China lifts export limits on rare earth minerals

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Having lost its case before the World Trade Organization China has lifted the limits it had placed on the export of rare earth minerals back in 2009.

Because of low costs, China produces about 90% of all rare earths worldwide, needed for most high tech electronics. This decision eases a concern that has existed now for better part of a half decade.



  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    I doubt the Red Chinese will fully comply.

  • pzatchok

    China has had a problem with its REE industry.
    They tried to force foreign investment into REE industries inside China by restricting exports of the raw materials. But it didn’t quite turn out as they hoped.
    It turns out that governmental corruption is so bad in China that they could not stop the smuggling of the stuff out of the country.
    Not small quantities but HUGE amounts were being smuggled out. Amounts larger than the total of the legal amounts shipped. Something in excess of 20,000 tons were smuggled out the year after the limits were imposed.
    After years of trying to stop it with little to no arrests it looks like they finally gave in.

    Corruption is so bad in China even moving in Army troops didn’t stop it. The new military commanders were just paid off like the old ones were.

    Its believed by many that the real heads of the smuggling operations are in fact members of the Communist Party of China (or just ‘The Party’) and are those in charge of the provinces and regions. Thus almost untouchable.

    The WTO ruling did little to change their minds. If they could have stopped the smuggling they could have ignored the WTO. Everyone would have been pretty much forced to come to them and thus the central national government for the minerals.

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