This is one of those stories that seems to drop below the radar but is very important.
Trade Officials Ponder Response to China’s Rare Earth Stance - NYTimes.com
It is possible there could be a world-wide shortage of these minerals in the future. Sky rocketing prices for things we have become increasingly dependent on. The type of squabble over resources that can result in a major conflict. Not as obvious as petroleum but in many ways just as vital to the world we live in. Perhaps advancement in reclaiming these elements from recycled items will ease the burden, and reopening mines should help, but be prepared for some very hostile acts perpetrated over this fight for access to these commodities.