China consolidates rare earth mining in Baotou

Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:40am GMT
 

HONG KONG, Sept 15 (Reuters) - China will consolidate the mining of rare earth in the world's top rare earth producing area in Baotou city, Inner Mongolia and give Baotou Steel Group a monopoly to mine the resource by the end of this year, the state planner said on Wednesday.

China, providing more than 90 percent of the world's rare earth used in high-tech industries, has tried to preserve the country's rare earth resources to meet increased domestic demand, cutting exports.

The government of Baotou and Baotou Steel will be responsible to set up a 24-hour inspection team to manage all mines covered in the area, according to the statement posted on the National Development and Reform Commission website (www.ndrc.gov.cn).

Baotou Steel is the parent of Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (600111.SS: Quote), which is the country's top producer of the group of 17 elements and likely to use 9 percent of this year's expected production of 55,000 tonnes of oxides to build a stockpile that could grow to up to 200,000 tonnes. [ID:nTOE67Q05G]

Baotou Steel Group mines iron ores that contain rare earths. After extracting iron from the ores, the parent provides the subsidiary with the residues.

China has raised to 89,200 tonnes this year its mining limit on rare earth, including Baotou Steel Rare-Earth's 50,000 tonnes, an increase of about 8 percent from last year's 82,320 tonnes. [ID:nTOE62G04N]. (Reporting by Polly Yam; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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