China released rare earth regulations to promote sustainable development, safeguard national security
China released rare earth regulations to promote sustainable development, safeguard national security

China released rare earth regulations to promote sustainable development, safeguard national security

 

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China released a list of rare earth regulations, laying out rules on the mining, smelting and trade in the critical materials used to make products from magnets in electric vehicles to consumer electronics, in a move to promote healthy a sustainable development of the industry and to safeguard the country’s new energy security.

The regulations, issued by the State Council or cabinet on Saturday, say rare earth resources belong to the state, and that the government will oversee the development of the industry around rare earths – a group of 17 minerals of which China has in recent years become the world’s dominant producer, accounting for nearly 90% of global refined output.

Related departments under the State Council will be responsible for the management of the country’s rare-earth industry development, which will systematically enhance the strategic importance of rare-earth mining, benefit the environmental protection, and maximize the added value of rare earths, it said.

The new regulations, taking effect on Oct. 1, say the State Council will establish a rare earth product traceability information system.

It also banned the export of technology to make rare earth magnets, in addition to imposing a ban on technology to extract and separate rare earths.

The country will promote the high-quality development of the rare-earth industry, and encourage the research, development and application of new technologies, new materials and new equipment.

The regulations also specify punishments for illegal activities in areas including rare-earth mining, smelting and extraction, product distribution, as well as unlawful imports and exports.

In recent years, China has rolled out a number of policies and measures to promote and protect the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry. However, some problems remain in rare-earth management, including the government’s oversight on rare-earth resources, the industry’s innovation capability, and the penalties for illegal mining and other serious violations, so it’s necessary to formulate specialized administrative rules to provide legal safeguards for the protection of rare earths, they said.