State Council’s Opinions on Promoting the Sustainable and Healthy Development of the Rare Earth Industry

Guofa [2011] No. 12

The people’s governments of all provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government, ministries and commissions under the State Council, and their affiliated institutions:

Rare earths are important non-renewable strategic resources, and are increasingly used in new energy, new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, aerospace, and electronic information. Effective protection and rational use of rare earth resources is of great significance for protecting the environment, accelerating the development of strategic emerging industries, transforming and upgrading traditional industries, and promoting the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry. After years of development, China’s rare earth mining, smelting separation and application technology research and development have made great progress, and the scale of the industry has continued to expand. However, there are still illegal mining in the development of the rare earth industry. The smelting and separating capacity expansion is too fast, the ecological environment is destroyed and the resources are wasted seriously, the high-end application research and development lags behind, and the export order is chaotic, which seriously affects the healthy development of the industry. It is necessary to further improve the understanding of the importance of effective protection and rational use of rare earth resources, take effective measures, effectively strengthen the management of the rare earth industry, accelerate the transformation of the development mode of the rare earth industry, and promote the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry. The following opinions are proposed:

First, clear guiding ideology, basic principles and development goals

(1) guiding ideology. Guided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thinking of the “Three Represents”, we will thoroughly implement the scientific development concept, accelerate the transformation of the rare earth industry development mode, promote the structural adjustment of the rare earth industry, strictly control the mining and smelting separation capabilities, and vigorously develop rare earth new materials and application industries. Further consolidate and play an important role in the strategic basic industries of rare earths to ensure the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry.

(2) Basic principles. Adhere to environmental protection and resource conservation, implement more stringent protective mining policies and ecological environmental protection standards for rare earth resources, improve rare earth management laws and regulations as soon as possible, crack down on all kinds of violations in accordance with the law; adhere to control of total volume and optimize stocks, and accelerate implementation The strategy of large enterprise group, actively promote technological innovation, improve the level of mining, smelting and application technology, eliminate backward production capacity, further increase the concentration of rare earth industry; adhere to coordinating domestic and international markets and resources, and actively carry out international cooperation; Local economic and social development is coordinated, and the relationship between local and overall, current and long-term is correctly handled.

(3) Development goals. In 1-2 years, the establishment of standardized and orderly rare earth resources development, smelting separation and market circulation order, disorderly exploitation of resources, deterioration of ecological environment, blind expansion of production and export smuggling have been effectively curbed; The enterprise-led rare earth industry pattern, the industrial concentration of the top three enterprise groups in the southern ion-type rare earth industry has reached more than 80%; the pace of new product development and new technology promotion and application has accelerated, and the support and guarantee of rare earth new materials to downstream industries Obtained obvious play; initially established a unified, standardized and efficient management system for the rare earth industry, and further improved relevant policies and laws and regulations. It will take another three years to further improve the system and mechanism to form a sustainable and healthy development pattern of the rare earth industry with rational development, orderly production, efficient use, advanced technology and intensive development.

Second, establish and improve the industry supervision system, strengthen and improve industry management

(4) strict access management of rare earth industry. Implement stricter protective mining policies and ecological environmental protection standards for rare earth resources, and strictly control industry and environmental access. Accelerate the formulation and improvement of rare earth mining and production standards, and clarify the access of rare earth mines and smelting and separating enterprises in terms of product quality, process equipment, production scale, energy consumption, comprehensive utilization of resources, environmental protection, clean production, safe production and social responsibility. Claim. Implement a strict environmental access system, strictly implement the “Rare Earth Industrial Pollutant Emission Standards”, and formulate an environmental risk assessment system for the rare earth industry.

(5) Improve the management of rare earth mandatory production plans. Implement strict rare earth directive production planning, release and regulatory systems. Strengthen the interconnection between plans for rare earth mining, smelting and separation, and export. Production license for rare earth smelting and separating enterprises. Establish a management system for rare earth mining, smelting separation and product circulation and special invoices. The use of information technology to achieve rare earth mining, smelting and separation, export enterprise networking, online monitoring.

(6) Raise the qualification threshold for rare earth export enterprises. Rare earth export enterprises must meet the requirements of industry planning, industrial policies, industry access, and environmental protection standards. Further improve the qualification standards for rare earth export enterprises. Strengthen the supervision and management of export enterprises, strengthen the self-discipline of the industry, and investigate the legal liability for enterprises that have illegally purchased products and other illegal activities that seriously disrupt the order of export operations.

