hotdog1- I think that the weakness in rare earth prices is part of a weak commodity market in general.  China is shutting down part of their legal RE mines and smelters due to weak prices.  I would agree that shutting down the smugglers would help prices, but demand has been soft, too.  The new RE production has been mostly LRE's, so the weak HRE prices are more of a weak demand issue that a large production increase, legal or otherwse.  It is going to be very ard to attract investors with declining commodity prices.