China's REE Miners Want Unified Prices


"Chinese alliance will virtually control the entire light REE market."

China's leading rare earth miners may effectively fix global prices for the group of metals that are widely used in a number of electronic devices, digital displays and military applications, an official newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Baotou Steel Rare Earth High-Tech Co. and Jiangxi Copper Corp. are set to launch a unified pricing mechanism on light rare earth materials nationwide, a move that is expected to give China a bigger say in international markets over the valuable resources, China Daily said.

The alliance between Baotou Steel Rare Earth and Jiangxi Copper means they will virtually control the whole light rare earth market, the report said, citing analysts.

China dominates production with 95% of global supply of the group of metals.

Rare earths are composed of 17 elements and are used in many high-tech applications ranging from wind turbines and hybrid cars to missile-guidance systems and mobile phones. Light rare earth materials have a much larger reserve and are easy to process.

Beijing has indicated that it wants large companies to spearhead the consolidation of the country's rare earths sector to prevent the resource from being undervalued, the report said.

With China's moves to reduce export quotas, push for consolidation and crack down on illegal mining, prices of some major rare earth oxides, such as neodymium, have rallied to 219,000 yuan ($32,360) a ton this month, up 60% from the end of last year.

"Enhancing the concentration of the rare earth sector will benefit the Chinese side and give it a bigger say in the global markets," Yu Zongsen, former secretary-general of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, was quoted as saying by the newspaper. ($1=6.767 Yuan)

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