Reely...The SKK deposit did produce REE cloride products as secondary production to it's primary purpose, Thorium, during the '50's and '60's. Those REE chlorides were purchased by someone, and presumably they were not throwing their money away. SKK's deposit is one of the most thoroughly known and understood deposits in the world. The Solvent Extraction method of producing REE oxides is the current state of the art production method, not experimental, not lab model, not table top, thus it is the most probable technology to quickly get to full production in any currently built facility. That is undoubtedly why it was chosen for this project. All other possible extraction techniques do have the questions you ask, and might considerably delay production compared to Solvent Extraction. Monazite is one of the more common REE bearing minerals, if not the most common being mined throughout the world, as it tends to have good grade compared to other mineral deposits.
GQD did sign the JV, and owns 25% of GWGQD, which I think you know. Of course they took samples back to China to work on the chemistry. Since that time, property in Vredendal has been optioned for purchase and plans for an expandable SX facility have been produced. Considerable funds, time, and planning have continued, and the forthcoming PEA will reveal more detail about the project. Discussion of sending chlorides to China are a prudent "fall back" position should there be delay in the Vredendal project for any reason, and is not the primary path to supplying LCM with oxide materials, Vredendal still is until someone says otherwise.
GWMG has a history of responding well to changes in plan. It did not initially intend to buy RARECO/Steens, but was working on an offtake agreement. During the negotiations, it became apparent that the mine project was first rate, but that RARECO could not bring it to production alone. For the bargain price of just around $25million, GWMG picked up the highest grade, closest to production REE mine, and the only one with known commercial quantities of LREE, HREE, and the "critical" elements in quantities and proportions matching the input needs of LCM. The point here, is your fears are equally speculative, and no more likely to come to pass than any other scenario. It will be up to you to determine through your own DD whether or not GWMG is a good investment. No one here is asking you for your money.
There are workarounds. There always are. Rhodia in France has been processing REE's for many years, perhaps they could substitute for China if necessary, or if more reasonable in their pricing. Maybe we'd have to wait a few more months for production from Vredendal. Exports from China last year did not come close to the export quota. Buying Chinese separated materials, as LCM has done for 20 years would not seem to be a problem, and with two strip casting furnaces in production this coming year, even though full profitability would not be reached, it would supply considerable revenues to GWMG, certainly moving the company as a whole into the black sometime during 2013, and that appears to be worst case.
Every production company has a ramp-up period, and it is to be expected. There is no deadline that must be met by GWMG that would result in failure or bankruptcy if it were not achieved. They have over $50 million in the bank currently, and have several options available should more money be needed.
I'd simply suggest that if you question the viability of GWMG's plans, wait to invest until after the PEA is published, evaluate it yourself, and then decide if the glass is half empty, or half full. It won't be a long wait. Don't forget....You also have two other "first producer" companies to invest in, and many exploratory companies that might suit your perceptions and goals better. If GWMG looks bad, spend some time looking at those.