China will toughen its already tough rules on exploiting rare earth minerals to better protect the environment and regulate rare earth prices, according to a report released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The government will also broker merger and acquisition deals to consolidate the highly fragmented industry.
China's rare earth reserves are rapidly depleting as the nation and world's demand for the unrecoverable resources rises, the report warned, calling for other countries with rich rare earth reserves to share the responsibility by diversifying supply of the materials.
The Chinese government encourages foreign capital to invest in treating the environment, recycling and applying rare earths and manufacturing equipment to mine the materials. It is noted purely mining rare earths is not included in the welcome list.
The China Rare Earth Association was founded earlier this year to prevent prices from falling, a result of haphazard excavation in the previous years. A rare earth exchange is being built at the moment to oversee trading and price fluctuations.
China has 23% of the world's rare earth deposits and supplies 90% of global demand. The nation exported 18,600 tons of rare earth minerals last year, meeting 60% of the government-capped quota.