China vows to be responsible in int'l rare earth cooperation

20:40, December 15, 2010      

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A senior Chinese official said Wednesday that the country would act responsibly in international cooperation in rare earth exploration and ensuring the basic demands for the minerals are met.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) was still working with government departments to determine export quotas of rare earths for 2011, which would be based upon market demand and made public as soon as possible, MOC spokesman Yao Jian said at a press conference.

Yao reiterated that China's decision to cut rare earth exploration, production and exports was made amid the government's efforts to promote sustainable development and protect the environment.

China's rare earth export quotas were 30,300 tonnes for 2010, a decline of nearly 40 percent from 2009. However, China exported 32,200 tonnes of rare earths in the first three quarters of this year.

Rare earths, a class of 17 chemical elements, are widely used in the manufacturing of high-tech products such as flat-screen monitors, electric car batteries, wind turbines, missiles and aerospace alloys.

China, with around 30 percent of the world's rare earth reserves, was supplying 90 percent of the global demand, he said.

On Tuesday, the MOC published a list of 31 companies that had been accredited as qualified rare earth exporters for 2011. These companies, including both domestic businesses and overseas-funded enterprises, were rare earth producers and dealers.

Source: Xinhua
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