China is making some changes to its rare earth industry, which has been under attack by trade partners who claim the country is maintaining a global monopoly on the valuable resource. From MarketWatch:
China plans to consolidate 80% of industrial rare-earth production among the three biggest companies in the sector during the next one to two years, the State Council said in a statement on Thursday.
Going with more of a centralized structure will help maintain sustainable development of resources while limiting damage to the environment and curbing mining operations done illegally, the cabinet said.
The State Council also urged improved oversight of mining rare earths as well as closer monitoring to ensure compliance with environmental standards.
Xinhua has more details on the changes:
The guideline, posted on the central government’s website, www.gov.cn, lists a slew of problems that severely affect the sector’s healthy development, including illegal mining, excessively expanding smelting and extracting capacities, environmental damage, and disorder in exports.
According to the government’s latest requirement, the country will strictly regulate industrial access, improve management over output plans, and beef up regulations concerning exports. The government will also expedite the creation and revision of relevant laws and regulations pertaining to the sector’s management.
Special campaigns will be launched to crack down on illegal mining activities and excessive production, and greater efforts will be made to combat practices that pollute the environment and damage the ecology. The campaigns will also target illegal exports and smuggling of rare earths, the guideline said.