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China Briefings

Reports on China issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

China Business Intelligence No. 203

China Business Intelligence No. 203

Samsung Economic Research Institute Beijing Office

Aug. 26, 2011

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China , the world's largest holder of rare earth elements (REE), has seen its overly dispersed REE industry suffer from low efficiency. As of the end of 2010, China had 36 million tons or 36% of the world's total 99 million tons of REEs. In 2009, China produced 120,000 tons of REEs, 97% of the world's total output.  REE production sites are divided into northern and southern regions. REE production in the northern region has been monopolized by Baotou Steel while that in the southern region is decentralized. Since the REE industry in the southern region is overly dispersed, problems such as excessive mining, damage to the environment, falling prices and lack of competitiveness have come to the fore. Though the government keeps tabs on production volume, REEs have continued to be excessively produced on an annual basis.

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