Rare earths have hit the headlines lately for many reasons including their increased demand as they are required to build high technology goods, China’s export restrictions and huge price swings. Even though China, as it claims, holds a huge share of the rare earths, its restrictions on exports have led many nations to believe that the country is shackling the exports for its own benefit from increased prices because of growing demands.
This strategy might not have paid well as other countries have started exploring their own lands for the rare earths and according to a report on China Daily there has been an upsurge in smuggling activities as well. These two reasons have led to decline in exports and the government is already concerned about the future.
In a bid to overcome this two fold issue of decreasing exports and increasing underground trading the government has not only planned its first rare earths exchange for October roll out but, also started a three month crackdown on smuggling. The crackdown will officially start from August 15 and will last till November 15 during which law enforcement agencies will be aiming not only to reduce illegal exploration, production and distribution of these metals but, will also regulate those companies which are involved in rare earth recycling.
China has been behind illegal miners for quite some time now but, the latest crackdown will see a full-fledged action against such activities.
The first rare earths exchange which is slated for October roll out will enable the government to regulate prices of these metals thereby smoothing out the bumps which have emerged lately because of the disparity in supply and demand.