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China Cutting Back On Rare-Earth Exports

A front loader shifts soil containing rare-earth minerals to be loaded at the Chinese port of Liangyungang in September.
China has announced it is cutting back on exports of rare-earth elements -- minerals used in the manufacture of high-technology products such as mobile phones, flat-screen televisions, and low-emissions vehicles.

China is said to account for more than 95 percent of the rare earth elements currently available for sale on the global market.

News agencies say that a quota of some 14,450 tons announced today by China's Commerce Ministry suggests a cut of about 35 percent in exports at the start of 2011, in comparison to the quota for the same period this year.

China's reductions in the supplies of rare earths has prompted statements of concern from the United States and a reported renewed effort by companies elsewhere in the world to mine for deposits.

compiled from agency reports