Excessive exploitation hurts rare earth reserves

Updated: 2012-06-21 15:28


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Excessive exploitation has led to the rapid decline of China's rare earth reserves, the Beijing News reported, citing the White Paper released by the Information Office of the State Council Wednesday.

China's rare earth reserves account for approximately 23 percent of the world's total,and more than 90 percent of rare earth in the world market is supplied by China, according to the White Paper.

The White Paper, Situation and Policies of China's Rare Earth Industry, said after more than 50 years of excessive mining, China's rare earth reserves have continued to decline and the number of years of guaranteed rare earth supply has been reducing.

The smuggling of rare earth products to overseas markets also continues to be a problem.

From 2006 to 2008, the volumes of rare earth products imported from China, according to statistics collected by from foreign customs, were 35 percent, 59 percent and 36 percent higher than the volumes exported, as statistics released by the Chinese customs show,the White Paper noted.

However, according to the White Paper, the government has established an inter-departmental coordinating mechanism for the rare earth industry to make plans and study the national strategy, program, plan, policy, and other important issues concerning the development of the rare earth industry.

The state has also set up a rare earth office to coordinate and propose plans on the mining, production, reserve, and import and export of rare earth materials.