The Chinese government on Wednesday said it disagrees with a US scientific agency's estimate of China's rare earth reserves.
According to the United States Geographical Survey (USGS), China's rare earth reserves totaled 36 million tonnes in 2009, or 36 percent of the world's total.
Jia Yinsong, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said a ministry survey indicates that China's reserves totaled 18.59 million tonnes in 2009, or 23 percent of the world's total.
The USGS has not provided a source for its data and the data is not accurate, he said.
China issued the first white paper for its rare earth industry on Wednesday.
Rare earth metals, a group of 17 metals, are vital for the manufacture of high-tech products ranging from smart phones and wind turbines to electric car batteries.