Andrew Sullivan summarizes the interface between certain commodities and high tech manufacturing here.
The report in Nature Geoscience is here. The geopolitical significance could be large. China has been adopting a neo-mercantilistic policy with regards to these commodities for some time. They are ubiquitous in modern gadgets of all sorts and until we have adequate resource substitution, technological supply chains will depend on a constant supply. Right now, the supplier is largely China. According to this report, that could change.