China to raise rare earths production this year

BEIJING (AP) — China says it plans to increase production of rare earths this year but gave no sign it might reverse a decision to reduce exports of the exotic metals used by high-tech industry.

The Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday this year’s production quota will be 93,800 tons. That is about a 5 percent increase over last year.

China produces most of the world’s rare earths. Beijing has cut its export quota this year as it tries to nurture Chinese producers of lightweight magnets and other high-tech goods that use rare earths instead of exporting raw ores.

Thursday’s announcement made no mention of altering the export quota.

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