[LINK] China: Rare earth export cuts protect environment

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Aug 31 15:48:13 AEST 2010


> BEIJING Aug 29 (Reuters) - China's decision to slash export quotas  
> of rare earth elements was a necessary step to protect the country's  
> environment, commerce minister Chen Deming said following criticism  
> from Japanese officials.
> "Mass extraction of rare earth will cause great damage to the  
> environment and that's why China has tightened controls over rare  
> earth production, exploration and trade," Chen was quoted by state  
> news agency Xinhua as saying on Saturday.


> China has been steadily reducing export quotas since 2005 for rare  
> earth elements, which consist of 17 metals used in crucial new green  
> technologies like hybrid cars, wind turbines and superconductors, as  
> well as in missile guidance systems and mobile phones.
> Overseas buyers have expressed concern about China's policies to  
> restrict rare earth exports, which have driven up global prices, but  
> Chen said China had no choice and its own market would also suffer  
> as a consequence.
> Rare earths are in increasingly short supply as world demand surges,  
> with industry officials predicting a global shortfall of 30,000 to  
> 50,000 tonnes by 2012.
> China invested heavily in rare earth extraction technology in the  
> 1990s and now controls more than 95 percent of recoverable reserves,  
> mostly in the vast northern region of Inner Mongolia.
> It has sought to strengthen its control over the global market,  
> urging its biggest producer, the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare  
> Earth 6000111.SS to build strategic stockpiles.
> China's leading rare earth miners are also discussing setting a  
> unified pricing mechanism in order to boost China's global pricing  
> power. (Reporting by David Stanway, Editing by Ron Popeski)

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
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