5 southern China provinces to jointly oversee rare earth mining

14:59, August 12, 2010      

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Fifteen cities in China's Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces signed an agreement on Aug. 10 to jointly supervise and regulate rare earth mining as well as promote the coordinated development of the rare earth industry.

The 15 cities are Longyan and Sanming in Fujian Province; Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province; Yongzhou and Chenzhou in Hunan Province; Heyuan, Qingyuan, Meizhou, Shaoguan and Jieyang in Guangdong Province; and Chongzuo, Hezhou, Wuzhou, Guigang and Yulin in Guangxi province. The municipal governments of these cities have decided to keep rare earth mining under joint strict supervision after close consultation with one another.

The 15 cities account for about 90 percent of China's reserves and output of ion-adsorption rare earth minerals. As ion-adsorption rare earth minerals can be developed through a simple heap leaching technique, the improper mining of this type of rare earth elements will easily result in the waste of resources, vegetation deterioration, soil erosion and environmental contamination.

Joint supervision and regulation will come in three forms. First, they will promote the integration of rare earth resources developments, strictly follow the quota system for developing rare earth minerals and try to establish an integrated rare earth market.

Second, the municipal governments will closely cooperate with one another to prevent illegal rare earth metals from going into circulation. Third, they will set up a union of rare earth mining companies in southern China and adopt better pricing and distribution mechanisms through negotiations.

China's Deputy Minister of Land and Resources Wang Min stressed in a written statement that the awareness of the importance and strategic position of rare earth resources should be further increased from the perspective of safeguarding national interests.

By People's Daily Online
Additional support provided by LOTO


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