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China allots 1st batch of rare earths plans to local producers
[HONG KONG] China has set the first batch of production plans for rare earths in 2015 to domestic producers and allotted more than 90 per cent of the production to six groups.
The plans for mines are set at 52,500 tonnes of rare-earth oxides (REO) and for smelters are at 50,050 tonnes of REO in 2015, according to a statement of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Friday.
The amounts are more than 10 per cent higher than 46,900 tonnes and 45,250 tonnes respectively for the first batch in 2014.
China allotted the second batch of production plans to local producers in the second half in previous years. For the full-year, the total amounts for mines were 105,000 tonnes of REO in 2014.
Of the first batch in 2015, more than 90 per cent is allotted to six Chinese groups, including state-owned China Minmetals Corporation and Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco).
Beijing in January urged the top six rare earth companies to consolidate all miners and processors in the sector by the end of this year, a move which is expected to push up prices and tighten controls over the resource by Beijing.
The move also came after China lost a WTO ruling last year that prompted the world's dominant producer and exporter of rare earths to cancel a quota system on exports of rare earths this year.