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Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:00:01 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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This is slightly OT. I was reading an article today that Japan recently discovered almost 7 million tons of REE's or Rare earth elements near the island. Enough to supply Japan for the next 200 years and make the nation no longer dependent on China for that particular import. Assuming all goes to plan. The article said that the lode could be worth as much as 3 trillion yen.
Does anyone know why these islands were given back in 1969?
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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:15:11 AM   
wdolson

 

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Until the rare earth elements were found there, the island was not useful for anything but a radio transmitter. It had belonged to Japan before the war and it was not worth much, so it was probably decided to give it back to them as a good will gesture.

Finding the REE there is good news for Japan. The Chinese have been screwing with Japan over the sale of REE. A couple of years ago Japan had some complaints about something China was doing and in retaliation China stopped selling them REE for a while. Some Japanese factories had to close because they ran out of REE.

Modern electronics is the biggest use of REE. Stereo speakers can produce good sound with a much smaller size when they use rare earth magnets.

Bill

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:29:22 AM   
WO Katsuki

 

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if it was still 1942, you could settle territorial disputes with a good old shootin' war

and the chinese could take it to the katana court (that is.. to the judge with a katana)

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:30:12 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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I want my Playstation 4 and if this is truly good for 200 years then I will get my Playstation 30 when I am in the retirement home
So tonight I shall tip a glass to Marcus Island.


But seriously, this is a fair bit of luck for the Japanese if the numbers pan out. It is always a good thing when the Earth yields things that were previously not known before.
Hopefully they will be able to extract them cheaply and without damaging too much of the Pacific ocean floor environment.

I also read in the same article that if this does pan out that the island is so remote and so small that it cannot support the population needed to extract the resources. It was talked about that they could expand the island between 3x-6x times it's current size.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:34:25 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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quote:

ORIGINAL: WO Katsuki


if it was still 1942



Or 2003

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 3:59:03 AM   
Commander Cody


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Rare earths aren't actually that rare. There are Malaysian and California mines coming on line. Whether to mine rare earths is a matter of economically efficient extraction within existing environmental regulations. This Marcus Island find probably doesn't match either criteria, so I'd say it's more of a symbolic message to China than anything else. Spot prices have already gone down to fairly reasonable levels since China's posturing of a couple of years ago.

Cheers,
CC

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 6:23:17 AM   
Rebel Yell


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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 6:24:54 AM   
koniu

 

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Problem with rare elements was created by USA by them selfs.

When China start to explore own reserves in `80s with prices lower than USA, Europe or Japan can explore own reserve , western countries decide to close down own mines and buying everything from china. After 3 decades China gain monopoly for rares. I think they are now having ~95% of world production (China have ~35% world rare reserve) and can dictate prices.

So finding any new rare source outside China is good for market.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 7:14:55 AM   
Shellshock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: koniu

Problem with rare elements was created by USA by them selfs.

When China start to explore own reserves in `80s with prices lower than USA, Europe or Japan can explore own reserve , western countries decide to close down own mines and buying everything from china. After 3 decades China gain monopoly for rares. I think they are now having ~95% of world production (China have ~35% world rare reserve) and can dictate prices.

So finding any new rare source outside China is good for market.


Yeah, that's true. We sort of shot ourselves in the foot when mines in these countries were closed when China undercut world prices in the 1990s, and it will take a few years to restart production as it takes a while to re-gear and re-tool.

Of course, re-cycling all these i-phones that everyone is dumping in a drawer somewhere in their mindless haste to order a spiffy new one, might not be a bad idea either.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 9:15:13 AM   
jmalter

 

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then there's the scam where a low-value mining company announces a new find, & its owners sell off as the market reacts. shortly thereafter, the new owners discover that the picture ain't quite so rosy - while the former owners have recovered their losses (or made out like bandits) by selling when the stock was a 'hot tip', falsely stimulated by bogus press-releases and astroturf analyses.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 9:18:41 AM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fallschirmjager

This is slightly OT. I was reading an article today that Japan recently discovered almost 7 million tons of REE's or Rare earth elements near the island. Enough to supply Japan for the next 200 years and make the nation no longer dependent on China for that particular import. Assuming all goes to plan. The article said that the lode could be worth as much as 3 trillion yen.
Does anyone know why these islands were given back in 1969?



probably because the US didn't know about the importance of raw earths back then?

