20 Jan '11, 9am

China puts rare earth mines under state control

BEIJING: China has brought 11 rare earth mines under state control as Beijing consolidates the industry -- a move analysts said Thursday could drive up prices of the elements, used in iPods and hybrid cars. Authorities have targeted mines in the eastern province of Jiangxi, which is rich in heavy rare earths, as it seeks to strengthen "protection and reasonable development" of the sector, the land and resources ministry said this week. China, which produces more than 95 per cent of the world's rare earths, has tightened control over the metals by slashing quotas for overseas shipments, hiking export taxes and cracking down on heavily polluting mines. The moves have raised concern overseas that China was abusing its market dominance of the 17 elements used to make everything from wind turbines to flat screen televisions. The ministry said Monday the 11 mines covering an are...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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