Stricter regulation on rare earth exploitation

Updated: 2012-06-20 11:09


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BEIJING - China will implement stricter environmental standards for rare earth exploitation while continuing to regulate the mining, production and export of the valuable resources, a government white paper said Wednesday.

China will "implement stricter standards for ecological protection and protective exploitation policies concerning rare earth resources," according to the white paper titled "Situation and Policies of China's Rare Earth Industry."

The white paper, the first of its kind on China's rare earth industry, was published by the Information Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, on Wednesday.

The government will improve relevant laws and regulations and crack down on all violations, the white paper said.

"Synchronized administrative measures" will be taken on rare earth mining, production and export, while international exchanges and cooperation will be encouraged, it said.

China is the world's largest producer of rare earths, a group of 17 metals vital for manufacturing products ranging from smart phones, wind turbines, electric car batteries to missiles.

The white paper said the country aims to build a regulated and orderly system of rare earth exploitation, production and market circulation "within a short period of time."

The ecological environment in key areas should be effectively restored during that period while merger and reorganization will be pushed forward in the rare earth industry, it said.

The government targets "a unified, standardized and highly efficient administrative system" for the industry and "a healthy development pattern featuring rational ming, orderly production, efficient utilization, advanced technology and intensive development," according to the white paper.