Would you accept this in the UK? No, of course not. But this is what people in China (Xinguang Village) have to live with so that you can have your Prius cars, your mobile phones and your wind turbines. This is the residue from the processing of rare earth minerals such as Neodymium which is used in magnets for wind turbines, for the magnets in the electric motors in electric cars and even in mobile phones. The dead vegetation around is the result of the vapours and toxins exhuded by the waste materials. In recent months China has sought to reduce the sale of these minerals, citing ecological grounds. Obviously a shortage of the minerals, presently only produced in China as no other country has been able to pass the environmental standards in the production of these elements, has the advantage to China of increasing the prices. The US and EU have objected vociferously. Seems a little strange when neither the US or the EU would allow such mining practices in their countries. Surely they should be welcoming the belated concern as to the environment. Surely it couldn’t be about the cost, could it?
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