Chinas Rare earth Industry Development and Implementation plan

China’s 13th 5-year plan was issued in October 2016 by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The Chinese Government released its “Rare Earth Industry Development Plan (2016-2020)” which represents the implementation plan for the Rare Earth Industrial Standard Regulation, published on July 1, 2016. The plan covers the complete spectrum of the Chinese rare earth industry including industrial consolidation, environmental sustainability agenda, protection of national resources, a roadmap for further integration into the value chain and moving away from Low-Tech to High-Tech applications.

In a nutshell, China is aiming for further downstream integration of the global rare earth industry while at the same time reducing illegal mining and international exports and improving the environmental compliance of the industry. Their agenda includes:

  • A projected annual growth rate of 15% in regards of the overall domestic rare earth consumption
  • A fixed target of reducing Solvent Extraction capacity from today 300,000 t (2015) to 200,000 t (2020), which represents an output increase from 105,000 t (2016) to maximum defined threshold of 140,000 t.
  • A reduction of rare earths exports from 57% of 2015 output to 30% of 2020 output.
  • An improvement in the profitability of rare earths enterprises from 5.8% (2015) to 12% (2020)
  • A target to make 90 % of Chinese rare earth companies compliant with energy and environmental legislation (from a base of 30% today)
  • The Government supports and overseas investment or collaboration in the Rare earth space
  • The government indicates further industry consolidation and no new mining rights apart of the from the 6 state-owned rare earth groups.
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