Rare Earth Stocks Rise After China Approves Minmetals’ Group

Rare earths stocks in China climbed after China Minmetals Corp. received government approval to form a group of provincial producers as part of government moves to reform the industry.

China Minmetals Rare Earth Co., its rare earth unit, rose 4.3 percent to close at 27.80 yuan in Shanghai after gaining as much as 8.2 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up 4.3 percent.

China, supplier of more than 90 percent of the world’s rare earths, aims to create fewer and bigger industry groups to help technology upgrade and crack down on illegal production.

China Minmetals, which has the world’s biggest production capacity for heavy rare earths, will continue to consolidate the industry in provinces including Hunan, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi, it said in a statement yesterday.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Jan. 9 identified six companies including Minmetals, Aluminum Corp. of China, Baogang Group, Guangdong Rare Earth Group, Ganzhou Rare Earth Group and Xiamen Tungsten Co. to lead acquisitions in the sector.

The country is set to loosen its export restrictions on rare earths after a panel at the World Trade Organization in March determined that China didn’t adequately justify imposing export duties and quotas on the goods, backing the U.S. in a trading dispute.

Rising Nonferrous Metals Share Co., a unit of Guangdong Rising, climbed 3.8 percent, while Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Union Co., which has Baogang’s rare earth deposits, gained 6.6 percent.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemically similar elements including neodymium and lanthanum used in smartphones, wind turbines and hybrid cars.

— With assistance by Helen Yuan

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