The Asia Miner

JAN-MAR 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 16 of 51

the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 1 15 REGIONAL FOCUS: Central Asia & Mongolia China has announced increased efforts in eliminaঞng illegal mining, producঞon and smuggling of rare earth metals. The Ministry of Industry and Informaঞon Technology (MIIT) said in new guidelines published in January 2019, that it was stepping up efforts in cracking down on illegal mining, while at the same ঞme encouraging more high-end processing. China is responsible for more than 90 per cent of the global supply of rare earth elements, a group of 17 metals used in high-tech and strategic sectors such as renewable energy and defence. However, the country has spent the last decade trying to bring "order" to the sector by closing down illegal mines, restricঞng exports and domesঞc producঞon. Small private firms have been shut down and control over the industry has been put in the hands of six state-owned mining groups. According to a Reuters report, "regulaঞon and supervision in the industry had improved, but illegal mining and producঞon conঞnued to disrupt 'market order' and damage the interests of legiঞmate enterprises". The MIIT was reported to step up efforts to prohibit illegal mining and recycling of rare earth materials, and ensure that unauthorised faciliঞes are completely eliminated, by establishing a "traceability system" to stop buyers from using illegal materials. Through the new guidelines, MIIT also seeks to prevent producers from exceeding the output target, suspending licenses of those companies that break the law. The rare earth industry has contaminated large amounts of land and water in major producing regions such as Inner Mongolia and Jiangxi, and the ministry vowed to provide more support to clean up the industry and reduce waste discharges. The ministry said it would work to support the development of high-end rare earth products and establish a new research centre to promote new applicaঞons and improve innovaঞon and compeঞঞveness. The crackdown on the rare earth sector was iniঞally launched by China in 2009, and faced accusaঞons from many foreign governments that China was using a chokehold over global supplies to gain unfair economic and poliঞcal leverage. In 2014, Beijing was forced by the World Trade Organisaঞon to abolish rare earth export, but it conঞnues to cap domesঞc producঞon on environmental grounds. China's annual quota for rare earth mining stood at 120,000 tonnes in 2018, with smelঞng and separaঞon capped at 115,000 tonnes. 中国加大了打击稀土行业的力度 China ups the ante on rare earth sector crackdown 中国宣布加大力度打击非法开采、 生产和走私稀土金属。工业和信息化 部(MIIT)在2019年1月发布的新指导方 针中表示,将加大打击非法采矿的力 度,同时鼓励更多高端加工。中国占 全球稀土供应的90%以上。稀土由17种 金属组成,用于可再生能源和国防等 高科技和战略部门。 然而,过去10年,中国一 过关闭非法煤矿、限制出口和国内生 产,给该行业带来"秩序"。小型私 营企业已被关闭,对该行业的控制权 已掌握在6家国有矿业集团手中。 据路透社(Reuters)报道,"行业 监管有所改善,但非法采矿和生产继 续扰乱'市场秩序',损害合法企业 利益"。 据 报道,工信部将通过建立"可 追溯系统"来阻止购买者使用非法材 料,从而加大力度禁止非法开采和回 收稀土材料,并确保彻底消除未经授 权的设施。 阻止生产商超过产量目标,暂停违法 企业的许可证。在内蒙古、江西等主 要稀土产区,稀土工业已经污染了大 量的土地和水源,国土资源部承诺将 提供更多的支持来清理稀土工业,减 少废物排放。商务部表示,将努力支 持高端稀土产品的开发,并建立一个 新的研究中心,以促进新应用,提高 创新和竞争力。 打 击稀土行业的行动最初是由中 国在2009年发起的,当时遭到许多外 国政府的指责,称中国利用对全球供 应的钳制,获得了不公平的经济和政 治影响力。2014年,中国政府迫于世 界贸易组织(wto)的压力,取消了稀土 出口,但仍以环境为由限制国内稀土 产量。2018年,中国稀土开采的年度 配额为12万吨,冶炼和分离的上限为 11.5万吨。 China has announced increased efforts in eliminang illegal mining

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