(7) Strengthening the management of rare earth exports. In accordance with the relevant policies restricting the export of “two high and one capital” products, while strictly controlling the total amount of rare earth mining and production, strictly control the export of rare earth metals, oxides, salts and rare earth iron alloys, etc., related to mining, production and consumption. And export restrictions should be implemented simultaneously. Overall consideration of domestic resources and production, consumption and international market conditions, and reasonable determination of the annual total export quota of rare earth. We will improve the distribution of export quotas and severely punish the sale of rare earth export quotas. Refine the rare earth product tax number and customs commodity code, and include rare earth products in the statutory inspection catalogue. Strict customs supervision, standardize enterprise declaration management, improve customs inspection methods and means, strengthen investment in customs first-line inspection and testing equipment, and establish a linkage system between rare earth mining, production and export enterprises. Strengthen the supervision and management of the production and operation of enterprises after the entry of rare earth industry, and prevent the export of rare earth products in disguised form.

(8) Improve the control measures such as taxes and prices. Significantly raise the standard of rare earth resource tax collection and curb the exploitation of resources. Reform the price formation mechanism of rare earth products, increase policy control, and gradually realize the unity of rare earth values and prices. Implement the mine ecological environment management and ecological restoration deposit system, and strictly enforce the economic responsibility of enterprise ecological environment protection and restoration.

(9) Seriously implement relevant laws, regulations and systems. Strictly implement the provisions of the relevant laws and regulations such as the Mineral Resources Law and the Customs Law, and strengthen the management of rare earth exploration and mining, smelting and processing, product circulation, promotion and application, strategic reserve, import and export, etc. We will promptly study and formulate or revise relevant laws and regulations for the management of rare metals such as rare earths.

Third, carry out special rectification of rare earths in accordance with the law, and earnestly maintain a good industrial order.

(10) Resolutely crack down on the exploitation of illegal mining and super-control indicators. The Ministry of Land and Resources should further consolidate the results of special rectification of rare earth mineral development order, increase the supervision of rare earth exploration and mining, strictly manage the management of total rare earth mining quotas, and strengthen joint supervision of key rare earth producing areas. Resolutely ban illegal mining, strictly prohibit the exploitation of super-control indicators, and supervise major illegal mining cases, and investigate the responsibility of enterprises and related personnel according to law. Re-examine the issued exploration licenses and mining licenses and publicize the list of legal mining companies to the public. Accelerate the establishment of a long-term mechanism to regulate the order and supervision of rare earth mining.

(11) Resolutely crack down on illegal production and super-planned production. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shall, in conjunction with the relevant departments, immediately carry out special rectification actions for rare earth production, announce the list of legal production enterprises to the society, and strengthen supervision and inspection of the implementation of the national rare earth directive production plan. For unplanned and super-planned production enterprises, they shall be ordered to stop the production of national mandatory plan management products, trace the source of mineral products, impose penalties on enterprises that illegally purchase and sell, cancel production licenses and sales qualifications, and the industrial and commercial administrative departments shall deadline. Handle change registration, cancel registration or revoke business license according to law.

(12) Resolutely crack down on behaviors that damage ecology and pollute the environment. The Ministry of Environmental Protection shall immediately carry out special environmental protection rectification actions for rare earth mining and smelting and separating enterprises, and strictly implement national and local pollutant discharge standards. For construction projects that have not been approved by the EIA, construction and production shall be stopped; those enterprises that do not have pollution control facilities and pollution control facilities that operate abnormally, exceed the standards, or exceed the total pollutant discharge control indicators shall be ordered to stop production immediately and be rectified within a time limit. If the management task is not completed within the time limit, the relevant license shall be charged (hanged) according to law.

(13) Resolutely crack down on the illegal export and smuggling of rare earths. The General Administration of Customs shall, in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant departments, immediately carry out special rectification actions for the rare earth export order, increase the examination and inspection efforts, severely punish the false reports and report the names of the products, and use the “samples of advertisements” in batches and at multiple ports. “Express shipments” and other methods of illegal export and smuggling of rare earths.

Fourth, accelerate the integration of the rare earth industry, adjust and optimize the industrial structure

(14) to further promote the development and integration of rare earth resources. The Ministry of Land and Resources and other relevant departments, in accordance with the overall deployment of the national mineral resources development and integration work, listed all the rare earth development and integration of mining areas, and further promote the development and integration of rare earth resources. Strict management of rare earth mining rights will, in principle, continue to suspend the acceptance of new rare earth exploration and mining registration applications and prohibit existing mining mines from expanding production capacity.

(15) Strictly control the total amount of rare earth smelting and separation. During the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” period, in addition to the merger and reorganization and optimization of the layout projects approved by the state, the approval of the new rare earth smelting and separation project was stopped, and the existing rare earth smelting and separation project was prohibited from expanding the production scale. We must resolutely stop the construction of illegal projects. We must seriously investigate the responsibility of relevant units and responsible persons for the examination and approval of violations of laws and regulations.

(16) Actively promote the merger and reorganization of the rare earth industry. Support large enterprises to use capital as a link, through joint, merger, reorganization and other means, vigorously promote resource integration, significantly reduce the number of rare earth mining and smelting and separating enterprises, and increase industrial concentration. Advance the merger and reorganization of the rare earth industry should adhere to overall planning, policy guidance, market-oriented operation, take into account the interests of the central, local and enterprise, and properly handle the relationship between different regions and upstream and downstream industries. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will work with relevant departments to formulate an implementation plan to promote the merger and reorganization of the rare earth industry as soon as possible.

