(Beijing) – China's government has approved the creation of two regional monopolies in the rare earth metals industry. The mergers, to take place by the end of this year, are the latest example of state-driven consolidation in the industry.
Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co. and Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd. announced on August 4 that they have been approved by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to lead the formation of the two groups.
The news comes as the government awaits a decision on its appeal to the World Trade Organization over its March ruling that China's export restrictions on rare earth minerals broke trade rules. The results of the appeal are expected soon.
China has nearly 40 percent of the world's reserves of rare earth metals, but meets about 90 percent of global demand. The 17 elements are used in industrial, military and high-tech products, such as smartphones, wind turbines, hybrid-car batteries and laser-guided weapons. READ MORE