China steps up fight against illegal mining
China is the largest producer and exporter of rare earth materials and it has announced that it will be stepping up its regulations covering illegal mining, processing and sales of rare earth elements, in a plan to overhaul the industry.
China will increase the number of expectations, strengthen cooperation’s between ministries and departments and adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards illegal mining.
Zhou Changyi, head of the department of raw materials under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that now is the perfect time to change: "The next few years are an important period for the overhaul of China's rare earth industry and promoting its healthy development."
"Illegal mining is the principal reason for gloominess in the industry.”
China has closed down 14 illegal rare earth mines and 28 companies as part of the overhaul. The country is known for prohibiting foreign investment in the exploration of rare earth metals and is working to consolidate a stratified mining sector.