(AP) — China has slightly increased this year's quota for rare earths exports under controversial controls on the exotic minerals needed by manufacturers of mobile phones and other high-tech products.
The Commerce Ministry said Wednesday the quota for the second half of this year will be 9,770 tons. Added to the quota for the first six months of the year, that brings the 2012 total to 30,996 tons — an increase of about 3 percent over 2011.
China has about 30 percent of the world's rare earths but accounts for 97 percent of production. It alarmed global manufacturers when it imposed export controls in 2009 while it tries to build up its companies to produce lightweight magnets and other products made of rare earths.