Latest News:  
Beijing   Thundershower/Overcast    28 / 22 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>China Business

China 'building up rare earth reserves'

By Wang Qian and Liu Yiyu  (China Daily)

10:45, July 16, 2012

China is spending billions of yuan buying domestically mined rare earth to build up its national strategic reserves, an official said on Friday.

Shi Yaoqiang, an official in the rare earth division of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told China Daily that the nation started the purchasing program last year, mainly targeting heavy rare earth, without disclosing details such as the amount and the price.

But a senior official from Baogang Group, the parent of Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co, China's largest rare earth producer by output which is involved in the government purchase of the mineral, suggested the plan involves the purchase of around 6 billion yuan ($949 million) worth of rare earth.

Baotou Steel Rare Earth announced plans on Thursday to launch a rare earth trading platform on Aug 8 to better price the resource.

Speaking on the sidelines of a national conference on supervising rare earth development, in Chenzhou, Hunan province, Shi said: "China has adopted various ways of collecting rare earths, such as building strategic reserves and purchasing rare earths for national storage."

Zhang Anwen, deputy secretary of Chinese Society of Rare Earths, added: "Rare earth storage is a strategy that many countries, such as Japan, have already been using to ensure the sustainable development of high-tech industries."

Rare earths, which are used in the high-tech and defense sectors, are generally divided into two categories-light and heavy rare earth element groups.

The State Council, first suggested establishing a national rare earth strategic reserve system, combining the commercial stockpiling with national rare earth reserve bases, in May last year.

In 2011, China established 11 State-managed rare earth mining zones in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province - an area rich in heavy rare earth resources - covering an area of 2,500 square kilometers.

Rare earths cover a group of 17 elements, including scandium and yttrium, which are key components for modern-day technologies such as hybrid electric vehicles, liquid crystal display and other high-tech products.

China's rare earth reserves account for about 23 percent of the world's total but have been excessively exploited, according to a white paper issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last month.

As the world's largest producer of rare earths, China provides more than 90 percent of supplies. Domestic reserves totaled 18.59 million metric tons in 2009.

Since 2007, China has toughened its rare earth production regulations in a bid to minimize the severe environmental impact caused by excessive exploitation.

The State Council has substantially increased environmental protection standards in the rare earth mining and smelting sector, and set a limit on exports last May.

Domestic demand for rare earths slumped last year after the government tightened controls over production and mining, as many plants closed down.

Rare earth prices have nearly halved from last year's level as global demand weakens.


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese and Indonesian special operation troops in shooting training

  2. Large amout of dead fish float at south lake in Wuhan

  3. Best time to treat your organs

  4. A guide to cool down in the summer heat

  5. Bastille Day military parade held in Paris

  6. China hit the road to boost growth

Most Popular


  1. Clinton’s Asia trip takes economic turn
  2. Vatican needs to adapt to local systems
  3. Commercial property market a bubble to explode
  4. Assad inextricable part of peaceful transition
  5. Naval exercises routine, not warning to Japan
  6. Hanoi will feel pain for helping US return
  7. Cooperation keeps China-Africa ties strong
  8. China won't yield to Japan's moves over disputes
  9. Sea spat can draw mainland and Taiwan closer
  10. New regulations a chance to build clean govt

What's happening in China

Desperate husband to pay back hospital

  1. Suspect accused in mall fire that claimed 10 lives
  2. Mainlanders heading overseas up 20%
  3. Rescue hero may lose both legs
  4. Desperate husband to pay back hospital
  5. Food safety fears gnaw at intl stores

China Features

  1. Why is TCM worth of commendation?
  2. Arabians pay heavy price for Arab Spring
  3. Master of pasted-paper sculpture
  4. China, US hold mixed attitudes toward each other
  5. China does not lack capital: CSRC Chair

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai