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Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 12:12 UK

China's rare earth minerals


China's economic growth continues at breakneck pace and it exports the lions share of the world's rare earth metals. These materials help power everything from cell phones to missiles.

Now Beijing apparently plans to slash export quotas. The result? Jitters around the globe that make the fuss over the Chinese currency pale by comparison.

China calls the reports unfounded but as Zoe Conway reports it reveals just how vulnerable the world's supply line may be.


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