China to Crack Down on Illegal Rare Earth Mining
Source: Reuters (5/21/10)
"The ministry also plans to push forward consolidation in the sector."
China is believed to have 97% of the world's total rare earth ores, which are processed and used in a wide range of new technologies from hybrid cars to wind turbines.
Although China has put limits on production and export of rare earth elements, tungsten, antimony, fluorspar and high-alumina clay to ensure sufficient supplies, illegal mining and smuggling is common.
The campaign will shut down unlicensed exploration and mining operations by demolishing construction, confiscating equipment and products, closing shafts and cutting off water, power and explosives supplies, said Ji Wenlin, director of ministry's general office, in a conference transcript published on the ministry's website.
The ministry also plans to push forward consolidation in the sector, Ji also said.