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World Faces Hi-Tech Crunch as China Eyes Ban on Rare Metal Exports

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"A draft report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs," the Telegraph reports. Why should you care about a bunch of metals you've probably never heard of? "Blackberries, iPods, mobile phones, plams TVs, navigation systems, and air defense missiles all use a sprinkling of rare earth metals," the article notes, adding, ominously, they are also used to filter viruses and bacteria from water, as well as for cleaning up Sarin gas and VX nerve agents.
SOURCE:   Telegeraph