China introduces mandatory controls
Rare earths should be easier to trace back in the future. The Chinese Government is therefore implementing appropriate measures in a timely manner.
As the Chinese news service baiinfo reports, Beijing will introduce binding standards in dealing with rare earths as of July 15. In concrete terms, the first thing to do is about packaging, labeling, transport and storage. The Chinese leadership expects these measures not least to secure a better traceability of rare earths from ore on.
Illegal material is still entering the market, the source of which cannot be clearly identified due to poor documentation – this is now to change. The measure thus follows the recent border closure to Myanmar, where “raw material washing” was carried out on a large scale by exporting and re-importing rare earths (we reported in the newsletter No. 70).
In addition, Beijing has already announced binding standards in the areas of occupational safety, environmental protection and product quality. The rare earths processors will also have to pay more attention to their energy consumption and the responsible handling of the production residues in the future.
The measures are likely, on the one hand, to reduce the supply of rare earths, at least in the short to medium term; On the other hand, it is expected that the remaining legal producers will pass on their increased costs to customers. According to the latest figures, this development can already be seen, as reported by the news site german.china.org.cn.