(17) Accelerate the technological transformation of enterprises. Encourage enterprises to use advanced technologies such as in-situ leaching, ammonia-free smelting and separation, and linkage extraction and separation to carry out technological transformation. Accelerate the elimination of backward production processes and production lines such as pool leaching and ammonia saponification separation. Develop circular economy, strengthen the recycling and reuse of tailings resources and rare earth products, improve the recovery rate and comprehensive utilization level of rare earth resources, reduce energy consumption and material consumption, and reduce environmental pollution. Support enterprises to combine technological transformation with mergers and acquisitions, elimination of backward production capacity, and accelerate technological progress.

V. Strengthen the reserve of rare earth resources and vigorously develop the rare earth application industry

(18) Establish a strategic reserve system for rare earths. Establish a strategic reserve of rare earths in accordance with the combination of national reserves and enterprise (commercial) reserves, physical reserves and resources (land) reserves. Overall planning the mining of ion-type rare earths and northern light rare earth resources in the south, and demarcating a number of national planned mining areas as strategic resource reserves. For the resource sites listed in the national reserve, the local government is responsible for supervision and protection, and may not be mined without the approval of the state. The central government subsidizes the regions and enterprises that implement resources and product reserves.

(19) Accelerate the research and development and industrialization of key application technologies for rare earths. In accordance with the overall requirements for the development of strategic emerging industries, we will guide and organize rare earth production and application enterprises, research and development institutions and institutions of higher learning, vigorously develop deep processing and comprehensive utilization technologies, promote the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements with independent intellectual property rights, and provide opportunities for the development of strategic emerging industries. support.

6. Strengthen organizational leadership and create a good development environment

(20) Establish and improve a coordination mechanism. It is necessary to further develop the role of the inter-ministerial coordination mechanism of rare metals and coordinate research on major issues such as national rare earth development strategies, plans, plans and policies. Established the Rare Earth Office in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to coordinate the management of the rare earth industry; coordinate the formulation of rare earth mining, production, reserves, import and export plans, etc., and incorporate them into the national annual plan for national economic and social development, and take the lead in implementing the annual plan. Industry access and development and promotion of rare earth new materials.

(21) Defining responsibility and division of labor. The relevant departments of the State Council shall divide their work according to their functions, do the corresponding management work, assume corresponding responsibilities, and strictly implement the accountability system. We will resolutely change the status quo of re-planning, light implementation, heavy approval, and light supervision. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has overall responsibility and is responsible for the management of the rare earth industry, formulating mandatory production plans, maintaining the order of rare earth production, and guiding the formation of rare earth industry associations. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Press Office took the lead in advancing the publicity and interpretation of our rare earth policy. The Development and Reform Commission takes the lead in doing a good job in controlling the scale of rare earth investment and the total export volume. The Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Land and Resources jointly led the study to establish a strategic reserve for rare earths. The Ministry of Finance has taken the lead in researching and formulating fiscal and tax support policies. The Ministry of Land and Resources is responsible for the exploration and exploitation of rare earth resources and the total amount of control management, mining order rectification and resource reserves. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is responsible for the special rectification of environmental protection, strict environmental access, and strengthening pollution prevention and control. The Ministry of Commerce is responsible for export quota management and properly coordinates trade relations with countries. The General Administration of Customs is responsible for strict export supervision and combating smuggling. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is responsible for strict export inspection and supervision and combating escape inspections. The Ministry of Supervision is responsible for supervising and inspecting the implementation of the rare earth policy by local governments and relevant departments. If the work is weak and affects the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry, it is necessary to pursue accountability seriously. The relevant local governments have overall responsibility for the management of the rare earth industry in the region. They must implement the responsibility system at all levels, urge the rare earth enterprises to operate according to law, organize production and operation in strict accordance with the state plan, strictly fulfill their social responsibilities, and effectively protect resources and the environment.

(22) Correctly guide public opinion. Strengthening the management of rare earth industry is the need to protect the ecological environment and resources, and promote the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry. It is the need to transform the development mode of the rare earth industry and develop strategic emerging industries. It is the need to improve the overall efficiency of the rare earth industry and safeguard the long-term interests of the people. We must correctly guide public opinion, actively promote the importance and positive role of strengthening the management of the rare earth industry, and strive for understanding and support at home and abroad.
Relevant departments of the State Council and relevant local governments should further unify their thinking, enhance the awareness of the overall situation and sense of responsibility, strengthen organizational leadership and coordination, do a good job in supervision and inspection, implement a responsibility system, ensure that all policies and measures are implemented, and strengthen the resources of rare earths. Effective protection and rational use to promote the sustainable and healthy development of the rare earth industry.

Author:  State Council
Date: May 10, 2011
Source: State Council

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