Wang Caifeng, deputy director-general of the materials department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, on Friday saught to calm concerns that China will restrict the exports of rare earths used to produce hybrid car batteries, mobile phones and other products, AP reported. China is a major producer of these rare earths, and previous reports that Beijing would curtail exports rattled foreign firms dependent on the materials for production. Wang said that Beijing will permit the sale of finished products containing rare earths but will limit exports of semi-finished goods. The current ban on the export of raw ores will continue, she said. Wang refused to confirm news reports that China will reduce exports to 8% below 2008 levels and cap future exports. She said that China will not "take the road of closing the door" but noted that the country has paid a high environmental price for the mining of rare earths.
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