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Inner Mongolia Regulates Rare Earth Export to Attract Investment

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A senior official of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said Wednesday regulated exploitation and exporting of rare earth from the region aimed to attract investors to the region.

The strategy also aimed to make the region an international rare earth industrial base.

Zhao Shuanglian, vice chairman of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said that "to use moderation in the control of the production of rare earth resources and reduce exports to an acceptable level is to attract more Chinese and foreign investors into the region."

"We should by no means lay too much stress on raising the price of rare earth in the short-term. We are aiming to make Baotou in Inner Mongolia into a world-class rare earth industrial base," he said.

The rare earth reserve in Bayan Obo, in Baotou city in central southwest Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, accounts for 75 percent of China's total reserve. The region's annual production of rare earth oxides amounts to 50,000 tons. Its exports, however, only account for 6 percent of the country's total.

Zhao said bigger rare earth companies were being formed through merger and acquisition in a bid to make scientific and rational use of the resource.

He also called for efforts to establish a rare earth reserve mechanism to stabilize prices.

Rare earth, which include minerals such as dysprosium, terbium, thulium, lutetium and yttrium, is widely used in the fields of electronics, aviation, atomic energy, and mechanical manufacturing.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2009)