China embarks on rare earth drive
The government of China, as part of an effort to increase the pace of building heavy rare earth inventories, is awarding interest-free loans for the purchase of those oxides, according to Mineweb.
Citing a state-run publication, the news service noted the nation has preoccupations about depleting reserves. The country has cited 11 rare earth mining services zones where the build-up should occur, according to rare earth department head Jia Yinsong with the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China Securities Journal reported the low prices of rare earths spurred the beginning of the Asian nation's strategic purchases. Projected shortfalls in the future could be compensated by the resources that are strategically purchased. Terbium, dysprosium, europium and yttrium are the oxides that are under consideration.
"It is expected that rare earth producers Chalco, China Minmetal, and Baotou Steel Rare Earth are to receive interest free loans in conjunction with the creation of the stockpile," according to a statement issued by Ucore Rare Metals of Nova Scotia.
The move comes one year after China disclosed intentions to construct a strategic reserve for housing rare earths. However, the Asian nation did not disclose when that would occur.
In response to China noting its stockpiling aspirations, the U.S. Magnetic Materials Association said the need continues growing for "a non-China dependent, domestic and alien nation rare earth supply chain."
UCore chief executive officer Jim McKenzie said China's drive "will likely accelerate the development of domestic initiative to protect the supply of these metarials