China plans strategic reserves for rare metals

15:13, November 03, 2010      

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The government is studying a plan to build strategic reserves for 10 rare metals, namely rare earth, tungsten, antimony, molybdenum, tin, indium, germanium, gallium, tantalum and zirconium, according to today's Shanghai Securities News.

China is rich in some of the 10 rare metals, such as rare earth, tungsten, and antimony, but it has neither properly exploited nor economically used these resources over the past many years. The long-standing unlicensed exploitation, indiscriminate mining and serious waste of resources have caused serious damage to ecosystems near mines.

Furthermore, because of the relatively low requirements for environmental protection in the country, the market prices of some rare metals have long been lower than their real values.

However, other rare metals such as tantalum are scarce resources in China, giving the country no choice but to import these resources for a long time. Thus these metals are often subject to price fluctuations in overseas markets.

Insiders disclosed that the central government's plan to build rare metal strategic reserves is aimed at recreating a balance between supply and demand as well as maintaining price stability.

Rare metals are of increasing strategic importance to industrial development. Since the beginning of 2010, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Land and Resources and local governments have introduced a number of measures to enhance concentration of production and to increase integration of metal resources, such as rare earth, tungsten, antimony, molybdenum and tin.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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