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 9:26:21 AM   
wdolson

 

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And nobody knew that the rare earths were there.

Bill

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 10:27:45 AM   
LoBaron


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As Koniu said, REEs are around in abundance. The global distribution of deposits in no way compares to crude oil or, for example, increasingly rare elements like Helium
if compared to global demand.

But still this reminds me of someone selling Alaska a "couple of" decades ago. Still my personal favourit example for the perfect bargain....

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 10:51:56 AM   
wdolson

 

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Compared to other minerals we extract from the Earth for industrial use, the rare earths are fairly uncommon. Considering the total world supply and the quantities of them in known reserves, they aren't that rare. If we were trying to make ships out of them, they would be extremely rare.

We are running out of helium. I wonder how long until it will no longer be available for blowing up party balloons.

I've read China has been trying to corner the world's supply of rare earths. They have a fair percentage themselves, but they have been buying up known deposits all over the world to ensure they remain the world's supplier for a long time to come.

Bill

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 10:52:51 AM   
geofflambert


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The US and Canada will never run out of rare earths. The problem is the environmental degradation at the locations where it's quarried. It's absolutely awful. That's why nobody wants to do it. The Chinese don't give a fig about the environment there, that's why it's so hard to breathe in Beijing.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 2:50:28 PM   
dr.hal


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As to why the islands were given "back" is simple, during WW2 we stated repeatedly that we were against imperialism and territorial ambitions. This really frightened Churchill by the way, as he was an ardent imperialist. Plus look at all the problems that the Soviet Union had to put up with over its retention of the four (?) northern islands off Hokkaido. Thus they were given back because it was the politically correct thing to do. Additionally, territorial acquisition by force is no longer seen as valid by international law (unless certain parameters are met that are very narrowly defined)!

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 4:22:08 PM   
oldman45


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If I am not mistaken, China cornered the tin market also.

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 4:28:22 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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allies fought japan for 4 years, to help the chinese and soviets .. then fought a cold war for 40 years

germany put the bolsheviks in power in 1917, and then attacked them a while later


today's friend, tomorrow's foe

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 5:13:02 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

As to why the islands were given "back" is simple, during WW2 we stated repeatedly that we were against imperialism and territorial ambitions. This really frightened Churchill by the way, as he was an ardent imperialist. Plus look at all the problems that the Soviet Union had to put up with over its retention of the four (?) northern islands off Hokkaido. Thus they were given back because it was the politically correct thing to do. Additionally, territorial acquisition by force is no longer seen as valid by international law (unless certain parameters are met that are very narrowly defined)!


Its true though that there was a strong anti-imperialistic streak within the US military. FDR wanted to end colonialism, but not simply from the goodness of his heart so much but for pragmatic reasons.....a new world where an economically dominant US would partner with a strong China as the premier powers in Asia. In Churchill's defense, he saw the writing on the wall in regards to the UK's status as a major power. Without colonial possessions, the UK could never be a major power. Not enough territory or resources at home. Countries with a strong domestic economy and resource pool don't need colonialism. I often forget that during WWII the US was the major supplier of oil for the Allied cause. Now the Middle East holds that card.

Post war....i think lack of concern and a desire to not dip into the morrass of territorial disputes motivated US policy when it came to the question of ownership of certain pieces of Real Estate. You say that island was yours before the war? fine....have it back . Ironically, in a way FDR's vision has come to light, only decades after and with a radically different government in power in China. She is a major trading partner, both countries are mutually dependant on each other to keep their economies going. China owns the bulk of our national debt. Fun times ahead really. China, despite their economic saavyness......still has skeletons in their closet about re-aquiring what they consider "lost" territory and prestige....i.e. Taiwan and that island in the East China Sea thats been in the news of late. They want to be the new power in Asia and certainly have a formidable military at their disposal. But there's that Global Economy thing again...... How will it all play out? Who knows, just like back in the 80's none of us truely knew how that power play would develop.



