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Consolidating policies on Chinese rare earth resources


  • Zhenbin Rao

    (University of Science & Technology Beijing
    Key Laboratory of High Efficient Mining of Metal Mines and Security)


After China lost the WTO case of export management measures on rare earth, tungsten, and molybdenum products, it is imminent to form six large groups to consolidate the country’s rare earth mining and smelting-separation enterprises and to take the comprehensive utilization of rare earth products into a planning management of quantity control. The six groups absolutely control the industry of rare earth mining, smelting, and separation. However, the illegal exploitation, excess production capacity, and smuggling issues still exist; the black industry chain of rare earth impacts the production and price in the market, which damages the environment and industrial policies of the state. After analyzing the rare earth distribution, production, and overseas costs, we found that the low price of Chinese rare earth had great influence on foreign enterprises’ products. The profitable games between Chinese rare earth policies and enterprises interests are the main factors that influence the rare earth market. It is expected that the REE industry will become economically viable only for a few large state-owned enterprises in a rationalization similar to that previously undertaken by China in base metals, steel, and other commodity industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhenbin Rao, 2016. "Consolidating policies on Chinese rare earth resources," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 29(1), pages 23-28, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:29:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s13563-016-0081-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-016-0081-8

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    Cited by:

    1. Pell, Robert S. & Wall, Frances & Yan, Xiaoyu & Bailey, Gwendolyn, 2019. "Applying and advancing the economic resource scarcity potential (ESP) method for rare earth elements," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 472-481.
    2. Magnus Ericsson & Olof Löf & Anton Löf, 2020. "Chinese control over African and global mining—past, present and future," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 33(1), pages 153-181, July.
    3. Han, Aiping & Ge, Jianping & Lei, Yalin, 2016. "Vertical vs. horizontal integration: Game analysis for the rare earth industrial integration in China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 149-159.
    4. Shao, Liuguo & He, Yingying & Feng, Chao & Zhang, Shijing, 2016. "An empirical analysis of total-factor productivity in 30 sub-sub-sectors of China's nonferrous metal industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 264-269.
    5. Hau, Liya & Zhu, Huiming & Yu, Yang & Yu, Dongwei, 2022. "Time-frequency coherence and quantile causality between trade policy uncertainty and rare earth prices: Evidence from China and the US," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).


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