China: Rare Earths Belong to the State – New Regulations from October

by | 1. Jul 2024 - 09:21 | Politics

Upgrading of the industry and more government control announced.

The Chinese government has announced new regulations for the country’s rare earth industry. The policies, passed at a meeting of the State Council in April and announced over the weekend, will come into force on October 1st. A total of 32 articles set out how the industry is to be further developed. This is to be achieved primarily through state control.

Beijing hopes to reduce illegal mining activities and qualitatively upgrade the rare earth industry. The document, therefore, clarifies who owns these raw materials: the state. No organization or individual may appropriate or destroy rare earth resources. To ensure this, a system for the traceability of products along the value chain will be established, and company monitoring will be expanded.

It is currently unclear what impact the new regulations will have on the export of rare earths. Still, the government reserves the right to apply the regulations to other critical raw materials.

The measures that will soon come into force should be seen in the context of China’s consolidation of the rare earth sector. This sector has long been highly fragmented, prompting the state to gain more control over its natural resources. Our background article provides more information on the developments in China and highlights key events of the last decades.


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