Germany Passes Policy To Secure Rare Earths

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's government has passed a strategy aimed at helping the export-driven nation secure enough of the exotic metals used in high-tech products known as rare earths.

Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle said Wednesday the German strategy will focus on developing partnerships with nations who produce the rare metals, as well as on helping develop a recycling center for rare earths. Germany will also bring the issue before the Group of Eight and Group of 20 summits.

China is the main producer of rare earths, accounting for about 97 percent of global production. It recently announced it would limit exports, setting off alarm bells in German industries that rely on them to produce laser and electronic technology and photovoltaic used in solar panels.