Rare earth: China must eliminate chaos in the industry

Illegal mining, Black markets, Smuggling - China rare earths (SE) promoting industry in chaos. According to a high official had this mess for the slump in prices and more, Massive Problems gesorgt. The government must intervene.

Jia Yinsong, a high official of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said the sixth forum of Chinese SE-industry (CREI) in Baotou, that the illegal extraction and sale of rare earth almost the size of a “bad crazy Industriekette” have achieved.

China has only 23 Percent of the global reserves of rare earths, currently served but good 90 Percent of global demand. The mining of rare earths is considered extremely dangerous for the environment.

Despite the high demand, the market prices for cerium, Lanthanum and Ytterbium - for the 70 Percent of SE produced worldwide are - to during the second half of last year 40 Percent fell. The export volume of Chinese rare earths rose 2013 at 38,3 Percent, but in the same period the value of these exports fell by 36,7 Percent - a massive problem for the Chinese SE-industry.

The CREI forum in Baotou are government officials and producers met, to talk about the trends in the SE-market. Especially the price decline this was an issue - the average prices for rare earths are now back at the level of 2010 reached.

The Chinese government has expressed its regret over the decision of the WTO on Thursday, According to the China's export quotas and tariffs on rare earth, Violate tungsten and molybdenum with WTO rules.

The EU, Japan and the United States had brought and argued the case before the WTO, that China restricts export of its rare earth and so the access of other countries to the minerals restricts. Gan Yong, Vice Director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, said, that it would be very difficult without the management mechanisms for the Chinese government, to control the SE-industry. Little one, illegal mines and the extreme competition would have brought the SE sector in recent years increasingly into trouble.

Jia Yinsong from SE-Office of MIIT stated, the high profits of illegal mines have led to a clash between the local governments and the respective producer. Alone in Ganzhou in Jiangxi province - which is particularly rich in light rare earth - whether investigations example, last year against 40 Been launched official, suspected, to be involved in the illegal production and sale of SE.

During a three-month campaign were from August 2013 overall 126 Been prompted SE Companies, adjust their production. Further 161 Company was revoked the production license. The inspectors confiscated during the campaign also 19.000 Tonnes of illegally mined SE.

In addition to combat “bad crazy SE-Industriekette” have supervisors promoted, to set up six large rare earth company. The government wants to impose as a consolidation of the sector.

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