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China seeks environmental protection with regulations on rare earths

Beijing, Mar 1 (Prensa Latina) China affirmed today that protecting the environment and guaranteeing sustainable development is the main purpose of its new regulations on the industry of the so-called rare lands, essential for the military, automotive and technological sectors. According to the Minister of Information and Technology, Xiao Yaqing, although the country is a leader in the industry, it does not have the best prices for these resources due to strong competition, and unregulated extraction has led to waste and ecological problems. He indicated that the document offers a legal framework to address these issues, while ensuring the healthy and long-term exploitation of rare earth deposits, rich in metals such as scandium, yttrium and the 15 elements of the lanthanide group.
The government will be more rigorous in controlling the industrial chain, market order, project approval and export quotas, the minister added. China has reserves of 44 million tons of rare earths, produces 80 percent of them in the world and is the main supplier to the United States. These chemicals are used in the manufacture of cell phones, computers, electric vehicles and modern weapons such as missile guidance systems and fighter bombers.

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