Beijing has launched a survey of domestic rare-earth production, as industry stocks rise amid speculation that China could restrict exports of the materials as part of the ongoing trade conflict with the US, reported Caixin.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has begun visits and meetings across the country to assess the “general upstream, midstream and downstream situation of rare earths and other strategic mineral resources,” the China Securities Journal, a publication under the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The NDRC, working together with China’s Ministry of Information and Information Technology and the Ministry of Natural Resources, will use the investigation to prepare recommendations for the rare earths industry in areas ranging from “resource protection and green production” to “international trade and domestic and international cooperation,” according to the China Securities Journal.
China is the world’s largest producer of rare earths, which are used in everything from oil refining and consumer electronics to military equipment. Recent fears that China could cut off supplies of the minerals to the US, a major buyer, have sent the stock prices of Chinese rare earth companies soaring.