3 Sep 2009 13:55

Inner Mongolia govt assisting Baotou Rare-Earth in acquisitions in western China

Shanghai. September 3. INTERFAX-CHINA - The government of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is assisting China's largest rare earth producer, state-owned Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-tech Co. Ltd., to acquire rare earth resources in western China, a senior government official said on Sept. 2.

"We will also reduce production at high-grade rare earth mines in Inner Mongolia, in order to protect rare earth resources," Zhao Shuanglian, vice chairman of the Inner Mongolia government, said. He did not specify any target acquisitions or offer a time frame.

Inner Mongolia has 75 percent of China's total rare earth resources and has an annual rare earth oxide production capacity of 50,000 tons. Rare earth oxide exports account for 6 percent of the region's rare earth output every year, according to Zhao.

The Inner Mongolia government hopes to control more domestic rare earth resources and reduce exports, in order to attract downstream users from both home and abroad to the region, he added.