Serious accidents as well as illegal mining and smuggling are to be curbed
The Chinese Rare Earth Industry Association wants to work with government authorities to take tougher action against illegal mining and is offering citizens cash rewards for tips on the matter. The association said this on Wechat on Tuesday, as reported by Reuters and others.
In recent decades, China has become a world leader in the extraction and processing of the critical raw materials needed for a wide range of technologies from wind turbines to electric motors and military equipment. However, problems have long existed due to illegal production and smuggling, which increasing government countermeasures such as fixed annual mining quotas for approved companies have not completely curbed, Bloomberg writes (paywall).
The latest measures may be aimed at paving the way for further consolidation in the industry, an analyst at research firm Shanghai Metals Market told Bloomberg. As we reported, China secured more control over critical commodities in late 2021 by merging three rare earth companies to form the state-controlled China Rare Earth Group.
The People’s Republic also wants to improve work safety in the mining sector and be more effective in combating natural disasters to prevent serious accidents, China Daily reports. The Ministry of Emergency Management plans to investigate fatal accidents that were deliberately covered up. This follows a string of such cases that were only uncovered after the fact, such as at a coal mine in Liaoning province, where seven people died and seven others were injured in late June. Separately, an investigation is to be conducted in Shanxi province into whether an iron mining company concealed the accidental deaths of at least 17 miners over the past 15 years, according to China Daily.