China raises quota for this year's rare earths production; no sign of change on exports
China said Thursday [March 31] it will increase this year's production quota for rare earths but gave no sign it might reverse plans to cut exports of the exotic metals, according to a March 31 AP report in the Chicago Tribune.
Cerium oxide--the most efficient polishing material for glass-- is one of the 17 elements that compose rare earth minerals.
According to the report, China accounts for most rare earths production and has alarmed global manufacturers by reducing exports of the ores as it tries to develop its own producers of lightweight magnets and other high-tech goods that use the metals.
This year's production quota will be 93,800 tons, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on its Web site. That would be an increase of about 5 percent over 2010.
The ministry also said no new licenses for rare earths, tungsten or antimony mines would be granted before June 30, 2012, according to the report.
Read a Glass Magazine article on the effects of rare earths' scarcity on the glass and glazing industry.
Read a report on a House bill seeking global assessment of rare earths.