15 November 2010

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14 November 2010

Rare earths: The Australian angle

Rare earths: The Australian angle
By Mark Thirlwell - 20 October 2010 9:26AM

As a quick follow-up to my previous posts on rare earth elements, it's worth noting that Australia has been part of this story.

Two Australian companies – Lynas Corporation and Arafura Resources – are potentially important players in the REEs market. Interestingly, when the onset of the GFC saw both companies lose access to financing, two state-owned Chinese enterprises stepped up with bids to buy stakes in both companies. In May 2009, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board approved a proposal by East China Mineral Exploration & Development Bureau (ECE) to acquire 25% of Arafura; the company's shareholders approved the A$23 million investment last September.

Things worked out a little differently with Lynas. After twice postponing a decision on the Chinese bid, the FIRB reportedly asked the China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group to reduce its planned ownership to below 50% (the Chinese company had initially wanted a controlling stake) and to restrict itself to a minority of board seats. At this point, the Chinese bidder pulled out of the deal.

(H/t: The Interpreter)


Definition of 'government' or 'state'

I've been looking for this for a long time.

A monopolistic protection racket that keeps the peace and fosters production and trade while extracting no more rents than the traffic will bear.

Leading Southeast Asia-focused political scientist James C. Scott on the essence of the successful pre-modern state, quoted from his insightful new book The Art of Not Being Governed.

Hat-tip: The Asia File.

11 November 2010

Buffett/Davis right on family planning