China Cracks Down on Illegal Mining

by | 13. Mar 2023 - 12:46 | Politics

Resource-rich Jiangxi province unveils plan to develop mining sector.

The Chinese province of Jiangxi has announced plans to take stronger action against the illegal mining of rare earths, lithium and other raw materials. The Chinese newspaper Global Times reports that a number of measures are intended to promote the qualitative development of the mining sector. The aim is also to speed up the approval of mines where mining is carried out in an environmentally friendly manner and to promote the renaturation of old mines.

Earlier this year, reports of illegal lithium mining in Yinchun made headlines. The city in Jiangxi province is considered the center of China’s lithium industry and accounts for 12 percent of global production of the battery metal, according to the South China Morning Post.

The measures against illegal mining are likely to serve not only environmental protection, but also the desire for more control over the country’s raw material deposits, Bloomberg reports (paywall). By 2025, China could still significantly increase its share of global lithium production thanks to control over deposits in Africa, the news service provider reports, citing UBS Bank. This is an invaluable advantage for the country’s booming e-car industry, which also benefits from China’s market power in rare earths and components made from them.

Photo: iStock/panophotograph

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