure that their supply chain is free of questionable labor practices.
There are, of course, accusations that come out of the woodwork over time. So it's up to the internal processes and compliance teams to ensure that companies like Apple, Samsung, Tesla, and others continue to use ethically sourced raw materials.


As a point for discussion, we also can't apply a US-centric economic and cost model to other countries that have lower costs of living and overhead. We need to understand the economic and cost structures in other countries.
 

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I'm all for supporting our friends! Just for strategic reasons, we should have at least one USA based mine for each type of needed metal needed to support the military, if necessary. Australia is a long distance to get raw materials from were a war to break out with the USA vs. China. We can get most of the raw materials from allies, but have some at home.
I agree to an extent.
But the US territories don't contain all the raw materials (especially rare earth) that companies need. There needs to be external supply. And what the US does have, often wouldn't be enough to supply.
That's why we depend on trade.

But we also need to understand that the cost structures in the US won't always provide a global cost advantage, as costs of living and operation in the US is often higher than other countries.

The Law of Comparative Advantage is always at play.
 

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I agree to an extent.
But the US territories don't contain all the raw materials (especially rare earth) that companies need. There needs to be external supply. And what the US does have, often wouldn't be enough to supply.
That's why we depend on trade.

But we also need to understand that the cost structures in the US won't always provide a global cost advantage, as costs of living and operation in the US is often higher than other countries.

The Law of Comparative Advantage is always at play.
True - but we should have mines for what we have in minable quantities. Doesn't have to be massive mines, but enough to cover the militaries needs. And as you pointed out, they may not even make economic sense, but I'd be fine with subsidizing them as a strategic necessity. I'll take it even further - our military shouldn't rely on chips/computers from Asia that have easy access from the Chinese and supply lines easily cut off.
 

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I'm all for supporting our friends! Just for strategic reasons, we should have at least one USA based mine for each type of needed metal needed to support the military, if necessary. Australia is a long distance to get raw materials from were a war to break out with the USA vs. China. We can get most of the raw materials from allies, but have some at home.
It's simply not practical to have a local source for everything. Where we can, we should have local sources. Where it's not possible or economically viable, we should have strong international relationships to fill those gaps. That strategy will work during an unlikely war as well as in the more likely case of no war. We've been sleeping while China buys up mineral-rich areas all over the world, including in our back yard in Latin America. That's the bigger threat we should be addressing.
 

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....But the US territories don't contain all the raw materials (especially rare earth) that companies need.....
Rare earths aren't actually rare. They actually are rather "common" and are pretty wide spread. They are only rare in the sense that in any given amount of ore there is very little of that element in it (even where it is actively mined). Thus requiring a HUGE amount of refining, usually requiring rather toxic and expensive refining techniques. Unless you've got some throw-away children to use, providing you don't care what happens to them.

Of course, the consumer nations and/or companies just say, " I don't know where it comes from, I just buy it from that company over there. They seemed nice."
 

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Rare earths aren't actually rare. They actually are rather "common" and are pretty wide spread. They are only rare in the sense that in any given amount of ore there is very little of that element in it (even where it is actively mined). Thus requiring a HUGE amount of refining, usually requiring rather toxic and expensive refining techniques. Unless you've got some throw-away children to use, providing you don't care what happens to them.

Of course, the consumer nations and/or companies just say, " I don't know where it comes from, I just buy it from that company over there. They seemed nice."
Yes. I'm aware that "rare earth" doesn't mean it's actually "rare."

But it's the deposits that the US just doesn't have. While the US was the primary producer for the longest time, China's reserves is ~30x greater than the US. China has driven down prices the past few decades, and it will take time for the US and other countries to restart their own mining production. I believe US production is also tied to the infrastructure bill that seems to be going nowhere in DC at the moment.

The only way around it is to not use rare earth in the new up-coming technologies. And that's where Japan and the US are directing their own research.
 
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