A number of mining companies are retreating after the Chinese government ordered some municipalities to take steps to slow down the country's housing market. China is the world's largest consumer of copper, iron ore, and coal. The country's cabinet on Friday ordered cities with "excessively fast" growth to raise down payment requirements and interest rates on purchases of second homes, according to Bloomberg. The government also indicated that it would seek to more strictly enforce a law requiring individuals to pay a 20% tax on their profits from selling homes when the selling price is available, the news service added. Separately, Bloomberg reported that China is creating large mining companies that will be able to compete with global mining conglomerates for acquisitions of foreign companies. In early afternoon trading, Cliffs Natural (CLF) sank 5% to $24, Joy Global (JOY) dropped 4% to $59.50, Vale (VALE) gave back 3% to $18, Rio Tinto (RIO) dropped 3% to $50 and BHP Billiton (BHP) lost 1.3% to $73.