The Chinese authorities have led to the creation of a new state-owned rare-earth company combining the activities of Ganzhou Rare Earth Mineral Industry Company, and a number of smaller local companies including Longnan Wanbao Rare Earth.
The red clay hills of Ganzhou in Jiangxi are home to an estimated 36 per cent of China’s rare earth reserves, and China provides about 95 per cent of the world’s rare earth shipments. Now the only company in the area, Ganzhou Rare Earth Group will be present at all stages of the rare earth production process: mining, smelting, separation and trading. “From now on, Ganzhou will step up efforts to facilitate the merging and restructuring of the rare earth industry,” said Liu Jianping, vice mayor of Ganzhou.
In January, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), along with 11 other authorities, said in a guideline that the government is encouraging mergers in the auto, steel, cement, shipbuilding, electrolytic aluminum, rare earth, electronic information, pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors.
In 2012, the sales revenues of the rare earth industry in Ganzhou reached 34 billion yuan (about $ 5.44 billions), accounting for one-third of the industry’s revenues nationwide, according to Ma Rongzhang, secretary-general of the China Rare Earth Industry Association.