Archive for the ‘Rare earth minerals’ Category

China cuts rare earth exports

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

China has reduced its export quota for rare earth minerals for the coming year. The quota for the first half of the year has been cut from 22,282 to 14,446 tonnes. Rare earth minerals are those which contain rare earth metals, 17 elements which are used heavily in the manufacture of high technology devices including mobile phones, batteries and wind turbines. China produces 97% of the worlds rare earth exports and has been reducing its export quota for a number of years. This has driven up prices and jeopardises the development of green technologies which rely heavily on these metals. Japanese, European and US trade officials have all called for a freer rare earth market. The Chinese government says the restriction on rare earth exports exists to combat illegal mining and environmental exploitation.