China scorned for resisting West's commodities market manipulation


WTO Bolsters Complaints Over China Exports

By Jennifer M. Freedman
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GENEVA, Switzerland -- Complaints against China by the U.S., European Union, and Mexico were bolstered by a World Trade Organization finding that the nation's limits on raw-materials exports broke global rules and gave domestic companies an edge.

The ruling yesterday on the Geneva-based trade arbiter's website was after an 18-month investigation of quotas, export duties, and license requirements. China said it was evaluating the report. An appeal is highly likely, Mei Xinyu, a professor at a government trade institute, said today.

The restrictions have stoked tensions between China and its trading partners and boosted raw-material prices. The ruling may encourage the U.S. and the EU to now target Chinese restraints on rare earths, a group of 17 elements used in wind turbines, hybrid cars, and guided missiles.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Prophecy (TSXV: PCY) Secures Russian Far East Seaport Allocation
and Updates Ulaan Ovoo Mine Production

Company Press Release, June 14, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Coal Corp. TSX-V: PCY)(OTCQX: PRPCF)(Frankfurt: 1P2) has arranged with the Port of Sovgavan in the State of Khabarovsk, Russia, so the company will have initial access to port allocation of 25,000 tonnes of coal per month starting this month, potentially expandable to 50,000 tonnes per month, representing 300,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually. Prophecy also will be assigned a coal storage area at the port.

This arrangement provides Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo thermal coal mine with immediate access to the Asian seaborne export coal markets. Sovgavan is strategically located on the seaboard of the Russian Far East. The port is privately owned and can accommodate seagoing vessels of up to 160 meters in length, with the depth of loading site of 9.5 meters. The port has loading capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day and direct connections to Trans-Siberian railroads and uncongested Russian state highways.

Securing the port opens Prophecy to a significant number of coal buyers, and the company is placing top priority to conclude rail transport within Russia and coal offtake contracts.

Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo mine commenced production in 2011. So far this year the mine has produced 200,000 tonnes of coal, which are being stockpiled. The average quality is 4,200 kcal/kg NAR with 5 percent ash and 0.5 percent sulphur. Those attributes compare favorably to the coal being purchased by local Russian and Mongolian power plants.

For the complete company statement, please visit:

The finding is "a significant victory for manufacturers and workers in the U.S. and the rest of the world," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said yesterday in an e-mail. The duties "have caused massive distortions and harmful disruptions in supply chains throughout the global marketplace."

The commodities at stake in yesterday's decision included magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, fluorspar, silicon carbide, and yellow phosphorus, used by the steel, aluminum, automotive, and chemicals industries.

Mei, of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said "there's a 95 percent chance China will appeal." He was speaking in a phone interview in Beijing.

James Bacchus, a former chairman of the WTO appeals tribunal, told Bloomberg Television that "China can be expected to appeal." Bacchus, a partner at Greenberg Traurig LLP and a former member of the U.S. Congress, also said that China is likely to comply if it ultimately loses the case.

China is studying the report and will follow up as appropriate, the Ministry of Commerce said today, adding that the government "feels regret" at the findings.

China, the world's second-largest economy, is the top producer of cadmium, gold, indium, iron ore, lime, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, phosphate, salt, tin, tungsten, vanadium, and zinc.

"The panel found that China's export duties were inconsistent with the commitments that China had agreed to in its Protocol of Accession," WTO judges said in a summary of a 315-page ruling. "Export quotas imposed by China on some of the raw materials were inconsistent with WTO rules."

China said the restrictions are necessary to conserve exhaustible natural resources and ease overproduction and emissions of carbon and sulfur gases from furnaces. The U.S., the EU, and Mexico said the curbs discourage the export of materials that are critical for their manufacturers, while keeping them cheaper and readily available in China.

The WTO panel said that China was "unable to demonstrate" that the export duties curtailed pollution. China's government has the right to appeal the decision.

U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, called on China to end the export limits.

"This market manipulation costs American jobs and economic growth," Baucus said in an e-mail. "As a WTO member, China has a responsibility to play by the rules and respect the rights of its international partners."

Chinese limits have triggered sixfold increases in prices for some rare earths, souring ties with users including the U.S. and Japan. The government may further reduce quotas, pushing prices higher, Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Pty said in May.

"I expect that China will now bring its export regime in line with international rules," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement. "In light of this result, China should ensure free and fair access to rare-earth supplies."

China, supplier of 95 percent of global rare earths, has said the curbs protect the environment and meet its WTO commitments. The country’s Inner Mongolia Baotou region produces so-called light rare earths such as lanthanum, cerium and samarium. Heavy rare-earth production, mostly in southern China, includes the elements dysprosium, gadolinium, and terbium.

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Golden Phoenix Shareholder Conference Call To Discuss
Start of Gold Production at Mineral Ridge Gold Project

Company Press Release, June 27, 2011

SPARKS, Nevada -- Golden Phoenix Minerals, Inc. (GPXM) has scheduled its second quarter 2011 shareholder conference call for Tuesday, July 12. Shareholders are invited to participate in the call, will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific and 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Company management will provide updates on accomplishments in the second quarter and explain how the company's royalty mining growth strategy is expected to unfold in the second half of the year.

Topics to be updated include the start of gold production at Mineral Ridge, developments on the Vanderbilt Silver and Coyote Fault Gold projects, the Shining Tree and Peru projects, and drilling plans for 2011. Questions from shareholders will be answered as well.

"Thirteen months after closing the joint venture between Golden Phoenix and Scorpio Gold, the Mineral Ridge property has entered gold production," said Tom Klein, CEO of Golden Phoenix. "Last week both companies completed joint tours of Mineral Ridge. We look forward to providing a complete update on our conference call."

Participation in the shareholder conference call can be arranged by telephone, webcast, or Skype. To participate, dial 952-356-0015 and enter Conference ID 419582#.

For the company's full press release, please visit:

Golden Phoenix (GPXM) is a U.S. mining company with international exposure to gold, silver, and strategic metals. The company's business model combines project generation and royalty mining that offers the potential for exploration upside, coupled with the backing of production and future royalty streams. View company videos here: