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  • molycorpree molycorpree Oct 20, 2010 7:37 PM Flag

    China Pledges Rare-Earth Supply as Users Abroad Say Prices Soar

    China, producer of more than 90 percent of the world’s rare earths, pledged to maintain supplies as users of the minerals needed for electronics, wind turbines and smart bombs said prices are soaring.

    The nation will “continue to supply rare earth to the world” while maintaining restrictions on exports “to protect exhaustible resources and ensure sustainable development,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday, after the New York Times and China Daily reported that the government plans further export cuts.

    China reduced its second-half export quota for the minerals by 72 percent this year, saying it needs to shut polluting mines and ensure it can meet domestic demand for clean-energy technology and advanced industry. Prices have increased threefold to 15-fold since the quotas were introduced in July, according to Jeff Green, president of J.A. Green & Company LLC in Washington, who represents miners and users of the elements.

    “Companies I’ve talked to say there’s no ban on rare-earth exports, however materials are still being held up in customs and shipments are delayed,” Green said in a phone interview. “Many believe rare-earth quotas for the second half of 2010 are exhausted, leaving materials unavailable for sale.”

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