Industry leader calls for consolidation of China's rare earth industry

12:19, March 06, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The head of China's largest metals trader has called for government efforts to consolidate the rare earth industry and nurture competitive domestic firms in the sector.

Zhou Zhongshu, president of China Minmetals, said that the difficulties facing China's rare earth industry mainly come from the fact that local authorities, owners of rare earth mines, tend to issue mining licenses to local firms. Often small companies churn out low value-added products.

"This hinders the development of the sector," Zhou said.

As most mining licenses go to local firms, all sorts of enterprises, such as centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs), local SOEs, private firms and foreign enterprises have equal chances of smelting the rare resources, he said.

"While the miners reap handsome profits amid rampant illegal mining activities, the smelters have only razor-thin profits as a result of the soaring cost of processing and fierce competition, and are left with no funds to conduct technological innovations," Zhou told Xinhua.

Zhou said the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) should be in charge of issuing the mining licenses, which should go to competitive enterprises willing to shoulder corporate social responsibility.

This would help streamline and promote the development of the rare earth industry since competitive and responsible enterprises would be engaged in mining and processing. Such businesses are expected to take environmental protection into consideration, he said.

The consolidation of the industry can be realized by bringing together large-scale trading companies for rare earth and local governments who own the resources to form large rare earth companies that would mine, smelt, select and process the resources themselves, said Zhou.


【1】 【2】

  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Survey for 2011 NPC and CPPCC Sessions
  • Focus On China
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Natalia Gantimurova titled Miss Russia 2011
  • British Chancellor introduces new pro-growth economic policy
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade held in Alexandria, Virginia, US
  • People take part in pillow fight in east China's Shanghai
  • Lin Dan, Liu Xin enter Yonex German Open final
  • Young artist holds exhibition in Beijing
Hot Forum Dicussion