China halves rare earth mining rights
Updated: 2012-07-17 14:12
China, the supplier of 90 percent of the world's rare earths, cut mining rights for the materials by about half to 65 nationwide to help the industry consolidate and create bigger producers.
Rare earth mining rights in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, were reduced to 44 from 88, Chen Zhanheng, deputy secretary-general of the China Rare Earth Industry Association, said on Monday. The southwestern province of Sichuan had its rights lowered to seven from 18, while the Inner Mongolia-based Baotou Iron & Steel Group Co absorbed its local rivals, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on its website, without giving details.
The United States, the European Union and Japan complained in March to the World Trade Organization about China's limits on exports of rare earths, a group of 17 chemically similar elements used in wind turbines and hybrid cars.