China has strengthened its dominance in the production of rare earth minerals and merged three domestic companies into a mega-firm as global demand for vital minerals rises.
According to Asia Nikkei Business News, Beijing has decided to accelerate China's development of vital minerals and post-processing technologies in order to tighten control over the mining sector and subsequent exports.
State-owned resource company China Minmetals Corporation (CMC) and non-ferrous metals company China Aluminum Corporation have decided to merge with the government of Ganzhou, which is well known for its significant deposits of rare earths, as part of a "strategic reorganization" to create a "world-class company." The new company will now account for 70% of the country's quota for the production of medium and heavy rare earths and 40% of the total production of rare earths.
China is a world leader in the production and processing of rare minerals that are in great demand in a wide variety of industries, such as consumer electronics, electric vehicles and even military equipment. The communist country accounted for nearly 60% of the world's rare earths production last year, according to the US Geological Survey. However, that figure has dropped significantly from 90% four years ago, as both the US and Australia increased production amid the US-China trade conflict.