Old 09-06-2009, 02:05 AM
Sparty Sparty is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Default China will NOT restrict REE Exports 20,000 ton oversupply in 09

From Metal Pages

BEIJING (Metal-Pages) 04-Sep-09. After a couple of weeks of speculation and worry, it appeared this week that China is not likely, after all, to ban exports of dysprosium and terbium, among several other heavy rare earths, although their available resources in Inner Mongolia will struggle to keep pace with China's demand and will need conservation efforts.

A degree of panic was sparked by a draft plan issued by by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for development of domestic rare earth resources to 2015, which was partly a mix of already implemented measures but also contained an apparent proposal to place dysprosium, terbium, thulium, lutetium and ytterbium on a prohibited exports list. This promplted some confusion and wrong assumptions that exports of yttrium could be banned, and fears that further export curbs could cut off supply of vital raw materials for low energy lighting, motors for hybrid vehicles and even wind turbines. This did not tally with the draft proposals, which appeared in fact to promote exports of rare earth compounds used in making phosphors for fluorescent bulbs and neodymium magnets.

Ms Wang Caifeng, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) finaly told delegates at Metal-Pages Minor Metals & Rare Earths conference in Beijing on Thursday that China is not planning ot "close the door" on exports. She focused instead on optimising mining, smelting and separating capacity (MIIT envisages 70% resource utilisation by 2015), but warned that China could run short of terbium and yttrium even for its own needs.

What is clear is that China may lose some of its monopoly on rare earths in the long run, but for the near future it is looking to attract foreign investment into processing rare earths within China into advanced products, such as phospors, magnets and various components, rather to indiscriminately mine and export raw material. China is estimated to produce some 120,000 tons of rare earths (as REO) out of the global supply of 124,000 tonnes, while demand this year could lag it by some 20,000 tonnes.
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