At least eight major producers of rare earths based in China's Guangdong Province have formed an alliance, the Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Group, in compliance to the federal government's pronouncement to start building a rare earths reserves.
Manufacturers, users and researchers of rare earth elements from around the world have combined forces to create a Rare Earth Technology Alliance (RETA), and among its first plan of action is to map out an education and outreach strategy to enable its members cope with the supply shortages currently enveloping users of rare earths.
Based on the plan outline by the provincial government, the Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Group, will closely work with the local governments and enterprises in Shaoguan, Meizhou, Maoming, Heyuan, Shanwei, Zhaoqing, Qingyuan and Jieyang to combine and strengthen the administration as well as mining and development of rare earths in the province, the China News Service reported.
Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Group is operated by the Guangdong Rising Assets Management (GRAM), one of the major mining companies in the province that is owned by the state. GRAM manages all the rare earths mining certificates in Guangdong Province. However, many of the mines it is managing have been illegally mined, Chen Zhanheng, director of the Academic Department at the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, was quoted as saying.
"The rare earths depletion and the consequent environmental destruction in the south is more severe than in the north, because there are many illegal miners scattered across the southern region," Chen said.
Guangdong is considered a major production area for heavy rare earths elements, the China News Service reported. Its output last year reached more than 50 billion yuan, the report added.
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