Precious Holdings

From smart phones to weaponry, cutting-edge technologies depend on access to elements called rare earths. What happened when China tried too hard to control them

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Nick Mann

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Rare-earth prices should rise again as the global economy recovers, but the panic and price explosions of 2010 and 2011 are unlikely to return. Investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers from all over the world have proved as nimble as any Call of Duty commando in heading off a crisis. Given China's influence over almost every raw material on earth, though, they may be answering the call of duty again before long.

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