By monopolizing the mining of rare-earth metals, China could dictate the future of high-tech.
Beyond high-tech gadgets, rare earths play a critical role in national defense, enabling radar systems and guided missiles. Ironically, they also power clean-energy technologies, such as wind turbines and electric cars. This year, global consumption is expected to be about 155,000 tons, far more than the 45,000 tons used 25 years ago. Demand will only grow — likely at an accelerated pace — as the world tries to rein in climate change. Continue reading →
China has lifted a veil over its gold holdings and confirmed its interest in providing more up-to-date reserves data by announcing a near 60% jump in its official bullion assets since 2009.
The declaration on Friday, in a Chinese language announcement on the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) website, appears a judicious attempt to show more statistical transparency as China modernizes its international currency arrangements. Continue reading →
In other words, they could be getting ready to pull the plug.
China could be holding even more gold than previously realised, according to Alasdair Macleod, a researcher at online precious metals trader,GoldMoney.
Official figures from China Gold Association (CGA) show that the Asian superpower consumed 1,176 tonnes of gold in 2013, 41pc higher than in 2012.
However, about 500 tonnes of gold from Chinese mines and scrap is unaccounted for by the CGA.
Mr Macleod believes the country holds more gold that the stated figures suggest, and in fact consumed 4,843 tonnes in 2013 alone. He raised his estimate after researching Chinese Gold Reports, where he said he found details of the amount of gold vaulted.