MIIT to put forward new state policy over rare-earth metal industry

Source:Global Times Published: 2009-8-13 17:00:22

China's state policy on improving the quality and standards of the rare earth metal industry calls for increased supervision, promotion of enterprise integration, and products export, will be put forward after revisions, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced in an internal meeting of the rare earth industry.

The discussion paper of the policy indicates that the rare earth industry should raise the threshold for market entry through eliminating enterprises with outdated equipment, low technical level and backward management.

In addition, the state has raised environmental requirements for rare-earth enterprises; new policy statutes and industry standards are established and promulgated, including medium and long-term development plans for the rare-earth industry; and the rare-earth industrial development policy.

According to the paper, a new project can only start after being approved by the MIIT.

China has bountiful rare metal resources and enjoys reserves in tungsten, tin, stibium, rare earths, molybdenum, indium, and titanium. As a result, China is the major producer and supplier of these metals. Therefore, the policy proposes to further strengthen the control of foreign investment into rare earth metal resources and add a 20 percent tax on some rare earth products for export.

Foreign companies are forbidden to explore and mine in China, even in joint ventures with Chinese enterprises. However, overseas companies are encouraged to invest in intensive processing industries, such as down stream products of rare earth alloys including catalyst, permanent-magnet material and hydrogen storage material and luminescent powder.

Industry insiders say that the MIIT will strive to gain financial support from the central government to inject into the industry's exploration and research.  

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