Australia blocked China rare earth deal on worries it would result in supply disruptions In 2009, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board blocked China's offer to gain control of the globe's richest rare earth deposit on concerns it could potentially threaten supply to non-Chinese buyers, Bloomberg reports.

The state-owned China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Group offered in May 2009 A$252 million for a majority stake in Lynas Corp, which was in need of cash as it looked to resume development of the Mount Weld rare earth mine in Western Australia; however, the request was denied after regulators determined it could potentially hurt Australia's reputation as a reliable trade partner.

Australian authorities determined supply chain disruptions could potentially arise from the deal and blocked the move. "We have concluded that they would not be able to exclude the possibility that Lynas' production could be controlled to the detriment of non-Chinese end users," they affirmed.

Among other goods, rare earth metals are instrumental in the construction of electronics equipment. China currently controls 95 percent of the world's supply and in recent months has cut its export quotas of the incredibly important metals. Last year, it blocked shipments to Japan after a maritime dispute erupted into a political dispute between the two countries.

Lynas later raised A$450 million to fund the Mount Weld mine - without the help of Chinese companies. The Mount Weld mine contains the richest grades of ore for rare earth metals in the world.  
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