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China to shake up rare earth industry

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 1:25am
Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will shake-up its rare earths sector over the next five years, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday, as the country steps up controls over the production of the vital metals that have worried importers.

China, which produces about 97 percent of the global supply of the minerals used in smartphones, electric car motors and high-tech industrial equipment, cut export quotas by 40 percent last year, a move that alarmed buyers and trading partners.

Wen told a Cabinet meeting that the country's rare earth industry had been harmed by illegal mining and "chaotic" exports, though he added China would set "reasonable" quotas for mining volumes and exports.

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