Rare earth: What's all the fuss about?

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, November 11, 2010
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Editor's notes:

Rare earths elements, often referred to as "vitamins for industry", are widely used in industries, especially electronic devices. China owns about 30 percent of the world's total reserves of rare earths, but is satisfying about 90 percent of the world's total demand. This unfair situation was resulted from a long-term disorder in the international market. Recently, Chinese authorities plans to gradually reduce export quota of rare earths, with an annual cut of 2 to 3% and set up strategic reserves.

 Latest news:


Rare-earth industry to be regulated

Domestic rare-earth deposits dropped to 27 million tons by the end of 2009, down from 43 million tons in 1996, Chao Ning, section chief for foreign trade at the Ministry of Commerce, said in October. [Full story]

Rare earth association to launch in May
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Civil Affairs have approved the establishment of an industry association for the rare earths industry, which will include up to 90 major domestic metal companies, people close to the matter say. [Full story]

Rare earth mining zones aim for sustainable use 
China's decision to set up its first group of rare earth mining zones with state planning is aimed at protecting resources as well as the environment. [Full story]

New standards for rare earth sector

Strategic reserves for rare metals mulled

Rare as it is

Rare earths 'will not be bargaining tool'

China will not significantly cut rare earth exports in 2011

Vietnam, Japan to cooperate on rare earth exploitation

No big shift in rare earth plans

Opinion: No quick fix for illegal rare earth hunt

China hopes to cooperate on rare earth utilization

China to reduce rare earth export quotas

Large rare earths deposit found in central China

Chinalco to invest 10 bln yuan in rare earth sector

Chinese rare earth industry defends export cap

Rare earths campaign helps development of new energy

'No ban' on exports of rare earths to Japan

China defends policy on rare earth export control

'Bigger say' set on rare earth market

Chinalco steps up drive for rare earths

Baotou Steel keen on cornering rare earth market

China to further regulate rare earth exploitation

Unified pricing to buoy rare earth prices

No quick fix for illegal rare earth hunt

Posco acquires Chinese rare earth firm

 Q&A about "rare earths"

 What are rare earths?

Rare earth elements or rare earth metals are a collection of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, namely scandium, yttrium, and the fifteen lanthanides.


Technological applications

Rare earth elements are now incorporated into many technological devices, including superconductors, samarium-cobalt and neodymium-iron-boron high-flux rare-earth magnets, electronic polishers, refining catalysts and hybrid car components (primarily batteries and magnets).

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