Mining in China Now Warrants Central Govt. Approval
Source: Commodity Online (1/20/11)
"Major policy shift allows China to keep tabs on REE industry."
The strategic move would now allow Chinese government to keep tabs on the mining activities in China, especially on rare-earth mining.
The Ministry of Land and Resources of China has released 11 state designated areas for rare earth mining and two areas for iron mining this Wednesday.
Considered as strategic resources, the move is intended to improve the utilization and protection of resources in China, reported People's Daily of China.
With years of planning preceding the measure, all the 11 areas for rare earth mining falls in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in China's southeast, whereas two iron-ore areas are in Sichuan Province in the southwest of the country.
Rio Tinto, the mining giant has acknowledged the presence of new opportunities for mining companies embedded in the move, said Beijing Times.
Rare earth is considered to be one of the strategic resources that China owns in abundance and the country accounts for about 97% of the world's rare earth production.
Recently, China had imposed export curbs on rare earth minerals to Japan on an issue of territorial dispute between both nations.
Chinese government however lifted the embargo on mounting international pressure.
Rare earth minerals have wide applications in technology-intensive domains like advanced equipments, including computers.