Many Western countries and Japan have for years relied on supplies of rare earth elements from China to keep vital industries going. China is defensive over its new policy to restrict exports, but some analysts say it could lose out if prices rise high enough for other large competitors to come into the market.

CHINA has claimed that most of its country’s easily accessible reserves of rare earth elements (REEs) have been depleted because of excessive mining.

The claim comes in a report, White Paper on Rare Earth Industry Policies, issued by China in June 2012 in response to a complaint by the US, the EU, Japan and Canada to the World Trade ...

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Dr. Frank Umbach
China answer to its claim of dwindling reserves has been to impose an export quota on rare earth metals and increase regulations for the industry
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