< Message edited by Nikademus -- 9/20/2012 5:14:01 PM >

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 8:18:21 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

As to why the islands were given "back" is simple, during WW2 we stated repeatedly that we were against imperialism and territorial ambitions. This really frightened Churchill by the way, as he was an ardent imperialist. Plus look at all the problems that the Soviet Union had to put up with over its retention of the four (?) northern islands off Hokkaido. Thus they were given back because it was the politically correct thing to do. Additionally, territorial acquisition by force is no longer seen as valid by international law (unless certain parameters are met that are very narrowly defined)!


The island wasn't American to keep.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty did not transfer ownership of the island to the USA. Instead what was contemplated was that it would be administered by the USA as a trustee territory, in accordance with how the UN allowed trustee territories to be administered.

During the 1960s there was great pressure exerted by the UN on all countries administrating trustee territories to relinquish their administration and prepare them for independence. It was all part of the great decolonisation rush of the 1960s/1970s.

Unlike the League of Nations Japanese Mandated Territories (the Marshalls etc) which post WWII were administered by the USA as trustee territories, Marcus Island had not been a League of Nations Mandated Territory before WWII but a part of Japan itself. A similar situation also applied to the Ryukus (Okinawa). Hence when the USA relinquished its administration (in part due to the widespread UN pressure on all administering countries of trustee territories) of Marcus Island it reverted (as did Okinawa) back to Japan. The former League of Nations Mandated Territories instead, not having been formally part of Japan, were not handed back to Japan but achieved their own "independence".

Alfred

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 8:30:17 PM   
dr.hal


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The island wasn't American to keep.

Marcus Island had not been a League of Nations Mandated Territory before WWII but a part of Japan itself. A similar situation also applied to the Ryukus (Okinawa).

Alfred
[/quote]
Too true! And this is the basis of Japan's claim to the islands against China. Of course depending upon how far back in history you want to go, various powers have trespassed this land laying claim to it (akin to the Falklands I might add) which certainly muddies the waters (pun intended) but the recent record seems to support Japan's claim for both the Marcus and Ryukus. Hal

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 8:51:01 PM   
AW1Steve


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No need to worry guys. Elk Creek Nebraska (pop 113) was just discovered to have the largest deposits of Rare earth ever found.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/2/rush-for-rare-earth-may-create-nebraska-boomtown/

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 9:01:50 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

No need to worry guys. Elk Creek Nebraska (pop 113) was just discovered to have the largest deposits of Rare earth ever found.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/2/rush-for-rare-earth-may-create-nebraska-boomtown/


Heh heh...whoops! So much for the value of Marcus island!

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/20/2012 9:29:14 PM   
WO Katsuki

 

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ought to have a WITP 2 ~ USN vs china navy 2012-2016


bah.. i curse the one who invented balistic missiles

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RE: Marcus Island - 9/21/2012 7:52:57 PM   
khyberbill


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quote:

There are Malaysian and California mines coming on line.


The mine is actually in Australia not Malaysia, reprocessing the metals (rare earths are actually metals) will occur in Malaysia. Lets see how long that will take to get approval. The waste from reprocessing the ores is radioactive. It is estimated that 20,000 tons of radioactive waste will be generated from this one processing facility a year, which was located in Malaysia under the belief that the miner (Lynas, an Australian company) would be able to dispose this waste easier in Malaysia. To give you an idea of the amount of this waste, if it were processed into a homogeneous block of concrete there would be in excess of 40,000 cubic meters of this stuff needing disposal a year. Do you want that in your back yard? I have been following this because I spent 30 years processing, transporting and disposing radioactive waste.

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