Rare earth miners in China will be subject to new industry standards aimed at reducing pollution and regulating industry practices, state media reported. Tighter restrictions will be placed on emissions of toxic chemicals and radioactive elements during the production process, said Huang Xiaowei, vice director of the National Engineering Research Center for Rare Earth Materials. Huang, who helped devise the standards, expects environmental costs to rise and miners who fail to comply to be banned from the industry. Nin Jinglu, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, said this may lead to an increase in the price of rare earth exports. Rare earths are used in a range of high-tech products and China currently accounts for 97% of global output. Since 2006, Beijing has imposed taxes and quotas on rare earth exports, citing the environmental cost of production. It is also seeking to consolidate the industry and clamp down on illegal mining.
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